Just when Britain’s Conservatives were getting their act together — twenty months after the country voted for Brexit — Labour has thrown a wrench in the works.
Sebastian Payne writes in the Financial Times that by supporting a continued customs union with the EU, Labour is testing the loyalty of those Conservatives for whom a Canadian-style trade agreement falls short.
Labour has consistently stood back and allowed the Conservatives to set out a position and then nudged or fudged its own policy to somewhere slightly softer, but without alienating its own “leavers”. Mr Corbyn is still an unreformed left-wing, quiet supporter of Brexit, but this is about beating the government.
Conservatives who opposed Brexit will also be disappointed by the reality of a “Canada plus” deal. The EU has consistently warned that there can be no cherry-picking. The United Kingdom must be either in or out.
Right-wing media divide generations
Political scientist David A. Hopkins is always worth reading. In his latest blog post, he argues that conservative media in the United States are widening the generational gap between Democrats and Republicans.
Power on the American right has shifted away from Republican Party officials to media talking heads. Unlike the politicians, the pundits don’t need to court the popular majority. They only have to appeal to their core audience: right-leaning senior citizens. The best way to do that is by ridiculing the concerns and activities of younger Americans.
Mockery of millennials and college students as “snowflakes”, “campus crazies” and “social justice warriors” has become commonplace in conservative media outlets over the last few years.
The result: Whereas voters under the age of forty were evenly split between the two parties as recently as 2000, the Democrats now prevail among this age group by margins of 20 points or more.
Mueller flips Manafort’s deputy
Paul Manafort’s longtime business partner and deputy on the Donald Trump presidential campaign, Rick Gates, has agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
In exchange for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the FBI, the other charges against Gates, ranging from money laundering to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, will be dropped.
The question now is: What information can Gates give Mueller to make this deal worthwhile?