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I’d been looking forward to reading ex-Bitch Magnet guitarist Jon Fine’s Your Band Sucks, his memoir of his life in the indie rock scene, for some time. I’d been fascinated with (the stupidly named) Bitch Magnet ever since I first heard Ben Hur in Thirty Ought Six front man Sean Roberts’ basement in Portland a couple of lifetimes ago. (More…)

When you think of Sweden, France or Germany, what do you picture? More importantly, whom do you picture? For all of the attention that has been paid to the problems caused by immigration in the postwar era, particularly since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, many people still regard them as temporary, the result of a state of emergency at odds with the continent’s essence. (More…)

In May, the European Commission first proposed a quota system for distributing refugees in the EU. Despite the difficulty the executive has had in obtaining approval for it, countries hit hardest by the crisis, such as Italy, Greece and Malta enthusiastically support the plan, as do EU heavyweights France Germany. Ideally, their buy-in would make the difference. (More…)

So Jeremy Corbyn is now the leader of the Labour Party. Tom Watson stands by his side as deputy leader. The results for the Labour mayoral candidate came out yesterday, where standard-bearer Sadiq Khan ran on a ‘soft left’ platform and defeated Tessa Jowell. These events fit with a reorientation in Labour politics. It came from the grass-roots upwards. (More…)

The Director had ideas for this video. It was called “Qwi Mai Yab”, or ‘Quit My Job’ as might be filtered through the thick Cuban accent of singer-songwriter Jem Marie’s extended familia. The Director was thinking of clever satirical scenarios: perhaps dull office work, or repetitive factory labor, or handling of toxic materials, something static to be upset by the burst of punk energy from the song and its players. (More…)

Beginning in April 2013, armed bands of locals in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts declared their independence from the Ukrainian state. This followed a similar uprising in Crimea that was directly supported by elements of the Russian security services and ultimately led to the annexation of the Crimea to the Russian Federation. (More…)

In a few short months, Donald Trump has metamorphosed from a carnival sideshow in the American political circus into the headline act under its big top. With polls now showing this master showman, not only with a comfortable lead over his many Republican rivals, but also every leading Democrat, he is terrifying political insiders on both the Right and Left. (More…)

Your rewards taste old and rotten, like something from the last century, your promises are worthless. “Back in my school days my parents and teachers always told me I would never amount to anything! I guess they were right… (More…)

It was raining on Saturday in Budapest. The end of summer is a constant source of anxiety for refugees and their supporters, and so it seems serendipitous that, just in time for the rain, the improvised refugee camp in front of Keleti train station in Budapest has been resolved. (More…)

The young American was soon ready for the expedition, but De Catinat lingered until the last possible minute. When at last he was able to tear himself away, he adjusted his cravat, brushed his brilliant coat, and looked very critically over the sombre suit of his companion. (More…)

Sleeping out in the open may not feel as transgressive as having sex there, but it still leaves those who witness it uneasy. Privacy isn’t simply something we want for ourselves, but also for those around us. Although we know, intellectually, that everyone must satisfy the same biological needs, we would rather not be reminded of that fact too often. (More…)

Last year, when the Rotherham child abuse scandal broke the narrative was ready-made. The perpetrators were Asian men, the victims were white girls: it’s multiculturalism, stupid! The proponents of diversity and tolerance were painted as rape apologists. It was a particularly powerful case. (More…)