Dmitri Shostakovich called football “the ballet of the masses”.

It was a sport founded by working people, to provide entertainment to working men and women at the end of the week.

Since its creation has been commercialised, commodified, and injected with so much money that FIFA has become a byword for levels of corruption one usually expects from the mafia.

But at least the concept of competition, of fair play, was always there.

If this so-called “Super League” is allowed to go forward, then that will be gone. There would be no passion, no tension, no glory. Just a cartel…

Dominic Cummings, a man whose name was long-whispered in political circles and by news junkies with the same fear and reverence as Lord Voldemort, is now the subject of conversation for people who never normally speak about politics following his breaking of the lockdown rules in the UK.

It’s tempting to chalk this up the much-ballyhooed trait of the British obsession with fair play. …

Seeing humans as separate from nature is what got us here in the first place.

As the coronavirus forces countries across the world to shut down, and the water and air clear, it feels like Mother Nature is not just healing herself, but striking back.

The dramatic improvement in the environment has led to many social media posts claiming in various forms that this shows that it is we humans who are the real virus. The cleaner air from China to Italy, the return of animals to the canals of Venice, and the general drop in Co2 levels has led many to conclude that once again, like with other pandemics in the past, nature is…

The prime minister seems to have crisis two modes: bored, and muddled.

Whenever a populist demagogue takes power a possibility quickly emerges: that some kind of crisis unfolds under their leadership that is sufficient to prove that they are manifestly unfit for office. For Donald Trump, who has been astonishingly lucky in his presidency, it took four years to emerge. For Boris Johnson it came just a few months after he became the leader of his party and the country. Many of us warned from the beginning that hiring an after-dinner speaker who was a second-rate journalist and a third-rate Foreign Secretary was a bad idea at the best of times. …

Bernie is struggling to expand his coalition. That cannot be blamed on others.

The following sentence should not be controversial:

“I want Bernie Sanders to be president, but I also recognise that Joe Biden would be better than Donald Trump.”

The fact that to some people that is a controversial statement, even an inflammatory one, speaks to the level of passionate support that Bernie Sanders generates, but it speaks to something else, something much darker, and something that could be dangerous, even fatal, to the efforts to remove Donald Trump from office.

It is the fantasy of purity.

This is usually something we see in religion; the religion’s central figure is the very…

Trump is terrible, but Iran’s regime is no better.

In any conflict where on one side you have the grotesque figure of Donald Trump, it feels second nature to side with whoever has slighted him this time. Not least because, like all bullies, he has a habit of picking on people weaker than him.

But in his latest fight, we would be wrong to reflexively give in to that instinct.

Last week, Donald Trump ordered the US Armed Forces to assassinate Major General Qassem Soulimani as he was leaving Baghdad’s main airport. Soulimani was the head of the Quds force, an elite paramilitary arm of the Iranian military. Part…

Eight tips on how to enjoy Veganuary without compromising on health of flavour!

Disclaimer: I am neither a scientist nor a vegan.

I am however someone who has been in a relationship with a vegan for almost three years now. Sufficed to say, my eating habits have changed somewhat. I eat far fewer animal products than before, and know much more about veganism than I did before. I am however not a vegan myself. I still eat eggs, cheese, butter, meat and seafood (although I don’t drink milk anymore save for the odd cappuccino), just a lot less of them, and often only when we eat out.

This is my second time doing…

The government pursued an extreme strategy; it could only expect an extreme reaction.

“The system has hit back.”

That was the assessment of former Supreme Court Justice Jonathan Sumption in response to the Court’s extraordinary ruling over the prorogation of Parliament. By a unanimous verdict the Court ruled that the Government had acted unlawfully by suspending the legislature for five weeks.

Amid the hyperbolic, at times febrile reaction to the ruling, it is worth going back and looking at the decision a little more closely, and wondering just how extraordinary it really was.

The President of the Court, Lady Hale, made it clear that the ruling had nothing to do with the date…

Labour must call for a constitutional convention.

There was a lot of shouting, accusation and typing in capital letters yesterday after it was announced that the Queen had agreed to Boris Johnson’s request to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, thereby seeming to nix – and vex – those MPs working to prevent the UK from leaving the EU without an agreement.

There were very strong words. People referred to it as a coup, as undemocratic, the actions of “a tinpot dictatorship” in the words of the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. It was met with an immediate promise of a legal challenge, both in Scotland and England.

The Left and Anti-Semitism.

I thought about titling this article Anti-Semitism for Idiots, since it is as the late Christopher Hitchens said “an unfailing sign of a sick and disordered mind”. But also because we seem to be losing sight of what anti-Jewish prejudice is, how it manifests itself, and, crucially, among whom. …

Liam Mikhail OConnor

British-Irish, democratic socialist, internationalist, teacher.

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