Quote of the Day: On Refugees

They gave us the opportunity to realise a central Western value: that you have to give shelter to people in need, people fleeing war and violence. This is one of the basic principles of our society, and if we abandon this, we aren’t protecting our Western society, but destroying it.

– Bart Somers, Mayor of Mechelen, on why housing refugees has helped to make his city stronger.

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Pyrrhic Victories

Peter Black makes an obvious point:

[D]espite the bravado by the UK Government that they will not pay a leaving fee they know that if they want to secure a trade deal with the single market then that is precisely what they will have to do.

I keep on seeing articles in which various groups of people try to make some legalistic argument or other about the UK not paying the balance of its debts, and this is the thought that keeps leaping out at me. You can’t go into negotiations having already poisoned the atmosphere — as the Tories are increasingly doing — and then expect a decent deal at the end of it.

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President Snowflake to avoid White House Correspondents’ dinner unless comedians promise a ‘safe space’

From Newsthump:

President Trump will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ dinner this year due to fears that people will make jokes and be mean to him.

America’s premier snowflake said he will break a 35-year tradition by avoiding the dinner in April because his skin is as thin as the margin of his electoral victory.

‘President Snowflake’ is such an obvious moniker, I’m surprised that this is the first time I’ve seen anyone use it.

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Corbyn on Brexit: Labour not wedded to a principle

I have to hand it to Jeremy Corbyn: he never ceases to amaze.

Back in September, he said:

It isn’t migrants that drive down wages, it’s exploitative employers and the politicians who deregulate the labour market and rip up trade union rights.

It isn’t migrants who put a strain on our NHS, it only keeps going because of the migrant nurses and doctors who come here filling the gaps left by politicians who have failed to invest in training.

It isn’t migrants that have caused a housing crisis; it’s a Tory government that has failed to build homes.

This was quite a remarkable position for Corbyn to take as it it managed to be principled, consistent and true.

So, it was probably inevitable that he would abandon it:

Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle.

But nor can we afford to lose full access to the European markets on which so many British businesses and jobs depend. Changes to the way migration rules operate from the EU will be part of the negotiations.

It’s not that he’s trying to weasel his way into an imaginary compromise between the leave and remain factions of his own party that is so impressive, it’s the spectacularly inept manner in which he has attempted to do it.

The best thing that Labour could do now is pack their collective bags and go home in order to leave the way clear for a competent and progressive alternative to emerge.

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