In a statement today from one of the eleven Supreme Court judges, Lady Brenda Hale, the Brexit vote may not be recognized as “legally binding”. This might mean that the protectionist measures and complex trade negotiations (and renegotiations) with other European countries may be defined on completely different terms than are already being proposed.
It is worth noting that any referendum, including Article 50 (aka Brexit) can be as ruled non-binding in praxis, as furthermore legally inapplicable.
The “Brexit” referendum is no different and has been challenged on several legal fronts already. The High Court has ruled in favor of campaigners opposed to the fulfillment of Brexit, against the government’s wishes. However, the Supreme Court’s evaluation would prove to be the final frontier in which any opposition to the vote can be mobilized in an uncomplicated and legally finalizing fashion. This would very likely derail current Brexit plans significantly.
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You’ve probably heard it before: the argument that the Trump base has been created by the socio-economic policies of the 1980s that went on to disenfranchise a nation; that only someone so viciously uneducated and/or poor could even consider voting for Trump.
These narratives suggest that the neoliberal economic and social policies set forth by Thatcher and Reagan are responsible for creating this conglomerate of poor racist, sexist people left to gather at the bottleneck of American society. Jobless and without hope. In any case, we could only be left to conclude that these so-called victims of neoliberalism are the ones voting for Trump.
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Fifteen years ago, scholars and political scientists alike announced the Rise of the New Left in Latin America: with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador and Lula/Rouseff in Brazil it seemed the tide was turning in Latin America. And while we have all been hopeful that Latin America was on a path to success, it seems that joy is short lived. Even if you are only vaguely familiar with Latin American history, a history ranging from colonialism to outright imperialism, you have some inkling that the US has played a critical role in shaping political leadership within the region; often times unjustly destabilising regimes which were the result of democratically held, free and fair elections (an ideal supposedly supported by the US).
The military coups of the 1970s and the following military dictatorships, ushered in a period of ‘disappearances’, neoliberal economics, privatisation, and socially restrictive policies. And if we look back further we can see a litany of other disasters like the destruction of popular movements, the ousting and defeat of elected leaders, and other horrors overseen by the US. The notion that US directly oversaw such atrocities, once conspiracy, is now widely accepted as truth. Thus, when they ask: why does Latin America have so many problems? We can answer: Imperialism.
Latin America rebounded from the military dictatorships of the 70s in a big way, many countries holding free and fair elections, establishing solidarity between other LA nations in what has been referred to as a ‘pink tide’. For some, this ‘pink tide’ was not ‘leftist’ enough (and this isn’t to say that these regimes were perfect, far from it), however significant economic and social recovery was made under these regimes and many leaders at least attempted to address inequality, inflation, and US interference. More recently, things seem to be slipping into what may seem like a distant memory.
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So, right-wing politics seem to be on the rise in Europe; the question is: what changed? Moreover: was it ever that great to begin with?
Many have been critical of the idea of Scandinavian countries like Sweden often projected as some kind of bastion of progressive left-wing politics, imagined as being free from rape, sexism and racism. With Sweden having one of the highest reported rates of rape and rampant racism, it begs the question: Was it ever that great to begin with? Are these ideals completely imaginary?
The rise in right-wing politics (and nationalism) are generally framed in the following three ways:
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