Rafael Behr

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Last quote by Rafael Behr

It’s not only EU nationals in the UK who fear Brexit may unravel their identity. But the prime minister is oblivious. Prime ministers are rarely judged on the power of their noses. The way they speak and listen attracts comment. They are praised if they have a common touch or strong vision. Smell is routinely underrated among the political senses, and yet I am increasingly convinced that deficiency in this department is Theresa May’s greatest weakness.feedback
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Sep 13 2017 Brexit
We found 22 articles in which Rafael Behr said something. The most recent Rafael Behr’s quote is: “Read the Brexit fine print. The biggest peacetime transfer of powers from the legislature in living memory would damage democracy in Britain. When designing a weapon, it is a good idea to imagine it falling into the wrong hands. The same principle applies when politicians ask for new powers: benefits of the advertised use must be weighed against the potential for misuse. There are legislative weapons so powerful that no government can be trusted with them.”. In addition, all sources we refer have quoted Rafael Behr 22 times. On this page, you will find all of Rafael Behr’s quotes organized by date and topic.
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Rafael Behr quotes

Jun 08 2017 - Treaty of Rome

May’s judgment has been exposed as horrendously faulty. The idea that negotiations will begin in within a fortnight is surely untenable. Stop the clock. The UK has two years to negotiate the terms of its exit from the European Union – less, in fact, because the countdown started in March, when Theresa May activated article 50 of the Lisbon treaty. She decided shortly afterwards that she could afford the luxury of a few weeks campaigning in a general election, which would then afford her a gargantuan mandate to finish the job at her leisure and on her terms.feedback

Jun 06 2017 - Terrorism

Theresa May once understood that the EU made Britain more secure. Now she pretends we can safely break free. It is hard to keep a sense of perspective in the final days of a campaign, amid the cacophony of closing arguments. The background scene is blurred in the sprint to the finish line. Tension and uncertainty have been amplified by a savage terrorist attack. It is impossible to know exactly how the monstrosity perpetrated around London Bridge on Saturday will weigh upon the decisions voters make in the polling booth. But it is fair to suppose that the timing was not coincidental. Whoever plotted that attack, and the one in Manchester two weeks earlier, surely intended to disrupt the democratic process.feedback

May 30 2017 - Brexit

Threatening to walk away from the coming negotiations may appear to be tactically sound, but EU leaders know it is nonsense. The film opens with a sequence of households in their morning routines: alarm clocks bleep, children rouse their parents, teeth are brushed, toast is buttered. Sunlight streams into bustling kitchens. It is a parade of what British politicians call “hardworking families”.feedback

May 10 2017

The level of control the prime minister has over her ministers is not a model for healthy government. In a one-party state, dissent must come from within. There are no set dimensions for a Westminster “big beast”, no qualifying threshold of heft. Former prime ministers earn the designation by default. Others have to earn their beasthood with some combination of experience, intellect, independence and character. Those are traits that I fear will be in short supply in the next parliament.feedback

May 02 2017 - Democratic Party

Far from being in the grip of post-EU referendum anti-establishment rage, voters are actually put off by leaders whose policies appear too radical. There have been so many dizzying gyrations in politics that it is easy to lose all sense of orientation. Episodes from the recent past already feel remote, given the way ground has shifted beneath our feet, as if they took place in some distant realm. Cleggmania, for instance. Yes, it really did come to pass in 2010 that a Liberal Democrat leader wowed the audience in a televised election debate. Yes, that party did then soar in opinion polls. The effect was not sustained, but it was potent enough to eclipse the fresh-faced shine that David Cameron had hoped to radiate through the campaign. It propelled Nick Clegg into government.feedback

Apr 26 2017 - British elections 2017

Two votes in two years and still no clarity from the Tories on what leaving the EU involves – that doesn’t feel like an accident. If you haven’t yet heard a Conservative politician mention “strong and stable leadership”, you soon will. If you are already sick of hearing that formula, you are not its intended audience. General election campaigns are not designed to stimulate people who have followed politics closely since last time the country went to the polls.feedback

Apr 18 2017 - British elections 2017

The prime minister claims to want unity over Brexit, but this move is designed to call out her rivals as sowers of discord. Psychologists talk about hindsight bias: our tendency to project inevitability on to unforeseen events. That which surprised us yesterday will tomorrow be treated as if there were no other way things might have been.feedback

Apr 05 2017 - Islamophobia

Be it antisemitism or Islamophobia, in these times of crisis it seems that historic scars are opening up. A young man wearing a top hat cuts a cigar with a red sickle. His nose is distended into a hook. He is surrounded by images of French politicians under the heading: “The truth about Macron’s galaxy.” It doesn’t take much fluency in racist propaganda to see what is going on: here is the liberal candidate in France’s presidential election as archetypal Jewish conspirator at the hub of global capitalism and communism.feedback

Mar 29 2017 - Brexit

Even if the economy slumps it’ll make no difference. There will always be too little Brexit, never too much – and there will be no counter-argument to that. Stir salt into water and you get a clear solution. Boil off the water and you have a residue of salt again. But whisked eggs stirred in a hot pan cannot be unscrambled. Some changes are more reversible than others.feedback

Mar 22 2017

The platforms Labour and Conservative members were elected on in 2015 have been torn down – largely by their own sides. Parliament needs a nickname. It used to be common practice for periods of legislative activity to acquire monikers. Some were more original than others. A three-week session in spring 1640 is unimaginatively remembered as the Short Parliament. It was followed by the Long Parliament, which became the Rump Parliament in 1648, at the end of the civil war, when it was purged of anyone disinclined to see King Charles I tried for treason.feedback

Mar 14 2017

The prime minister has alienated all who counsel moderation while indulging her party’s Europhobes. There aren’t many rules to drug dealing, but one of them is not to get high on your own supply. The product is for punters, and getting wasted is bad for business. The equivalent rule in politics is not to be taken in by your own spin. Prime ministers employ people to push positive stories about them on Westminster street corners. But they shouldn’t consume that line themselves.feedback

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