Rafael Behr

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Last quote by Rafael Behr

It’s tempting for remainers to predict doom, but much better to judge the project against all of the leavers’ broken promises. Prophets of doom are not much fun to be around. Nobody wants a “Jeremiah next door”, which is how the Daily Mail recently described Philip Hammond’s relationship to Theresa May. The chancellor was accused of spooking the prime minister with Old Testament fire-and-brimstone economic forecasts. His refusal to spread the Good News about Brexit was cited as grounds for dismissal.feedback
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Oct 17 2017 Brexit
We found 27 articles in which Rafael Behr said something. The most recent Rafael Behr’s quote is: “Despite the party’s desperate antics at conference, it can’t hide its paralysing Brexit schisms from the British public – or from EU negotiators. Children under the age of five struggle with the difference between seeing and being seen. They cover their eyes and suppose that they are invisible. Brain development eventually corrects that error, but some mental residue lingers. Confronted with a stressful task we retain the psychological urge to cover our faces and pretend that the problem, once obscured from view, has gone away.”. In addition, all sources we refer have quoted Rafael Behr 27 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

Jul 04 2017 - G20

Until recently both were forces to be feared. But with the G20 about to start, the vision of rolling revolution has been exposed as pure fantasy. A nation’s standing in the world is hard to measure, and change is not always obvious from the inside. To get a sense of perspective, try holding Theresa May’s appearance at the G20 summit in Hamburg on Friday against the memory of a similar event eight years ago.feedback

Jun 27 2017 - Northern Ireland

A hung parliament might have been a moment to reach out beyond the DUP. But the prime minister chose to stick with the old rules. MPs putting plans in their diaries should write them in pencil. Travel far from Westminster is not advised if parliament is sitting. The message from party whips is clear: be ready to drop everything and vote – no excuses, no exceptions.feedback

Jun 20 2017 - Conservative and Unionist Party

The party can’t keep relying on older voters, but someone capable of winning young hearts – in England at least – has yet to emerge. Just as trauma is said to turn hair grey overnight, the election has abruptly aged the Conservative party. Theresa May and her ministers are not physically altered, but their whole enterprise feels more decrepit than it did just a month ago.feedback

Jun 14 2017 - Labour Party

With the election over, the Lib Dems’ ex-leader had to be the opposite of zealous, evangelical and pious. And that was one pose he could never credibly strike. Success in the 2017 general election is a roving benchmark. Jeremy Corbyn is hailed as a hero by his party for losing well, far in excess of expectation. Theresa May’s leadership is in crisis because she won so badly, throwing away what looked like an insuperable advantage.feedback

Jun 14 2017 - Brexit

Most voters backed parties promising to leave the EU, but not with this prime minister at the helm. If talks do begin next week, the task is to avoid calamity. Friends don’t let friends go Brexiting without a mandate. But where are Theresa May’s friends? The prime minister staggers towards negotiations with the European Union like a drunkard crossing a car park – bold pace, wobbly gait. She is in no political condition to get behind the wheel. This is when partners are meant to intervene.feedback

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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