There are now just 40 days until not just the most important election of anyone's lifetime - but in my view, the most important political moment the entire Western world has faced since the war. And the reason for that is because of what's going to follow.

Winter is coming.
Ahead of any US presidential election, I'd normally be looking at the polls, the forecasts. Who's up, who's down? I'm not doing that this year - because I think it's going to be irrelevant.

I think Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death was, very likely, the moment American democracy died.
The Republicans' disgusting hypocrisy in immediately demanding her seat is filled isn't just to turn the conservative majority from 5-4 to 6-3. It's entirely so they can fix the election. That is the plan; that is what they're going to do.
Whose supporters are, because they're more responsible, more aware, much more likely to use mail-in ballots during a global pandemic? Biden's.

Whose supporters are much more likely to vote on the day - and intimidate any Democrats doing the same thing? Trump's.
Trump's plan is based around the following. It's not about who wins the electoral college based on the total votes. It's about if there's a difference between the mail-in results, and the on the day results. Which there inevitably will be.
And if (when) there is, the response will be: "See? The difference means this was rigged! These results are a fraud! I'm going to the Supreme Court!"

Which, with its huge conservative majority, will simply do whatever he wants. That's what happens in autocracies.
The reason RBG's death was so pivotal is: I don't think Chief Justice Roberts - who does respect the constitution - will play ball. But the other five (including whoever the new justice is) will. They're beholden to Trump, who is like a mafia boss.
Then think of what the fall-out will involve. There are already protests sweeping the US because of police brutality, racism and total unaccountability: confirmed yet again by the horrific failure to prosecute anyone for Breonna Taylor's murder.
Well - Trump fixing the election would turn what's currently a frozen civil war into something rather hotter. And as law and order collapses, in will go the military alongside the police. Much death and violence will be the result, as the world looks on in horror.
It is - and has always been - absolute cloud cuckoo land to imagine that a criminal gangster and his criminal family will just walk away from office if they lose an election. The stakes are far too high for them to do so. If they walk away, they'll go to jail.
Authoritarians do not respect democracy - and the courts do their bidding. That's always been the case; there's nothing new in that. What's new in this case is that the United States is about to have its democracy forcibly removed.
And if that happens, then think of what it'll mean for the world. The US is, by a million miles, the world's strongest military power. So its traditional allies will, at least to some extent, also have to play ball... or else.

The US won't wake up to 2021... but to 1933.
Because when you remove democracy and accountability, you can do entirely what you want, to whoever you want.

- To journalists
- To political opponents
- To activists
- To anyone non-white

And fascism descends, with much blood, as the conversion to dictatorship accelerates.
Last week, something extraordinary happened in Britain. Ahead of a democratic election in a much more powerful allied nation, it is borderline unheard of for a governing party to openly side with its government - because you have to work with whoever wins that election.
"What are the Tories doing?", we wondered. "How can they afford to alienate the Democrats at a time like this when they desperately need a trade deal?"

Well - maybe the Tories already know what's going to go down. Maybe they already know that Trump will stay, no matter what.

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More from @shaunjlawson

17 Oct
At his very successful town hall, Joe Biden was asked whether the Democrats will pack the Supreme Court if he wins the Presidency and they win the Senate.

You might've expected him to dodge the question outright. He didn't. What he said instead was very interesting.
Basically, he's giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves with. The unseemly, cynical haste with which they're rushing through the nomination of someone bought and paid for by the (not) Christian (not) right will be used by Biden as justification to pack the court.
He's not said that yet, of course. He said he was waiting to see what happens (ie. whether Barrett is confirmed) - but will make his position clear before election day.

What will that position be? "We will not allow the Affordable Care Act or Roe v Wade to be struck down".
Read 17 tweets
17 Oct
Now then, Rosie Duffield. And this whole sad, sad issue. Which, online at least (but offline too) is pitting one group of people who are oppressed (trans people) against another, larger group of people who've been continually oppressed. Women.
If there isn't room in the Labour Party for both women and trans people - if both women and trans people don't feel welcome, or that they're being heard and understood - then something is wrong. VERY wrong.

Just as something is VERY wrong on this platform over all of this.
An awful lot of people, naturally, are bewildered onlookers. People who don't have a bone of hate in their bodies - but who don't understand how everything they were taught at school about male and female biology and sex was apparently wrong... because other people say so.
Read 35 tweets
16 Oct
Here's what a credible media would be asking the Prime Minister:

- Why did you lie to the British people at the election? How was that election legitimate given you won it because of that lie?

- Why have you ignored your own scientific experts? How many will die as a result?
- Why are you imposing massive fines on ordinary people while your advisor gets away with it?

- Why did your advisor avoid council tax?

- Why have you spent billions of public money on a track and trace system that doesn't work and is run by your cronies in the private sector?
- The polls suggest Joe Biden is heading for a landslide victory. He's already said he won't give the UK a free trade deal if we have no deal with the EU. What are you going to do about that?

- Do you think a nation of 67m is more powerful than one of 330m and a bloc of 445m?
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
From my book last year.

Where was the media? What the hell was it doing?
Seriously. How can you spend an entire referendum campaign ignoring anything that actually matters and obsessing with everything that doesn't - and then spend the shambolic years afterwards doing the exact same thing, again?
In the campaign, there was:

- No mention of the impact on Northern Ireland
- Nonsense that we could be like 'Switzerland' or 'Norway'
- No mention of what a customs union even was
- No mention that we can't have tariff-free access AND leave the single market
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
This is very very good.…
This resonated in particular:

Since 2008 the number of American men under 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled... [in an] increasingly winner-takes-all sexual marketplace generated by the retreat of monogamous norms and an increasingly polygynous, app-dominated hookup culture"
"While it’s important not to slip into victim-blaming rhetoric that sees the problem as women’s sexual freedom, the challenges facing unattractive, low-status men seem hardly to register on Bates’s radar".

Indeed. And it's not just a challenge there either. It's emotional too.
Read 11 tweets
15 Oct
This is a really interesting discussion. Kudos to both Grace and Aaron for that. 👍

But there are questions and doubts in my head. Aaron refers to the first one here: is there some limit we face in terms of debt, or isn't there?
There isn't if you control the world's reserve currency, like the US. There probably hasn't been while the UK economy was a safe haven from the euro, and one of the four or five strongest economies in the world.

But now? After the disaster of austerity and with No Deal Brexit?
Grace talks about power relations. Ratings agencies have absurd, unaccountable amounts of power... but won't the UK automatically face problems, big ones, if the agencies downgrade us?

At a much much lower level, Uruguay would be screwed without its investment grade rating.
Read 27 tweets

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