Owen Jones: The case for freedom of movement must not be abandoned | Owen Jones

The idea of free movement for EU citizens is politically toxic now. But we can change public perceptions

Freedom of movement in Europe has been all but abandoned as a cause in British politics. Brexit was far more about freedom of movement than our exact trading relationship with the EU, and the electorate rejected it. Even among remain voters, polling has suggested that more than half want increased border controls and European migration capped. Every demographic thinks there has been too much immigration over the last few years, even young voters, albeit far less so than their grandparents.

Faced with the reality of the referendum, Labour has a simple mantra. “Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union,” reads the manifesto, as though describing the weather. But it is a political choice, even if the alternative might seem to spell electoral doom. This isn’t to question the anti-racist politics of the Labour leadership: for the London Labour left, issues of race and defending migrants and refugees were always an article of faith, not least for the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott. Jeremy Corbyn’s first act as Labour leader was to speak at a rally in defence of refugees, and speeches by leading figures emphasise challenging the scapegoating of the foreign-born.

Related: Warning of ‘utter chaos’ if May ends EU free movement next March

Related: It’s Labour who must have the difficult conversations on freedom of movement | Stella Creasy and Catherine West

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Owen Jones: On nuclear weapons, Jeremy Corbyn is right. Now he must show leadership | Owen Jones

Nuclear apocalypse looms over humanity, yet it’s not even on the political radar. Let’s work to change that

In the next few hours, the end of human civilisation may commence. We’ve had a good run – about 6,500 years, actually – and now we will perish in fire, famine, drought, never-ending winters, disease and chaos. A single megaton nuclear weapon dropped on the House of Commons would kill more than a million people outright. Nearly 2.5 million would be burned, maimed and injured. The fireball radius – the area that represents total annihilation – would stretch for nearly a kilometre.

That’s just one bomb, of course. What if 100 nuclear warheads with a much lower yield – 15 kilotons, say, the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima – were exchanged on the Indian subcontinent? Well, scientists have modelled this scenario, and the calamity extends far beyond the borders of India and Pakistan. As five megatons of black carbon instantly enter the atmosphere, temperatures will suddenly fall, rainfall will decline, the ozone layer will thin dramatically and the frost-free growing period for crops will shorten by between 10 and 40 days. According to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, 2 billion people could starve in the aftermath. In a full east-west exchange billions would also die. Infrastructure would collapse. The survivors would, it is often said, envy the dead. They would suffer torturous protracted deaths from radiation; they would scrabble for food in irradiated soil; as healthcare systems implode, their illnesses and cancers would be untreated. For the diminishing minority who remained alive, it would be everyone for themselves in a struggle for survival in a ravaged hellscape.

Related: Nuclear deterrence is a myth. And a lethal one at that

Related: Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ has revived my nuclear nightmares | Suzanne Moore

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Owen Jones: The Brexit whistleblower and Labour’s anti-semitism problem

Heather Stewart is joined by Carole Cadwalladr, Hadley Freeman, Owen Jones and Randeep Ramesh to discuss new revelations regarding donations from the victorious Vote Leave campaign to a sister movement staffed by young Brexiters. Plus, Labour MP Wes Streeting on his party’s problem with antisemitism

It’s a year until Britain leaves the EU but new revelations in the Observer have shown how Vote Leave may have broken election spending rules during the 2016 referendum campaign.

We hear from Carole Cadwalladr, who broke the story, and from whistleblowers Shahmir Sanni and Christopher Wylie, who decided to go public with their concerns.

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