England vs Croatia – LIVE: The alternative World Cup commentary from Mark Steel and Shappi Khorsandi

Follow every kick, slip, tackle and turn of England’s semi-final match against Croatia in Moscow

Read in the Independent


John Naughton: More choice on privacy just means more chances to do what’s best for big tech | John Naughton

A study of how Facebook, Google and Microsoft have applied the EU’s new GDPR rules shows users are being manipulated

One of the most influential books published in the last decade was Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. In it, the authors set about showing how groundbreaking research into decision-making by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky decades earlier (for which Kahneman later won a Nobel prize) could be applied to public policy. The point of the book, as one psychologist puts it, is that “people are often not the best judges of what will serve their interests, and that institutions, including government, can help people do better for themselves (and the rest of us) with small changes – nudges – in the structure of the choices people face”.

Nudge proved very popular with policymakers because it suggested a strategy for encouraging citizens to make intelligent choices without overtly telling them what to do. Thaler and Sunstein argued that if people are left to their own devices they often make unwise choices and that these mistakes can be mitigated if governments or organisations take an active role in framing those choices. A classic example is trying to ensure that employees have a pension plan. Their employer can encourage them to choose a plan by emphasising the importance of having one. Or they can frame the decision by having every employee enrolled in the company plan by default, with the option of opting out and choosing their own scheme.

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Owen Jones: The Trump baby blimp is a perfect riposte to the snowflake right | Owen Jones

Next week’s protests in London against the US president will get under his skin. I’m glad

Allowing a crying Trump baby blimp to fly in the sky is, according to Nigel Farage, “the biggest insult to a sitting US president ever”. Now, sidestepping whether JFK being shot in the head with an infantry rifle qualifies as insulting, this is the guy who once described Barack Obama as a “loathsome creature”, which wasn’t exactly a polite hello, was it? Part of the shtick of the ascendant hard right is to portray the left as humourless, easily triggered snowflakes who hate freedom of expression. And yet when activists crowdsource £17,300 to purchase a blimp of an orange-faced Trump with tiny hands, the right are reduced to embarrassing public temper tantrums. Indeed, one Conservative MEP has even proposed scrapping the post of London mayor in response.

Basically, Farage wants London’s authorities to intervene to ban an anti-establishment protest, which tells you all you need to know about the right’s protestations that they’re sticking it to the man against an authoritarian nanny state. Their pretences were always ludicrous: these are the outriders of an egomaniac plutocrat who slashes taxes on corporate and rich America while dragging screaming children from their parents and locking them up in cages.

Related: Donald Trump to be met by protests at each stage of UK visit

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Owen Jones: Don’t sneer at Jeremy Corbyn: for millions, buses really do matter | Owen Jones

Despite scorn from the Westminster bubble, the Labour leader was right to highlight Britain’s rip-off fares and slashed services this week

A sneer can often reveal far more about the sneerer than the object of their derision. This week, the leader of the opposition used the platform of prime minister’s questions to highlight the long-standing crisis of Britain’s bus services. What with there being 4.65bn bus journeys a year – two and half times more than train journeys – you might think this would be considered quite important. Instead, Tory MPs howled with contempt, bellowing “Taxi!” The commentariat followed in quick step. “A question about buses. That will win it!” spluttered the Sun. “Corbyn on buses. Jesus wept,” eyerolled the Times’s sketch writer. “Is it PMQs or transport questions?” cackled ITV’s political correspondent. “No 10 will not be able to believe their luck,” mocked the Spectator’s political editor.

These responses are as unsurprising as they are revealing. If you live in London, where politicians and media commentators spend most of their time, you are spoilt for transport choices – trains, an extensive underground network and a regular bus service. That’s because London resisted Thatcher’s deregulation of buses in 1986. Outside the capital, buses are often a rip-off, unreliable and are being slashed away – the number of trips has halved.

Related: PMQs verdict: Corbyn takes unexpected bus route to victory

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