There comes a time in a football manager’s life when he cannot make a simple philosophical point in a press conference — not even quoting Georg Hegel, for goodness sake – without being likened to David Brent in The Office. José Mourinho is at that point right now, mockingly cast as the under-fire middle-manager retreating to his office at a paper merchant’s in Slough, swotting up on Dostoevsky so that he can come back armed with enough trivia to bluff his way through his next encounter with an overqualified temp next to the photocopier.
That is not Mourinho, though. As unspontaneous as his latest press conference yesterday appeared — “Did you read any philosopher, or in your formation you never spent time reading, for example, Hegel?” —…
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These are frustrating times for anyone who wants to see a Labour Government. With the Tories tearing themselves apart over Brexit, communities struggling with the impact of austerity and public services buckling under the strain of cuts, this should be when Labour is giving voice to the concerns the rest of the country is singing.
Instead, it has spent its summer trying to firefight claims about anti-Semitism, bullying and intimidation.
The uneasy truce established within the Parliamentary Party after Jeremy Corbyn saw off the leadership challenge by Owen Smith in 2016 is at risk of being shattered.
The party is awash with rumours of splits and defections.
Other MPs could follow Frank Field by resigning the whip and some may try to establish a new party.
This is not a new situation for Labour.
Throughout its history, the tensions between the left and right of the party have flared up, whether it was fury at Ramsay MacDonald’s decision to form a national government, frustration at Clement Attlee’s caution or the bitter factionalism of the early 1980s.
During most of those moments, the party found a way to cling together and maintain the broad church which saw Herbert Morrison and Nye Bevan in the 1940s, and Peter Mandelson and Tony Benn in the 1990s, stay in the same congregation.
The lessons of what happened when the Labour Party did split still act as a cautionary warning for those contemplating a new party.
They witnessed the creation of the Social Democrat Party and saw the only outcome of this ultimately fruitless endeavour was to cost Labour victory in the 1983 and 1987 general elections.
Sentimentality and solidarity are intrinsic to Labour’s DNA but the situation at the moment is so dire even these strong values may not be enough to keep the party together.
It is personality rather than policy which lies at the heart of Labour’s problems. The majority of the party has embraced Corbyn’s agenda, albeit some more willingly than others.
The battles are not over the domestic agenda of renationalisation, greater redistribution and investing in our public services. The exception is Brexit where the party is still wrestling with the need to appeal to those who believe our departure is a disaster without alienating many traditional Labour voters who welcome the opportunity to regain control of our borders and thrive as an independent nation.
While Corbyn’s stance on Brexit remains a source of frustration, there is an understanding as to why he has adopted a nuanced position, not least because this ambivalence proved successful at the general election.
The dissatisfaction with him stems from his style of leadership and the perception that he has not done enough to tackle the alleged anti-Semitism and abuse of party members carried out in his name.
Supporters will rightly point out that Corbyn has a long history of fighting racism and deplores any form of hatred, intolerance and intimidation.
They also argue that the allegations of anti-Semitism have been whipped up by a right-wing media which found its other attacks on Labour to have fallen flat.
Accusations of racism and entryism can also be levelled at the Conservatives but they receive far less coverage.
However unfair, the responsibility lies more heavily on Labour to adhere to the highest standards in order to protect itself from a biased press. This requires stronger leadership from Jeremy Corbyn.
He cannot trade on his reputation for decency and a history of fighting injustice when Jewish Labour MPs are receiving appalling and unjustifiable anti-Semitic abuse.
Nor is it sufficient to stand aside or issue only the mildest of rebukes when supporters acting in his name turn on those who are not unswervingly loyal to the leadership.
Equally, those opposed to Mr Corbyn’s leadership need to respect the mandate given to him in two leadership contests.
For Labour to win the next general election, it needs to remain that broad church that welcomes people from all sides of the party.
And the only person who can deliver that message to those trying to divide the faithful is the leader.
Her final send-off involved 100 pink Cadillacs, a gold-plated coffin, three presidential tributes and eulogies by more than a dozen preachers.
They remembered her not just as the Queen of Soul, but as an aunt, grandmother, friend, civil rights activist and icon of black womanhood.
“The reason that we are here today is because of love. Because of how much we love this woman,” said Stevie Wonder, who led the congregation in a rendition of his song As, which carries the refrain: “I’ll be loving you always”.
“One of my longest friends has gone home,” added Motown star Smokey Robinson, who grew up with Franklin in Detroit.
“You’re going to be one of the future voices in the choir of angels,” he added, before breaking into an a capella rendition of his ballad Really Gonna Miss You.
“Aretha will be influencing others literally for centuries to come,” said record label boss Clive Davis, who praised her “once-in-a-lifetime voice”.
Pop star Ariana Grande sang one Franklin’s signature songs (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman but elsewhere, the service was like a Who’s Who of gospel with powerful and uplifting performances from The Williams Brothers, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and The Clark Sisters.
Jennifer Hudson’s stirring rendition of Amazing Grace; and Gladys Knight’s version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, in particular, drew mourners to their feet, with others raising their arms in praise.
Franklin’s son Edward also sang Marvin Gaye’s Mercy, Mercy Me; while her niece Cristal remembered the aunt who “taught me bad shopping habits” and “chartered a bus so our family could go to President Obama’s inauguration”.
Obama was unable to attend the funeral, but sent a speech to be read to the mourners.
“Through her voice, her own voice, Aretha lifted those of millions empowering and inspiring the vulnerable, the downtrodden, and everyone who may have just needed a little love,” read his message.
George W Bush also sent a letter to Franklin’s family; while Bill Clinton spoke from the pulpit, describing himself as an “Aretha Franklin groupie” and praising the star’s work ethic.
“Yeah, she had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of the century… but she also worked for years when nobody was paying particular attention.”
“She lived with courage – not without fear but overcoming her fears.
“She lived with faith – not without failure but overcoming her failures.
“She lived with power – not without weakness, but overcoming her weaknesses.
“I just loved her.”
Franklin’s contribution to the civil rights movement – both spiritual and financial – was honoured by Rev. Al Sharpton, who said: “She represented the best in our community and she fought for our community until the end.
“She gave us pride and she gave us a regal bar to reach. And that’s why we’re all here. We don’t all agree on everything but we agree on Aretha.”
He went on to criticise President Trump, whose initial tribute to Franklin two weeks ago said, “she worked for me on numerous occasions”.
“No, she used to perform for you,” scolded the pastor. “Aretha never took orders from nobody but God.”
At the funeral: Nada Tawfik, BBC North America reporter
Outside of the Greater Grace Temple, there is an outpouring of love for the Queen of Soul.
Aretha Franklin fans lined up hours before sunrise to get one of the 1,000 seats open to the public for her star-studded funeral.
Many said that they never met her, but knew her intimately through her songs.
Her music continues to move this city, people on the street, in their cars and in their homes have been playing and singing her songs loudly.
In her 1985 hit single, “Freeway of Love,” Aretha Franklin sang about cruising around in a pink Cadillac.
In her honour, the streets here were filled with more than 140 pink Cadillacs that will be part of the funeral procession.
Dignitaries and legends may be attending her funeral, but it is the overwhelming admiration and gratitude of the public that underlines her impact on America.
For the funeral, she was clad in a sparkling full-length gold dress with sequined heels.
Her body arrived at the Greater Grace Temple on Friday morning in the same white Cadillac that carried her father, Rev. CL Franklin in 1984; as well as civil rights activist Rosa Parks in 2005.
The singer will be buried in a 24-carat, gold-plated casket made of solid bronze.
The interior is finished with champagne velvet, and stitched with her name and her title, “Queen of Soul”, in gold metallic thread.
The funeral followed a tribute concert, starring The Four Tops, Angie Stone and Regina Belle on Thursday evening.
Speaking during the memorial service, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the concert’s riverside venue, Chene Park, would be renamed Aretha Franklin Park, so that “performers from generations to come” would be “reminded they are performing at the home of the Queen of Soul”.
In a musical career spanning seven decades, Franklin won 18 Grammys, and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits.
She gave her final performance last November at a gala in New York held in aid of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
In his speech, Robinson said the star would never be forgotten.
“The world is celebrating you,” he said. “The world is mourning you. The world is going to miss you.”
An Islamic state recruit who planned a bomb, knife and gun attack on Downing Street in which he wanted to assassinate Theresa May has been jailed for 30 years.
Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, intended to carry out a “full frontal assault” on the gates and the door of No 10 and expected to die in the attack.
He was caught after an undercover investigation by MI5, Scotland Yard and the FBI that involved handing him a fake bomb in an undercover sting. He discussed his plan with MI5 officers posing as Isis operatives online.
Rahman, from Finchley, north London, was arrested in November for planning the attack with his uncle, who had joined Isis in Syria and was killed in an airstrike. Rahman was found…
In Scotland, he also visited one of his golf courses. In Ireland, the president owns the Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg in County Clare, where plans for a sea wall to combat the effects of climate change have caused considerable controversy, given the president’s professed skepticism on the issue.
On Friday the Irish government spokesman said the November visit would be “an opportunity to follow up on the issues discussed in the White House in March” with the Irish leader, Leo Varadkar, “including migration, trade, climate change and human rights issues”.
On Tuesday, French vessels rammed British trawlers off the coast of Normandy, hurling projectiles and insults in a dispute which erupted after a previous agreement broke down.
French fishermen accuse the British of unfairly catching scallops in the Baie de Seine in the summer months when French boats are banned from doing so under rules imposed by the Paris government to conserve stocks of the shellfish.
French Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert told Europe 1 radio he had discussed the issue with a British minister on Thursday night and that the industry representatives would meet next week to work out an agreement.
“We both condemn the violent acts and we want to return to a spirit of responsibility,” Mr Travert said.
Mr Travert said he had asked British fisheries minister George Eustace to ensure UK vessels do not sail south of the Barfleur-Antifer line, the scene of this week’s clashes.
The industry representatives would meet in London on Wednesday and French government officials would also attend, said Dimitri Rogoff, who heads the Normandy fishing association.
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said it was time for calm, for rational discussion and peaceful resolution, not conflict at sea.
“As control over access and fisheries resource changes in the next few years, it will be imperative that the rules are agreed, accepted and, where necessary, enforced,” he said.
Scallops – known as Coquilles Saint Jacques in France – are one of a handful of species whose catch is governed by national rather than European Union regulations.
While British ships have no access to French territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles (22 km) off the coast, they can legally operate in the expansive Baie de Seine between Cherbourg and Le Havre.
France bans its fishermen from scallop dredging between May 15 and Oct. 1, but Britain allows its vessels to operate year-round.
After similar clashes in 2012, French and British fishing organisations negotiated an agreement each summer under which the UK fleets do not start scallop dredging in the Baie de Seine before the French, in exchange for part of the French fishermen’s dredging permits.
But small British vessels were excluded from that agreement. The French say the British have undermined the spirit of the deal by sending more and more small vessels. In protest, the French have not signed any agreement this year.
British fisherman face losing access to EU waters after the country leaves the bloc next year, in the absence of any deal.
Rogoff said that ahead of Brexit, British fishermen had increased scallop trawling, risking wiping out the seafood during their breeding season.
“The British scallop harvest has grown more than tenfold in the past decade, they now catch more than we do,” he said, adding that by the time the season opens in October there are few scallops left for the French fleet.