Farage v Bercow

What a shame they can't both lose

Ukip's Nigel Farage has announced that he will break with parliamentary convention to challenge the new Speaker, John Bercow, in his Buckingham constituency at the next election, because, he says:

. . . MPs "have broken the trust" of the British people and Mr Bercow "represents the worst" of the Commons.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

The contest will put Farage -- he of "£2m MEP expenses" fame -- against Bercow -- he of "£760 window-seat cushions" fame.

I pity the poor people of Buckingham and I can't help but be reminded of Henry Kissinger's dictum on the Iran-Iraq war: "What a shame they can't both lose."

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.