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Which Star Trek race is which EU country?

I haven't a Q. 

The actor Patrick Stewart has caused a stir by claiming that Professor Charles Xavier, who he plays in the X-Men franchise, and Jean-Luc Picard, his Star Trek character, would have both voted to stay in the European Union. In many ways, this is unremarkable: Xavier and Picard both score heavily for pro-Remain leanings from a demographic perspective: degree-educated, opposed to the death penalty, socially liberal, with only the question mark over Xavier's age bracket making it semi-plausible that Professor X would have backed a Leave vote. But what of Star Trek's major players? Who would they be in the European debate?


Formerly belligerent military power seeking new ways to assert self in multipolar world/galaxy. But longterm cultural and political trends mean that they are at best unhappy and difficult partners in their on-again, off-again relationship with the United Federation of Planets. They are the United Kingdom.


Hyper-capitalist social conservatives who are de facto but not de jure members of the Federation, while remaining neutral in major conflicts: Switzerland.


Founder-members of the Federation who are all too aware of our shared capacity for brutality outside of multilateral organisations: Germany.


They have a shared history with the Vulcans, but they are a lot more belligerent in the present day: their relationship with their near neighbours defines much of galactic politics: France.


Plucky newcomers chafing at the Federation’s regulation, nonetheless aware that Federation membership is the only way to avoid falling back into the embrace of their other, less friendly, neighbourhood hegemon: Lithuania.


A formerly formidable foe of the local hegemon, aka the United Federation of Planets, who, in lieu of a direct military engagement, choose to exploit the holes in the rules-based order into to re-establish their control over their immediate neighbourhood/star system. They are, of course, Russia.


Globalising engine for peace and prosperity based on a rules-based global order. The European Union, as seen by Remainers.


Relentless agents of assimilation, grinding down all difference and making everyone else exactly like them. The European Union, as seen by Leavers.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.

Arsène Wenger. Credit: Getty
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My biggest regret of the Wenger era? How we, the fans, treated him at the end

Arsenal’s greatest coach deserved better treatment from the Club’s supporters. 

I have no coherent memories of Arsenal before Arsène Wenger, who will leave the Club at the end of the season. I am aware of the Club having a new manager, but my continuous memories of my team are of Wenger at the helm.

They were good years to remember: three league titles, seven FA Cups, the most of any single manager in English football. He leaves the Club as the most successful manager in its history.

I think one of the reasons why in recent years he has taken a pasting from Arsenal fans is that the world before him now seems unimaginable, and not just for those of us who can't really remember it. As he himself once said, it is hard to go back to sausages when you are used to caviar, and while the last few years cannot be seen as below par as far as the great sweep of Arsenal’s history goes, they were below par by the standards he himself had set. Not quite sausages, but not caviar either.

There was the period of financial restraint from 2005 onwards, in which the struggle to repay the cost of a new stadium meant missing out on top player. A team that combined promising young talent with the simply bang-average went nine years without a trophy. Those years had plenty of excitement: a 2-1 victory over Manchester United with late, late goals from Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry, a delicious 5-2 thumping of Tottenham Hotspur, and races for the Champions League that went to the last day. It was a time that seemed to hold the promise a second great age of Wenger once the debt was cleared. But instead of a return to the league triumphs of the past, Wenger’s second spree of trophy-winning was confined to the FA Cup. The club went from always being challenging for the league, to always finishing in the Champions League places, to struggling to finish in the top six. Again, nothing to be sniffed at, but short of his earlier triumphs.

If, as feels likely, Arsenal’s dire away form means the hunt for a Uefa Cup victory ends at Atletico Madrid, many will feel that Wenger missed a trick in not stepping down after his FA Cup triumph over Chelsea last year, in one of the most thrilling FA Cup Finals in years. (I particularly enjoyed this one as I watched it with my best man, a Chelsea fan.) 

No one could claim that this season was a good one, but the saddest thing for me was not the turgid performances away from home nor the limp exit from the FA Cup, nor even finishing below Tottenham again. It was hearing Arsenal fans, in the world-class stadium that Wenger built for us, booing and criticising him.

And I think, that, when we look back on Wenger’s transformation both of Arsenal and of English football in general, more than whether he should have called it a day a little earlier, we will wonder how Arsenal fans could have forgotten the achievements of a man who did so much for us.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman and the PSA's Journalist of the Year. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.