Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane was a Labour MP for Rotherham from 1994 to 2012, and was Minister for Europe in Tony Blair's government. His 2015 book predicted the vote for British exit from the E.U. and his new book is Brexit No Exit: Why (in the End) Britain Won’t Leave Europe.

Recent Articles

The British Political Crisis Deepens

What happens next, as neither major political party can find a Brexit position that reflects what most Britons want?

(Press Association via AP Images)
(Press Association via AP Images) Prime Minister Theresa May on July 9, 2018, in the House of Commons B ritish politics from 1850 to 1920 was devoured by the Irish question. It split parties. Destroyed careers. Lost Britain support in America. Diverted political energy from reform and modernisation to political identity and culture wars. Historians will record that British politics of 1950 to 2020 was increasingly consumed by the Europe question. It is reaching some kind of climax with the resignation of two senior Conservative ministers, the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, and David Davis, the Brexit minister. Other ministers have resigned. Others are likely to follow. The prime minister, Theresa May, was jeered in the House of Commons when she made a statement on the resignations. She is losing authority by the day. She faces a leader of the Labour opposition who is utterly lost on Europe, unable to take advantage of the governing party’s disarray. Both parties are divided. MPs...

From Here to Brexiternity: The Crisis in British Politics

Press Association via AP Images Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the House of Commons regarding the government's Brexit strategy B ritish politics in early March has been a tale of four prime ministers—two former ones, the present holder of the office, and one who would like to take over. Never in British history has there been such discordance between the past, present, and possibly future occupants of Downing Street. Last Friday, Theresa May made her long awaited speech to define once and for all Britain’s relationship with Europe, with Ireland and her own relationship with an uncompromising anti-European isolationist right-wing. She said very little. Her speech was an mainly outreach to the English who voted “No” to Europe, not an effort to find common ground with a European Union that longs for some sign the U.K. might turn its back on the politics of close to amputational rupture. May did not explain that the EU is what the Germans call a Rechtsgemeinschaft —a community of...

Brexit Hate Propaganda

The Daily Telegraph’s attack on George Soros crosses a new line

(AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi)
AP Photo/Pablo Gorondi An anti-Soros campaign ad reading "99 percent reject illegal migration" and “Let’s not allow Soros to have the last laugh” in Budapest H as Viktor Orban, the populist, Jew-baiting prime minister of Hungary, been invited by the proprietors of London isolationist anti-European press to be their guest editor? In Poland, the ultra-Catholic rightist nationalist leader, Jarosław Kaczynski, is pushing through a law which will make it a crime, including fines and imprisonment, to state the historical truth that during the Nazi occupation of Poland, there were some Poles who committed anti-Semitic acts, denounced Polish Jews to the Gestapo, and in the village of Jedwabne, herded Jews into a building and set it alight. These are well-documented facts and Princeton Professor Jan Gross, himself a victim of the last purge of Jews in Poland in 1968, when the communist regime expelled thousands of mainly young Jewish students as trouble-makers and subversives, has written...

Will Oscars Go to Britain’s Fake History Films?

TAP Goes to the Oscars: Sidestepping history, Dunkirk and Darkest Hour are custom-made for Brexit-era Britain.  

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP Christopher Nolan at the world premiere of Dunkirk , in London T he Oscars take place early March and two movies about Britain in 1940— Dunkirk and Darkest Hour —have plenty of nominations, notably for Gary Oldman’s imitation of Winston Churchill and the remarkable cinematography of Dunkirk. Yet both are full of historical nonsense and are actually Brexit films—made to allow movie-goers in Brexit Britain to wallow in the warm bath of nostalgia for English superiority when Britain was utterly cut off from Europe and everyone felt united and closer to the English-speaking Empire and the United States rather than beastly Nazis or cowardly, capitulationist French. Oldman joins a long list of actors who have tried to portray Churchill. But he actually portrays other actors’ Churchill take. There are very few radio or TV recordings of Churchill speaking and the voice is slow and pedantic as he reads a text carefully written out beforehand. Churchill never claimed...

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