Gordon Brown is back. Again. Earlier this week, to mark the tenth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the former prime minister treated us all to another nakedly self-serving political intervention.

In two separate puff piece interviews – one with the Guardian and one with the BBC – he issued a series of stark claims and denunciations.

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When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in a headline-blitzing New York primary race last month, the first thing the Democratic Party establishment tried to do was minimise the significance of her victory.

“They made a choice in one district,” the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters the following day. “It is not to be viewed as something that stands for anything else.”

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In the summer of 2010, the UK embarked on a strange economic experiment.

Britain, then in the grip of a post-crash recession, had just elected a new government led by the Conservative party. In his first budget, the Tory finance minister, George Osborne, reeled-off a litany of cuts: public sector pay would be frozen, pensions reformed, disability and housing benefits slashed, and a raft of progressive tax credits abolished. In total, more than £30bn ($50bn CAD) would be stripped from state expenditure every year until 2015.

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In the aftermath of Britain’s vote to leave the EU in June 2016, Scotland seemed to be on the brink of independence.

Scots rejected Brexit by an overwhelming 24 point margin, prompting Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon – the head of Scotland’s semi-autonomous government in Edinburgh – to start preparing the ground for a fresh referendum on separation from the UK.

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As a rule, political journalists should avoid writing about countries they haven’t visited. It’s impossible to cover a story properly unless you’ve actually witnessed its effects, in some fashion, at first hand. Otherwise, you miss the essential, granular details that mark one place out from another.

In this instance, however, I’m willing to make an exception, because the story in question is so absurd – and so criminally underplayed by the international media – that I’m finding it increasingly difficult to ignore.

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