9 must-read politics stories we published in 2023

From widespread strikes and the coronation of King Charles III, to the fallout from the Israel-Palestine conflict in the UK, these are our political reports of the year.

Dancing for democracy at Rio Carnival

In February, the biggest street party in the world, Rio De Janeiro Carnival, returned for the first time in three years. Arriving not long after the recent replacement of far-right Jair Bolsonaro by the Workers’ Party’s Lula da Silva in the country’s presidential elections, it was not only a cultural celebration, but a political one too. Writer and photographer Henry Young headed to Brazil’s streets to check the mood on the ground and found a city partying away the despair of the Bolsonaro years.

Read more here.

The Strike Diaries series

The past two years have seen widespread strikes across the UK, with everyone from rail workers to doctors to teachers taking to the streets to campaign for better working conditions. Charting the weeks-in-the-life of striking workers, writer Adele Walton revealed the motivations behind the industrial action through our Strike Diaries series, laying bare the realities behind their picket-line demands.

Read more here.

All hail the Ambient King

Remember when our new king was officially crowned back in May? Writer Thomas Gorton marked the occasion with this essay on the nation’s noticeable apathy towards Charles III’s coronation. As Gorton put it, If Queen Elizabeth II was a blank canvas for the nation’s hopes to be projected on to, Charles is the opposite, a mirror reflecting Britain back to us.”

Read more here.

Inside the Brixton Academy crush: ​“It’s the last thing you expect: to come to a concert and lose your life”

Last year, tragedy struck at an Asake gig at Brixton Academy, when two people died in a crush outside the venue, with many more injured. The legendary venue was closed and, for a while, a police enquiry made it seem like it may never open again. This granular, in-depth report from Will Pritchard documents the events of the night in painstaking detail to reveal what went wrong, piecing together eye-witness accounts from attendees, social media footage and official documents.

Read more here.

Surprised kids are mob-rushing JD Sports? Don’t be

London, UK. 9th August 2023. Police officers wait outside JD Sports on Oxford Street after a social media post reportedly organised a mass shoplifting event.

Hundreds of teenagers gathered at Oxford Street’s JD Sports back in August, responding to a viral clip that encouraged them to take part in​an Oxford Circus JD robbery”. The Met’s response? Send police on mounted horses. In this impassioned essay, Style and Culture Editor TJ Sidhu perfectly explains how the mob-rush wasn’t the work of bad kids, but a generation whose opportunities have been slashed by 13 years of Tory rule.

Read more here.

Hard Labour: inside the party’s no-punches-pulled conference

Ah, party conference season! Everyone’s favourite time of the year. After the Tories had a particularly abysmal showing in Manchester in September, we sent writer Kieran Morris up to Liverpool to find out what Labour had up its sleeve. He found bad jokes, super-strength rum cocktails and a party that’s possibly too high on their potential to win a general election next year.

Read more here.

“I thought Labour would be better”: Starmer’s stance on Gaza is losing young voters

Just a month after the conference, the tide turned dramatically on Labour, as many of its supporters criticised the party’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict. With pro-Palestine protests happening weekly in London, writer Kyle MacNeill took to the streets to find out whether Labour’s stance has influenced how young people will vote in the next election.

Read more here.

(What’s the story) boring glory?

The past few years in politics have been a little too exciting – and by exciting” we mean unpredictable, turbulent and shambolic. What does Britain want from its next Prime Minister? Well, a YouGov poll for THE FACE found that 70 per cent of people said they would prefer someone who is​“boring and reliable”. Back in January, political commentator Marie Le Conte broke down why that might be.

Read more here.

“Expressing sympathy is not a political act”: the conflicted feelings of young British Jews

Photography by Noorunisa

Incidents of antisemitism in the UK have increased by 537 per cent from the same time last year. Here, writer Kyle MacNeill speaks to young British Jews to find out the impact the Israel-Palestine conflict has had on their lives closer to home, and how non-Jewish people can support them through this time.

Read more here.

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