As Jesy Nelson revealed, fame is no defence against toxic online attacks

In choosing to engage with social media, trolling victims fuel a poisonous narrative

The recent documentary from Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson, Odd One Out, should be placed in a time capsule to show future generations the pain of being a young 21st-century woman dealing with cyberbullying. While social media is a key promotional tool of the pop industry, and fame has a price, this doesn’t excuse the way that Nelson was tortured about her looks and weight. Still, her experience usefully demonstrates how young people – even famous, successful ones – can be tricked into tending their own online misery.

There’s nothing original about casual cruelty but these days, it’s turbo-boosted by social media platforms that allow people to unleash darkness, then pop out for a pizza as though nothing has happened. It’s not the spite that’s new – it’s the ease of it, the grotesque lack of accountability.

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David Cameron’s self-indulgent sorrow doesn’t excuse his cowardice | Will Hutton

The former PM fails to acknowledge that he allowed the Tory party’s ultra right to railroad him into a referendum that did not have to be held

Mr Cameron does not know his own country. His apology for “the uncertainty and division that followed” the referendum result is an attempt to keep alive the fiction that it had to be called – only its conduct was mistaken. Wrong. There was no widespread call for a renegotiated relationship with the EU in the country in 2013 when he made his fateful decision. There was only a problem of Tory party management.

The needless pain inflicted by severe cuts, along with the reaction to immigration, was always going to make it a hard referendum to win. The ground had to be carefully laid, the referendum carefully framed and a compelling cross-party campaign organised. None of that happened. And too little of that is recognised by our wounded, self-indulgently sorrowful ex-PM.

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Against very familiar rivals, Jo Swinson will be the wild card of the election | Andrew Rawnsley

The latest defection to their ranks will embolden optimistic Lib Dems to think that we are on the verge of a big realignment

David Steel once told a Liberal conference to “go away and prepare for government”. They went away and remained in opposition. Vince Cable once said that he could imagine himself becoming prime minister. Which is where that idea stayed: in his imagination. Nick Clegg did take them into government during the coalition years, an experience that ended with the Lib Dems losing all but eight of the 57 MPs they started with five years earlier.

So they have had fair warning about the perils of dreaming of breakthroughs. They usually don’t come true. On the rare occasions when they do, the consequences for the party can be terrible. But dream they always will and never more so than now.

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Diageo’s short measures are an insult to Johnnie Walker’s workers | Kevin McKenna

Even as the drinks giant posts huge profits, it treats its workforce with contempt

In the wilderness of post-Brexit Britain, ruthlessness and cunning, backed by financial muscle, will prevail. Many good days to bury bad news will dawn and corporate Britain will gather for the feast. In this jungle, there are few beasts more ruthless and cunning than Diageo, one of the biggest drinks manufacturers in the world.

In 2012, Diageo ended 192 years of whisky production at its Johnnie Walker bottling facility in Kilmarnock. Until that day, Johnnie strode cheerfully through this town, becoming one of the largest employers in North Ayrshire. He was sustained in turn by generations of skilled and resourceful workers who helped secure Diageo’s position as the most successful drinks company on the planet. No matter. Diageo decided that 700 local jobs and two centuries of dedicated service to its profits margins counted for nothing.

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From India to Britain, every citizen is harmed by anti-migrant hostility | Kenan Malik

Politicians fan the flames to hide their own failures and erode the liberties of all

In the Indian state of Assam, the authorities are building detention camps for “illegal immigrants”, most of whom are Indian citizens. In South Africa, hundreds of Nigerian workers have been airlifted home as anti-migrant violence spirals out of control.

Two different events in two different countries, but each a glimpse of the malevolent trends transforming politics globally. While neither event has received much attention in Britain, consumed as we are by all things Brexit, both throw light upon developments here, too.

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Insights… even the mere sight of a policewoman can lead to a fall in crime rates | Torsten Bell

One way of tackling Britain’s soaring rate of domestic violence killings could be for forces to put more women in the ranks

Friday brought very grim news, with data from police forces showing that domestic violence-related killings reached a five-year high last year. The victims in the majority of the 173 homicides were women.

But what is to be done? The government is promising to return to domestic abuse legislation when parliament returns, and policy discussions often make the link to knife crime, given the number of such murders involving knives.

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The Observer view on the threat posed to Israel by another Benjamin Netanyahu victory | Observer editorial

The prime minister’s pre-election tactics underline why he must be ousted from office

Benjamin Netanyahu’s bid to secure another term as Israel’s prime minister has grown more desperate and divisive as Tuesday’s elections approach. Bibi, as he is known, has never been afraid to fight dirty. Now he is at it again as his Likud party and its rightwing allies struggle to amass the 61-seat Knesset majority that would further extend his record 13 years as Israeli leader.

Familiarity with Netanyahu’s objectionable tactics do not render them more acceptable or less of a stain on Israeli democracy. Last week, a message sent from his official Facebook page warned of “the Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men”. This was a scurrilous reference to Israeli citizens of Arab descent – about 900,000 out of roughly 6 million eligible voters.

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Boris Johnson is damaging Britain, while Corbyn betrays Labour values | Jo Swinson

The Liberal Democrats are now the only party fighting for the values of diversity and inclusion that Labour and the Tories have abandoned, says its leader

Gillian Marshall from Newtown in Wales is an epilepsy patient. She takes three different medications to manage her epilepsy – even changing the brand of one of these medications has seen Gillian admitted to hospital in the past.

The Yellowhammer papers recently published reported that crashing out of the European Union will lead to medicine shortages, meaning Gillian may not have access to these vital medicines.

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Fixing a tattered reputation like Harvey Weinstein’s is dirty work, but pays so well | Catherine Bennett

Lisa Bloom and her kind can’t be squeamish when whitewashing the rich and powerful

Odious Harvey Weinstein is, of course, chief villain of the brilliant and deeply satisfying new book, She Said, by the New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. It details how, in 2017, they finally unmasked the alleged – his trial is pending – serial rapist. Shortly after publication, however, much interest has alighted on another, less familiar figure in this story, who was once as fully committed as Weinstein to silencing and shaming survivors, intimidating reporters and rebuilding his good name: a US lawyer called Lisa Bloom.

At the same time as it offers inspiration and guidance to investigative reporters in pursuit of powerful bullies, She Said – with its startling new evidence about Bloom’s involvement – also supplies a priceless introduction, for novices, to the business of reputation management.

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