By disciplining MPs for voting to pull children out of poverty, Keir Starmer has shown us who he really is | Owen Jones

Labour will say this is just a matter of party discipline, but it is a clear demonstration of the government’s priorities

The Labour leadership has told you who it is, over and over again: it is time to believe it. Keir Starmer has suspended seven Labour MPs because they voted to overturn a Tory policy which imposes poverty on children. Sure, another tale will be spun: that by voting for the Scottish National party’s amendment to abolish the two-child benefit cap, the seven undermined the unity of the parliamentary Labour party and were duly disciplined. But that is nonsense.

Such parliamentary rebellions are scattered through our democratic history, and are accepted almost as a convention of government. Boris Johnson suspended multiple Brexit rebels in 2019 and it was rightly seen as an aberration. He did not, for example, exact the same punishment when five Tory MPs backed a Labour motion extending free school meals in 2020. When it comes to Labour history, even Tony Blair never resorted to such petty authoritarianism. Forty-seven Labour MPs rebelled over a cut to the lone parent benefit in 1997 – none had the whip removed.

Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

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Extreme wealth has a deadening effect on the super-rich – and that threatens us all | George Monbiot

In a kayak off the Devon coast I witnessed the kind of entitled mindlessness that has ravaged society, and our planet

On a calm and beautiful morning off the coast of south Devon last week, I was watching a small pod of dolphins from my kayak. I had spotted them from half a mile away, feeding and playing on the surface. They were heading my way, so I sat on the water and waited.

But from round the headland, at top speed, came a giant twin-engined maritime wankpanzer. Though the dolphins were highly visible and it had plenty of time either to stop or avoid them, it ploughed towards them at full throttle. As it passed, missing them by a few metres, the driver turned and glanced at them, but never checked his speed. The dolphins dived. They briefly reappeared much farther from the coast, after which I didn’t see them again. I could hear the boat long after it disappeared: it sounded like a jetliner. God knows what distress it might have caused the dolphins, which are highly sensitive to sound.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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The Guardian view on violence against women: Labour must explain how it plans to halve it | Editorial

A ‘whole-system approach’ sounds good. But the public, and especially victims, need to know what it means

“When I talk to these mums, they are so broken, really broken, and they’re grateful to me because they know I’m talking about all of us,” Mina Smallman said recently of her role as a women’s safety campaigner , in the years since her two adult daughters were murdered in a London park. As Ms Smallman knows, the relatives of women killed by men are also victims. Many more families struggle with the impact of rape and other violence against women.

These offences are now so prevalent that the National Police Chiefs’ Council refers, in a new report, to a “national emergency” . The body’s first analysis of data from official statistics, including the crime survey, reveals that about 2 million women in England and Wales are victims of male violence each year. In the 12 months to March 2023, police recorded more than 100,000 rapes and serious sexual offences, and more than 400,000 domestic abuse-related crimes. Most worryingly, the number of offences has risen sharply – by 37% in five years – while perpetrators and victims are getting younger. The most common age for victims of tech-enabled violence is 10 to 15.

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