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Opinion today: Mexico’s silver-haired populist

Opinion today: Mexico’s silver-haired populist
30 Jun
4:03

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known universally as Amlo, is heavily favoured to win Sunday’s presidential election in Mexico. Jude Webber writes in a profile about the homespun firebrand who built a national movement that now rivals the country’s traditional political parties. The son of village shopkeepers in the tropical southeastern state of Tabasco, he is a rebel with a cause: to eradicate graft and get the economy moving.

His critics fear he will end up destabilising Latin America’s second-biggest economy, but his supporters highlight his vows not to increase Mexico’s debt or run a budget deficit. Now running his third national campaign, he has travelled to every municipality at least once and has an army of volunteers who knocked on doors. Despite his populist message, his support is fractionally higher among the rich than the poor.

William Sidelsky explores the sticky issues raised by tennis great Serena Williams’ return from maternity leave. She has been seeded 25th at Wimbledon, despite being ranked 183rd in the world, while Andy Murray, who is returning from injury and ranked 156th, has not been granted such a boost.

Tim Harford asks whether it is better to have a guaranteed job or a guaranteed income. Now that automation threatens many occupations, he explores the best way to make all of the displaced workers happy.

Bronwen Maddox argues that the Tory ructions show that Theresa May is losing her authority. The principle of collective cabinet responsibility, a convention that dates back to the 18th century, has broken down, she writes.

Best of the week

Boris Johnson’s Brexit explosion ruins Tory business credentials— Robert Shrimsley

Saudi women’s rights rule book: drive and shut up— Roula Khalaf

Work in the age of intelligent machines— Martin Wolf

The compelling Tory case for a second Brexit vote— Philip Stephens

Minimum wage laws still fall short for those on the bottom— Sarah O’Connor

What you’ve been saying

Boot is on the other foot— Letter from Elizabeth Balsom:
Had she already encountered her own little local difficulties, Angela Merkel might have been a little less arrogant when David Cameron made his humiliating visit to Berlin, begging for some flexibility on immigration. Regrettably, the German chancellor lacks the imagination to understand other countries’ sensitivities. For us her problems have come a couple of years too late, but evoke a frisson of Schadenfreude nonetheless.

Comment by Rory Harden on Looking for love (or is it Brexit?) on all the wrong islands:
But alas, there is no escape for anyone from the dreary world of Brexit (unless you are its progenitor, suave and hunky Dave, who continues to prosper happily). Except, that is, for once a year, during the Eurovision Song Contest, when we can pretend that we are still Europeans, and our musical acts perform just as badly as our politicians.

Understanding the American psyche— Letter from John Moore:
It is intriguing to Europeans that Harley-Davidson workers are “sticking by their man” despite the potential damage being inflicted on their company by Donald Trump’s belligerent trade policy (June 27). It is also difficult not to draw a parallel between the US president and Harley-Davidson’s most iconic customers, the Hells Angels, whose “sole purpose in getting behind the wheel is to avenge every wrong done them by man, beast or fate” and for whom the only element keeping “them in line is their fear of death, jail and lawsuits”.

Today’s opinion

Bond markets send mixed signals about a looming recession
Fears of Fed over-tightening add to growing concern about a potential trade war

Person in the News: Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s homespun firebrand The silver-haired populist poised to head Latin America’s second-biggest economy

Tory cabinet ructions betray a prime minister losing authority
Once collective responsibility disintegrates, it is very hard to reassert discipline

Wimbledon faces the mother of all seeding problems with Serena
In sport, gauging current performance is fundamental to the whole enterprise

Kazuo Kashio, co-founder and CEO of Casio Computer, 1929-2018
A master of marketing, he made the family name synonymous with the pocket calculator

Self-serving Californians show how to dine out in fast-fine style
Struggling UK restaurants will be tempted to ask diners to fetch their own drinks

Undercover Economist: Would basic incomes or basic jobs be better when robots take over?
Joblessness makes us unhappy, but lack of money is only part of it

Illustration of the week: Political football
EU migrant match-up as nations take sides over those seeking to reach the continent

EM Squared: Frontier equity index edges ‘closer to oblivion’
Probable loss of two largest countries follows exit of 5 bourses since 2014

FT View

FT View: Europe muddles through the migration challenge
There is no silver bullet, only ways of managing the problem better

FT View: Amazon’s unparalleled power over markets
When the US internet retailer sneezes, entire industries catch cold

The Big Read

The Big Read: General Electric goes back to basics
John Flannery is unravelling many of the deals signed by the two previous chief executives

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