If you’ve been following the world of politics lately it might seem as though we are living in some sort of alternate universe. It is starting to look like the inmates are taking over the asylum. It would appear that on both sides of the pond things have gotten a little crazy. First the UK shocked the world by deciding to leave the EU back in June. To be honest even the politicians who were campaigning to leave seemed surprised by the outcome. The result of the Brexit referendum showed that the leave side received 52.5% of the overall vote whereas the remain side only managed to acquire 47.5%.Usually when a party secures the result they set out to achieve celebrations follow but not in this case. This time they all began to disappear from both sides. First David Cameron resigned. Then as if reeling from the shock of a surprise victory Boris Johnson decided not to run for Prime Minister after all. Nigel Farage stood down claiming he wanted his life back.
I’m sure at that point there were a number of people who wanted their country back or just to go back in time to before the election. Thanks to Nigel and friends however this wasn’t possible. The Austrian actor Christoph Waltz put it best saying, “of course, the head rat would leave the sinking ship.” No one seems to know what’s next for Britain in the wake of this result. They can’t just leave the EU over night. It’s much more complex then that. There is also the worry that other countries will follow suit. There is a lot of uncertainty in the air as the new Prime Minister tries to wade through unchartered water. It will take a number of years for this messy divorce to be resolved but you can bet in this case it’s the children who will be the ones to suffer the consequences of this decision. A decision that was largely made by older people who have considerably less to lose.Continue reading
I have always found American politics fascinating. It’s like theatre on a giant stage. This time around though the world has watched in wonder as the American election has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. Perhaps the best way to describe it is like a Shakespearean tragic comedy. It can be classed as neither because it has huge elements of both. In the beginning I think we all viewed Donald Trump as an amusing caricature with bad hair who would be entertaining to watch for a while. After all the election process goes on for so long why not get some amusement out of it. No one really believed that he would still be in the race at this point, let alone be in with a real chance of winning the Republican nomination but alas it really is happening.
As the weeks rolled on the jokes got less funny and the threats got more real. In the course of his candidacy Trump has managed to offend Women, Mexicans, People with disabilities and Muslims to name a few. Everyday the list seems to get longer. His rallies have become a breeding ground for violent and racist behavior. This has of course brought him more attention in the media and has in turn made him very popular. It also helps that the other Republican nominees aren’t very credible. There is no doubt that it’s a fascinating circus and people seem to be enjoying the show but at what point do we all have to get serious about the business of electing a real president?Continue reading
President Obama unveiled his new plan to combat gun violence on Tuesday, January 5th in the East Room of the White House. He was surrounded by the relatives of those who lost their lives in the many mass shooting that have occurred in the US over the last number of years. In attendance was former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona who was shot in the head in Tucson during a constituent meeting in 2011. Mark Barden who lost his seven-year old son Daniel in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 introduced the president, before he left the podium he said that every gun related death is preventable.
“In this room right here, there are a lot of stories. There’s a lot of heartache. There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain.”, President Obama
During his speech Obama referred to the time he spent with Mr Barden during his visit to Sandy Hook just two days after the shooting. He said that this event changed him and that he had hoped it would change the country. Although the President is known for being an impressive speaker he is often accused of appearing removed or clinical but last Tuesday’s speech was to be an exception to that rule. He delivered a very emotional, heartfelt speech that left the audience under no illusions about his passion and sense of regret on this subject. The Obama administration has been blocked by congress at every turn on matters of gun control and therefore very little progress has been made in spite of the fact that these shootings have become more and more frequent. In fact no other developed country sees this type of violent crime happen over and over again.Continue reading