In two weeks time, on the 23rd of April, the people of France will vote for their new President. This major event has gained added significance in the aftermath of Brexit and the election of Trump, and could prove decisive for the existence of the European Union. The election raises fears of a surge in nationalism, anti-immigration and anti-Islam support, and will be a test of how strong these feelings are. The result will have a major impact on the rest of Europe (and possibly the world) with regard to immigration, refugees, the Euro, European co-operation, trade, economics and a dozen other areas. So even if you’re not French, the result will probably affect you. Continue reading “The Simple Guide For Foreigners To The French Election”
(I’ve considered deleting this post as it’s based on the presumption that Hillary Clinton would win the election, which was sadly wrong. However, I stand by everything I write even when I’m wrong, so I’m going to leave this up as a monument to hubris and a historical reminder of how people viewed the 2016 campaign at the time.)
Whenever people look back on elections, particularly Presidential elections, they always use a simple narrative to explain it. The 1964 and 1972 elections used the narrative that if you nominate an extremist, you’ll lose in a landslide. 2004 was about fear and the War on Terror, whereas 2008 was about hope and change. So what will be the narrative of 2016?
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post on Donald Trump for a while. However, I faced a major problem, in that there are just so many scandals that it’s impossible to keep track of them all. I was simply overwhelmed by the enormous amount of horrendous things Trump has said and done, and that’s without even starting on his policies (although he seems to have very few of these). To give all his scandals the attention they deserve would require a ten part series, and each part alone would be disqualifying. But I don’t have the time to make such a list (I doubt anyone does) and even the professional media has trouble keeping up. Even this post took several days, and I more than likely missed something important. Continue reading “Donald Trump Has Too Many Scandals To Keep Track Of”
Have you ever watched a historical documentary or perhaps a Second World War movie and wondered how the fascists ever took over? How did they convince people to follow them? How did they reshape a nation in their mould? How could anyone support that kind of hatred? Why weren’t they stopped, why did more people not stand up to them? Have you ever wondered what you would have done if you were in that situation? Surely you would have stood up to them, right? Surely they would have no appeal to people like you? Continue reading “How Fascism Takes Over”
It hardly needs to be said that the two main candidates running for president are not very popular. Both Trump and Clinton have historically high unpopularity ratings and many voters are voting against a candidate rather than for one they support. Perhaps it is time to consider a third option.
Jill Stein claims to be a candidate worth voting for based on her policies and principles, not just because people are afraid of Trump. She argues that Clinton is just as bad as Trump and voting for “the lesser of two evils” will not solve America’s problems but only allow them to continue. She is hoping that people will reject “the politics of fear” and break the two party system. Continue reading “Is Jill Stein Worth Voting For?”
A common criticism of Bernie Sanders is that he is unelectable. Many fear that if he is chosen as the party nominee, then the Democrats will suffer a heavy defeat in the general election. Comparisons are made with 1972 when George McGovern suffered one of the worst defeats in Electoral College history, winning only the state of Massachusetts. It is often said that this was because he was too liberal and too far from the middle ground. The landslide defeat of Walter Mondale in 1984 is explained in a similar way, if you go too far from the middle ground you are out of touch with the voters. On the Republican side, the 1964 defeat of Barry Goldwater is also portrayed as the dangers of extremism. Elections are won in the centre, it is said. Continue reading “Is Sanders A McGovern Or A Reagan?”
Do you remember 2007? The economy was booming (or so we were told) and the government was swaggering. This was all due to their wisdom and excellent management they told us. Don’t throw it away, they told us, by electing that other crowd, or even worst still, those leftists who might try to regulate the property market. There is was no debate over whether the property boom was sustainable or if the banks were properly regulated. Those who questioned if all parts of society were benefiting or if the government really knew what it was doing were dismissed as moaners. Questions over whether giving tax cuts so that people could buy bigger houses was the best use of resources were ignored. The system was working so don’t question it. Continue reading “Have We Learned Nothing From The Crisis?”