Take a Stand

I’ve often heard older people say they were surprised they saw a black president in their lifetime. Now, I feel astonishment that I’ve seen a despotic demagogue in mine; I’d naively assumed that a man like Trump would never find himself in the Oval Office. I also didn’t think Trump would go through with his election promises, at least not so swiftly. He’s signed a storm of executive orders, including building the wall along the Mexican border, and proceeding with the easement of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s worth noting that signing executive orders is not the same as action. One of the first things Obama did as president was to  sign an executive order to dismantle Guantanamo Bay, and yet the detention camp still stands. Arguably, the most egregious of Trump’s actions is the […]

March for Freedom

Donald Trump is in the news every day and the stories are becoming increasingly absurd. Alec Baldwin recently said that Trump is the head writer at Saturday Night Live, as the man with orange skin spins comedy gold every time he opens his mouth. However, as his inauguration creeps nearer, the joke is less funny and more frightening. He’s now being sued for sexual assault, which hasn’t even made the headlines; we’ve already become desensitised to Trump’s shameful behaviour. If Hillary Clinton had been elected and she were being sued for sexual assault, days before her inauguration, the media would be whipped into a frenzy and talking of little else. Trump has already set about dismembering the affordable care act, or Obamacare, without ensuring a viable replacement in its stead. Along with this is the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood, […]

Who’s country is it anyway?

Anyone who’s read my blog recently will know I’m very concerned about the political shift to the far right. Neo-Nazism is rearing its ugly head all over Europe and the US. Footage hasd emerged of Richard Spencer, leader of white supremacist group the National Policy Institute, giving a speech at a rally, roaring ‘hail Trump’. This was met with celebratory Hitler salutes from the audience. Spencer used the German word ‘lügenpresse’ to describe the media, which is lifted from the Nazi era, meaning ‘lying press’. This is one of many Nazi references Spencer alluded to during his speech. Despite this, white supremacists in America have tried to rebrand themselves as the Alt Right (which sounds like a keyboard shortcut), in an effort to normalise their extremist ideology. It’s important to call them out for what they are; shameless racists and neo-Nazis. […]

The World We live in

I’ve been the thinking about the world I want to live in. I’m reminded of when I went on holiday this summer with my family. It was a few weeks after the Brexit vote and there was an atmosphere of tense uncertainty. I sat with my mother on a bench at Heathrow and watched the other travellers milling around the terminal. As one would expect, it was a multi-cultural, diverse group of people, most of whom looked like they were off on their summer holiday. Mum commented that this ethnically diverse place is representative of the country she wanted to live in. A nation strengthened by diversity and tolerance, not sullied with distrust and discrimination. Of course, I realise that I’m very fortunate to be able to afford to go on holiday in the first place. In fact, all […]

Dark Ages

I went to bed last night hoping to wake up to a world with Hillary Clinton as president. The news that the US has chosen a homophobic, racist, sexist, megalomaniacal, demagogue is calamitous, but not surprising. Post Brexit, it’s clear we are living in a dark age when the worst of human nature is in charge.  Today’s politicians appeal to fear and prejudice, inciting braying intolerance and zealous nationalism. The US and the UK are hideous mirror images of one another. Trump has proclaimed global warming a hoax, perpetuated by China, and has promised to dismiss the Paris Agreement, which could devastate our already beleaguered environment. He’s also implied that the US should only offer military support to NATO members who have met their financial obligations. Under the NATO agreement, all member states should allocate 2% of their GDP to defence. The US is one of […]

2016: Annus Horribilis?

2016 isn’t over yet and it has already been a tumultuous and frightening year. The world of European and American of politics have been dominated by Brexit and the US elections. Donald Trump’s performances in the Presidential Debates were inept and petulant. His claim that the election is being rigged by the media is the snivelling cry of a spoilt brat. The suggestion that if he is to lose, he’ll refuse to accept the result, shows his profound lack of respect for the democratic process. The sexual assault claims suggest that Trump may have been hoisted by his own, misogynistic, sticky fingered petard. However, it’s not over until it’s over and he still could get in. Over the last few months, the fires of discrimination and xenophobia have been stoked by Trump and Nigel Farage. Some of Trump’s supporters, and UK citizens who voted to leave the EU, […]

Words with Friends

I recently went out for dinner with a group of friends, we had a brilliant night and I laughed till I cried. However, during a light-hearted conversation, the word ‘slut’ was bandied around. I was among people who are used to my outspoken tendencies, and they didn’t bat an eye when I protested that using ‘slut’ to describe a sexually active woman was unacceptable. Even if I’d been in less forgiving company, I would have piped up anyway, because I have come to understand the intense importance of words. The words we use shape our attitude to the world around us. The desperate souls fleeing death and persecution in the Middle East and North Africa are now called ‘migrants’, instead of the more accurate term, ‘refugees’. The vast difference between a refugee and a migrant is […]

Burkini Beach

People often comment on the clothes I wear, but I don’t mind what people think of my look. I know my style is somewhat attention grabbing, so I expect comments (positive or negative) as a par for the course. Living in a Western, cosmopolitan city like London, insures that how I choose to dress or the contents of my uterus is my own business. I’ve never been pregnant or had an abortion, but if I choose to do so, I can expect my decisions to be respected. But more of that later. There are other parts of the Western world, where values of tolerance and equality are supposedly held in high esteem, however women’s right to choose is being called into question. The absurd outlawing of burkinis in France is an example of how women’s choices have become a political and ideological battle […]

In defence of Political Correctness

Since the Brexit vote a few weeks ago, it seems there has been something tragic and worrying in the news every day. The appalling bombings in Baghdad by ISIS, the escalating tragedy of police shootings in the US, and the racism on our home turf. And of course, the terrorist attack on Nice just last night. I’ve sat down to write about these things a few times, but there is so much bloodshed and tragedy that I didn’t know where to begin. I was hoping that the appointment of Theresa May might bring about some common sense in our tumultuous political system. I’m not a fan of Mrs May, but she seemed to be the best of a bad bunch. However, her appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary reveals her dubious judgement. After all, this is […]

The Great Mistake

I woke up this morning and scrabbled to turn on the TV, only to learn the news that the UK has voted to leave the European Union. I then opened my laptop and flicked through my Facebook feed, there was not one post celebrating the result. Everyone is dismayed, disappointed and very concerned about the future. I feel proud of my circle of friends, family and acquaintances; I believe that we are right and the UK has made a terrible mistake. However, it illustrates how polarised the nation has become. The Brexit campaign was run on fear, and faulty, misleading information. Boris Johnson rode around on a big red bus stating that we give £350 million to the EU every week – this figure has been widely debunked. Boris and Nigel Farage stirred up xenophobic sentiment amongst the most […]