The comment from the first debate that concerns me about Trump!

The US Presidential election is coming up. Donald J Trump or Joe Biden. One of these two will be the victor on 3 November. I haven’t commented on US politics much but seeing parts of their televised Presidential debate the other week and some of the comments from Mr Trump [Pictured above; image from Politico] there was something I wanted to pick up on.

Make no doubt about it, the debate itself was embarrassing to watch. That said, as a Brit, we currently have to put up with his mini-me (Boris Johnson). I have so far delayed this post as Mr Trump went through his bout of coronavirus shortly after the debate and didn’t feel quite right putting this post together while he was down. Thankfully, he did not succumb to the virus. I am no fan of Trump but I do not wish Coronavirus on anyone and if Trump is to be beaten by anything this year, I would much prefer it to be the ballot box. However, it is his comments about the ballot boxes that prompt this post. read more

Breaking International Law for the sake of Brexit: Where on earth are we headed?

Personally, I think there are more important things to be discussing politically on here at present such as what appears to be out woeful efforts at combating and preventing the further spread of COVID-19. However, Brexit has reared its ugly head back into the public conversation recently and it prompts me to worry even more for the future of the UK. Why? Because a no-deal Brexit [Pictured above are Boris Johnson and Jean Claude Juncker last year; image from Business Insider] which last year which at the moment we appear to be heading for and which I would have labelled disastrous last year but to be coming to that scenario in the middle of a pandemic…I’m lost for words….

Why is it increasingly likely? The government brought forward the Internal Market Bill which aims to ensure that post-Brexit, the UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the same standards and rules throughout. At first glance, that’s nothing contentious. It seems perfectly reasonable. However, the bill also says ‘Certain provisions to have effect notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international or other domestic law’ but also replaces parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement as elements of it “cease to be recognised and available in domestic law”. read more

My objection to the ‘rewriting history’ argument and narrative

‘I think it’s time we stopped our cringey embarrassment about our history, about our traditions and about our culture. And we stop this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness’.

The decision by the BBC to play only an instrumental version of the songs ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and Rule Brittania’ at the Last Night of the Proms. Of course, since the story ran at the start of the week it has brought about a rage of fury from those who would argue against ‘wokeness’ or that in some way we are erasing our history. That was a sentiment shared by the Prime Minister [Pictured above; Image from BBC] back in May when protestors vandalised the Winston Churchill memorial, as are the words in the above quote read more

The Nazis were not socialist or left-wing Lord Tebbet!

Number Ten may well be busy trying to bring the country out of the Coronavirus lockdown; too quickly and not quite in a logical way, in my opinion, but Conservatives still seem content on stoking up a culture war and trying to rewrite history. The Black Lives Matter movement in the last few weeks have triggered it but the government seem intent on distracting us from their failures with arguments over statues and so-called ‘lying about our history‘.

This is where Lord Norman Tebbet [Image above from The Daily Mirror] came in with an absurd claim in his Telegraph article… read more

The Far-right was out in force last weekend, our leaders are at fault, this cannot go on…

Never have I ever been as ashamed to call myself either British, English or Geordie after the scenes we saw over the weekend in what some of the media called anti-antiracist protestors descending in cities such as London [Pictured above with the image from Sky News] and Newcastle in quite frankly horrendous and embarrassing.

This was, in the immediate sense, in response to vandalism that had been seen the weekend before during the Black Lives Matter protests. The Churchill memorial had been vandalised (not for the first time), a statue of the slave trader Edward Colston as toppled in Bristol which prompted some councils to take discussions about the statues they have in their local authorities. The same Churchill memorial, as well as a host of others, had been boarded up in anticipation of another wave of protests. read more

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter! Of course, all lives do matter but they don’t all matter until black lives matter. If you don’t agree with that statement, you will not like the contents of this post and I would kindly ask you to look elsewhere.

This has taken a lot of thought even before the protests weekend before last. I was conflicted over it having been critical of others for not adhering to lockdown restrictions such as the Prime Minister’s Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings which I wrote a post on and also criticised people for flocking to the beaches on the South Coast the other weekend. Consequently, I was initially anxious about supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and the reasons so many were protesting at this time would make me look like a hypocrite. However, I hate racism. read more

Cummings must go but the damage is done…

Bank Holiday weekend was explosive for political news with the stories surrounding the Prime Ministers Special Advisor Dominic Cummings [Image above from The Times] and his alleged breaching of lockdown rules.

It started with a joint story from The Guardian and The Mirror newspapers that broke late on Friday evening alleging that Cummings and his family were spotted in Durham on April 12th with the police having previously visited his parents household. It was followed by a whole day of Cummings denying any wrongdoing and government ministers lining up to defend him publicly. Then came the second story from the two papers alleging he was spotted in Barnard Castle on April 12th. When these stories broke, I was furious and the anger I feel is still there in the public.  read more

The Mind of Rowan at 200 posts!

Believe it or not, this really is the 200th post on this blog! Who would’ve thought I’d reach 200 posts when I started this blog in 2016? I certainly didn’t. It is just about 4 years to the day as well since I set the site up, so averaging 50 posts a year is quite ok for someone doing all this solo.

Anyway, I wanted to use this milestone post as a reflection of the past four years and look over what it was I wanted to do when I started this site. Did I stick to what I intended? That is what I set out in the About page which much like my LinkedIn account, I have left rather neglected. It hasn’t been changed once yet so I am certainly not still 23. read more

Critique of the UK Government’s shambolic handling of the pandemic

Coronavirus. It feels a long time ago since Brexit was the big cat in the room and that was only a couple of months ago. I have been anxious to write on this topic because as someone who is at increased risk of complications if I get it (for those who don’t know, I am diabetic; that account for 26% of underlying conditions in England) it terrifies me. It literally scares the crap out of me! However, If the worst were to happen this may be my only chance to voice my concerns on it ok!

It was 23rd March when the Prime Minister announced measures that amounted to the biggest curb on our civil liberties ever in modern British history outside of wartime. The UK is on lockdown of sorts, following in the path of other European countries including France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland in a bid to curb the transmission and spread of the new novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The lockdown measures are relatively lax compared to some other countries and while it was a necessary move and universally praised as a look at my Facebook feed that Monday evening suggested, it is one that I felt was overdue.

Yes, this post will be critiquing the approach the government has taken in handling this epidemic. Criticising them has not been a cool thing to do at present. As people who know me know, I am a socialist and I often get told I criticise them whatever they do, or if it were a Labour government I would not be so critical. If Labour’s record was anywhere near the record of the current government, trust me I would be saying the same. I have also seen a lot of posts saying this is not a time to be political or that Boris Johnson is doing a good job and doing the best he can. The final assertion is a fair point. Boris Johnson, we must assume is doing what he feels is the best job he can and he cannot be faulted for that. However, at this time holding the government to account, regardless of your views in an objective way (as I hope to do in this post) has never been more important… read more

The Mind of Rowan: Refections on 2019 and the 2010s; look ahead to 2020 and beyond

That is a wrap for 2019 and the 2010s as a decade. It is now 2020 and another decade to come. At this time of year on this blog, I like to reflect on the year before looking at what happened in Football, F1 and you know what, do I really care about politics now? Anyway, with it being the end of the decade as well I thought I would review some of the highlights as well…

Football
South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup. [Image from FIFA].

2010 It’s time for Africa: That was the Shakira lyric as we all fell in love with South Africa as they became the first African country to host the FIFA World Cup and the hosts got us in the spirit with Tshabalala scoring in their opening game and showing us that celebration. There was the vuvuzela’s it was a unique atmosphere and after a heated to say the least final with one of the worst tackles i’ve ever seen from Nigel De Jong, Spain emerged victoriously. read more