In a desperate attempt to malign the Democrats before the midterm elections, the divider-in-chief President Trump has reached down into his oversize bag of “dirty tricks” and used the desperate plight of Honduran migrants to stoke fear and galvanise his base. Fearful of a blue wave, the president and the GOP are moving audaciously far from the truth and deep into the gutter.
Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican, slyly accused liberal philanthropist George Soros of funding the caravan, and in the process put him in mortal danger with an undetonated explosive device found outside his home.
While the president continues to demonise “the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, we seldom hear about the causes of this northern migration.
During the wars in the 1980s, the United States government spent billions of dollars supporting murderous dictators in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras creating devastation that left tens of thousands dead, millions displaced internally, more than a hundred thousand refugees in Mexico and shattered societies.
The lasting legacy is violence, corruption and impunity. Instead of rebuilding societies we destroyed, the Trump administration now threatens the little US aid those countries receive, reportedly $500m (£385) last year. Common sense would suggest Central America desperately need US economic aid, and remittances sent by immigrants to prevent social and economic collapse.
We’re on course to becoming America’s 51st state
Frustrated, impotent Brextremists sought to disrupt government business in a desperate attempt to show they are not an irrelevance.
It is fascinating that their chosen target was to vote against government plans to ban high-powered military grade rifles. Such long-range weapons could be used by criminals and terrorists against the police and other high profile targets.
The transatlantic extremist links are showing. The links to the extreme right American grouping – the alt-Right – very closely allied to the gun lobby in the USA, which wants assault rifles more widely available, are becoming clearer.
It was such close links to corporate America, with its dark money used by lobbyists and think tanks, which ended Liam Fox’s previous ministerial career when he allowed Adam Werritty, CEO of The Atlantic Bridge, into some 40 private government meetings. Fox excluded civil servants from some of these meetings.
The Atlantic Bridge organisation had links with the far-right American group, the Centre for Security Policy. Fox’s House of Commons offices were listed in America as the Atlantic Bridge HQ. The organisation was eventually shut down by the charity commissioners for activities incomparable with charity status!
After Fox’s appalling misjudgement in the Werritty scandal, he should never have been entrusted with ministerial office again. Now he is up to his old tricks, holding secret meetings with corporate America likely to weaken our standards on animal welfare, chemical and pesticide usage, to downgrade them to those operating within US corporations.
The bizarre decision to issue a Brexit 50 pence coin, with a quotation which echoes that of an American president, further enforces the idea of a sellout. Britain, the birthplace of Shakespeare and Milton, and they have chosen the words of an American politician!
Do Liam Fox and the other Brexiteers see Britain becoming the 51st state or just another US territory or colony? Is this what Leave supporters voted for?
Breaching electoral spending limits should be grounds for a final say
If an MP is found to have breached electoral spending limits by a court of law in a general election then a by-election is the inevitable end result. If Arron Banks is prosecuted over financial ties to Leave EU, there won’t currently be a second referendum.
It is preposterous that one rule applies for a single MP but another applies for the most significant vote this country has had in decades. Surely this reason alone is sufficient grounds for the people to be given the chance to vote on the final Brexit deal with an option to remain.
Britain and arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Suppose a similar death to that of Jamal Khashoggi had happened in the Saudi consulate in Mayfair, on British soil – what would the British government do? I presume the value of Saudi purchases of arms and military kit from British manufacturers (worth £1.1bn in 2017) would have to be carefully weighed up against the value of the life of a single journalist. Tough choices will always surface if you’re in the business of politics.
The national curriculum is failing working class students
Eleanor Busby’s analysis of why certain schools with a large proportion of white working class students are failing forgets to mention the problems with curriculum. As a teacher I see an academic curriculum being forced on all, while I realise working class communities really appreciate technical subjects like design and technology, food technology, art and design and textiles.
All these subjects have been either scrapped or severely reduced because of the inherent costs associated with them, as school budgets are tight. They see the other subjects as worthwhile because they can provide skills which will allow their children to earn a decent living.
Remember your pets this bonfire night
This 5 November, remember, please remember that for cats and dogs, Bonfire Night might seem more like The War of the Worlds than a traditional celebration. Noisy fireworks displays are often frightening to animals, who don’t realise that the explosions are meant to be entertainment, so people should take precautions to make sure that their animals stay safe and comfortable at home.
When startled, dogs can panic and try to flee. They may jump over fences, and some have even been known to jump through plate-glass windows to get away from the terrifying sounds. Many cats, dogs and other animals are taken to animal shelters with bloody paws and torn skin from running and breaking through wooden fences. Lucky animals are reunited with their families, but others are never found.
To avoid such upset, make sure that you stay inside with your companion animals. Close windows and curtains to help muffle the noise of the fireworks, and turn on the TV or a radio to help drown out the sound. Finally, make sure that your animal companion is wearing a collar or harness with an up-to-date identification tag – just in case.
Don’t forget about wild animals, too, especially hedgehogs, who often seek out warm nests for their winter hibernation – which could include your leafy bonfire pile. Before lighting any fires, please check for these small prickly garden friends and safely move any you find.
(Peta media partnerships coordinator)
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