The Manchester Bombing

When I turned on the TV on Tuesday morning the first thing I heard on BBC News 24 was President Donald Trump saying ’he’s a loser’.

I didn’t know what he was referring to when he was speaking until I noticed at the bottom of the screen about the bombing of the Manchester arena the night before. My first feelings when I saw that 22 were dead and 59 injured were that professional terrorism had again come to our shores.

The Westminster attack was, compared to Manchester, an amateur attack by a lone man driving a hire car into tourists and Londoners. Manchester was a serious professional attack using a highly complex explosive device. An explosive device that would’ve taken substantial training to build and execute.

Making tracks on the next Politics article...

Why I voted Lib Dem

'Why vote Lib Dem?' I asked myself on the morning of the 4th of May.

As a pro-European who was, and has been, dismayed by the EU referendum result and the subsequent triggering of article 50 voting for Britain’s most pro-EU party was, on the face of it, a natural choice. I share many of the main principles of the Lib Dems like internationalism, tolerance and a respect for personal freedom but, in many other ways, I’m distinctly not a Lib Dem. I find their crime policies muddled and confused, especially around legalisation of marijuana, which as far as I’m concerned should have been legalised years ago. But the Lib Dems are too cowardly to express their honest view publicly. I am not at all drawn to Tim Farron who reminds me of a school teacher whose having an affair with politics.

Regular readers of my political musings will know that I feel about Jeremy Corbyn the way that Charles II felt about the puritans. A feeling of contempt at their puerile fanaticism and disgust at their haughty self-righteousness. I have been more favourable in my views of Theresa May who I think has taken to the position of Prime Minister like a duck to a beautiful Oxfordshire lake. But, on Brexit, she’s speaking to an audience I simply have nothing in common with and feel that this Conservative government will turn its back on people like me. So, it had to be the Lib Dems.

Since June of last year it’s been hard being a Liberal internationalist. The masses have been actively voting specifically against our policy agenda, one of our key leaders Hilary Clinton

Theresa May and why a snap election was the right call

When Theresa May called a snap election to take place on the 8th of June the only ones who were worried were the Labour Party.

Leading Labour officials had been hoping that the Prime Minister would wait until 2019 or even 2020 to hold a general election. That would’ve given Labour time to ditch Corbyn and find a better leader with the hope that Brexit would be a disaster and voters would rapidly turn to Labour. But with the Prime Ministers announcement of an early election the nightmare of having to face voters with Corbyn as leader has come true.
The Tories now have an opinion poll lead of 21 points and, if they fight an efficient campaign, will win the election comfortably. Following Labour’s disaster in Copeland where they lost a seat they’d held for eight decades Labour cannot approach this election expecting anything else but a catastrophic defeat.

The Prime Minister has clearly learned from Labour’s mistakes. When in 2007 Gordon Brown took over from Tony Blair Labour had a large majority and an opinion point lead of six points. If Labour called an election in 2007 David Cameron would’ve held little chance of winning. But because Gordon Brown shied away from going to voters and the world changed after the financial crisis with the government of Gordon Brown became almost a consistent joke.

Brexit, a Shameful Shambles

When Sir Tim Barrow delivered the letter triggering Article 50 to Donal Tusk my reaction was one of dismay at a severe blow to the ideal of Europe.

That letter, so longed for by the corrupting influence of the tabloid press, was an act of regressive backwardness. An act that they were prepared to tell any lie to see happen. From bendy bananas to Polish immigrants there wasn’t anything the tabloids wouldn’t use to constantly attack Europe.

British Eurosceptic opinion has always been attached to the political right, best expressed through the tabloids whose entire political agenda was fundamentally anti-European and pro-American. When Prime Minister Edward Heath sought to take Britain into the EEC he also favoured a wider pro-European policy, even favouring an Anglo-French nuclear system. This policy was, in my view, best for Europe and best for Britain.

Following the emergence of Thatcherism our political elite started to become more pro-American and less inclined to the European ideal. This was a serious policy mistake as it led Britain to start believing in this laughable notion ‘the Special Relationship’ which the French enjoy deriding saying of the Special Relationship ‘only one side knows it exists’.

Martin McGuiness, Ian Paisley and the Tragedy of Northern Ireland

When the news was announced of Martin McGuinness’s death my first reaction was indifference.

The type of indifference that I felt the day that Ian Paisley died. That both these men had been directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of deaths and years of misery. Paisley by his incitement to hatred of Northern Ireland’s Catholic Community must’ve inspired many sectarian attacks and McGuiness for his role in IRA violence.

I always feel indifference when bad people die, or people I believe to have been bad people die. I think celebrating anyone’s death is vulgar and lowers the tone of public debate. But I cannot feel any genuine remorse for the death of someone who voluntarily involved themselves in Para militarism, murder of innocent civilians and never showed any meaningful remorse. To this day many victims of the IRA lay in unmarked graves and still the IRA will not disclose their location so they can have a decent burial. Martin McGuiness could have at least helped those families in locating their loved ones but did nothing.