Democracy seems to be under attack in so many places and in so many ways. In America, it is basically one person, the soon to be ex-president, and his decreasing support crew and family and this is not too great a worry as the people have decided.
A more worrying challenge, that of Hong Kong, a semi-democratic region of China, which has been subject to a sudden change of rules by China. The thing that is surprising is that it has taken so long for China to act. The recent protests were put down with water cannons and arrests, although apparently enacted mainly by the Hong Kong authorities. This was concerning, but not unexpected.
The Chinese parliament has removed four individuals seen to be pro-democracy and the other 15 pro-democracy lawmakers then resigned in support. This effectively removes a voice of protest.
As the Chinese government has already seen in Hong Kong voices of protest cannot be silenced without violence or imprisonment. Why do they still pretend it is a special area when it is swiftly being converted to just another part of communist China?
Since it is not possible, or safe, for protests in Hong Kong, the task must be taken up by others around the world.
The USA, the home of dreams and the “land of the free” has been transformed in a short period of time into the land of nightmares and is rapidly becoming paralysed by fear. Trump is at the very core of this transition and thrives on fear and division. I refuse to see the current tragic state of America as a true reflection of the human spirit, but rather see fear as the reason for over 70 million people deciding that a morally degenerate leader is a fitting person to lead them into the future.
With Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain leaving No. 10 at the end of the year, just as Brexit gets interesting, who is going to tell the PM how to explain new year queues at ports, higher prices and shortages due to Brexit not being done properly!? Brexit was always about getting away from a socially responsible European economic system and a move towards a big business first American system. With the coming change in the White House their plans have hit a wall. Problems (like the Irish border) the current president would have let them ignore, the president-elect won’t. The PM will have an interesting 2021 in the run-up to the local elections in May.
Caring for others is the cornerstone of the British people’s psyche but, it appears, not our government’s, unless stimulated by a young footballer.
It never ceases to amaze me that when faced with exceptional adversity we Brits can rise to the occasion and turn the tide. Our government, who couldn’t run a bath let alone a country, have acted too slowly in supporting the desperate people who simply cannot afford to buy food for their families.
Amongst others, The Independent has risen to the task in a proactive and selfless way. Its reports on the depressing, dreadful situation regarding the state of the food supply to those in severe need, throws a spotlight on the absence of sound judgment and empathy of the government in this dynamically changing crisis.
We should not have a situation whereby charities are leading in the relief of hunger when the government drags its collective feet. Charitable organisations ought to be ready to supplement governments efforts, not have to lead. There have been a disgraceful number of U-turns in the government’s proposals of help to alleviate food poverty, but these are as a result of orchestrated criticism, not a change of heart.
I commend all those involved in this wonderful charitable work, it really makes the difference in surviving this pandemic. Children and their parents I know are internally grateful for much needed staple food stuffs which reduces the suffering caused by this terrible pandemic.
As the Children in Need appeal comes round again, we will be exposed to heart-breaking stories of children who have died or are dying of terrible diseases, which, for any right-minded person, cannot fail to tug on the heartstrings. Celebrities will line up to perform one-off shows and auction off meet and greet opportunities with them. For me though, I like to see the recognition of the many unsung heroes who take care of these unfortunate young ones.
The BBC’s TV and radio announcers have acknowledged that times are tough right now, but to dig deep for this once a year charitable event. And you know we will. We always do. Last year, the great British public gave almost £48 million to the cause, which is an incredible amount of money that hopefully went on to make some children’s lives more tolerable.
But £48 million is just a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of money the government wastes, almost continually it seems. Just since March when the pandemic first hit us, it has spent £10 billion on the much-derided test and trace programme, plus an additional £15 billion on PPE, much of which wasn’t suitable. How can these figures be justified, and more importantly, how can the people who made these decisions still be in a job?
Moreover, this reckless spending has been going on for years with little or no retribution for the ones doling out the cash. It’s just not on. And with the coronavirus bill up to £210 billion and rising, the last thing this country needs is government idiots wasting our hard-working tax money when it comes to paying off the debt.
If only we could auction off some ministers.
Re the sad death of Geoffrey Palmer, I am disappointed that your obituary did not mention his excellent role as Dr Price in the Fawlty Towers episode The Kipper and the Corpse, and especially his memorable line in it “I’m a doctor and I want my sausages!”