Waterstones Book of the Year (2018) Shortlist

This year, the shortlist for the Waterstones Book of the Year includes the following eight books: Circe, I am the Seed That Grew the Tree – A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year, The Penguin Classics Book, The Colour of Time: A New History of the World, 1850-1960, Everything I Know About Love, Why We Get the Wrong Politicians, The Secret Barrister and Normal People. The winner of the British book prize will be announced on November 29.

With the exception of The Secret Barrister (the book provides a look into a European legal order which is fractured), it is not hard to comprehend why these books made it into the shortlist, making it a varied selection. For example: in I am the Seed That Grew the Tree – A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year, poems on nature are printed among beautiful illustrations, whilst in The Colour of Time: A New History of the World, 1859-1960, black and white photographs from the Victorian age have been given the color treatment. My favorites from this year’s shortlist are the following two books: Circe and The Penguin Classics Book; Circe essays a Greek goddess in a fictional manner, whilst The Penguin Classics Book brilliantly (and at times even beautifully) complements an anthology of books called Penguin Classics which the British publishing house has been printing for many years.


Protests planned for Donald Trump’s visit to the UK

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A march and the flying of a giant balloon are two types of protests that have been planned for the visit

A giant balloon very funnily caricaturing Donald Trump as a big baby wearing diapers is supposed to fly close to the British parliament in London on the day of his visit to the United Kingdom. The big balloon aims to act as a form of protest against the American President, who has been labeled as a racist and a hazard to vulnerable groups, such as members of the weaker sex, by the organizers of the event.

President Trump is scheduled to visit the United Kingdom on the 13th of July and the floating balloon is not the only type of planned protest against the visit – another protest in the form of a march, called Stop Trump, is also going to take place in London, with thousands marching against an unprogressive President. It does not appear as if the protests are going to cause an impact on the President at all but what these protests certainly do, in my outlook, is highlight that Trump is shockingly a deeply unpopular visiting President to the United Kingdom.

A Party For The Rich

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In the United Kingdom, is it necessary for the aristocracy to have a party focus on their own class?

The Labour Party can be summarized as a political party which tends to gravitate towards the working class a tad too much, whilst the Conservative Party is quite all over the place and without gearing towards any specific class really. A scenario of this type makes me wonder over whether a political party should have been in existence purely for the aristocracy or the upper class in the United Kingdom. And close to having that thought, I realize that the answer to that would be no.

Indeed, there shouldn’t be any such party because that would mean a big party choosing too much exclusivity for a really narrow group of people in society. A decision like that wouldn’t also seek to serve all classes properly. This is because even though a group of that type is rather small in size, the idea of putting the rich first and the poor later, is not a great idea; in this world, help for the poor should not be compromised for the rich when the rich never need it. And that is why, warring over the idea of which party best serves the rich is the best that that particular class can do; this warring characteristic, in my outlook, is reflective of the United Kingdom’s nature in a time when the country still ruled over its many colonies.

Labor Day

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Labor Day is about putting the spotlight on the achievements of the working class

Labor Day is a holiday in many parts of the world, from the United Kingdom to Bangladesh. The date for the holiday differs from one country to the other: for example in the United Kingdom the holiday falls on May 1 but in the United States the holiday is on September’s first Monday. The aim of the holiday is to rejoice the working class and laborers alike. The growing importance of trade unions created the need for such a holiday – Labor Day, in fact, has its roots in a global labor crusade and was actually created by parties with a socialist and communist stance on May Day (which also falls on the same date).

Abuse Of Women At The House Of Commons

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John Bercow, the Speaker for the past nine years, is amongst the MPs who have had allegations made against them of ill-treating women at the House of Commons

Recently, an investigation carried out by Newsnight (a current affairs programme on the BBC) revealed that numerous MPs had made women, who worked at the House of Commons feel frightened + harassed them too. The acts reported of harassment were particularly shocking – women had, reportedly, been kissed under protest and fondled.

Although, these griveances were made known, they were never really cared for: apparently, one Labour MP had taken great pleasure in making Emily Commander cry in a companionless-destructive manner and had also regularly rubbished and disempowered her. Then there was another allegation made against a Conservative MP, who had apparently built a reputation for regularly screaming at workers – he has since stated that he has never been made aware by the House of any grievances made against him, and if it were to happen then he would come to know that, and also he knows that this often happens with MPs.

The most important accusation to come out of this episode, however, is the one made against the Speaker at the House of Commons, John Bercow. Bercow had apparently screamed at his secretary, who already had post-traumatic stress disorder and then because of John’s behaviour she was soon transferred to elsewhere inside the Parliament. An investigation has since been launched into the claims and it looks as if Bercow is listed to suffer the most from the allegations made so far against the MPs.

Several Labour MPs, including Valerie Vaz, have spoken out in favour of Bercow but the matter seems too sensitive to be taken lightly – clearly, the persistence of the allegations isn’t sufficient to formulate opinions regarding Bercow. But what this matter certainly does is that it puts a new spotlight on the probable maltreatment of women in the workplace and it remains to be seen how this episode materializes in the end; Bercow had previously mentioned that both sexual harassment and bullying should never be put up with, and he has since stated that the accusations made against him are all false.

Snap Elections in the UK

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A deeply unpopular election is to be held on 8 June, which will be contested by all major parties in the country, from the Labour Party to the Lib Dems

Snap elections in the United Kingdom were recently announced by Theresa May but there is no clue whatsoever as to why. Theresa is practically unopposed in both the House of Lords and the Commons, so there is no crisis to her leadership in sight there that would demand a general election so soon but the new Prime Minister took it upon herself to press forward with the decision to hold one anyways. It’s not just that: Britons are not in want of a general election, and earlier on when Theresa took over Westminster following David Cameron’s departure from Downing Street, she had made it clear that no general elections are going to happen until 2020.

A whole host of people are once again running for elections, from Kenneth Clarke MP, who’s a major antagonist to Theresa’s plans in Westminster – he had opposed Brexit, to Jeremy Corbyn, who unsurprisingly (and shamelessly) insists he will still be the Labour leader if he loses this set of elections. It all boils down to how hard it is really to justify the reasons for snap elections however, because there is no war going on and also no news media has been widely (and vigorously) campaigning for one to happen this early, which desperately needs to be addressed. Because of all of that, judgements towards the latest midterm Prime Minster of the United Kingdom simply increases tenfold.

In my honest opinion, it doesn’t really matter whether Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May comes to power because they are both unsatisfactory leaders in their own right. Corbyn is not a popular Labour leader amongst his party contemporaries – in fact, several polls since his election as the leader of the party also suggest that Labour voters want to see him replaced. Meanwhile, the damage that Theresa did to British politics for this decision alone, is hard to recover from because she comes across as a hypocrite and an idiot.

Theresa called an election because she is unable to band together and differences exist in Westminster but that is just what Westminster is. Maybe Theresa should have been more well-versed on that aspect of politics, as well. The tense climate that the country is teetering on at the moment, following a Brexit did not need a further injection of a new general election but that is just what it got because the Labour Party feels like it should respond to this by contesting in the elections too.

If Theresa is looking for support, she must promise that she has the whole parliament’s support for key decisions in the coming months on issues such as Brexit. Under no circumstances can the new election undermine the conditions that Brexit is happening over, if Theresa was to still remain in power, which seems likely. A major poll puts forward the idea of Theresa May as a better political alternative to her contemporaries, particularly Jeremy Corbyn, and the Tory party has not enjoyed this much support since 2008, when Gordon Brown was the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom and national recession was still widespread.

SNP’s Second Try

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SNP wants to launch another independence referendum after losing the last one in 2014

One of the the most horrifying political gaffes ever made has to be Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister demanding another independence referendum for Scotland, where it is to ask for independence from the United Kingdom, just two-and-half years after the previous one. It is far too close to the last independence referendum for Scotland. It does not matter if Scotland hasn’t been allowed enough room to be a part of the EU single market, following Brexit because there is no need to cry for independence over that – unity over political decisions is a good thing.

Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, post David Cameron, is horsing around with the statement, it seems. At one point in time, May is against it, and at another point in time, her office, Number 10, sends out mixed messages that another independence referendum could happen but not before Brexit is officially wrapped up. When the SNP wrote in their manifesto pre-elections that another independence referendum could be called in the future if the situation dictated it, did they think it would be this close to the past one? It’s unclear but the party had stated that 2014’s referendum was a rare event.

There is no doubt that what the Tory government did was very wrong because Britain’s place is really with the EU, not independent from it, and it is truly asking Scotland an awful lot of getting along to do, when the nation overwhelmingly voted against a Brexit. However, when differences of opinion arises, compromises are necessary because the two countries did choose to remain united only recently and having unity isn’t always easy in the face of political decisions of whoever, or whichever party is in power. Politicians in both Westminster and the Scottish parliament should really be doing their jobs in government instead of running after independence referendums for the billionth time.

Meanwhile, Scotland is to learn of the conditions of Brexit later than when done because of how EU negotiations are carried out. So far, the idea of another Scottish independence referendum doesn’t seem to have picked up momentum anywhere else but in Number 10 somewhat, but if it were to happen, it is a little bit vague as to why because SNP is contemplating thoughts of Scotland, if the EU gives approval, joining the European Economic Area (EEA), in a manner similar to Norway’s, which would permit the country to be a part of the single market – this is despite the fact that the UK is Scotland’s biggest trade partner, so if this new independence referendum is supposed to be about the economy then it’s not supposed to be in favour of the Scottish economy doing very well.