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Reflections During An April Shower

Posted in From The Editor's Perspective, and World Affairs

April showers are strange in that they come and go so randomly while the sun shines, and the air is humid. I sit here and reflect on what happened in April; Easter came and went again, but I wonder with so much religious political correctness how relevant it is? To me it is because I went to a church school and it struck me as the most important time of year, more so than Christmas (even though people see Easter as a mini Christmas) because people take Lent seriously, and it’s like a reminder of humanity and that we don’t need much even if we have it all. Easter Sunday, which fell on 1 April this year, is a most sacred day even though it fell on All Fools’ Day.

I witnessed the saga of instability continuing in the White House in the USA, where the news of someone getting fired or resigning is no longer headline news. The latest news is that the lawyer (Michael Cohen) that represented #45 had a raid on his home for documents, and he is now taking the Fifth Amendment. It makes you wonder what he is protecting himself from, or will he make a plea deal?

Former FLOTUS Barbara Bush died on 17 April, aged 92 and it marks the start of an era where the USA will lose some of the people who have helped make the USA the great country it once was. George H. Bush is 93, and has been in and out of hospital so it’s more likely a case of time when he will pass too, and the same for Jimmy Carter. I hope both manage to stay alive to see the USA stable again for it would be sad to leave knowing all they had worked for had been slowly destroyed.

James Comey has published his book, a political memoir entitled, ‘A Higher Loyalty – Truth, Lies, and Leadership’ and it’s already a bestseller. While I disagreed with some of his actions, which were questionable, maybe this is how he redeems himself? His side of the story needed to be told, because being fired as the Director of the F.B.I. isn’t something that happens without a whiff of scandal, especially if the person had already been in the job for a while. I wonder how many people in the White House have read it?

Toronto in Canada is the latest city to encounter an attack on pedestrians using a vehicle, which has killed 10 people to date. On 23 April a van ploughed into a crowd on Yonge Street, one the main streets in the city. Currently there is no defined motive for the attack, but it’s sad time when people can’t walk the streets freely and safely these days. That said, walking around in malls isn’t much safer. Ultimately, whenever one is out they have to be aware of their surroundings whatever the time of day and no matter how safe the environment may seem. It’s not ideal, but that’s how society has been shaped in recent years.

In the UK, there has been a recent discovery that some of the ‘Windrush’ generation of immigrants never had their paperwork filed correctly, and thus are considered illegal, when in fact they are legal citizens. Between 1948 and 1971 there was an immigration rush from Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica after the war to help with shortages in the workforce. Many arrived, but didn’t file the correct paperwork, such as children who arrived on their parent’s passports. Back then a child could be registered on a passport of an adult whereas today even babies need to have their own passport. This also saved money, as applying for passports is still expensive and time consuming.

The thing is back then, there was no system and everything was by mail, and so unless someone needed documents to leave the country, most didn’t bother. In addition the Home Office no longer has landing cards to prove who arrived when, and many people have been denied passports and services such as the NHS, because they don’t have the correct documentation to prove they are citizens. It will take time, but the government is resolved in rectifying a government oversight 40 years ago and there is no one to blame, but I wonder why it took so long to realize all these people didn’t have the correct documentation, and why destroy records?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have added a baby boy to their family on 23 April, who will be fifth in line to the throne. Prince Andrew is now seventh in line to the throne, and he could remarry without having to gain consent. The question is will he and Sarah want to remarry, especially as Princess Eugenie is getting married? Her HRH would be restored, and given that the Queen’s cousins are at an age where they can’t carry out as many engagements on her behalf, Prince Charles is going to have to rely on his siblings and their children. That means namely Princess Anne who already does more than everyone, Prince Andrew and his daughters (Beatrice and Eugenie), plus the Earl and Countess of Wessex who will become Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh eventually. Anne’s children don’t have titles so don’t carry out engagements, and Edward’s children are too young, although they seem to appear to be training Lady Louise ready for public life. I anticipated the rise of the House of York for a while now, and they seem the strongest so far.

I’m not a royalist by any means, but while the Queen reigns (and I hope she stays for as long as possible) things will remain stable, and while she has her heirs lined up, Prince Harry continues to cause problems among the family members. Has everyone just made life too easy for him and his ego has got too big? Very few are excited or are celebrating a wedding that came from nowhere with someone that he has known less than two years (and spent less than a year physically in the same country together), especially given that she is a divorcee, has a history of cheating on partners and a has reputation for social climbing. Sometimes the obvious is the truth, and while people can change, the fact she has claimed not to know her own family members when her half-brother (a bit of a down and out) tried to contact her speaks volumes. I’m hoping William and Harry can go and watch the FA Cup final as most the country will be doing. I can’t wait for May with two public holidays and hopefully some sunshine.

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