September is usually my favorite month as it’s the start of autumn and the weather is typically balmy with a breeze. Not so much this year as nature has decided that we don’t deserve autumn and go straight into winter. I’ve lost track of the hurricanes and earthquakes in the past few weeks where people have lost their lives, and some islands have become virtually inhabitable. Irma, Harvey, Katia, Lee and Maria have all appeared back to back and hit the Caribbean Islands (in particular Puerto Rico, St. Kitts, and the British Virgin Islands) and frisked the coastline of Florida and Texas. The biblical among us may look at this as a sign—maybe that humanity needs to remember the power of nature?
Meanwhile, back in D.C. the politicians are still forgetting that it’s the people they serve. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has its hands full, while the Republicans still try and halt healthcare for all. It’s a sad sight, and many of us are bewildered as to how these people can sleep at night, let alone say they represent ‘the people’ honestly. To top this the resignations in the cabinet continue as Tom Price (US Health Secretary) handed in his notice, or was probably pushed once the media uncovered he made 26 unnecessary private plane journeys at the tax payers expense. It’s not a case of he didn’t know what he was doing, the fact is he got caught and then tried to pay back the money. However, it’s too late. You can’t rob a bank and then offer to give it back can you?
Another scandal to hit the news in the sky is Ryanair cancelling 50 flights a day for six weeks because they suddenly found themselves without enough pilots, and that all the staff needed to take their annual leave before Christmas. Initially the CEO, Michael O’ Leary claimed the cancellations were due to air traffic control and weather issues, but watching him say the words, I don’t think he was even convinced. No one believed him, mainly because all the other airlines were still able to fly at the same time and from the same airport. His pants were ablaze, so the next day he admitted 140 pilots had left his company to work at the rival newcomer, Norwegian. Yes Michael, staff leave when they aren’t treated or paid well. The simple solution would be to hire more staff or pay them more to entice them to stay. Sadly the arrogance of the CEO means that hundreds of thousands of people will have their flights and travel plans disrupted or cancelled. While people are quick to quote EU 261/2004 the fact is it is a guideline for claims for cancelled flights. Basically if they give you 14 days notice of the cancellation, you get no compensation but a refund, and if you have ever had to make a claim it’s not guaranteed or particularly quick either.
The weather aside, Myanmar has come under fire due the exodus of the Rohingya refugees from the Rakhine State. While no one knows the full story because of the censorship in the area, Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticized for failing to help the refugees. Sadly, the situation isn’t so straightforward as she doesn’t control the military who have allegedly been driving the Rohingya out. It’s not impossible for some to have manipulated the media into believing that the military are responsible, for no one has independently witnessed them setting fire to the villages, reporters have only seen flames. One must act with caution here, and while the human tragedy is apparent to see, this maybe a domestic issue, which means external interference is frowned upon. Personally I would give Aung San Suu Kyi the benefit of the doubt as attempting to control a situation that she doesn’t have power or authority over isn’t easy. Her job foremost is to her people and to protect them, and humanitarian issues will come after that.
It also brings me to the fact that the BBC News are using more millennial monkeys who don’t spellcheck and who are getting away with click and bait headlines. They have shown bias in their reporting in regards to Myanmar, and not shown both sides. No, it’s not acceptable and the BBC needs to stop and at times headlines have been changed throughout the day or deleted. Simply hire decent staff and give them a two strike rule on click and bait. Click and bait is spun fake news, so if the BBC wants to keep it’s credibility it needs to take note. Besides that, I have noticed a distinct left bias with some of their political reporters who suggest the downfall of the government (hardly helpful), and those who are in Myanmar who make claims that Aung San Suu Kyi is in denial over what is happening even though they haven’t seen it with their own eyes, but have heard witnesses telling their tales. The fact is witnesses can and do lie (and is possible through a translator), not all, and therefore who do you believe? Someone who is translating a version of events or a leader who has first hand information of what is happening? The worst is when there was a headline claiming people were applying for EU nationality. Erm… there is no such thing, citizenship yes, but that is additional to the nationality of the country whose passport someone holds. Yes, that headline was changed once several readers pointed out the obvious factual error.
In the UK there is another new leader for UKIP (Henry Bolton) although I’m sure the days of the party are numbered now. Other parties have held their conferences and while it’s a time for parties to unite, all I can see is who is striving for power. Labour bang on about the rights of the 3 million migrants—here’s a thought why not focus on the rights of the citizens of the UK who can vote for you and who are your electorate. It’s highly unlikely many migrants bother to register to vote or vote in any case, so why are Labour supporting non-citizens? The Conservatives seem to be bashing May again, and while she rules like a dated Victorian head teacher, the problem is people can’t relate to her just as pupils in a school don’t like the head teacher. It doesn’t mean she is bad at her job, but that people don’t find her approachable. She took bad advice and those people have gone, but she needs to be able to relate to more sectors in society to gain any trust.
Then we come to North Korea and the USA again. Wouldn’t it be easier to put Kim and #45 in a play pen and see who wins? All I can see is the USA egging them on and looking for any excuse to give the order and press the button. I’d hoped not to see a world war in my lifetime, but have to face the reality that it is very likely. Meanwhile, Merkel holds onto power in Germany, but the far right have seats in Parliament for the first time. I see this more as a reactionary vote to send a message to Merkel, a little like when UKIP sent a message to the Conservatives in the UK. Eventually governments must listen to the will of the people, something perhaps Spain needs to do as Catalan holds an independence referendum, only to be shut down by those in Madrid branding it as illegal. Time will tell, but how will the other EU countries react? Surely this is a domestic issue and not an EU one, but it still indicates that there are sectors of society that are clearly not happy being governed by officials that they had not directly elected.
I just wish those who wish to remain in the EU in the UK would accept and understand the fact that the UK is leaving the EU and not Europe. While more people may be getting an extra passport if they are entitled one to get dual nationality, that is nothing new. I know many Italians who immediately get an Italian passport for their children as soon as they are born, and people use them for ease of traveling around the world.The simple fact is people like to keep their options open and countries chop and change the criteria for dual nationality constantly, for example in Ireland, many have claimed passports through parents or grandparents and thus the rules have been tightened. There is no hype, people always apply for second passports if they need them and are able to. Many Americans have EU passports through their Irish ancestors and don’t use them, they just have them in case. The scary thing is #45 could get a UK passport as his mother was Scottish, perhaps he already has one?