Embattled South African President Jacob Zuma faces calls to stand down yesterday from members of his own Cabinet. The ANC voted on whether or not to oust him from power and decided that they wished to keep him as their leader and the President of South Africa. The vote took place at a meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee, and according to a statement by the ANC NEC a “settlement” had been reached between the two sides. Not only is this the wrong decision but it shows how politically unwise the ANC leadership is to remain loyal to a man that has split the South African Left and driven thousands of voters into the arms of the DA.
From 1967 to 1970 the south-eastern corner of Nigeria seceded and formed its own nation-state called Biafra. This state was largely unrecognised and in 1970 the breakaway state was reincorporated into Nigeria after an incredibly violent civil war that killed between 45,000 and 75,000 people. Since the region was recaptured by the Nigerian army, secessionist feelings have remained strong and there are often protests demanding a referendum on independence or for political leaders to secede unilaterally.
This weekend the Premier League and Rugby Football Union (RFU) shall formally throw their support behind the Rainbow Laces campaign, a pro-LGBT right movement that seeks to tackle homophobia in sport. These two organisations shall do this by providing rainbow laces for referees in the competitive fixtures taking place over the weekend. Sport is one of the final frontiers of LGBT acceptance in British secular society and I think most people shall look at games this weekend and feel a sense of pride, no pun intended, about how far we have come as a society.
Harry Wales, also known by royalists as Prince Harry, traveled to the Caribbean to officially mark the 35th anniversary of Antigua and Barbuda’s independence and the 50th anniversary of Guyanese and Barbadian independence. Although he has been received positively by the governments of the islands he has visited so far, there has been a backlash by protesters who wish to see the British monarch as no longer their head of state. This is an interesting development because it shows how the deference towards the monarchy is waning and that people are warming to the idea of one of their own people being their head of state.
In a video message on his Transition 2017 YouTube Channel, President-elect Donald Trump set out a list of five things that he intends to do in his first 100 days in office. To be brutally honest, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Given the recent nomination of a confirmed racist as Attorney General and a white nationalist and anti-Semite as his Chief Strategist, I was expecting the rhetoric to be front and centre. As it turns out he’s decided to focus on the few policy areas we knew he cared about in the campaign.
On Sunday Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was on BBC Radio 5 Live and was asked about deselection, particularly in the case of Hilary Benn. This has become a news story because there is a local Momentum group in Leeds who wish to unseat Mr Benn and replace him with a candidate that is more ideologically in line with the Labour leadership. McDonnell’s response was that the “Labour leadership doesn’t involve itself in local selections to the local party. That’s democracy”. Not only is the the correct answer but it clearly shows the distinction between what the approach of Corbyn and Momentum is and what the right-wing sections of the media believe their approach to be.
The British government have announced that former residents of the Chagos Islands will not be allowed to return to their homeland. These people were removed from the islands in the 1960s and 1970s after the UK bought the islands from Mauritius. Subsequently, the UK and the USA agreed to a mutual defence strategy which included the creation of a naval base on the largest of the islands, Diego Garcia. In 1973 the Naval Communication Station on Diego Garcia was completed and the US have been using the islands as a base of operations for their adventures in Asia, including during the Vietnam War and the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.