Saturday, 31 December 2016

TWENTY SIXTEEN

Source: Wizard Radio
The year 2016 will be remembered as the year of political earthquakes that shook the Establishment, provoked by the anger from those who feel left behind or forgotten. With the cataclysmic events of Trump and Brexit, it is difficult to forecast how 2017 will pan out. It is easy to fear the upcoming year but it is at such difficult times that unity shall prevail. Although 2017 will be an eventful year, we should remain optimistic and hopeful for a better year.

The Migrant Crisis and the Syrian war prompted mass movements and protests across the world. The countless trending hashtags (#RefugeesWelcome), the protests against Syria bombing and the acceptance of young refugees are some of the many positive developments made during the humanitarian crisis. Horrific images from Syria continued to fill my Twitter feed, whilst most of the media decided to ignore this ongoing tragedy. The incidents in Syria have been utterly heartbreaking; the Syrian civil war has continued for over 5 years and it is becoming increasingly apparent how important intervention (not just military invention) is in such conflicts. It is imperative in 2017 that we positively start to challenge our MPs and governments on their stance on Syria and their lack of support for the refugees. Now, we can only hope that the ceasefire in Syria will sustain peace in the region.
Source: Sputnik International
Awakening on the 24th June to discover that Britain voted to leave the EU, the institution which maintained peace in Europe, was devastating. The result was evidence of the rise of nationalism and complete rejection of the Centre in politics. The British people wanted to 'take back control' whilst the media ensued with a vehement attack on immigrants and Muslims. It was difficult to accept that among a few Brexiteers lay an underlying poisonous strand of racism, xenophobia and/or Islamophobia. In the run-up to the referendum we witnessed the bitter divisions created by the Remain and Leave campaign, the blatant lies vocalised by politicians and the infamous line that "We've had enough of experts". The imposition of an unelected PM, Theresa May, who wants to bypass Parliament in the Brexit negotiations (despite the Leavers' plea to uphold parliamentary sovereignty) and ensue with a hard Brexit hardly managed to restore my confidence in this country. Despite this, I have faith that the 48% will not be ignored and that Britain will be able to build closer ties with other countries across the world. With the potential of an early General Election, 2017 could also be the year where we see the end of the Conservative's reign in government. The enthusiasm of young people in the referendum, where 64% voted, will hopefully continue in ensuing elections. It is important that we continue to challenge the Tory party for a Brexit that works for us as we will be living with the consequences of leaving the EU for a much longer time. If you are young and want to have a say on the type of Brexit you want, visit: https://www.weareundivided.co.uk/
Source: iNews
The election of Donald Trump, who will soon become the most powerful man in the world, definitely trumps the Brexit vote (haha get it?) The entire Trump campaign was abominable - the video voicing his abusive thoughts on woman, mocking a disabled individual and the deleterious rhetoric regarding Mexicans and Muslims should have led to the end of his political career. Instead he gained visceral support for his prejudicial statements, revealing the deep-rooted problems within American society. The support from Trump's acolyte, Nigel Farage, has also revealed the evident prejudice among British society as it has hardly damaged Farage's career. The most striking and shocking fact is that Trump and Farage gained support; despite their discriminatory views and privileged background they were somehow able to brainwash millions into believing they will champion for the working class. The 2017 European elections could also follow the nationalist patterns of Brexit and Trump. The success of the fascist, Marine Le Pen, and the far-right in Germany seems to continue the political trend of 2016. Marine Le Pen, who once described the Holocaust as a "detail" in history, has been gaining support in France despite her xenophobic and Islamophobic stance. But, once again, we have to remain hopeful. The sporadic protests across America against the election of Trump prove that there are Americans who will remain undeterred in making the presidency difficult for Trump and the 2 Republican houses. Clinton's ability to win the popular vote further emphasises the fact that most Americans were revolted by Trump. With such strong opposition domestically and internationally, Trump will be held to account and judged upon his actions.
Source: Politico
It is now more important than ever that young people in society begin to voice their demands, in order to uphold the values in society that we want. We want a progressive society, without racism, sexism or religious discrimination and we should demand this from our governments and the media. 2016 revealed the worst of politics and the following year should be a time for unity and healing divisions. It is difficult to remain optimistic but, if we are loud enough, our voices will be heard.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
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