September 17, 2020

Last year, São Paulo went dark after being covered by smoke from huge fires in the Amazon rainforest. Now, the fires are raging once again. Meanwhile in the US, ferocious wildfires are burning across the entire state of California. Can countries like Brazil and the USA tackle both these wildfires and a global pandemic with leaders who have been dismissive of coronavirus and climate change? Has the pandemic caused the issue of climate change to decline in prominence?  

Fires in the Amazon and the forests of California are an annual occurrence, yet the ones which they are currently facing are among the biggest ever seen in their history. According to Doctor Michelle Kalamandeen, a tropical ecologist specialising in the Amazon rainforest, this has resulted in more than 13,000 square km of the...

August 28, 2020

The last few decades have overseen the evolution of the US party conventions from the large-scale partisan gatherings that they once embodied into a largely “made-for-television” event in which an excessive amount of red, white and blue floods the screens of millions of television sets across the country. This year's Democratic National Convention was certainly no exception with a painstakingly long roll call, scripted anticipation, and a flurry of polished speeches ensuring the core components of a successful convention were all present and correct. Hosted virtually from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the 2020 Democratic Convention officially adopted former Vice President Joe Biden as the Democrat’s Presidential nominee in a four-night event which oversaw the historic nomination of Kamala Harris as the...

August 13, 2020

After months of speculation, Joe Biden’s search for a governing partner culminated in the somewhat unsurprising selection of Senator Kamala Harris of California. The decision has been hailed by America’s leading Black voices as a “moment of historic significance” and “a good day for our country”, by President Barack Obama. Not only has Harris’ choosing garnered support by establishment Democrats, but by individuals spanning from progressives to Tea Party Trump-voters. Bernie Sanders praised her recently adopted stance on universal healthcare, and record on social justice, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, two members of the so-called ‘Squad’ expressed excitement about a Vice President Harris citing their collaborations with her on clean water initiatives and direct cash payments...

August 13, 2020

The current outlook for the GOP is nothing if not grim. At the turn of the year, many on the right were bullish about the impending election. While the current president remained a divisive figure, unpopular with large swathes of the American public, he was nevertheless a first term incumbent presiding over an outwardly robust economy – a position which seldom proves to be electorally disadvantageous.  

Then came the coronavirus pandemic, almost custom built to highlight Trump’s shortcomings as an administrator, a fact borne out by the US having both the highest number of cases and deaths in the world. Unsurprisingly, this has turned a not insignificant proportion of the electorate away from the incumbent, and as such what had hitherto been shaping up to be a genuinely unpredictable and com...

July 13, 2020

At the start of the race to become the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren seemed to be a firm favourite. She was a solid progressive (less radical than Sanders), friendly with her rivals to secure party unity and seemed to be doing everything right. However, as many know, in politics just because something seems to be going right, it does not mean it will. In early Autumn 2019, she was ahead of both Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden to take the lead in Iowa. But by the end of late last year, she did not win a single state—she came in third in Massachusetts (her home state)—and secured only a handful of the delegates available.

What happened to Warren? Her downfall is hard to pinpoint, but an important factor surely that Warren started backing away from Medicare-for-a...

Over the past weeks Black Lives Matter movements have risen to media prominence, drawing an incredible number of protestors for city-wide marches across the globe. George Floyd’s death has sparked a truly global campaign against racial injustice, with increasing demand for reform, diversity and accountability within policing. US President Donald Trump has rejected calls for defunding and has not proposed reform, but what does his now confirmed competitor Joe Biden have to offer? Biden, still tarred by his role in the 1994 Crime Bill which increased mass incarceration efforts impacting black and ethnic groups, is staying true to his policy of ‘reform not defund’. His policies carry some merit in attempting to dismantle structural racism, but are the proposals fresh ideas? Not so much. Biden is p...

June 17, 2020

Whilst the #BlackLivesMatter movement has existed for about seven years since the shooting of Trayvon Martin, its presence as a household term has peaked and waned throughout that time. The last few weeks following the death of George Floyd have brought the Black Lives Matter movement to its most recognised and established point during those seven years. However, there are concerns that this support will fade over the coming weeks and months, that as BLM fades from Instagram’s algorithm, it too will fade from people’s minds. Posting a black square is a well-meaning show of support, but it can often be performative. #BlackoutTuesday had more than double the posts than the George Floyd petition had signatures.

The very fact that it has taken seven years for the Black Lives Matter movement to reach...

May 19, 2020

On announcing his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States Joe Biden declared that he was engaging in a “battle for the soul of this nation”. Reflecting on the bold scenes of fascist demonstrations that plagued the streets of Charlottesville in 2017, as well as  the current President’s unwillingness to condemn it as wrong, Biden indicated that in November “the core values of this nation, our standing in the world, our very democracy, everything that has made America, America will be at stake”.

The presumptive Democratic nominee was not the first person to employ such a high-stake, restorative narrative. Like Biden, Malcolm X, in his later years, spoke about saving America from the path of destruction that inevitably followed unchecked racism. In his autobiography he reasoned that the “r...

May 17, 2020

With the global Coronavirus pandemic now in its seventh week, and lockdowns covering a third of the global population having been in place for about as long, it seems obvious to state that the virus has had a huge impact upon people’s everyday lives. From stay at home orders permitting people to go outside only for essential reasons, to economic recessions leaving millions more unemployed and without regular income, the effects of this unprecedented outbreak have intruded into almost every part of modern life.

The United States, unsurprisingly, seems to have become a focal point for how it has responded to the global crisis, with fundamental tensions between States’ rights with those of the Federal Government having been brought to the fore. One of the most obvious and dire consequences of this...

May 6, 2020

It is hard to argue Donald Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic does not present an active danger to the people of America. Even if you do not think he has spent the last three years blundering his way through disaster after disaster, throwing America and the world into chaos, and you agree with most of his policies, you would have to be willingly deluded not to think his comments on injecting disinfectants to stop the virus caused serious harm. Especially after the flood of stories we’ve seen since of people turning up in emergency rooms having injected watered down bleach, or people dying because they trusted the president. Whether he’s malicious or just incredibly stupid, having Donald Trump in the driver’s seat of America is no longer a car crash in the making; the crash has happene...

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