Politics, Sport

A Week in Review: 16th-22nd November

This is one of the most competitive Premier League seasons in years.

The start we have seen to this most unusual of Premier League seasons has shown that this could be an extremely competitive season. Anyone who was worrying that Liverpool would run away with it again can relax, I don’t see that happening. Their defensive troubles should see them much closer to the chasing pack than last year when they simply walked away from everyone. Manchester City are facing their own set of problems this season, with a stuttering attack and more porous defence than usual. Pep Guardiola is facing one of the greatest challenges he’s had in his illustrious career. He has to address the problems in his team and try to keep pace with a league that has suddenly come alive with teams in good form. Chelsea are really starting to motor. Lampard has invested heavily in the areas of the squad that needed upgrading while keeping the best bits of the team that showed considerable promise last season. The attack has been sharpened up while the defence is newly watertight. I would personally say that a genuine title challenge is out of reach for this season, but Champions League qualification should be much easier and far less stressful for Blues fans that it was last time round. There may even be a trophy in the offing for Frank Lampard and his men.

Jose Mourinho has seemingly found his touch again as well. Tottenham are showing all the really annoying traits of an effective Mourinho side. Rock solid and unlikely to give anything away at the back while carrying a genuine threat up front. Harry Kane and Hueng Min-Son have started this season like a runaway train and will have rival defences quaking in their boots. Everton have also started the season very well and are showing off their capabilities in playing free-flowing enterprising football under Carlo Ancelotti. Southampton are enjoying a marvellous start to the season. I think Ralph Hassenhüttl has performed miracles since the infamous 9-0 drubbing the Saints suffered against Leicester last season. Leicester and West Ham are also performing well and taking points early in the season. Even though we may not be in the stadiums, this season so far has been one of the most watchable in years.

How is Priti Patel still a member of the government?!

Well, it’s quite simple actually. She’s still Home Secretary because Boris Johnson doesn’t want to sack her just yet. She fits in with the rest of his Brexiteer, yes-man cabinet. The decision from Johnson that Patel had not in fact broken the ministerial code and had not in fact bullied the civil servants in her department is complete nonsense. Especially in the wake of the independent report that found she had broken the ministerial code. And immediately after Johnson’s decision was announced, the man who wrote the report, Sir Alex Allan immediately resigned his position as the independent advisor on ministerial standards. There is still the matter of a tribunal for constructive dismissal between the government and Sir Philip Rutman, formerly the most senior Home Office official whose resignation and accusations brought the whole investigation and report about.

Johnson has chosen to simply dismiss and ignore all of the report’s findings. Because he’s either desperate to hold on to an ally in the overarching point of this government, or he’s holding back on sacking Patel as a distraction move when some other shitstorm engulfs the government. But the fact that Patel hasn’t resigned is another show of how little this government cares about being decent people. In any other job, Patel would be gone if she had had the same report filed on her conduct, particularly to those under her in her department. But she stays on, offering an empty apology, free to do as she pleases, as long as she toes Johnson’s line.

I am so tired of writing about Donald Trump

When will the Republican party finally say enough is enough?  At some point they will have to stand up and say to Trump ‘these lawsuits are ridiculous, they aren’t working, you lost so accept it and start the transition.’ Otherwise they will just look so utterly spineless that they may as well cease to exist as a political party. They won’t be a political party; they’ll be a cult. A cult of personality surrounding the great leader, constantly reinforcing the message of how wonderful he is. At the moment, only a few have even come close to saying this is nonsense and it needs to stop. They always equivocate about how it’s the President’s right to file legitimate lawsuits. But he’s clutching at less and less straws, sounding more and more like a loon and doing terrible damage to the American electoral and political system.

It sometimes seems to me that some American’s either have no idea or just do not care how daft they appear to the rest of the world. And this is just one of those instances when the rest of the world looks at the right wing of American politics and shakes its head in complete bewilderment.

I’m tired of writing about Donald Trump. I’m not even American but he embarrasses me. The constant undermining of the election after it hasn’t returned the result he wants has to stop. It’s embarrassing to see a man in his 70s act like a four-year-old who’s been told he has to go to bed. That is the measure of the cataclysmic impact this man has had on the American political scene, though. He has made that behaviour acceptable in mainstream American politics. No one, in the GOP anyway, will call him out for it. Trump saw the result of November 3rd going against him, despite all his pot-stirring and fear-mongering about mail-in ballots and voter fraud and whatever else he could throw out there and cried wolf. And the support base turned it into a feedback loop. He is the personification of throwing shit against a wall to see what will stick. And his supporters think him a hero for undermining the absolute founding principle of America. What a strange world we live in.   

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