It’s been over three years since the 2016 referendum and Parliament has now voted to deliver the Brexit bill for the UK to exit the European Union. Brexiteers were happy to finally see Boris Johnson’s bill coming to fruition.
The Withdrawal Agreement Bill was voted on by MPs who voted 330 to 231 in favour of proceeding with Brexit. Jan. 31, 2020 is the current date in which the UK is set to leave the EU.
Boris Johnson has agreed to allow China’s massive telecom company, Huawei, to take part in Britain’s 5G network. He made the decision despite the U.S. asking Britain not to include the company in the next-generation communications for fears that they will have too much access to sensitive information.
According to CBC, Johnson has decided that Huawei can only access “non-sensitive” information and can only have 35 percent involvement in the 5G network.
The company would not have access to the core of networks or any sensitive locations like military bases according to the British government.
Donald Trump and the U.S. administration will not be content with the decision as they fear the company could be used by China to access secret information. The U.S. said that they would possibly reduce intelligence cooperation with London.
The new 5G network with its unprecedented speeds is said to be among the largest innovations since the internet was introduced.
After a meeting led by Johnson, Nicky Morgan, the British Communications Secretary said, “This is a U.K.-specific solution for U.K.-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.”
Cybersecurity officials in Britain have noted that Huawei is always handled as a “high risk” business.
The White House has not yet responded to the actions taken by Johnson.
On Tuesday Huawei’s vice-president, Victor Zhang said, “Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.”
“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the U.K. access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
Huawei has claimed that the U.S. does not want the company in Britain because they cannot compete as Huawei is the largest producer of telecom equipment in the world.
Within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Canada is the only country that has not decided whether to work with Huawei on 5G networks.
As Canada continues its rocky relationship with China, things remain uncertain. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has finished the first stage of extradition hearing but China still has two Canadians detained.
The U.S. has claimed that as the 5G networks grow and evolve, Huawei’s access to different parts of the network will be harder to monitor.
A video of a Chinese woman eating a bat in its entirety at a high-end restaurant has gone viral after it is believed they are the source of the coronavirus. There are other videos of Cantonese chefs preparing bat soup.
Emerging in Wuhan, central China, last month the disease has already taken the lives of at least 17 people with more than 590 cases of infection. The city is on complete lockdown according to the Daily Mail.
There is little known about the new strain of virus, other than that it causes pneumonia. Scientists believe it might have spread from snakes or bats to humans.
Coronavirus is linked to the same virus that led to the SARS epidemic in 2003 and leading Chinese virologists fear that this new deadly strain of coronavirus could lead to an outbreak 10 times worse than the previous one.
China has locked down its third city in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. The major Lunar New Year events that had been planned for Beijing have been cancelled. Train stations have been shut down in Ezhou. In Huanggang, public schools, trains, cinemas and internet cafes have all been temporarily closed down. All flights have been cancelled in Wuhan and citizens are banned from leaving which has caused panic and people to fight over food supplies.
With almost 600 patients currently infected with the disease, officials predict that at least as many as 10,000 more could be undiagnosed in Wuhan alone. Experts say no virus has spread this quickly since SARS.
Chinese officials are showering the streets with gas in hopes of disinfecting entire streets at a time and roadside quarantine tents are leaving many residents in great fear of what is to come. One resident described the feeling of the city as ‘the end of the world’ in a recent BBC interview.
The coronavirus has left China as well due to travellers who’ve landed in the U.K. and the U.S. One man landed in Washington state from China and was infected with the virus but was not diagnosed until Monday, five days after he returned from China. He is said to have had close contact with at least 16 people within that time period. He is now been quarantined. The main fear is that the virus will mutate and become even deadlier.
An increasing amount of pressure is being placed on the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus as a public health emergency crisis such as Ebola or Zika were in the past. Wuhan’s Health Commission has reported the city is full of patients with a high fever and that hospital beds are in short supply.
British government ministers have issued a shutdown on flights from Wuhan and are effectively quarantining any passengers entering the country from China. One professor warned that the death rate from coronavirus holds a semblance to the 1918 pandemic of Spanish Flu which took the lives of more than 50 million people.
What data is known thus far about the coronavirus suggests that one in fifty people who contract it will die.
The Daily Mail is reporting that U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson saved British taxpayers “tens of thousands” by opting to fly economy class for his recent holiday in St. Lucia with his girlfriend Carrie Symonds.
According to the Daily Mail, “the cost of the flight would have cost in the region of £1323 each, significantly less than if the Prime Minister had used an RAF private jet – which would more likely weigh in at around £100,000.”
In contrast, Justin Trudeau opted for the much more expensive option of a private jet for his recent Costa Rica getaway.
Social media users were quick to point out the difference in approach between Johnson and Trudeau:
The National Post’s Chris Selley quipped, “Boris Johnson flies commercial to St. Lucia, the Daily Mail reports, but Canadians know this is impossible. Prime Ministers cannot fly commercial, ever, under any circumstances. #fakenews”
Mark Towhey, Editor-in-chief of Sun News chimed in, tweeting, “This is what you get when you elect a poor bastard who doesn’t know any billionaires with private islands and helicopters. Silly Brits.”
This isn’t the first time Trudeau has gotten in trouble for his extravagent vacation tastes. In 2016, Trudeau took his now infamous Bahamas trip to Aga Khan’s private island resort, a trip that violated ethics rules. Estimates put the cost of that trip in at over 215,000 dollars.
The price tag of Trudeau’s most recent private jet vacation is yet to be tallied.
In Britain, the people have spoken. Again. Boris Johnson and his Conservatives absolutely crushed Jeremy Corbyn’s labour party in what many see as a second referendum on Brexit.
This is for sure the “Hillary moment” for many labour voters in Britain. They are in shock, despairing, believing it a devolving of descent to the end of democracy. What it really means is that democracy is alive and well, though there may be years of Boris Derangement Syndrome to come.
Threats to democracy are coming from leftist antifa, who are protesting free and fair election results.
This is what being unhinged looks like—being so sure of your correctness that you demand affirmation. The use of violence to revolt against lawful elections is only done by people who don’t care about free and fair elections. Britain is not a rogue state where sham elections are held. It’s a cornerstone democratic nation.
In a New York Times op-ed, Michelle Goldberg explores her “democracy grief.” She cites the House vote for impeachment, which will certainly not pass the Senate, and the changing staff members at the civil service level. She has reached out to therapists, and women who maintained enough optimism in 2017 to usher democratic House reps into office.
They all give her the same message, that democracy is dying and their grief is hard to bear: “Lately, I think I’m experiencing democracy grief. For anyone who was, like me, born after the civil rights movement finally made democracy in America real, liberal democracy has always been part of the climate, as easy to take for granted as clean air or the changing of the seasons. When I contemplate the sort of illiberal oligarchy that would await my children should Donald Trump win another term, the scale of the loss feels so vast that I can barely process it,” Goldberg wailed.
The thing is, we didn’t take clean air for granted. Air quality was a disaster. Constituents and lawmakers worked hard to get the air breathable. Things are better in the U.S. now because people worked for it, and people are still working for it. There are issues, there will always be issues, but people will work to fix them, and they are doing that.
Uberfeminist Amanda Marcotte praised Goldberg’s dirge for democracy, tweeting: “The people who mock liberals for being distressed at the possible end of our democracy are the ones who should be ashamed. We should be proud of our tears. It shows we aren’t sociopathic Trump monsters.”
The trend of delirious democracy despondency always goes hand in hand with the discrediting and dehumanization of political opponents. Conservatives and Trump voters are not people. They’re monsters. It makes it easier to swallow defeat.
A similar trend is at play in England. Observe how a simple tweet by celebrity Rachel Riley in celebration of Johnson’s historic victory over the anti-Semitic Corbyn elicits the response: “i hope your baby is stillborn” by a Labour supporter who no doubt is suffering a fatal case of “democracy grief.”
Another great tactic when things don’t go the way you hoped is to blame social media. Facebook and Twitter have different ideas about how to deal with political discourse and political advertising. Much has been made about the impact of third party ads on Facebook and the initial Brexit vote. It’s easy to say that when people don’t vote they way you wanted them to, or the way you think was the right way to vote, they have been somehow coerced or manipulated, but that doesn’t make it true.
The woke left will blame social media, TERFS, disinformation, racism, Islamophobia, fascism, and Facebook for their political defeats. Never do they look inward and contemplate how their constant alarmism and dehumanization of others may actually have something to do with it. No matter how many times it’s recommended that they ought to.
In fact, gender critical feminists are happy to take some of the credit. In part, these results have nothing to do with Brexit, and everything to do with the controversial self-ID, which has been pushed through without debate. Women have been silenced, investigated, berated and beaten for staking their claim to the reality of biological sex. Like those who oppose anti-Semitism, gender-critical feminists made their voices heard: they would not accept Labour’s creeping authoritarianism.
Whenever a legitimate democratic result occurs that the elite media establishment don’t like, they claim that democracy is in peril, or it dies in darkness, or it’s already deceased. It’s getting a little tedious. And it’s just not true. Democracy and disagreement are not anathema to each other.
Goldberg’s democracy grief is nothing compared to the people’s media grief. Seriously. This nonsense has to stop. That Donald Trump won doesn’t mean democracy didn’t happen. That Boris Johnson won doesn’t mean we need to change the way democracy works. The truth is that the authoritarian hacks and pundits who whine and whimper about how democracy is broken are the very ones who are trying to break it. If democracy depended on eliciting a specific outcome to be tenable, that wouldn’t be democracy. The fact that it doesn’t turn out the way you voted doesn’t null the result.
The world is seeing populations rise up and fight for their rights to democratic leadership, for a voice in their own governance. When we disparage the freedoms we have, claiming that they are not liberties but lies, we do a disservice to our fellow citizens. Democracy works. It doesn’t always work out for the way you’d like, but that’s kind of the point.