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The View From Across The Pond

Written by Mackenzie Hunt on August 29, 2012.

Well, this is the first time I’ve written here. For those of you who hear your own voice in your head as you read, you should add an English accent to it, because my view of American politics is one from a great distance: across the pond. Here in Blighty, the few pieces of American news we get are mostly domestic. As I type, the BBC’s homepage is running two stories – one on Hurricane Isaac and one on a book about Bin Laden’s death. I can’t say either terribly interests me.

What does interest me, however, is FOX News’ headline RYAN MISSION: STOKE CAMPAIGN FIRE. Paul Ryan only came to my attention after being chosen to be Mitt Romney’s running-mate and I haven’t seen much of him, but I don’t like any of what I see. I doubt he’d be very popular in England, but then again, partisan divides in England are rendering all politicians unpopular at the moment. Just today, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg suggested raising taxes on the rich (which are currently as much as 40%) in order to allow government support for businesses. The Labour Party, the left-wing party that claims to represent the working man, immediately seized on this as simple political points-scoring.

Mr Clegg is apparently putting across popular policies to gain votes. I understand that this is how politics works, but the policies are good. Labour should have proposed them themselves if they care about taxing the rich so much.

 

 For those of you who know British politics, this is ex-Labour leader Gordon Brown. For those of you who don’t, he’s basically that guy you know who refuses to say “I believe in fairies” when you’re watching the end of Peter Pan.

My point (for I am writing somewhat circuitously) is this: in America, there are these great debates on issues that have long since been settled. Abortion, healthcare, civil partnership rights . . . all three are non-issues in Britain and have been or years. Maybe it’s our general lack of intrusiveness, but for any government to dare change policy in a number of social areas would be seen as foolish.

So there you have it: my introduction. I’m dissatisfied with the British political system, which I think is unfair and broken, dissatisfied with the general consensus on so many issues and dissatisfied with Mitt Romney and the Republican Party’s appalling treatment of women and LGBT people. I don’t believe you have to be female to defend women or lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender to defend LGBT people – else my opinion would be somewhat hypocritical – but that doesn’t stop the sight of just-past-middle-aged white men forming contraceptive policy from unnerving me slightly. And after all, isn’t Mitt Romney the most just-passed-middle-aged white man there is?

 

That’s right, Mitt. That joke was funny. You don’t think so? I’ll bet you $10,000 someone’s laughing somewhere.

Anyway, I think it’s about time I wrapped up this introduction. I think I’ve made my views pretty clear by now, but feel free to drop me a message if you want some clarification. I’ll try to post at least once a week, hopefully more often – picking out news stories that I feel are worthy of comment and so on. See y’all later!

Mack.

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