current affairs

Around the world this week: 11 January 2014

London, alongside the rest of the world, woke up this week after a long and blissful two-week period of absolute, utter indulgence.

London, alongside the rest of the world, woke up this week after a long and blissful two-week period of absolute, utter indulgence. Monday morning was a rush of alarms, cramming on tubes, running into the office and grumbling about being back to work.

For many, cogs that had forgotten how to turn started to reluctantly remember how to function without a mouthful of Turkey or a glass (bottle) of red wine in hand.

And it wasn’t just commuters and workers who woke up. Finally, the news coverage did too. Most of the Christmas period was spent discussing the now infamous trial of Nigella Lawson’s former personal assistants.

In fact the last two weeks of December were more or less dominated by conversations that debated and questioned whether Nigella could ever come back from such public scandal.

I think it’s safe to answer that yes, yes she can and yes, yes she has.

So now that everybody has had that question answered, the media and most of the general British public have returned to normality and have begun to take an interest in other things happening in the world once more.

This week

Whilst normally this column will cover international affairs, the biggest trend this week has been domestic and overall it is fair to say that Cameron has not really had a great week publicity wise.

Constantly battling with the idea that he has no real ties to the rest of the general public, the Prime Minister took two massive hits that have potentially further reduced his public appeal—the first being the results of the inquest into Mark Duggan’s death.

Shot by police back in 2011, Duggan’s death sparked mass riots in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

Cutting his holiday short to restore order in the country, more damage was done by Cameron’s stern telling off of rioters.

Whatever personal opinion of the riots one might hold, a general consensus amongst those who had supported the cause, if not the actions, was that Cameron’s government was out of the loop.

And through no fault of his own, the same is likely to happen again following the jury’s decision that although Duggan had not had a gun on him at the time of being shot, police had lawfully shot him.

Scottish independence debate

Further hammering it home that our Prime Minister might be slightly out of touch with his constituents came out of this week’s calls for a televised debate on Scottish independence.

SNP Leader Alex Salmond called for a televised debate with the Prime Minister over Scotland’s independence.

However, Labour Scottish affairs select committee chairman Ian Davidson suggested that Cameron was too posh to appeal to the Scottish on a vote. And Cameron agreed!

The PM said: “I humbly accept that while I am sure there are many people in Scotland who would like to hear me talk about this issue, my appeal doesn’t stretch to every single part.”

On the one hand, this admission is incredibly endearing. On the other hand, Cameron’s PR most likely were crying into their coffee cups.

It’s one thing for parts of the general public to think the PM is out of touch but it’s a completely different matter when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth.

With the coalition already incredibly shaky this year, Cameron can’t afford for the public to think he really is, in the words of Ian Davidson, a “Tory toff from the home counties,” and one they could really do without.

Have your say on the events of the week in the comments section below.

Image: DFID – UK Department for International Development / Flickr