Britain in 2014: You just couldn’t make it up

Britain in 2014 is a country in turmoil.

Britain in 2014 is a country in turmoil. The 2010 general election saw in the bizarre coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, which allowed the Tories to carry out a series of cuts deeper than even Thatcher’s cuts of the 1980s.

Benefit reforms have led to a demonization of disabled people, and many dying people were declared ‘fit for work’ and their benefits after the government insisted on assessing all recipients of disability living allowance to be medically examined (and imposing strict targets on the contractor).

One government suggestion for reducing the number of people out of work includes compulsory treatment for everyone diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

Public trusts in the government and the police is at an all-time low. 2011 saw riots in London after police shot a young black man – his supporters claim the police framed him, the courts disagreed. A government minister lost his job after police alleged they were called ‘plebs’ by him. This was later found to be false.

In Northern Ireland, a controversial Orange March – rerouted to avoid raising tensions further – passed without incident. However, a similar march in Glasgow led to arrests for disorder, and a child being assaulted with a glass bottle.

Questions abroad

Scotland is on the cusp of independence, the increasingly right wing policies of the Westminster parties fail to strike a chord with the relatively centre-left Scottish population convinced by Scottish nationalists that anything is better than the UK at present.

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow proved to be one of the most successful in history, with hosts Scotland near the top of the medals table. Star of the London Olympics, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt allegedly said Glasgow was ‘shit,’ stirring some anger at an otherwise chilled games.

However, few noticed when a Scottish bowler made an offensive gesture at the crowd after defeating England.

Abroad, Israel is in the middle of a full out onslaught on Gaza. They claim that they are looking for ‘tunnels’ built by Palestinian rebels, which doesn’t explain why civilian houses, hospitals, and pro-Palestine news station Al Jazeera are bearing the brunt of these attacks.

There’s an ebola epidemic in north Africa, hundreds have died from the deadly virus – which has no known cure or vaccine – and there’s fears that it will now spread after a victim made a number of flights before realising he was ill.

You might not have predicted it, but all the same themes are here. Inequality, oppression, corruption. Always has been, always will be. When will the world wake up?

Pic: isafmedia (CC)