Westminster Terror Incident – Update

Updates from the last hour:

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has confirmed that a group of French students have been injured in the incident, with unconfirmed reports from French media saying that three have been hospitalised, with no details as of yet on their condition.

According to Andrew Sparrow with the Guardian, the journalists who were at the press gallery are now being held in Westminster Hall. Police are searching the palace is it is believed a suspect is on the loose.

Also from the Guardian, it has been reported that another police press conference is due following reports that a police officer was killed in the incident.

Theresa May is expected to chair an emergency meeting of COBRA due to the incident.

More updates soon.

Westminster Terror Incident – update

Reports have appeared that one woman has been killed in the car crash at Westminster Bridge, with others left with ‘catastrophic injuries’. Other reports detail one woman recovered alive from the River Thames with ‘serious injuries’.  In Parliament, journalists have been asked to leave the press gallery by police.

Commander BJ Harrington did not confirm any figures relating to injuries or fatalities, but LAS (London Ambulance Service) later confirmed that at least 10 people have been injured. Commander Harrington also said that Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Craig MacKay, is being treated as a “significant witness” as he was at the scene when the attack started, and that an investigation into the incident is already underway.

More on this as I get it – bare in mind I am just one person.

Westminster Terror Incident – What we know so far

In the last two hours, what is being treated by New Scotland Yard as a ‘terror incident’ has occurred outside the Houses of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London.

According to reports, a police officer was stabbed outside the gates of the Palace, and the attacker was shot by police. In an incident which is being treated as related, several people were injured when a car hit them on Westminster Bridge. It is not yet known if the two incidents are in fact related, and how many people were involved with the incident on Westminster Bridge.

An air ambulance and armed police arrived on the scene, with casualties of the incident being treated. Armed police formed a perimeter around Parliament Square, with the Palace in a state of lock-down. The London Eye, which is situated across the river from the Palace, is also in lock-down, with some people locked in the attraction’s pods.

Shortly after the incident, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, was taken from the Palace to Downing Street. A statement has been released by Number 10 saying the Prime Minister is ‘okay’. Proceedings in Parliament were suspended, and MPs were held in lock-down in the Chamber from around 2:58PM to around 3:00PM, whereupon they were moved to another location.

The area surrounding Parliament has been cordoned off by police, with members of the public and journalists being held back from entering the vicinity of the Palace.

That is all that is know so far, a full report will be published once all details are known and the current media frenzy surrounding the incidents dies down.

The Democratic Party has clearly learned nothing from the election

Imagine you’re one of the 447 members of the Democratic National Committee. You’re about to cast your ballot in the election for a new chairperson. While there are six candidates, it’s come down to just two. The first is Tom Perez, former Labor Secretary, political centrist, establishment favourite, and Hillary supporter. The other is Keith Ellison, Representative from Minnesota, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, left-wing, grassroots and blue collar workers favourite, and Bernie supporter. After an election in which the Democratic Party lost the vote of the working classes, and screwed over their Progressive wing when the DNC rigged the primary against Bernie when he was the better candidate, surely the logical thing to do would be to target the working class vote with a progressive message?

Continue reading “The Democratic Party has clearly learned nothing from the election”

You know what? Screw it. #EnMarche

Despite whatever reservations I may have had about Emmanuel Macron in the past, he might be the last hope the Progressive Left has in Europe to make a comeback.
As much as I like Benoit Hamon, and as much as I think he would make an absolutely fantastic President of France, I do not believe he’d be able to get the support of the French electorate he would need to be elected, which is unfortunate, as not only is he a talented politician, he is a perfect example of the radicalism that defines the French left, and French politics as a whole.

Continue reading “You know what? Screw it. #EnMarche”

French Presidential Election – Update

Unsurprisingly, Benoit Hamon has swept to victory in the second round of the Primary, beating ex-Prime Minister Manuel Valls 59% to 41% to be the party’s nominee. Let’s be honest – Valls was never going to win. He’s a centrist – there is no appetite for centre-ground politics anymore (he’s more right wing than Emmanuel Macron). It was always going to be one of the two left wing rebels, either Hamon or Arnaud Montebourg.
But this puts me in an awkward position. Before the primary, when it was assumed that Valls was going to win, it seemed as if the Socialists would be relegated to 5th place in the election, behind the Far-Left candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, with Emmanuel Macron as the only hope of the Broad Left (or, as a throwback to Mitterand’s days, the Plural Left).

Continue reading “French Presidential Election – Update”

The Fragmented Nature of French Politics

Had I published this post when I originally intended, on Saturday, it would contain my enthusiastic endorsement of Emmanuel Macron for the French Presidency.
But then the Socialists had the first round of their Primary, and Benoit Hamon came out on top, beating out both Arnaud Montebourg (my original endorsement) and Manuel Valls, the latter of which will face Hamon in the run-off, which is being held as I am writing this. Arnaud Montebourg, who, even as I prepared to throw my endorsement behind Macron (even though my endorsement would make no difference, I’m just an English schoolboy), I still hoped could make some sort of comeback, directed his supporters to vote for Hamon in the second round.
Some of you reading this may be asking why this makes a difference, and why I don’t just endorse Macron anyway.

Continue reading “The Fragmented Nature of French Politics”

The Four Year Battle for America’s soul

Stay strong, America. It’s your job to stand up against Trump. To stand up for everyone, be they working class, LGBT, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, citizen, immigrant, white, brown, black. To defend freedom of press, freedom of speech, assembly, expression. To keep the hope alive. Rebellions are built on hope. Don’t let Trump sow the seeds of division, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. The next four years will be hard, but once they’re over, it’ll be your turn to truly make America great again.