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Bi-Weekly Rundown

The House of Commons Chaos

 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, found himself at the center of a contentious debate following his handling of the Scottish National Party (SNP) opposition day on Wednesday, February 21st. As of Sunday, February 25th, 77 Members of Parliament have signed a motion calling for his removal, sparking discussions about his credibility and peer-confidence. What events led to this significant backlash?

 

In accordance with parliamentary rules, the SNP, as the third-largest party, is entitled to three opposition days during which it can set the agenda for parliamentary sessions. On Wednesday, it utilized this privilege to advocate for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine conflict, a longstanding party proposal. Allegedly numerous MPs, including some from the Labour Party, were set to defy their respective parties’ official stance of an immediate humanitarian pause to vote for the SNP motion of an immediate conflict ceasefire.

 

In response, to avoid dissent, Labour proposed an amendment to modify the language of the SNP motion, advocating for an immediate humanitarian pause instead. Sir Lindsay Hoyle facilitated this amendment during the debate, enabling Labour MPs to support a resolution that aligned more closely with their party's stance. Consequently, the Labour proposal passed, leading to the abandonment of the SNP motion after the government's refusal to participate.

 

Amid accusations of succumbing to pressure from his former party (Labour), Sir Lindsay Hoyle has staunchly defended his actions. He maintains that his departure from convention aimed to afford all MPs the opportunity to vote on various proposals, ensuring inclusivity and addressing the complexity of the conflict.

 

However, critics argue that his decision sets a troubling precedent of accommodating intimidation tactics from extremist factions, as echoed by the Prime Minister. This perspective further fuels the call for his removal from office.

 

The question arises: Should Sir Lindsay Hoyle remain in his current role amidst this controversy?

 

Liz Truss Appearance in American Politics

 

Liz Truss, our former Prime Minister famed for lasting only 44 days in office, has unexpectedly appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland, United States.  Truss, alongside the heavyweights of Political Conservatism such as Donald Trump and Javier Milei, gave a speech to scattered applause in a room as full as a 9am seminar.  Seemingly to convince herself as much as the audience, Truss wandered through discussions of the left deep state, “woke economics” and her need for “a few more friends” to return to influence and not ridicule within Britain. But those who fear a Truss return in the already divisive American domestic politic environment can be comforted by the fact that reporters and analysts alike perceive this appearance as simply an advertisement for the publication of her new book. A Summary of the speech, and some of its best (worst) moments can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F74JAsGM8Go

 

Man sets himself on fire in protest of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

 

Aaron Bushnell, an active duty serviceman for the U.S Air Force in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing, has died after setting himself on fire in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C.

 

Bushnell had livestreamed the act on the Twitch platform, whilst declaring that “he will no longer be complicit in Genocide” and “Free Palestine”. Emergency Services extinguished the flames, but he passed from the life-threatening wounds suffered.

 

The Aftermath of Alexei Navalnys Death

 

The mention of Alexei Navalny evokes different reactions across Russian and international socio-political landscapes. However, one sentiment remains unwavering: Navalny emerged as a prominent figure of opposition against the Russian state and the Putin Government. Through his anti-corruption crusades and pro-democracy advocacy, Navalny offered an alternative voice in a political system which is continuously accelerating its autocracy and injustice.

 

His story has captured the attention of audiences both at home and abroad, leading to profound consequences. Surviving a Novichok poisoning believed to be orchestrated by the state in August 2020, Navalny miraculously survived and returned to Russia on January 17, 2021, only to be promptly detained upon arrival. During his subsequent incarceration he was subjected to a period of continued solitary confinement and alleged torture until his passing on February 16, 2024.

 

While Navalny's journey includes past attendance at right-wing rallies promoting Russian ethnic purity, his legacy is far more complex. He leaves behind an image of defiance and a history of galvanizing domestic political mobilization, a torch now carried forward by his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, after her announcement that she will take up her husband’s mission to campaign against Putin.

 

In the aftermath of his passing, the question arises: How did Russians respond to the loss of Navalny? Reporting from the street, Radio Svoboda found differing perspectives. "I believe anyone who opposes Russia bears responsibility, regardless of their cause," expressed an elderly gentleman, reflecting a sentiment of staunch nationalism. Conversely, a young woman's candid remark was more dismissive: "I doubt he'll be missed," she remarked, indicative of a generational divide and perhaps differing political beliefs. In contrast, an emotionally charged elderly woman articulated a profound sense of loss: "He fought for us! My dear boy. I’m very sad. I’m very, very sad," she exclaimed, epitomizing the deep emotional connection Navalny forged with some segments of the population (Russians React to Report of Navalny’s Death, 2024).

 

Words by Thomas Hunt (he/him)


References

 

Russian React to Report of Navalny’s Death. 2024. [Youtube Video] Directed by Radio Free Europe. s.l.: Youtube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyW_5SSMexs

 


 

 

 

 

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