Guest Student Editorial – Harry Reidl

In Defence of George W Bush II 

George W. Bush is widely considered to be one of America’s worst presidents. I feel that he has been underestimated and he has befitted the USA and the world far more than people realise. 

George Bush came to power under difficult circumstances as a year after his arrival September 11th

happen putting his country into crisis. With a need for vengeance he did this by immediately attacking Afghanistan which was the central base for the Afghanis insurgents. It was also a very brutal regime and was popular with the world and at present there are 50,000 troops still stationed in Afghanistan. We are making great progress in the formation of a modern state unlike the Islamic barbarity of the Taliban. The soldiers fighting their have suffered losses but they have pushed the Taliban to Pakistan and they are no longer able to plan attacks against Muslims and western targets. 

He also made the unfortunate war in Iraq which only now is becoming a success and has removed many evil Islamic insurgents whose aim is the destruction of life. Following the destruction areas are only now being rebuilt. The mistake over Iraq damaged George Bush’s reputation. 

Another controversial aspect in which I agree with Bush includes Guantanamo Bay Prison/ Camp X-Ray where the Arabs are placed for eventual trial. This is a difficult situation for the president as he has to find a place for the many enemies of the USA and not reveal the secret methods used to detain them.  This has frequently caused problems among his own party and the two Houses of the US Parliament. 

George W Bush has been a tax cutting President and has lowed the rate of tax for the common American man. This has allowed him to reduce the tax burden on the US tax payer during the unprecedented rise in food and fuel prices he has been able to offer a tax rebate of at least $200 which has helped many poor Americans reduced their debt burden.  

The key issue which damaged George Bush was Hurricane Katrina which was unexpected but was refocused by the incredible incompetence of many of George Bush’s team as well as the incompetence of the government regarding Katrina apart from a few states with a black congressmen, who despite the incompetence was still reflected which was damaging to Bush.  

To conclude I feel that Bush has been blamed for things he was not responsible for and had to direct control of and both his wars have started bearing fruit in regards to security and become prosperous western democracies. 

Harry Riedl – Lower 6th Form

 

 

 

Guest Student Editorial – David Rank (Lower 6th Form)

In an unexpected turn of events, Ireland has rejected the controversial Lisbon Treaty. Following a nationwide referendum, the Irish rejection has placed the future of the Treaty into disarray.

 

However, President of the European Commission, Manuel Barroso has since declared the Treaty is ‘not dead’ despite the necessity for a unanimous vote in each of the twenty seven EU states. Barroso continued to state ‘we should not rush to conclusions’ causing many analysts to believe the choice of the Irish people could even be overridden by their political leaders. The Treaty was signed in December 2007 by the leaders of each state with the hope of it gradually coming into force from January 2009, however, the Irish rejection has placed its future into turmoil.

 

Under existing circumstances there are still options open for the Treaty but none of them can be implemented easily. Nine countries are yet to ratify the treaty causing many to believe by the time that process ends, a solution for the Irish “exception” mayt have been negotiated. For example, Ireland could be granted additional opt-outs and guarantees on sensitive issues such as abortion and national neutrality in order to ensure the Treaty has the backing of the Irish people.

 

Alternatively, The EU could scrap the Lisbon Treaty just as the proposals for the Constitution were repackaged following the Lisbon Treaty following French and Dutch ‘No’ votes in 2005. Key parts of Lisbon could be repackaged into a shorter, more comprehensible document to voters throughout Europe. Under this scenario, the ratification process starts again and Ireland holds another referendum. In 2001 Ireland rejected the Nice Treaty but then said ‘Yes’ to it just over a year later causing this process to appear a possibility. However, the process is already appearing indefinite while a further repackaging would just appear time consuming with no end in sight.

 

Perhaps most drastically a two tier system could be developed. Those nations keen on further EU integration could form an informal club within the EU creating dangerous internal tension. Both Ireland and the UK prefer a looser union which could threaten their position within the EU.

Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, reflected Barroso’s statement: “Once again in Europe, a treaty supported by the leaders of all member states has unable to secure popular support in a ballot. We must not rush to conclusions.” He went on to explain the Irish government seeks to explain to EU officials that this does not mean Ireland are now anti-EU, making negotiations and compromise appear likely,

Foreign secretary David Miliband declared Britain would not pressurize Ireland on their future actions. He continued to state: “It’s right that we follow the view that each country must see the ratification process to a conclusion”,

The referendum is undoubtedly a historical event in Irish and European politics, with the continental project reaching a stumbling block by a country with a population of only four million people. With a low turnout of 40 per cent (the minimum necessary to make the referendum valid) and a narrow vote of 53.4% to 46.6% against the Treaty, some analysts have come to question the structure of the EU with such a small percentage of the overall population impeding the development of the Union.

The future of EU development appears to continue to be a highly divisive issue. Since the nature of the EU causes the backing of each state to be essential, future European integration remains without resolution.

 

David Rank – Portland Place School

NEWS FLASH: Clinton to Conceed and Endorse Obama

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton will hold a press conference this weekend to formally announce an end to her campaign to be the Democratic Party’s Presidential Nominee and endorse her (now former) rival Barrack Obama.  She has aksed that her pledged deligates still be able to symbolically cast their votes for her to mark just how close a woman came to the nomination. 

NEWS FLASH: Obama Projected as Democratic Presidential Nominee

CNN and other news sources (including BBC) are reporting on Barrack Obama’s ‘victory’ speech in which he claims the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination.  Hillary Clinton is yet to conceed, however, her position as a potential Presidential Nominee has become increasingly untennable. 

Explore the links to various news websites on the Politics Club blog to find out much more. 

Mr Mithen

NEWS FLASH: Australian Combat Troops to Leave Iraq

Aussie Combat Troops in IraqThe Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported that, in accordance with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s election promise, Australian combat troops are to be withdrawn from Iraq by “mid-2008”.  Around 1000 personnel will remain on non-combat duties.

Here is a link to the ABC’s article online: (Copy and paste link into your browser)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/01/2261770.htm

This links to a story from earlier this year regarding the pull-out:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/01/29/2148370.htm

Mr. Mithen

(Photo courtesy of ABC Website http://www.abc.net.au)

London Mayor’s Drinking Ban Comes Into Effect

What do you mean there\'s something on my shoe? One of Boris Johnson’s election promises was to ban the consumption of alcohol (and the carrying of open containers of alcohol) on London’s Tube and Bus network.  The ban came into effect at midnight last night.

Members of social networking sites including (but not limited to) Facebook have been linked to the organisation of Tube parties on the Central and Circle lines as a final ‘farewell’ to booze on the Tube, leading to some violence, line closures and 17 arrests.

I agree with the law.  Traveling on the transport network can be uncomfortable enough without having to sit across from somebody swaying with a can of cheap cider in their hand and waiting for them to vomit their kebab all over your ‘Sorry mate, can’t let you in with those on’ shoes.

Yes, this does punish those who consume alcohol sensibly on public transport which is unfortunate.  But, not unlike the new anti-smoking laws, it is something that is not difficult to adhere to.

There are, unfortunately, always people who will behave like idiots and there is no excuse for abusing Underground staff and police (yes, even bus drivers who see you at the door just as they’re closing and ignores your polite knocking) as happened last night.

The incidents from last night’s Tube party made the news as far away as Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation website (www.abc.net.au).

Is it Boris Johnson’s fault that people carried on like fools last night?  Not directly.  The penalties have not been actively promoted as part of the awareness campaign about the ban which surprises me.  The introduction of the law seems rushed and could perhaps have been better handled by the Mayor’s office.

Have a read of the article from this link and leave a comment about what YOU think of the ban (you may have to copy and paste the link into your browser):

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4043853.ece

I’m surprised that it has taken this long to ban alcohol consumption and open alcohol containers from some parts of the transport network.  I’m interested to know what you think.

Mr. Mithen

‘The End of Al Qada in Iraq’ – Smells a LOT Like ‘Mission Accomplished’

Check out this link from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).  This irked me a little as it reminded me very much of President Bush’s famed ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech.

Link: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/30/2261007.htm

Mr Mithen