Stories about UK

In conversation with Noam Chomsky – Part 2: Intellectuals, imperialism and human nature

This conversation with Professor Noam Chomsky is presented as a three part series. Part 1 covers American culture and politics. Part 2 covers media, intellectuals and imperialism, along with science, language and human nature. Part 3 includes a conversation regarding religion and spirituality, alongside a discussion about the Indian subcontinent, climate change and the migration crisis. ~ Media, intellectuals and imperialism Hassan Mirza (HM): In a famous BBC interview of yours with presenter Andrew Marr, you told him that if he believed in something different and was more independent-minded he wouldn’t have been hired by the BBC. He called you a conspiracy theorist after ...

Read Full Post

Trump’s imperial arrogance will have disastrous ramifications

The spectre of war is haunting the Middle East. In the American diplomatic and military circles, there’s only a single line of discussion: how is Iran going to retaliate? The question has moved a little further from ‘if’, and the reason for that is Donald Trump’s addiction to late night news punditry which leaves him with a mad whirlwind of emotions, especially if it has anything to do with a perceived slight aimed at either him or the military prowess of the United States (US). On December 27th, an American contractor was killed because of rocket attacks at a military ...

Read Full Post

How will Priti Patel’s proposed migration reform impact the UK?

Priti Patel’s ascension to the post of home minister of the United Kingdom (UK) deserves a lot of praise. Arguably, she is one of the few principled individuals left in politics, even if we may fervently disagree with her principles. Patel has held an ardent Euro-sceptic view for her entire career, long before it became fashionable. She even had a brief stint heading the Referendum Party in 1997 which campaigned for Britain to have a vote on their membership of the European Union (EU), years before the referendum was actually called. She is a self-described Thatcherite and has long been ...

Read Full Post

Will you march for climate change?

I first met Greta Thurnberg, the 16-year-old Swedish school girl who is now inspiring young people all over the world to protest against the climate crisis, back in December 2018 at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference. Hair tied in two pigtails, she looked much younger than her age, was extremely shy and spoke haltingly in English on several forums at the conference held in Poland. Thurnberg speaking at the UN Climate Change Conference held in Poland Sure, the media was following her around even then, but no one imagined she would become such a huge ...

Read Full Post

Blinded by the Light: the best non-Pakistani Pakistani movie ever

Every now and then, there comes a film in the cinemas that silently grabs you and pulls you into a seat with overpriced popcorn and a head full of questions. And when it does, you realise this is all you were looking for. That this is what you were waiting for; for a long, long time. Blinded by the Light is just that movie. Here’s a bit of context. I moved to Canada in 2012 from Karachi, Pakistan. Since as long as I can remember, I’ve had an obscure taste in music. By obscure I mean I liked unconventional pop ...

Read Full Post

Can Boris Johnson be Britain’s saviour?

Boris Johnson’s election to the premiership of the United Kingdom (UK) is a very peculiar exercise in democracy. Not only does the Conservative Party not command a solid majority in the House of Commons, but the electorate which appointed Johnson as prime minister consists of over 90,000 Conservative Party members that are far to the right of the average UK citizen. To add to this furore, we had Sir Alan Duncan pre-resigning from Johnson’s government and one can only expect a swathe of further resignations to come, further cutting the Conservative’s majority in parliament. Thank you all for the incredible ...

Read Full Post

Calling Iran’s bluff: Who are the real winners in the Gulf tanker crisis?

Iran has shot down what it claims to be a United States (US) spy drone in the Strait of Hormuz, accusing Washington of violating its airspace amidst escalating tensions between the two nations. Two days earlier, the US announced that it will deploy 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in response to Iran’s “hostile behaviour”. The attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week marked a tipping point in their steadily deteriorating relationship, and although both countries insist that they want to avoid war, there are fears that recent developments could inevitably result in military confrontation. ...

Read Full Post

Ashamed of being ‘too Pakistani,’ is Sajid Javid ‘British enough’ to become the PM?

Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani bus driver, has reached the top of the financial and political world. His life truly does make for an inspiring story.  Javid has modelled himself around the idea of a ‘British Dream,’ where if you work hard, anyone can make it. However, the greatest irony of his ascent is that he has continuously alienated the community that he was born into. Throughout his political career, he has become the mouthpiece of the right wing to legitimise their protestation against migrants, the working class and a whole host of progressive international causes. In ...

Read Full Post

Why Pakistan made a blunder by blindly surrendering to India’s Khalistan movement

Sikh civil society groups have condemned Pakistan’s decision to ban activities of Sikhs peacefully campaigning for ‘Referendum 2020’ in which Sikhs plan to defy New Delhi and exercise their democratic right to vote on the issue of self-determination. Next year, Sikhs intend to vote either “yes or no” on the question of whether Khalistan should be formed as an independent state that would separate from the Indian state of Punjab. Similar votes have happened throughout the world with a wide array of results. We condemn the Pakistan Govt & ISI for appeasing India it’s time they chose a side enough ...

Read Full Post

Who decides Usman Buzdar and other lawmakers’ salaries?

Last week, the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a bill within five minutes which increased the salaries of the chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, MNAs and MPAs to an incredible extent. According to the details of this bill, the speaker’s monthly salary was increased from Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, while his deputy would receive Rs185,000 instead of Rs35,000. The MPAs, who used to earn Rs18,000, would earn Rs80,000 every month. CM Buzdar’s own salary was increased by Rs59,000.  After the matter was taken up by social media, Imran expressed his sheer disappointment and termed the decision ‘untenable’. The Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also labelled the development ...

Read Full Post