Europe once again heard the doorbell of terrorism on its doorstep, the UK continues to get worse post Brexit, and Australia voted, but we don’t have a leader.
Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. Europe has been gripped by terror again, the UK continues it’s spiral into post-Brexit chaos and Bill Shorten forgot how to eat a sausage sanga as Australia voted.
Terror struck in the Turkish city of Istanbul this week with three suicide bombers detonating devices targeting the international terminal of city’s largest airport, the Ataturk International. The attacks resulted in the deaths of more than 40 people, injuring at least 239. The majority of victims are believed to be Turkish nationals however at least 19 foreign nationals also perished in the attack.
Turkish authorities have reported that the three bombers are all from the former USSR, one from Russia’s North Caucasus region and the remaining two from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan respectively. Turkish authorities have also reported that the alleged mastermind behind the attack, Mehmet Sirin Kaya, has since been killed in the town of Lice as well as the detention of thirteen people who are suspected of having links to the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility however it is believed that ISIS leadership were involved in the planning of the attacks.
Donald Trump, who most of us turn to for advice in times like these, used the tragedy as a soapbox to bring back waterboarding.
The fallout from the “Brexit” decision continued this week as the world came to terms with Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU. Following PM David Cameron’s resignation, all eyes turned to the face of the Brexit campaign, former London mayor Boris Johnson, to step up and take the big seat.
Much to everyone’s surprise, Johnson withdrew from the race in the days immediately following the vote, after his partner in crime, Justice Secretary Michael Gove, issued a statement saying that he had “reluctantly but firmly” concluded that Boris wasn’t the man to unite the country or the party, and that instead, he would be running for the leadership himself.
Although it’s hard to understand why anyone would want the job right now. Following the vote, racially driven hate crimes in the UK increased to five times the usual level. Reports came flooding in of verbal abuse, offensive signs and the usual vitriol from keyboard warriors on social media directed towards migrants across the UK, heavily supporting the allegation that the “Leave” vote was largely a xenophobic response.
On top of this, JP Morgan economist Malcolm Barr joined the wave of voices suggesting that Scotland will have another referendum and part ways with Britain in order to remain a part of the EU. The Scottish Government’s equalities secretary Angela Constance has also come out publicly to make it clear that EU migrants are still more than welcome in Scotland, saying “Scotland is a modern, outward looking, open and inclusive country…We are listening, and we want those living in Scotland to know you remain welcome here, Scotland is your home and your contribution is valued. Scotland delivered a strong vote to remain in the EU and we are determined to provide people with the necessary reassurance around this.”
Also on The Big Smoke
- While you were asleep: Boris Johnson will not be PM, Queensland has early night, US army takes safety off
- Britain is out of the European Union – But where?
- The Arts Party: Supporting our most valuable industry
- Bryan Brown: The Arts and our quality of life
Whoever next takes up residence at Downing Street might also face another crisis, with a movement that started out as a joking vent online quickly turning into a political possibility. Freelance journalist James O’Malley responded to the vote online by tweeting “Declare London independent from the UK and apply to join the EU” along with a Change.org petition he had started.
Not expecting anything beyond a few extra followers and retweets, O’Malley checked back in a few hours later and found several thousand signatures on his petition. Within the week it had reached 177,000 signatures and his inbox was flooded with genuine support for the idea from far and wide.
O’Malley then proceeded to flesh out the idea to see if it actually had legs, basing his idea on the city-state models present in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Whilst it’s unlikely to eventuate, stranger things have happened, and given that the famous residence of the British PM, 10 Downing Street, is in London, Cameron’s successor might just find him or herself without a capital – and a residence.
So maybe Boris is the smart one – an unenviable job for the “winner”.
Yes, ladies and gentleman. The most exciting day of the year is upon us. The day that we were promised a couple of months ago as it was unceremoniously shoved down our throat. That’s right…it’s Democracy Sausage Day! A day where the humble BBQ snag is gently wrapped in bread, garnished with onions and drowned in tomato sauce, and made available on every street corner across the fine country of ours. A day where we don’t have to drag ourselves to Bunnings under the guise of a fictional DIY project to get our hands on this Aussie delicacy.
Nothing in this life is without its cost, though. In order to get your hands on one of these highly democratic snags is to run the gauntlet of people dressed in what I can only assume is a tribute to The Wiggles as they shove How to Vote cards in your face as you try desperately to protect your democratic right to choose and avoid the blinding light that appears to be emanating from the teeth of the various candidates depicted on posters. You wait patiently in line, trying not to throw up in your mouth as the 21-year-old girl behind you in the queue explains that she’s voting for Turnbull because he’s “hot”, whilst trying to remember the order of the 50 or so numbers you intend to write below the line.
Well…that’s what it’s like to vote in the Sturt electorate anyway.
Election day also tends to bring its fair share of faux pas from our pollies as they make last ditch, camera friendly attempts to sway the swingers. Bill Shorten invoked his democratic right to a snag on election day, outside of Strathfield North Public School. Mr Shorten committed the cardinal sausage sin by starting from the middle, rather from one of the ends, as is the accepted etiquette in a free and civil society but he did manage to save the moment somewhat by declaring “Tastes like democracy,” as he attempted to work out how to avoid spilling sauce on his shirt from his now, structurally unsound snack.
Shorten may have committed a crime against decency and order, but PM Turnbull committed flat out treason. Despite declaring to the waiting voters that “Australian democracy is not complete without the aromas of the sausage sizzle” as he lined up to vote, he chose not to partake in the most Australian of past times. That’s right…the PM snubbed the snag, proving once and for all that he’s completely out of touch with the everyday Aussie. In fairness to Mal, I don’t think he’s ever been to Bunnings in his life so he hasn’t really been indoctrinated.
Enough about sausages. What happened with votes? Well, the short answer is we aren’t really sure yet. What we do know is that the count is a lot closer than expected and it hasn’t been a particularly good day for Big Mal Turnbull.
Shorten may have committed a crime against decency and order, but PM Turnbull snubbed the snag, proving that he’s completely out of touch with the everyday Aussie. In fairness, I don’t think he’s ever been to Bunnings in his life so he hasn’t really been indoctrinated.
As it stands:
Labor gained a three percent swing across the country. The Greens have had strong swings across the country and have retained the seat of Melbourne. The Nick Xenophon Team have booked a seat in the Lower House with candidate Rebekha Sharkie taking the very traditional Liberal seat of Mayo from the infamous Jamie Briggs.
Labor candidate Linda Burney made history when she became the first Indigenous woman elected to the House of Representatives when she won the seat of Barton. She also became the first woman to win the seat of Barton.
As for an actual result, we don’t know. Whilst the Libs are ahead on paper, the voting patterns have been unpredictable and there are too many seats that can’t be called yet. A Labor majority is all but impossible however a hung parliament is a very real possibility. The best case scenario for the Coalition is to return to power with a significantly reduced number of seats and a more hostile parliament. Senate results are yet to be finalised, however it looks like Turnbull will also be facing an even more diverse upper house despite the attempt to make the Senate a little more Liberal friendly via a Double Dissolution.
A bad day for Big Mal – and everyone’s favourite Right wing pen, Andrew Bolt, was quick to make sure he knew about it.
Wacky and wonderful
The Belarusian people, it turns out, have a cracking sense of humour and even better self esteem, we discovered this week. Belarusian President, Alexander Lukashenko, delivered a speech to his nation designed to inspire everyone to lift themselves out of an economic crisis. In what appears to be a slight translation-based slip of the tongue, instead of calling on the citizens of Belarus to “develop and work”, he accidentally said “get undressed and work”.
The Belarusians, God bless them, took the motivational speech to heart and began flooding social media with photos of them at work, undressed. Luckily for them, it’s Summer in Minsk.
Not to be outdone by the Belarusians in the “free spirited” category, a firm in Geneva plans to open Sweden’s first Cafe Fellatio. It’s not a play on words, or a clever metaphor for the stimulation that a good cup of coffee gives you; it’s literally a café where customers can enjoy a little oral sex with their morning coffee.
I’m going to stop there before I inevitably make a double pump mochachino joke…