The battle for the Republican nomination in America grows ever more heated with the unscripted announcement from front runner, Donald Trump, that abortion should be illegal and women who break the law punished severely.
It’s just the sort of remark that sends establishment Republicans into a spin, and manages to upset even the Pro-Life brigade of anti-abortionists that exist throughout the nation.
The idea of heavily-pregnant, or recently pregnant women, marched off to jail in their hundreds isn’t appealing to the Pro-Life brigade. They prefer the sanitized version: locking up the doctors. Maybe, if they were forced to confront the reality of the whole, unsavoury, situation they might be forced to think again. After all, abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland and women can still end up in prison for life under a law enacted back in 1861.
The truth, of course, as Britain has discovered, is that while abortion is an emotional issue – often more so for the potential mothers, than the tiresome religious minority who incessantly shout about it – it’s way more humane to keep it within a legal framework with guidelines for doctors, rather than revert to the horrifying, illegal, backstreet abortion system that prevailed into the 1950’s.
The anti-abortion brigade in America might do well to check out history elsewhere than their own country, before next taking to the streets with their placards.
Meanwhile, across the pond from Donald Trump’s America, a war is waging on that tiny, overcrowded, island known as Britain. It’s a war of words that could, according to both sides in the argument, have disastrous consequences if the ‘other side’ wins.
The one word that signifies this volatile division is “Brexit”.
This single, emotive, bastardization of the language is an abbreviation of “Britain’s exit”, coined by the gutter press and now acceptable to all, including the BBC and numerous politicians. It resulted from an election pledge by the now UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, to the effect that if he were elected he’d hold a referendum and let the Great British Public decide whether to remain in the European Community, or leave it.
Like most political pledges, this one was made without thought of the long-term consequences. It’s motive at the time was the procurement of additional votes to win a general election. Rash statements made during political campaigns can usually be expected to evaporate into the mists of time, but this one has refused to do so and is now firmly nipping at Mister Cameron’s bottom.
Cameron, himself, is a staunch ‘stay in the Union’ man. Unfortunately for him many of his political colleagues are not. He has more support from the opposing parties than from his own Tory cabinet, which is not really surprising, given that an “out” vote would certainly mean the demise of Mister Cameron and his replacement as Prime Minister by one of his fellow Tories.
The realization of this has seen an almost wholesale shift of power-hungry wannabes from the “IN” to the “OUT” brigade, notably those with the best chance of winning a party election to the leadership, or a plum seat in the Parliamentary Cabinet should their chum make it to the top spot.
Sympathy for David Cameron is hard to conjure. Not only did he fail to foresee the possible dire consequences to his own position of such rash promises, but he made the unforgivable error of placing the future of the country in the hands of its people.
Democracy is a wonderful thing when it comes to choosing a leader, but the Great British Public have repeatedly displayed a distinct lack of expertise even in matters of somewhat less importance: choosing the right song to win the Eurovision Song Contest, or voting the right person out of the Big Brother house – about which they are reputed to know a great deal. On the finer points of Britain’s future within Europe, or indeed outside it, the GBP are decidedly lacking. Sadly, as in all matters of major importance (football, the quality of beer in the local, etc.) they are convinced they do. One has only to stand at the bar of any pub in the UK, after nine o’clock, for this observation to be confirmed.
David Cameron’s action in handing the reins of Britain’s future over to the masses is akin to Elizabeth I demanding a peasant vote on whether England should attack the Spanish Armada, or Henry V seeking sanction from the ignorant and unwashed before engaging the French at Agincourt.
The future of Britain will be decided in June. To leave the European Union would prove disastrous, both for the UK and the rest of Europe. The world is becoming more dis-united. The most powerful nation, America, is in the throes of a political civil war; North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are proceeding apace; the Middle East has suffered total fragmentation, and the UK hasn’t won the Eurovision Song Contest since 1997.
Do they really believe they’ll ever win it again if they vote to leave?
 “Donald Trump’s abortion remarks have caused the biggest crisis of his campaign” The Guardian, March 31st 2016
 “Abortion law madness: What’s really going on Northern Ireland?” The Telegraph, February 15th 2016