11 September 2019   Leave a comment

Xenophobia can be found in virtually every nation in the world. One of the more recent outbursts of hatred toward “outsiders” has occurred in South Africa, a country that has witnessed similar outbursts in the past. Last week there were violent protests in Pretoria and Johannesburg against non-South Africans that resulted in 12 deaths and the closure of hundreds of foreign-owned businesses. One state, Nigeria, has been airlifting its citizens out of South Africa in order to give them some protection, and Zimbabwe is considering similar measures. Some of the violence stems from economic fears that immigrants taking jobs away from South Africans, but it also appears as if some politicians in South Africa are stoking the hatred as a way of consolidating greater political power. Thus far, the South African leadership is not proving up to the task of addressing this serious problem.

The British government has been forced to release a study done in August that details the likely consequences of a “no-deal” Brexit. The projections are a worst-case scenario and are suitably grim. According to The Guardian:

“The document, which says it outlines ‘reasonable worst case planning assumptions’ for no deal Brexit, highlights the risk of border delays, given an estimate that up to 85% of lorries crossing the Channel might not be ready for a new French customs regime.

“‘The lack of trader readiness combined with limited space in French ports to hold ‘unready’ HGVs could reduce the flow rate to 40%-60% of current levels within one day as unready HGVs will fill the ports and block flow,’ it warns.

“This situation could last for up to three months, and disruption might last ‘significantly longer’, it adds, with lorries facing waits of between 1.5 days and 2.5 days to cross the border.

“The reliance of medical supplies on cross-Channel routes ‘make them particularly vulnerable to severe extended delays’, the report says, with some medicines having such short shelf lives they cannot be stockpiled.

“A lack of veterinary medicines could increase the risk of disease outbreaks, it adds.

“On food supplies, supplies of ‘certain types of fresh food’ would be reduced, the document warns, as well as other items such as packaging.

“It says: ‘In combination, these two factors will not cause an overall shortage of food in the UK but will reduce availability and choice of products and will increase price, which could impact vulnerable groups.’

Later, it adds: ‘Low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel.’

“On law and order it warns: ‘Protests and counter-protests will take place across the UK and may absorb significant amounts of police resource. There may also be a rise in public disorder and community tensions.’

The Queen has approved legislation passed by Parliament which bans a “no-deal” Brexit, but the Parliament has been suspended until mid-October. Prime Minister Johnson has indicated that he intends to challenge or evade the law. As written, the law would permit an indefinite delay in Brexit. The situation threatens the very foundations of British democracy–it is very difficult to see a way out.

Posted September 11, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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