The elephant in the room that nobody can ignore any longer

A long march off a short pier

The Long Walk. (Image wikipedia.org)

We are living in an extremely mixed up world – that is not news to anyone, I am sure.

At present in Canada, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has been heard frequently demanding the resignation of Liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau, despite the fact that Canada will have a general election on October 21.

I am with Scheer in many respects, but I can wait for the campaign at this point – it will be a rancorous affair and should help to keep Canadians awake and aware.

In the U.S., virtually all Democrat (and even a few Republican) politicians, along with most talk- and late-night show hosts, a score of declared presidential candidates, and umpteen environmental and human rights groups are among the millions of Americans aware of the fact that the election of unpredictable President Donald Trump appears to have been a major mistake.

However, no-one seems to know just how to go about either impeaching for indicting him, or somehow just edging him out of power, particularly as diversions such as the Chinese trade and tariff war brouhaha drags on. There are so many issues involved that everybody appears to be stymied. Nancy Pelosi says she thinks “a family intervention might help” for the sake of the nation.

In the U.K., I must say have a sense of the utter frustration faced by British Prime Minister Theresa May, who, as I write, is reported to be literally “hunkered down” with close allies as she considers whether to give in to relentless pressure to resign, or fight on to save her Brexit plan and her premiership.

May was due to meet senior ministers to discuss her Brexit bill as plans to put it to a fourth vote in Parliament were thrown into doubt. May’s fate looked sealed after the resignation late last Wednesday of House of Commons leader, Andrea Leadsom, who said she could not support May’s European Union withdrawal bill.

Will she still be Prime Minister on our publication day? One thing is fairly predictable – this peculiar farce will likely still be ongoing.

News broke after the column was penned that May resigned, effective June 7 – Ed.

In France police again fired tear gas at masked demonstrators in Lyon and Nantes on the weekend as heavy rain kept the number of yellow vest demonstrators down in Paris. However, it did mark the 26th straight weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron and his economic reform agenda.

Police estimated nearly 19,000 people took to the streets around France, including 1,200 in the capital. Organizers had been hoping to regain momentum following a record low turnout last weekend, attributed by protesters to the May Day holiday.

In China President Xi Jinping of China has called on the Chinese people to begin a modern ‘long march,’ invoking a time of hardship from the country’s history as it braces for a protracted trade war with the United States.

It would appear that Xi’s call, referred to the Long March, a gruelling 4,000-mile, one-year journey undertaken in 1934 by Communist Party forces in 1934 as they fled the Nationalist army under Chiang Kai-shek.

They regrouped and eventually took control of China in 1949, making the Long March one of the party’s founding legends. The President’s comments appear intended to boost the mood of the Chinese people as the Trump administration continues to press China on trade. But they do also seem to acknowledge that the Chinese public should be prepared for more difficult times ahead.

The multi-billion dollar Trump tariffs come as Beijing tries to lift the economy out of a slowdown, and as a variety of unrelated factors raise the prices of basic food items like pork and fruit for the average Chinese shopper.

The China-Canada trade battle also continues as the Chinese pressure Justin Trudeau on numerous fronts following the apprehension of Huawei CEO Meng Zhou in December.

Trudeau in response says western countries do not need to “continue to allow” Chinese global aggression. That statement came as a Canadian parliamentary delegation is in China pushing for the release of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, both detained by China in 2018 and who have been allowed only limited consular visits since then.

“China is making stronger moves than it has before to try and get its own way on the world stage,” Trudeau said when asked during a press conference in Quebec last week about the push for the release of the detained Canadians, which has garnered broad support from allied countries speaking out and condemning China.

But it is not clear exactly how Trudeau plans to counter ongoing Chinese aggression, which had included not only hostage diplomacy but numerous broader refusals to recognize international rulings and trade bans.

So, round and round and on it goes – where it stops nobody knows…

A brouhaha, from French brouhaha, is a state of social agitation when a minor incident gets out of control, sometimes referred to as an uproar or hubbub. – Ed.

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The Long Walk route. (Image wikipedia.org)

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