You elected Donald Trump: A letter to America, from Scotland

Dear America,

You have elected Donald Trump as President of your country, what were you thinking?

We thoroughly enjoyed watching the electoral campaigns on both sides, what a ride. It made for an excellent pantomime: Hillary Clinton with her robotic face, cheating husband and dodgy internet history (we can all sympathise) and Donald Trump, a man who has his own tower, makes wildly uniformed statements about Muslims and is orange.

When politicians here in Scotland lie they tend do it in a half filled room with other members of parliament who are falling asleep dreaming of the £3.00 meal deal they will claim on expenses later. The idea to is lie and not get caught. Trump and Clinton held rallies with thousands of people in attendance in order to air their mistruths: it’s as if facts held no significance whatsoever.

Mr Trump took a defiant toddler like stance on truth telling; he lied and lied and lied, got found out, then called people stupid. Hilldawg Clinton opted for a more logical tact, she’d tell smaller lies and worm he way out of it with that contagious grimace. During the TV debates fact checkers revealed that a lie was told more than once a minute on average.

Donald Trump is not sane: he thinks nukes are good, he doesn’t believe in Leonardo DiCaprio or climate change, he has serious issues with Mexicans and even worse, he called himself “Mr Brexit”. 62% of Scotland voted to remain in the European Union so the majority of us have a problem with that.

The most alarming  fact from our perspective is that you all knew what you were voting for. This was no dupe. The President Elect tweets like a 13 year old girl who found out her boyfriend has been at the Fro-Yo stand with Maisey from Bateswell High:  he’s sassy, brash and clinically immature.

The alleged sexual assault coupled with strong evidence that Mr Trump believes can do whatever he likes to women because of his status didn’t seem to make a difference. He apologised, and it’s definitely not a reflection of his character, definitely not. The incident happened in 2005, when he was 59 years old.

White male privilege is a reality in America and across the western world. America has a strong preference towards those who are white, male and privileged, clearly – a trio of traits that command respect and scream leadership material: this is part of the problem.

Was Hillary Clinton the answer, a panacea to the ails American people?

Maybe not. But, in a toss up between the two, you should have went with Clinton, that much is obvious. Sometimes democracy doesn’t seem fair but you are supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Have a word with yourselves.

Yours,

The disappointed nation of Scotland

 

Here, Scotland’s politicians have their say on Donald Trump.

 

 

5 animals that tried to predict the outcome of the U.S Election

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Months worth of polling couldn’t predict the result of the U.S election, so could a psychic animal have done a better job? On the verge of huge events in modern times, some people have resorted to animal predictions to find the answers they deeply need before the events happen. As human psychics are largely found to be fraudulent, it’s down to the psychics of the animal kingdom who have managed to remain credible in an era where psychic predictions are seen as old hat.

Scottish Spiritual Billy Goat

Many Clinton fans had their hopes set on the soothsayer named Boots, a goat from Roxburghshire who correctly predicted the Brexit vote in June. Sadly for fans of Hilary, he was as wrong as the pollsters.

Chinese Mind Reading Monkey

Trump was predicted to win by Geda, a simian psychic known for predicting the winners of European football matches. His foray into political forecasting will likely give him the credibility he needs to go on working as a monkey that sees the future.

Psychic Parrot Duo

These parrots told us the election was in the bag for Clinton, pecking and clawing at her name like they were absolutely sure she was going to clinch it. We reached out to the parrots, but they declined to comment.

Polarising Polar Bear & Fortune Telling Tiger

At Royev Ruchey zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, election predictions were cast by giants of the oracle animal scene. In the red corner, we had Felix, the 1500 pound polar bear whose mind was set on Trump to win the presidency, while in the blue there was 700-pound liberal tigress Yunona, Clinton supporter and advocate of women’s rights.

Supernatural Swing State Dogs

In Cleveland, Ohio where the GOP Convention was held earlier this year, the city turned to its dog population to find out the results of the election. The combination of dog treats and chew toys has been proven to increase clairvoyant behavior in dogs. An attempt was made to reach out to Cleveland’s cat population, but they appeared to be disinterested in the political process.

Special Mentions : RIP Paul, The Psychic Octopus

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Sadly, the world’s most famous psychic octopus is no longer on this earth to make his thoughts known. Paul, whose specialty was predicting the outcomes of football matches would likely have a lot of traction in the run-up to the election. His protege is a Manchester based octopus named Otto, but he is widely seen as a hack after his failure to foresee the win for Leave during the Brexit referendum. Here’s to you Paul, the octopus who stole our hearts and helped our chances at the bookies.

Will Donald TRUMP the environment? More fossil fuel drilling and fewer environmental regulations

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Source: Google

Thousands of Americans will be celebrating a Republican victory today following Trump’s presidential success, but environmental activists and campaigners will be despondent.

The next four years of Trumps presidency will influence many political issues including tax reform, gun rights and immigration. While these issues were debated throughout the election cycle, environmental issues were pushed aside.

Trump’s approach to environmentalism will have serious consequences to global climate. As one of the leading fossil-fuel burning nations, experts are making it imperative the U.S stays in line with the Paris Agreement, signed by Obama last year. The agreement commits almost every nation into taking action to curb the climate-change problem.

Republican campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, publicly stated that “while Trump acknowledges that temperatures are rising globally, he does not believe that human activity has had any influence over it.”

Outline of Trumps environmental policy plan:

  • More fossil fuel drilling to retrieve resources for economic benefit.
  • Plans to “cancel the Paris climate agreement.”
  • Revive construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada’s oil line to Gulf Coast refineries.
  • Eliminate government spending on clean energy and climate research.
  • Claims to restore jobs lost in coal mining that essentially defies free-market forces.

The newly elected president vows to undo many of Obama’s initiatives to decrease planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Trump said that during his first 100 days in office he would “rescind” Environmental Protection Agency regulations, established under Obama.

Earlier in the presidential cycle Trump stated, “We’re going to deal with real environmental challenges, not the phony ones we’ve been hearing about.”

 

Here’s what Trump’s America could look like

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Voters were led to believe that Donald Trump would ‘Make America Great Again’. As votes poured in, the billionaire left opponent Clinton behind in what some have labeled the most intense political battle in US history. In the end, the American people elected business mogul and Republican leader Donald Trump to claim the most powerful position in the world from the Democratic grasp.

Trump’s vision of a new America has been shrouded in controversy. On the one hand, liberal Americans claiming that sexism will now permeate through the air and equality will be a laughable farce for the elite. On the other, right wing Americans praise the man who is not afraid to speak his mind, agreeing that America needs a strong leader who is not governed by widespread political correctness.

So what will a Trump-led USA look like? Here’s EN4News’ breakdown of the new President-elect’s plans.

The Great Divide (Immigration)

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Immigration was a focal point of Trump’s campaign. The candidate did, of course, famously state that he “…will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And [he] will have Mexico pay for that wall.” The proposed structure will cover the 2000-mile border, require 339 million cubic feet of concrete and theoretically cost Mexico more than $25 million.

His campaign website also published this ultimatum: “It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year,”

 

Obamacare No More

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Trump has been very vocal about his opposition to Obamacare. His website brands the Democratic health plan an “economic burden” that has resulted in “runway costs, greater ration of care and “higher premiums”.

The Republican Party promises to make health care accessible to every American. However, Trump is yet to announce what these plans will be.

Profiling to Paradise (Crime)

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2016 has left a dark cloud over America: the ‘Black Lives Matter’ being fuelled by police brutality, a massacre at a gay nightclub in New Orleans; Trump is entering the White House at a time when America is steeped in hate crimes and mourning.

“Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education, they have no job.” Trump is yet to clarify how he will solve these issues,  but his love for the police can be seen in the way he labels himself ‘the law and order candidate’.

After the Orlando shooting, Trump claimed that “[He hates] the concept of profiling but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads.”

His fiery belief for the death penalty has permeated Trump’s speeches a few times, once stating that: “Anybody [that kills] a police officer? Death penalty is going to happen, okay?”

Trump will rule with a harsher fist, but will this ultimately lead to a safer America?

Foreign Policy

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Trump has jokingly been referred to as a ‘fan’ of the Russian president, flirting with the idea of introducing an alliance with Russia to ‘ease tensions with Syria’ and commending Putin on his harsh torture techniques.

His admiration flowed into his opinion on NATO, branding the alliance ‘obsolete’ after its deterrence of Russia and during a Trump presidency the States might leave NATO is allies do not pay for the protection of Europe.

Going across to China, Trump’s disdain is not subtle; he labelled China a ‘currency manipulator’, claimed he would strengthen laws against theft of intellectual property, and openly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

There will be a ban on entrants to America from “terror states and terror nations” and “extreme vetting” of Muslims coming to the U.S until Trump can figure out “what is going on” under the current threat of ISIS.

Trump’s America is very different to today’s. Mr. President-elect’s loud and rash attitude reflects in his strict policies. He claims ‘to Make America Great Again’ and the States will no longer debate and compromise, but will take what it needs and hold no prisoners.

Trump is tired of the PC age and promises to be the leader that does what needs to be done, even if that requires backlash and controversy from half of the great nation.

Several dead and over 50 injured in Croydon tram accident

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Addiscombe Road, Croydon, after the crash. (Image: BBC News)

Several people have died after a tram derailed in Croydon. More than 50 have been injured whilst 2 remain trapped.

The accident involving a two car vehicle happened in Addiscombe Road in Sandiland near Croydon, just after 6am this morning.

Previously five people had become trapped after the two-carriage tram overturned in a tunnel. Three have now been released. London fire-brigade, police and ambulance services are dealing with the incident. The public have been advised to avoid the area.

The cause of the crash will be investigated by The Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

Womanhood and Donald Trump’s presidency

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Donald Trump told voters during first presidential debate.

However, he has been accused of sexual assault from more than a dozen women – which Trump has denied, and he has threatened to sue them once the election is over, along with publications such NBC that have printed the allegations.

Trump has called them “sick” and “liars” who were only hungry for fame.

The brand new American President has also been widely condemned for making crude jokes about Hillary Clinton’s personal life, insulting his former rival Carly Fiorina’s looks, and joking it would be a “pretty picture” if Celebrity Apprentice contestant Brande Roderick was to “drop to her knees.”

Kathrine Razai and Jaine Haggie, strong opinionated feminists from Edinburgh, fear for women’s future with Trump as new U.S. President.

“He openly jokes about a woman’s ‘place’ – he has repeatedly stated that women should stay at home, look after the household and other old fashioned and hurtful stereotypes. After everything we (women) have fought for, we are going back in time.” said Kathrine.

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The election of Donald Trump is cause for concern for not only women, but the LGBT community, people of colour, and Muslims.

“His victory puts so many people in danger and encourages ever growing hatred. It promotes the idea that you can be accused of rape and sexual assault and still be a viable candidate to hold one of the most powerful positions in the world. It is an indication to young girls across the U.S. that no matter how hard they work, they will never be good enough and they will be objectified and criticised at all points throughout their lives,” added Jaine.

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society women’s right and equality, agrees that Trump’s victory is a massive backwards step for women and for equality. 

“Those who think misogyny played no part in the vote are kidding themselves. The fact that such a high percentage of white women voted for Trump also speaks volumes about internalised misogyny. Not only does Trump plan to build a wall, he had reinforced the glass ceiling.”

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 Most people think that this vote suggests that people either overlooked and underestimated Trump’s behaviour and beliefs, or thought it was OK. Both of these suggestions implies that women’s rights are in jeopardy. Women all over America now have to focus on defending their rights and freedoms.

 

 

 

 

Votes of fear over faith

As the UK wakes up to another hangover of an election result, it feels like an excruciating case of deja vu. An election, in essence, should hand the power to the people but it feels like the wand is in very dangerous hands. The world has been watching Trump’s astonishingly fast advancement as he careered along the campaign trail with unprecedented speed. With baited breath nations have watched, willing the nightmare to end, polls leading us to believe that on November 8th we would indeed wake up, but it seems the successive horrors of the past 18 months were only just the beginning.

The polling right up until election days showed Hilary ahead in key states but the polls didn’t accurately show the effect of Trump’s campaign, particularly it seems in rural America. Quite literally overnight the pollsters, the media and America have been trumped. A high turnout of voters was expected but it seems which of those voters would show was wrongly predicted. Whites in rural and traditionally Republican areas have come out in numbers whilst the black vote was down in key areas which were traditionally more democratic.

More than who voted, why they voted is comparable to the reaction of multiple elections of late. Votes out of fear rather than faith have been reverberated throughout the Scottish Independence vote, Brexit, and now for America too. It seems that on both sides there was inclination to vote against the other candidate rather than putting the power in the hands of someone truly believed capable.

Trumps use of fear in his rhetoric is no secret and this is no new tactic, the politics of fear have played a huge part in victories throughout history. Trump picked up particularly on economic anxiety and economic comparison. He painted a picture of a ‘changing face of the USA’ where whites might not be the majority and married this with economic uncertainty. He took anxieties about trade and America’s role in the world, cherry picking who to blame, China one day, Mexican immigrants the next. This powerful combination of garnering fear and providing culpability worked in his favour to create the perfect platform for himself. The people want to feel protected and he offered himself as the only solution. Where Clinton used policy-focussed solutions, Trump unashamedly offered himself to be the only salvation. From history we know that in moments of despair we search for an idol to lead us to safety, regardless of said ‘idols’ often ludicrous, bigoted visions.

Jason McLure, managing editor of Global Journalist in Columbia, Missouri, talked to us as the last of the votes were being counted about the motivation for voting out of anxiety rather than hope. “Votes for Clinton weren’t particularly inspired by Clinton, and I think that many voting for Donald Trump also had a number of questions”.

If financial anxiety was a catalyst for voters this seems a null incentive, as we talked to Jason this morning he watched the dollar head in a downwards direction and discussed the uncertainty for prospects such as trade agreements and NATO.

“I’m looking at the election results on election night and you see the US dollar dropping dramatically, stock market future dropping dramatically. There is a lot of uncertainty.”

The world seems a dismal place today but to succumb to the very tool which was used throughout this campaign, allowing fear to consume and prevail is a step back one too many. A long struggle is ahead but it’s the only true road there is.

DiMaggio’s restaurant to open in former bank HQ

A historic location in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square will be the home of a new branch of Scottish-based Italian restaurant DiMaggio’s as part of a wider refurbishment scheme.

The former HQ of the Royal Bank of Scotland, known as The Registers, will be transformed into a restaurant that will cater to 200 people as well having two bars. The development is estimated to cost around £2 million.

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RBS left the location in 2005 when it moved to Gogarburn, but has kept a presence at the Dundas Street branch just three doors down.

The location will also feature 50 apartments, shops and office spaces. Work is being done by the Chris Stewart Group, and is due to start in October 2017.

Managing director of The DiMaggio Group, Tony Conetta, said in a statement that “This is an incredibly exciting project for us, in both an iconic building and location.

“The Edinburgh Grand Banking Hall is rich in history, both for the capital and for Scotland as a whole. By carefully retaining and restoring the many original features we will bring this heritage to life.”

Chris Stewart added, “The ambition The Di Maggio Restaurant Group has for the space both in terms of design and quality is a perfect fit for The Registers, and we are delighted to welcome them as tenants.”

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The location was previously owned by former Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov, who planned on turning it into a hotel but could not get the funding. The site was then sold at auction after Romanov’s businesses collapsed.

 

The future of Scotland’s island wind farms in Government hands

The UK Government will decide whether or not to subsidise wind farms in the Scottish Western and Northern Isles.

The Conservative 2015 election manifesto vowed to end support for onshore wind farms, and since have reaffirmed plans to spend £730m on alternative forms of renewable energy.

There will be a consultation to find out if island wind developments should be treated differently to those on the mainland.

UK business and energy secretary, Greg Clark said, “We are sending a clear signal that Britain is one of the best places in the world to invest in clean, flexible, energy – as we continue to upgrade our energy infrastructure. This is a key part of our upcoming Industrial Strategy, which will provide companies with the further support they need to innovate as we build a diverse energy system fit for the 21st century that is reliable, while keeping bills down for our families and businesses.”

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Whitelee wind farm near Glasgow

Scottish Renewables chief executive Niall Stuart said, “The wave and tidal sectors are still at an incredibly early stage in their development, and simply not ready to compete with offshore wind on cost alone.

“If we want to continue the development of the UK’s world-leading wave and tidal sectors, then we now need government to look at how it will support the development and roll-out of the technology to get it to the stage where it can compete in the future.”

The renewable energy company said island communities would be left “bitterly disappointed” by the low level of support announced by the government.

Despite challenges from anti-wind campaigners, Shetland Island will see developments of the 460MW Viking Wind Farm. The project was reaffirmed in February 2015. Other island developments are also currently in place.

 

Donald Trump to bring out the “worst in America”

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First Brexit and now Trump; 2016 has been a year full of shocks and surprises. Donald Trump is the latest figure in what has been a year of pure chaos in global politics. The reality TV star and businessman with zero political credentials was elected with the Republican candidate receiving 47.8% of the popular vote, squeezing out Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by roughly half a million votes.

The result has come as a shock to the liberal community. Meredith Corey, Online Learning Educator at the University of Edinburgh and American, has major concerns over the state that the United States will leave itself in over the next four years in Trump’s reign. “It’s one of the worst things to happen in my lifetime”, claims Meredith Corey, originally from Lexington, Massachusetts on the outskirts of Boston.

“I think he will bring out the worst in a lot of people in America”, she continued. “He has legitimized a lot of bad things and made it acceptable to do things in his name”.

Despite his blatantly offensive and misogynistic comments, he has earned the number of votes to sit in office until 2020 and has been congratulated by British Prime Minister Theresa May. She stated via Facebook, “I would like to congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the next President of the United States, following a hard-fought campaign. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead. ”

It seems like a strange statement from the female PM given Trump’s previous lewd misogynistic comments such as “grabbing [her] by the p***y”. According to Meredith Corey, “there is quite a bit of misogyny in politics”, but added that “he is much more blatantly misogynistic than some of the other politicians. It will make it harder for senior female politicians to respect the United States now that he has been legitimized.”

Corey also made an interesting comparison to Trump and capitalism and the apparent notion that he goes “against the grain” of American political norm. “He has no credentials. He’s not a politician. He’s as much a part of the capitalist system as possible. Running a business does not give you qualifications to run a country.”

Back in the summer, Brexit gave a platform for a small group of the far-right thinking public to attack the ethnic minorities of Britain. Corey is of the view that the same thing will happen in the US. “I worry a lot for the ethnic minorities”, she said. “Already we’re seeing the effects of this in Dakota and the pipeline being built on Native American land at Standing Rock. Not only will there be a rise of racist incidents, like what happened after Brexit, but income divide will increase furthermore.”

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