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Weekly Wipe - An overview of the last few weeks in politics and current affairs

Weekly Wipe - An overview of the last few weeks in politics and current affairs

When deciding what date to launch Bulseye, the 25th of June stood out to the editorial board due to it being George Orwell’s birthday. This led to us having a variety of ideas about our first issue and how it was essential to have a feature on Orwell.

Having an article on his legacy and works was of particular importance due to the Orwellian nature of 2020 created by the insecurity and fear of the global pandemic alongside the hate and injustice highlighted by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Nia Brace’s article provides a reflexive account of Orwell and his works in the 21st century while succinctly discussing the impact of his works on pop culture and politics in a time of fake news.

Over the last few weeks we have seen the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement after the murdering of George Floyd by a white policeman in America. This resurgence has seen protests on an unprecedented scale. In this issue we have a variety of articles written about the movement. Amira Osbourne writes about the generational change of the movement while former Guild president Joshua Williams writes about the importance of the marches, along with a piece by Hamdi Rage about the dangers of performative activism.

Equally, the BLM movement has crucially brought up other conversations about who we idolise and the media we consume. In particular conversations about TV shows such as Little Britain and Fawlty towers have led to constructive discourse among individuals after episodes were taken off streaming platforms such as Netflix due to the use of blackface and inappropriate jokes. This even led to Little Britain creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams issuing apologies regarding their use of blackface and racially motivated humour.

The occurrence of StatueGate soon followed as a statue of Bristollian slave owner Edward Colston was thrown into Bristol harbour. This led to a chain of events of statues across the world being defaced or removed due to the individuals they depicted. This has included a statue of King Leopald II being taken down in Belgium along with talks of Winston Churchill’s statue being placed in a museum. Another unfortunate knock off effect of this progress has meant leagues of predominantly white males have taken to the streets of London to chant about “All Lives Mattering” and attacking policemen. Despite the unfortunate circumstances leading to these changes it's important for us to discuss the UK’s disgraceful history of colonialism and accept who we should and shouldn’t be idolising.

In coronavirus news, we have just seen the government’s announcement of support bubbles. This is to allow individuals living alone to partner up with another household. The idea of this was to allow individuals to mix with a select number of people to minimise the spread of coronavirus and lower the risk of infection. Equally it will allow for contact tracing to be much easier if a member of the bubble gets the virus. Support bubbles may also provide a form of combating loneliness and assist those struggling with mental illness. However, critiques of the support bubble system seem to argue that it is just an opportunity to be taken advantage of by those who will not conform to rules.

Earlier this week we saw Boris announce further procedures easing lockdown in England. This comes at a time where we have seen reports announce some areas of England's R rate increasing with certain regions still having an R rate above 1. This is counteracted by Wales and Scotland who have seen their stricter lockdown procedures allow for an R rate of 0.5 and 0.6 respectively. In our launch issue we have an article about what was wrong with the UK government's handling of the situation by Eddy Burchett.

With the easing of lockdown and life seemingly returning to normal with the re-opening of shops, talks of the post covid recession have become increasingly into the mainstream. This comes after news of the UK economy shrinking by 20% in the month of April. While the governor of the bank of England Andrew Bailey states he is ready to act we cannot fathom how detrimentally this inevitable recession is going to be for the poorest in society. Jude Stafford has written an article on the coronavirus austerity measures likely to take place and the importance of Labour to develop a strong economic strategy.

During the beginning of lockdown we saw Sir Keir Starmer voted to be leader of the Labour party. As measures have eased across England and  parliament sitting again we have seen the new Labour leader become known for his interrogative nature during PMQs along with his ability to make Boris flustered. As a response to this we’ve begun to see the party bounce back in the polls polling just a few points behind the tories. Jonathan Wright writes about Labour’s bounce back under Starmer and his optimism for the future of the party.

Overall, we’re experiencing a year like no other and we at Bulseye look forward to receiving your contributions and highlighting the discussions we need to be having.

“The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it” - George Orwell


24 Jun 2020