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Welcome back to this week’s installment of the all-new What Just Happened?!, a semi-comical weekly digest of the most important news from the UK, US and the World from Will Marshall, and Alistair Simmonds-Yoo. Look out for us every weekend, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The UK

Priti Ruthless

The glorious post-Brexit utopian state of Great Britain need only be populated by highly-educated, well-paid skilled workers, and everything else can done by robots according to the new immigration policy to be introduced by Home Secretary Priti Patel. Disregarding the ridiculous wage threshold (even now it’s lowered to £25,600), there is little scope to fill some of the ‘unskilled’ roles we rely so heavily on immigrants for in the UK, such as construction and social care.

Patel (winner of the award for the living person with the most irritatingly smug smile) even admits that her own parents wouldn’t have been allowed to enter the UK under her rules. Similarly, Sajid ‘My-Father-was-a-bus-Driver’ Javid (Chancellor until last week), regularly touts the ‘rags-to-riches’ story of his own father arriving “with a £1 note in his pocket” and working hard to create a life in the UK. So, the Government can’t be completely blind to the merits of immigration, and yet it’s choosing to willingly pursue draconian policy to pander to it’s far-right support base. Seems legit.

Making a right Boris of it

Here’s an example of how not to hire someone; doing no research whatsoever before hiring Andrew Sabisky (our right honourable ‘Weasel of the Week!’). Either that’s the reason this complete tit (a verifiable smugosaurus of a creature) got a position advising the Prime Minister, or it’s sincerely Dominic Cumming’s whim to surround himself with plucky little social darwinists (read: stupid racists).

This Sabinsky guy doesn’t seem like someone I want advising the Prime Minister… I prefer my technocracy with a little less (100% less) thinking that immigration should be controlled on the basis of IQ scores. While the racist tone of the whole thing is completely contemptible, the Guardian also annoys me, reporting: 

Sabisky suggested introducing compulsory contraception under a blogpost by Dominic Cummings in 2014: 

One way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies creating a permanent underclass would be to legally enforce universal uptake of long-term contraception at the onset of puberty. Vaccination laws give it a precedent, I would argue.

In fairness to the little creep, I’m not exactly sure this is a suggestion to pursue this course of action as much as it is a super weird pre-Cover Letter communication (a piece of sample writing, if you will) to his future sponsor through his brief career advising government. 

Raining on Every Damned Parade!

This bit isn’t even really news, I (Will) am just pretty pissed off: as the UK continues to get pounded by torrential rain and heavy winds, the country’s infrastructure continues to fail to cope at all. Years of woeful under-investment and reduced local authority spending has crippled the ability for road and rail to deal with inclement weather, be this snow, rain, wind, cold or heat. 

Indulge me whilst I give you an example: it has rained a lot this week, and did last week, and the week before, hence there has been a considerable amount of flooding, including to hundreds of domestic properties. On Wednesday I couldn’t get to work because of flooding on the road (special shout-out to the hatchback which drove in, despite seeing the truck stuck in it with water up to it’s windshield, nice one), when the Fire Brigade arrived to pump the water away and rescue the stranded vehicles, for the second time in a week, they discovered that the drain was completely blocked, because the local authority haven’t been clearing them. 

A special note for our new Chancellor Rishi Sunak: the country gets its income from taxes, if we can’t move goods and get employees into work because the infrastructure is crumbling, we can’t do business, and we won’t be paying taxes!

Smokey and the Woodburner

The Government has announced an upcoming ban in England on fuels including house coal and unseasoned wood. It’s a positive step forward to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, it’s a slightly less rosy picture once you consider that plans were approved last year for Britain’s first new coal mine in 30 years. Seems we’re still happy to export the problem.

The World

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean the CIA aren’t listening

Marvel at the epic kick in the pants to Swiss neutrality that is the Crypto AG story, brought to you by the Washington Post and Germany’s ZDF. If this doesn’t get you curious to read the whole thing then democracy is truly doomed:

“It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concludes. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the U.S. and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”

The US

Lose Billions of Dollars and build one wall, you’re a wall builder, not a failure

Tax dollars can pay for schools, hospitals and Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism, or they can pay for Trump’s useless border wall

It’s dark and unimpressive that voters would approve of someone electioneering on a campaign promise of building a physical barrier with a neighbouring country – it’s beyond belief that the insult of suggesting Mexico would pay for it would be a possibility, let alone a campaign promise (“Remarks by President Trump Before Marine One Departure” 01/2019; sidenote: spare a thought for the person who has to transcribe the president’s blithering nonsense).

Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox has propounded eloquently and clearly that “under no circumstances will we pay for this stupid fucking wall”.

Vicente is a treasure. Be like Vicente.

Tipsy Trivia

If you fancy a cheeky giggle to ease you into the weekend, watch this stream of the final game of HQ Trivia, the once incredibly popular live trivia game played by millions, filmed just hours after the company announced to its employees that it has run out of money. The now jobless and well-lubricated hosts pop headstands, tout stolen merch, threaten to shit on their critics’ porches, and chastise ‘Barbara the sweet-Nazi’ for the decline in office snacks.


Thanks for reading! We’ll be back next week, get in touch with the authors Will Marshall and Alistair Simmonds on Twitter and let us know what you did and didn’t like.

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