Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 20 March 2019


  • The US is Not the Power it Used to be
  • Last Soviet Era Leader Steps Down
  • UK Launches Enquiry into ‘Survival Sex’

The US is Not the Power it Used to be

The Trump administration has warned the German government that if it uses 5G wireless technology built by China’s Huawei, Washington will curtail intelligence sharing with its NATO ally. American officials are concerned that Berlin’s willingness to host Chinese technology threatens NATO security and will give cover to other countries considering letting Huawei into their telecommunications systems. Since Trump took office, he has begun a trade war with China in the battle for the 21st century. But the US is fining its usual allies to falling into line as they use to, many of these allies see numerous opportunities coming from China from infrastructure, to trade and to future tech. Today after two decades of war, perhaps the US is just not the power it use to be.


Last Soviet Era Leader Steps Down

Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s only president since the fall of the Soviet Union resigned after 28 years in office. Unlike many of the former post-Soviet leaders, Nazarbayev is in good health and has full control over the country that has become an oil-rich country. But Nazarbayev appears not be to be retiring from politics but transitioning. Nazarbayev’s decision comes on the heels of sacking his entire government last month. Nazarbayev has created a new position for himself, despite the fact he will not be running for re-election. Nazarbayev signed a law that made him, “by virtue of his historic mission,” chairman of the country’s Security Council for life. The law enhances the authority of the council, making it a constitutional body instead of a consultative one, and states that all Security Council decisions will, as a matter of course, be implemented – even by Kazakhstan’s president. Nazarbayev will remain president of Kazakhstan’s Security Council, a body whose portfolio includes sweeping mandates to uphold national security and ensure domestic stability. The 78-year-old Nazarbayev is not executing a transition of power; he has simply consolidated more of it in a different office.


UK Launches Enquiry into ‘Survival Sex’

UK MPs are to launch an inquiry into “survival sex” – where benefit claimants impoverished by universal credit or sanctions have turned to prostitution to pay rent or feed their families. The Commons work and pensions select committee said the investigation was in response to evidence from charities that increasing numbers of women were forced by poverty into agreeing to sex for money. Although the inquiry is a spin-off from the committee’s ongoing investigation into universal credit it will also consider links between survival sex and other welfare policies that leave claimants impoverished. What is taking place in the mother of democracies and the 5th largest economy in the world is the devastating impact of a decade of austerity which saw huge benefit cuts for the majority of workers. The elite who caused the economic crisis a decade ago saw them receive bailouts whilst everyone else was forced with benefit and budget cuts. In one of the world’s largest economies this is clear evidence that the governments exists to protect the interests of the rich not the average citizen.