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WES Sunday: a new president, and a nation under lockdown

Updated: a day ago

WES Sunday brings you a quick-fire rundown of your biggest weekly stories. Read the recap every Sunday - from ground-breaking headline events to underreported perspectives on the issues that matter.


This week's roundup:
  1. National lockdown, take two: how parliamentary votes revealed a party rift, and an extended furlough aims to curb a crisis

  2. A turning tide at the US elections: how unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud were unable to stop the turning Democratic tide


National lockdown, take two


Hot take: parliamentary vote reveals Conservative Party rift


Boris Johnson’s Halloween lockdown announcement survived a Parliamentary vote by a large margin, with 516 votes in favour and only 38 against.


However, with 32 of those dissenting MPs being Conservative Party members - mainly from the party’s libertarian backbench - the vote also aired growing concerns about the 'draconian' economic suicide of lockdown from such disgruntled MPs as Graham Brady. The 1922 Committee chairman voted to reject the motion with “greater conviction” than ever before in his 23-year parliamentary career, with major players like former PM Theresa May electing to abstain from the vote.


An economic and pandemic crisis: furlough extended as death toll rises


The UK government extended its ongoing crisis relief furlough scheme by five months, to March, in a desperate attempt to curb mass redundancies.


This comes amid projections of a major contraction in the fourth quarter of 2020, and a double-dip recession predicted by the Monetary Policy Committee. Throughout this downward economic spiral, the government continues to support the NHS’s plight to save lives, as the UK coronavirus death toll climbs and remains the highest in Europe.


A turning tide at the US elections


Trump blows a whistle into the void, with claims of illegal voting


The race for the US presidency began with a bristling, neck-and-neck first 48 hours, and ultimately ended with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris pulling ahead upon the associated press's announcement on Saturday, November 7th.


The long and tense run-up to results was not without controversy, with Trump taking to Twitter to allege that tens of thousands of votes had been received illegally, after 8pm of election day. His allegations further warned that vote-counting had been hidden by tractors and thick cardboard blocking polling stations. Ultimately, however, these claims were found to be unsubstantiated, enabling the blue victory to ring decisive.



Hot take: blue victory answers calls for an American restoration


With Joe Biden and Kamala Harris emerging as the new US President and Vice President respectively, their pledge to restore and further America's pre-Trump positions on healthcare, climate change, foreign policy, and a range of other seminal issues, becomes the next pressing topic of discussion.

Obamacare, the Paris Climate Accord, and international free trade agreements are a few of the key ‘stakeholders’ breathing a sigh of relief, and awaiting a remedial approach from the blue presidency. However, even more immediate, is the hope that the moderate, centrist, and familiar party-line towed by Biden may be exactly what the US and its major trading partners need to begin restorative work amid and after the socio-economic upset of the coronavirus crisis.


by Ingrid Bahnemann

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