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Are you ready for the New Year – 2017?

How we should get ready for 2017!

Happy New Year - 2017In America we have seen Donald Trump’s election win, and in the UK we have seen Brexit win out. Whilst we don’t know what the courts will say in terms of the Prime Minister’s rights, it is clear that the referendum has been taken and won and that the New Year will bring many changes, and that the far right seems to have gained ascendancy in terms of leaving Europe and also in terms of how we are supposed to ‘handle’ immigrants and other minorities.

President Elect ‘Trump’ has through his cabinet choices shown that he and his cronies are completely anti-LGBTQ, as all of them have either voted for some bill that denied the LGBTQ community one or all of the following:

  • job protections
  • right to marry
  • health services

In the UK we have seen the backlashes and phobias starting with people being beaten up because ‘they are not British’. Taunts like ‘ go back from where you came from’, ‘go back into the closet’, ‘your are not normal’.

It is obvious that things will get worse, especially if the Prime Minister, Theresa May, decides to push the removal of the Human Rights Act and replace with a Britsh Bill of Rights, which in all probability will be of no use at all, and probably only protect the rich and business.

LGBTQ Community

So what can we do about it?

Firstly, we need to make certain that our LGBTQ organisations are actually working for our community, and not just fund raising to ensure there existence. But also, we as a community need to be involved with these organisations – they cannot exist in a vacuum. And it is pretty obvious that funding is drying up from government and other sources.

Secondly, we need to remember that back in the 60s and 70s, whilst we did have some problems regarding personalities, we all realised that we needed to work together to achieve the common goal. This is even more relevant in the light of the attacks that are being made on our community from so many directions. We need to work together in the New Year to achieve our common goals.

LGBTQ Voting Power

Thirdly, we need to channel our voting power in the New Year. No longer should politicians of any ilk or cloth assume because they say they support they support the LGBTQ that they will automatically get our vote – they must prove they are more than fair-weather friends.

PA at Belfast Pride Snow Ball ‏ 2011

Lastly, we need to work with other groups who have experience and knowledge; they can help us develop our policies and mechanisms, the same as they can learn from us. There is strength in numbers, as well as that feeling of not being alone.

We need only look back in our history to discover how we in the past have come together and fought and won. Don’t stand alone, find friends, gather together in groups and support and learn to fight within the bounds of the law to get our rights and those of the future community

 

Further reading:

Is the British Government Spying On Us?

Like most governments, the British government has played fast and loose with the legalities, and has often broken the spirit of the law if not the actual law (probably because there wasn’t one that was up to date!).

 

The latest element to come out is that USA bases in Britain are still governed by laws and agreements made in 1951, and which therefore do not take into account the developments in technology that have occurred in relation to snooping.

 

A group of British MPs have called for American military bases in the UK to be properly scrutinized under cross-party proposals after evidence emerged that they are being used for mass spying activities and drone attacks – it has been discovered that RAF Croughton – a US Air Force base and CIA relay station in Northamptonshire in southern England – was used last year to funnel data back to Washington from the network of diplomatic spy posts across Europe, known as the Special Collection Service.It also has a secure link with a US counter-terrorism facility in Djibouti, which is used for drone strikes in Yemen. Meanwhile, RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire is a National Security Agency (NSA) listening facility.

 

Kat Craig, legal director of Reprieve, has said that “It is a scandal that there is so little oversight by the British government of potentially criminal activities taking place on our own soil. Moves to ensure the current unquestioning support is brought out of the shadows are therefore very welcome”

 

What is also interesting is that Tony Blair’s government gave America permission to store and analyse the email, mobile phone and internet records of potentially millions of innocent Britons. At the same time US security officials drew up plans to spy on British citizens unilaterally, without the knowledge of the UK government.

As I have said before, our civil liberties have been eroded, and are being eroded, and liberties are being taken – tell the government to stop at the next election.

 

Further reading: