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'I am a citizen of this country and I am angry'

Back in October 2010, The Irish Times published the following article of a reader's response to her government's announcement of the possible €50 billion bill for the bank bailout.

"...As I hung up the phone, I began to get angry. I am a housewife and part-time writer. I have no degree in economics or politics. I don’t understand bond markets. But I am not stupid. I run a home, write, support my husband’s business and raise our children. I am a citizen of this country and my opinion counts. And I am angry."

UK Riots 2011: Economic-centric Cameron in denial over England's systemic social injustices


The police brutality issue and the case of the police killing of Duggan is a legal issue and likely a police cultural problem associated with the UK riots last week. But Duggan's killing belies broader and deeper social problems across English urban societies. It is convenient kneejerk ignorant simplism by the English government and the media attributing blame to just 'criminals', unparented youth, opportunistic hooligans, and gangs.

UK Riots 2011: Youth underclass rebuff to austerity cuts - fuelled by idleness, opportunity, anarchists and police violence


England's disenfranchised urban youth have had this sentiment played on by various radical, extreme Left and anarchist movements. There has been recent history of violence with comparable modus operandi. All it has taken is idle youth over a hot summer and a trigger - the police shooting of a young black man, Mark Duggan.

Gillard's Government should be a team made credible

Irrespective of Rudd's failings, and we should not understate his leadership in saving Australians from the demise of the GFC; no leader deserves a factional coup d'etat. The process of leadership replacement where a political party can suddenly replace a Prime Minister or a State Premier without electoral involvement is undemocratic. Political parties are elected on the merit of their leader. That merit earns an electoral mandate. If that mandate is not fulfilled, it is for the electorate to judge.

This highlights our dependence on one person to lead the nation. It is an unnecessary risk. It is the Government and specifically a Cabinet team of ministers who should be running the country, not Rudd, not a gang of four, not just Julia Gillard. Running a country is immensely complex. It is a shared responsibility and requires layers of delegation and good governance.

Þórsdagr Thor's Day

Icelanders have rejected demands from England to repay US$5.3 billion blaming the debt on the 'gross negligence' of Iceland's former Prime Minister Geir Haarde and central bank chief David Oddsson during 2007 and 2008.

With Gordon Brown pledging legal action against the Icelandic government for refusing to honour its obligations, Iceland's pagan god Thor has lashed out at the foreigner, erupting one of Iceland's dormant volcanos on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier last Thursday [Þórsdagr Thor's Day] and sending plumes of ash southwards over the UK.

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