Background Briefing: March 31, 2019
The Brexit Paralysis Moves from Fiasco to Fury
We begin with the Brexit paralysis moving from fiasco to fury and anger in the streets with two weeks remaining in the extended deadline from March 29 to April 12 and no apparent solution to avoid crashing out of the E.U. without any clear idea of what the hard landing will entail short of an immediate 10% hit to the U.K’s GDP. Joining us from the U.K. is Polly Toynbee, a columnist for The Guardian where she has an article “Farewell to the worst prime minister bar none – until the next one”. We discuss the politics of Einstein’s definition of insanity in doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result and Prime Minister May’s delusional resignation speech in which she promised “As we leave the EU we will forge a new, bold, positive role for ourselves in the world”. However the reality is she is leaving the U.K. closer to breaking apart while ignoring the country’s majority who would now vote to remain, as she pursues the illusion of Tory party unity. We will assess what options are possible in such a short time frame such as a do-over vote which has been floated for some time and a new election which now appears to be in the cards but that would require another extension of the deadline by the EU since a snap election would not be possible before the April 12 deadline.
Trump’s Threat to Close the Border with Mexico
Then we go to Mexico City to gauge the local reaction to President Trump’s threat to close the U. S. border with Mexico some time in the coming week. Laura Carlsen, the Director of the Mexico-based Americas Program at the Center for International Policy who blogs at Americas.org, joins us to discuss Trump’s counterproductive and counterintuitive move of cutting off aid to the Central American countries from which migrants are fleeing north, and how Mexico’s new president is handling Trump’s threat to Mexico’s sovereignty when it come to their own immigration policies.
The Power Behind the Scenes Exposed in Algeria
Then finally we speak with Laurie Brand, Professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the University of Southern California and author of “Official Stories: Politics and National Narratives in Egypt and Algeria” about the standoff in Algeria between the people and the government which has been perpetrating a hoax since 2013 when President Bouteflika has a stroke after which the Army’s chief of Staff General Salah has been running the show from behind the scenes pretending that Bouteflika was somehow governing. Now due to mounting pressure after weeks of demonstrations, Salah is calling for Bouteflika to be declared unfit for office but the protesters are not buying it.