The Gist: Around the world

Mask nazis and Dáil Recall be damned, we're taking a break from Ireland. Come with me and we'll see what's up elsewhere.

The Gist: Around the world

Parts East

Belarus had an election recently and the incumbent dictator announced he’d got 80% of the vote. This proved unpersuasive to the voters of Belarus, who were minded to see the alternative candidate take office. There then followed a series of state officials quitting- including a swath of the state TV on-air talent- and chants of Resign! at him while he tried to rally his imagined base of factory workers.

As is traditional at times such as these, torture and brutality was meted out to people protesting on the streets. As is also traditional, this backfired, rallying more support to the protesters. Truly, a commitment to the old ways.

Anyway, the whole thing is currently on a knife-edge. It seems that a lot hangs on whether people believe change can come sufficiently quickly to risk losing their jobs by going out on strike.

And perhaps, behind that, there’s a lot of private calculations to be made by those workers about whether ending an authoritarian system built on huge state enterprises is, on balance, good or bad for the people who rely on those huge state enterprises. Because whither the jobs of the 15,000 workers of the Minsk Tractor Works after the deluge?

Meanwhile, the President of neighbouring Russia seems to have decided now is the time to see one of his more prominent opponents loudly poisoned. Which may suggest his calculations on the likely final decision of the Tractor Workers of Minsk.

Parts West

Joe Biden finished up a four day Zoom conference to become the Democratic Party candidate for President, proving that there is always someone trapped in a more horrific work meeting than you.

Parts South

Australia has been jailing children from the age of 10 up. Unsurprisingly, over 65% of those children came from the 3% of the population who are from Australia’s indigenous people.

The people in charge of this policy didn’t really desire a change to this activity, presumably because that’s exactly what they wanted, but had indicated they’d think about it. They’ve now said they still didn’t want to change it, but that ‘"if people want to convince us they can". This suggests that Australia's Council of Attorneys-General is both revolting and also run by 15 year old boys who think they’re the smartest YouTuber in school.

In Mali, there has been a coup of Colonels, removing an unpopular president who was already being edged out under negotiations. History suggests that even the most popular coups by Colonels do not end in unalloyed success. Very bad rank for disgruntlement, the Colonel.

Parts North

The ice is melting and we need to get very serious about that.