Jeremy Corbyn Elected Leader of Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party and of the Opposition following the Labour Party leadership elections. He was given a huge mandate from his own party having received 59.5% of the first choice votes from the party membership. He quickly asserted himself in the Commons by arranging his Shadow Cabinet, which included the Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, and one of his leadership campaign opponents, Andy Burnham. Corbyn was criticised for not having enough women in his cabinet and has also faced criticism already from some parts of the political spectrum. We shall have to wait and see how he performs in the long run.
Ongoing Refugee Crisis
This month was the climax of the refugee crisis with regards to the mass of refugees fleeing persecution and war in the Middle East. There was some controversy regarding both the UK’s unwillingness to play a part and lend a hand to the EU response and also the action taken by some Balkan countries in closing their borders to stem the flow. Indeed the full crisis has put the future of the EU into question, yet it has not played out very cleanly for David Cameron who may have thought to use it for his advantage. Both sides of the argument with regards to openly accepting refugees or not have found ammunition to further arguments from the crisis, however, this has not been to benefit of the refugees.
Spanish Regional Elections
In the Spanish regional elections the pro-independence parties won a majority of the vote. Having won 72 out of 135 seats they are arguing that this is clear mandate for independence to be sought from Spain. However, the central Spanish government in Madrid have promised to challenge any unilateral moves towards separation in court. We can’t be sure of what this will lead to be at least it’s another shake up for the status quo.
The Taliban Recapture Kunduz
Taliban forces recaptured the northern Afghan town of Kunduz, which is the first time since 2001 that they have managed such a feat. Two US air strikes on Tuesday halted an advance on the airport, the army’s last stronghold. NATO Special Forces have reached the city but the fact that the Taliban have managed to mount an attack so quickly after the withdrawal of troops has led to questioning of the point of the war. This insurgency also comes in the wake of the rise of Islamic State which is causing general uneasiness with regards to the Middle East and militant Islamism.