Trump’s Tabulation Tales
In the first news story today, we will discuss the ongoing situation in the US in relation to the election. While, at the time of counting, neither has won the keys to the White House for the next four years – Trump has yet again doubled down on his view that he has already won the election.
Last night, he made a speech at the White House which caused quite the controversy. He opened with “if you count the legal votes, I win”. In terms of accuracy and a close relationship between the President and the truth, we weren’t off to a great start…
Many news organisations went as far as cutting the president off before he finished explaining why what he was saying was untrue. So, let’s go through some of the things he said.
He said that “we have so much evidence and so much proof” of voter fraud. However, it has so far not been explained what this proof is. And without it, there is nothing at all to suggest that any widespread voter fraud has occurred. Although this is a pretty bold falsehood to propagate, it is not nearly as misleading as that of vote counting.
The president stated that, “Pennsylvania Democrats have gone to the state supreme court to try and ban our election observers”. While his claim about proof could be true, and that it is simply yet to materialise, this is an outright lie. The court case was about how close observers were able to get to the poll workers. This went in Trump’s favour, and observers were allowed closer. This was not about banning observers outright, and there is no evidence that this happened.
While this might seem like an unfair attack on the president, and may seem like we’re taking a partisan stance, we’d just quickly like to explain why we believe we’re not. The president is in a position of authority, and cannot be left to mislead the public. Democracy can only function if the loser of an election concedes defeat – without this, power cannot transfer between parties and we are left with someone clinging to power, against the will of the people. If Trump loses the election, this is what he should do.
Additionally, candidates should not be trying to influence and decide how election officials do their job. The football players do not get to try and change the decisions of the referee when they start losing a game. They cannot try and change the rules, or argue that a goal shouldn’t be allowed after the facts without evidence. And, in line with this, the president does not have the right to “hereby declare” the state of Michigan, or any other state for that matter, after he lost it without evidence.
The Most Expensive Prison in Britain
In the second news story today, we move back to the UK to discuss how some students are being treated during the pandemic. As the temporary national lockdown was implemented yesterday, some universities are taking it upon themselves to try and ensure that students remain in their halls of residence. This has led to fierce student backlash, and claims that universities are getting students to pay for their own prisons.
One such university is Manchester, who erected a fence around Owens Park, on the Fallowfield Campus, without notifying the residents. The vice-chancellor claimed that such a fence was put up to try and stop people who were not residents from accessing the halls – and that it was not designed to stop students from leaving the halls.
Under the current lockdown rules, people are allowed to leave their homes to exercise or go to a public place to meet one other person. They are also allowed to leave to go to a supermarket.
In order to understand the students’ perspective, we spoke to Kathryn, a resident of Owens Park. They claimed that security “ignored” students’ requests to go shopping or to go to exercise – both of which they are allowed to do under current government guidance. Kathryn confirmed to me that their halls were not currently locked down (as some halls are due to a prevalence of coronavirus cases).
She also stated that there was a consensus on campus that “profits [are] being but before student care wellbeing”, as demonstrated by the fact that students have experienced days without hot water and that she herself has not had fuses replaced in her kitchen. While the university has been slow to rectify these problems, they have been quick to erect the fence – costing £11,000 (which the university themselves have confirmed to the BBC). All in all, she claims, “the fences had antithetical impacts, residents felt trapped like prisoners, or wild animals, instead of feeling protected and supported”.
The lack of communication from the university likely didn’t help assuage the feelings of students either. Kathryn claims that “yesterday morning we woke up to fencing around every block in halls, with no explanation from the University, reception, or security as to why they were there”.
This all led to a protest last night from students, which has made national news headlines.
A Security Hotline
In international news today, there has been another development in Hong Kong over the controversial security law. The state has established a hotline that allows citizens of the country to snitch on neighbors for breaking the controversial rule.
For those of you who do not remember (which is fair enough considering how much has happened between then and now), a few months ago, Hong Kong introduced the security law that criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces. Many have claimed, though, that it restricts freedom of speech and expression – and can be used to arrest those speaking out against the Chinese regime.
This new hotline allows the law to be used even more easily, and make even more people fearful of speaking out against the Chinese regime. It has already been used 1,000 times.
We will whether this level of use continues over the coming months.
I know some people don’t like it when I plug things in these videos – but we’ve apparently produced about 253 minutes of content in the last week, so give me one minute here. You might remember over the first lockdown we made and released Brexit the Colouring Book – well with a second lockdown beginning in the UK and Brexit reaching the bitter end we have the new extended edition. Not only does it have this rather lovely new coloured cover design, it also contains 6 brand new images continuing the story into 2020. It also has even more timeline detail than the first edition & is printed on even nicer materials.
If you want to pick up a copy you can preorder now and use the special code ‘TLDRDaily’. If you do so you can get a copy of the book for only £8.99 or a signed edition with a free Barnard Castle Postcard for £11.99 OR a signed copy with three barnard postcards and a mystery pin badge for £14.99. Offer ends Monday and you can find it exclusively on the TLDR Store.
For those of you who think the news is too long, be sure to check out tomorrow’s daily briefing.