World Peace is None of Your Business

This week my two year Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) arrived in the post. I arrived in the US in early July so it wasn’t exactly processed quickly but it’s here now and that’s the main thing. It arrived with a leaflet titled “Welcome to the US; A Guide for New Immigrants” which would have been useful the week I’d actually arrived, but that’s bureaucracy I guess. 90 days before the expiration of the Green Card I can apply for a ten year one and in a few years time I can apply for citizenship if I  want. The jury is still out on that decision, but I’d probably go for citizenship as otherwise I’ll have to deal with USCIS every ten years and as a citizen I’d be able to vote and feel more involved in life here. The good thing is that I’ll be a dual citizen and able to live in either the UK or US.

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The funny thing is that right now I feel like I inhabit some strange middle ground between British and American. I am still British obviously and always will be but my future now lies in the US. It’s been strange as an expat watching the Scottish Referendum and wanting to contribute to the discussion but almost feeling like I can’t because I no longer live in the UK. For what it’s worth I think that Scotland made the right decision but the whole referendum process has opened a can of worms. I feel it’s only fair that Wales and Northern Ireland get the same benefits that Scotland gets now and that Scottish MP’s have to stop voting on English issues (the West Lothian question) and England needs it’s own devolved parliament, like the other parts of the Union. What irritates me is SNP supporters saying they want to be “free”, if Scotland wasn’t free then the UK government would never have allowed a referendum; contrast the UK’s stance with that of the Spanish government, who say there will be no referendum for Catalonia.

I feel like the world is totally screwed up at the moment and when people moan about the US or UK government I think how would you feel if you lived in Egypt, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq et al? The grass isn’t always greener, no government is perfect but I’d much rather live in the UK or US than in many other countries. Do I agree with action against ISIS? Yes I do, if even Iran and the Gulf States find them extremist then they definitely need to be tackled with the agreement of the other regional powers. I’m not so sure about Syria; Assad is a nasty dictator but history shows that when you overthrow one of those you leave a vacuum for something worse; see Saddam, Gadaffi for recent examples. I despise Putin for his messing with the Ukraine but we in the west can hardly talk about invading other nations without reeking of hypocrisy. The best thing that we can do is give the Ukrainian government better arms so they can defend themselves against the Russians.

Does anyone else feel powerless with all the events happening in the world right now? I’ve just finished reading an excellent book by Max Hastings on the origins of World War I. I’m more than a little worried that in a century people will be looking back on our political elite and making similar judgments about our time. That’s if they have the luxury of education and aren’t fighting endless wars caused by overpopulation and the effects of global warming. I leave you with the rather accurate lyrics of Morrissey from World Peace is None of Your Business. They are enough to make anyone think.

World peace is none of your business
You must not tamper with arrangements
Work hard and sweetly pay your taxes
Never asking what for
Oh, you poor little fool- oh, you fool

World peace is none of your business
Police will stun you with their stun guns
Or they’ll disable you with tasers
That’s what government’s for
Oh, you poor little fool- oh, you fool

World peace is none of your business
So would you kindly keep your nose out
The rich must profit and get richer
And the poor must stay poor
Oh, you poor little fool- oh, you fool

Each time you vote you support the process
Each time you vote you support the process
Each time you vote you support the process
Brazil and Bahrain
Oh, Egypt, Ukraine
So many people in pain
No more, you poor little fool
No more, you fool

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