|   January 12, 2016    7:38 PM ET

Politicians! Want to know how the public see you? Why, simply type your name into Google followed by the word "is"!

Yes, we've been doing just that - and while there's a lot of "...is an idiot" (and worse), there are a few surprising results, too. Did you know, for example, that some people wonder if Donald Trump is Batman? Or that many Brits have strange (although not unreasonable) ideas about Danny Alexander?

From British MPs - and former MPs - to foreign leaders, take a look at our screenshots below to see how these politicians are perceived by the Googling public...

The Happy Face of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Liza Bel   |   January 11, 2016    9:16 PM ET

"Goma is seen as a place with no life, where everyone is in desperate need of foreign aid; a place in need of pity", tells me Arsène Tungali. This 25-year old is fresh out of his Young African Leaders Initiative training in Washington - Obama's flagship program where a selected few from across the African continent are chosen yearly to learn what it takes to lead their countries towards positive change in a sustainable, responsible way.

Back in his native Goma, a city on the Eastern boarder of the Democratic Republic of Congo, ravaged by civil wars and refugee crisis following the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda, escape is not on his mind but a master plan of how to reverse the negative trajectory of the young population of his hometown.

With the YALI program opening doors, Arsène is travelling the world, building the network of like-minded game changers, yet Goma is always on his mind. "I miss the people, the hardworking mother on the corner of my street, the vibrancy of the city especially on the main road: you hear different types of music everywhere, from small shops to cars with open windows. Despite everything, Goma people will always show you a smile on their face."

When I arrived in Goma for the first time in GPS-tracked 4x4 jeeps, reassuring my mother that security measures were monitored on the highest level, I was anticipating a UN-patrolled ghost town. Little did I expect to be gripped by the energy of this place, sandwiched between a majestic Nyiragongo volcano and the breathtaking silky blue of the Lake Kivu.

This city charges you with its truly unique landscape, its youthful, vibrant atmosphere and passionate people who are keen to step out of the difficult past like a lizard out of its old skin. Arsène is one of many inspirational people who I met during my stays in Goma that prove that one individual can bring about change - a phenomenon slowly dying out on our side of the world.

"Growing in an unstable region has given me the kind of courage no one can imagine. I have witnessed poverty, killings, murder, destruction and all those consequences of war, which has led some of my pairs to lose hope. Most of them have decided to do nothing but I have had the opportunity to think differently. I am driven by a big desire because I don't want to see my kids and future generations live in the same situation like the one we grew up in. I always work hard so that I don't have to be asked by my kids Dad, what have you done to change things around you? and have no answer"

Community outreach programs and forums where future leaders exchange ideas are some of the most common projects that young people set up to drive change. In 2011, Arsène started an organization called Rudi International after vising a school where he asked children How do you see your future? and seeing confusion on their faces. They give to primary and secondary kids the opportunity to go to school by paying their school fees and supporting them with various developing after school activities and camps.

Building the future for its youthful population is at the heart of Goma's current development and not only through empowerment projects but also culture initiatives. Festivals, dance competitions, art galleries and youth centres created by locals and international organisations are spreading across the city as mushrooms, building on the creative talent of the city. Even musicians from the capital, Kinshasa, cannot ignore the youthful fan base of Goma. The lively spirit, perfect antidote too all the stereotypes, is captured in this Goma-produced version of Pharrell Williams "Happy"

Despite the absence of roads and western-type infrastructures, Goma isn't a place that requires pity, if anything it is an inspiration and a reminder of the force of the human spirit. I almost don't believe I'm writing this but Goma is a happy place, and I'm yet to unlock the puzzle of this mystery. Perhaps it's the vitality of people there, particularly the younger generations, like Arsène who make us, the sulking Europeans preoccupied with "first world problems", feel like there is a greater purpose in life.

"Young people in African countries are driving change and I can say there is hope for the future. So many of those I have worked with are tired of and are against the way things are being managed by current leaders, and are eager to work differently when they will be taking power. I am optimistic that in the next 20 years or so, Africa will look differently because so many positive plans of actions are being developed by the younger generation today."

The optimistic speak is right off the Young African Leaders Initiative handbook - the skill of talking about the future of the African continent with this fluid confidence. It seems like Arsène has mastered both worlds - a youth leader in his community and an ambassador of his people to the rest of the world. The more I meet people like him through my work across the continent, the more I realise that this dormant volcano of young initiative and passion will erupt soon and change our perceptions of the African continent.

How did it feel sitting 5 feet away from President Obama and listening to his speech, I ask Arsene. "It helped me understand that everything is possible and that nothing should prevent me from reaching my dream. There is hope."

Paul Vale   |   January 8, 2016    3:23 AM ET

Barack Obama attacked the “imaginary fiction” that he wants to confiscate firearms during a town hall meeting on gun control on Thursday, bemoaning the National Rifle Association's consistent mischaracterisation of his position on the issue. "The way it is described, is that we are trying to take away everybody's guns," he said.

Speaking at George Mason University in Virginia, an event broadcast live by CNN, the president attempted to assure detractors that his executive order unveiled earlier this week was not an attack on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

The NRA was invited to the event but declined to take part.

“And by the way, there's a reason why the NRA is not here,” Obama said. “They're just down the street. This is the reason they exist. You'd think they'd be willing to have a debate with the president."

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandamb told CNN that the organisation saw "no reason to participate in a public relations spectacle orchestrated by the White House.” The broadcaster, not the White House, organised the event.

obama town hall

Obama speaks at a town hall meeting hosted by Anderson Cooper at George Mason University in Virginia, Thursday, January 7, 2016

During the hour-long meeting, the president chastised the lobby group’s “over the top, and so overheated” rhetoric, adding that he would be “happy to meet with them... but he conversation has to be based on facts and truth, not some imaginary fiction in which Obama's trying to take away your guns.”

Offering a long defence of the tightening of existing gun laws, Obama dismissed the conspiracy theorists that believe proposals to improve gun control is a prelude tyranny. “This notion of a conspiracy out there… it gets wrapped up in concerns about the federal government, there’s a long history of that,” Obama said. “That’s in our DNA. The United States was born suspicious of some distant authority.”

“Is it fair to call it a conspiracy,” questioned host Anderson Cooper.

“Yes, it is fair to call it a conspiracy,” the president shot back. “What are you saying? Are you suggesting... we are creating a plot to take everyone’s guns away so we can impose martial law? Yes, that is a conspiracy.”

Obama said peddling that message is “really is profitable for the gun manufacturers” and “a great advertising mechanism, but it's not necessary.”

Taking questions from a partisan audience that included Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu and Taya Kyle, the widow of sniper Chris Kyle, Obama said much of the polorisation on gun ownership came down to differences between rural and inner city communities. "Part of the reason, I think, that this ends up being such a difficult issue is because people occupy different realities," the president said, admitting that he had never owned a gun.

Following the meeting, the New York Times published an opinion column written by Obama outlining how he will not support any presidential candidate who refuses to back gun reform. Read the article here.

READ: Why 'Gun Control' Isn't Going To Save A Single American Life


America is Saved

Mark Robins   |   January 6, 2016    8:40 PM ET


I admit - I love America. I love the country, the people, the diversity, the food, the craziness. I know it has its faults but in general I love it.

Except for one major thing. Guns. The country is a mess over this. If it wasn't so tragic it would be laughable. The whole thing has become a farce and I want to add my bit of nonsense to the subject.

Barak Obama is finally going to act and try to do something about gun control across the US. About time too, but I fear it will be a false dawn again due to the difficulties he will face.

It is a ludicrous situation. He says that he "can't just sit around and do nothing" any more due to the "letters he has received from parents, teachers etc", yet he is almost powerless. This is due to the power of Congress and the influence that minor states yield who want to uphold the second amendment and maintain the right to bear arms. There is also the farce that is the influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) who seem able to control the government with regards to gun policy.

Now let's look at some facts.

The second amendment was ratified in 1791. It states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed". It hardly even makes literary sense but, also, note some things within it. A Militia - i.e. a military organisation, not Joe Public who lives in suburbia, or a disgruntled student. "Bear arms" - technically by definition (on Dictionary.com) that means they can carry arms but not actually have permission to use them!

It was also written to safeguard against the Federal Government at the time, who were an opposing militia, not for people to shoot each other over an argument or if they are feeling marginalised by a part of society.

In short, the second amendment has no relevance to modern life but it still remains in place and is being interpreted so that people can keep their weapons. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to argue against as it is written in law and it does give people a constitutional right.

So legally it may be correct, but is it morally correct? No. Absolutely not. The statistics alone speak for themselves. Add to that the emotional turmoil that is caused by gun deaths in the US and there is no sane argument in favour. Although, I am not a lawyer and there are people with far bigger brains than me and with legal knowledge that would be able to rubbish my arguments.

However, it is still unlikely that President Obama will succeed in his latest quest.

Fear not, I have a solution. Instead of trying to ban guns or put stricter controls on them, follow my simple plan.

Ban bullets.

As far as I can see, it is flawless.

I have conducted some research into this. The dictionary definition of "arms" is essentially "weapons". A bullet is not a weapon, it is a projectile that is fired from a weapon. Therefore, in banning bullets there are no constitutional rights being infringed but it is still rendering the weapon a non-killing device. There is a National Bullet Association but it has no power compared to the NRA therefore will hold no power in Congress, and from what I can see, the NRA has no policy on ammunition.

People can keep as many weapons as they want - pistols, assault rifles, machine guns, anything they can lay their hands on, but they will not be allowed to fire anything out of them. It will save thousands of lives and the make the country a far safer place.

If people still want to have guns and run around the countryside with them, they still can. They can live out their frustrated dreams of being in the military or being a super-hunter, they can even carry a weapon on them on show at all times if it makes them feel better, but they will cause no damage.

A brilliant aside to this is the vision of some nutter dressed in camouflage running around and having to make gun noises so that he feels he is using his weapon. Bang! Rat-a-tat-tat! Uh-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu-hu! They could even have those material signs that unravel under the barrel saying "BANG!" - I would give that as a concession too. It would be hilarious to see these people reduced to behaving and sounding like the idiots they so clearly are.

So there you are, America. A gift from a fan across the pond. Ban bullets and all will be well. You are saved, and you are welcome!

America Needs to Start Talking About Mental Health

Danny Bowman   |   January 6, 2016    6:53 PM ET

This US election it is time for mental health and mental health care in America to come out of the darkness, with approximately 42.5million or 18.1% of American adults suffering from mental illness.

There are many issues that are linked to mental health in America, from gun crime to healthcare from the prison system to the police force in the United States.

Starting with healthcare, mental health care is extremely expensive in America so unless you can pay, you are not going to get sufficient mental health support. This time bomb in the American healthcare system that seems to be ready to explode isn't being addressed. We have heard from major presidential candidates from both sides, the Republicans to the Democrats have expressed concern about the need to improve mental health care but simply not a sufficient amount; more debates need to happen on this issue. For example according to the Washington Post, states have cut their mental health budget during recession by $1.8 billion. It seems in healthcare that mental health is still falling behind further and further even more than the United Kingdom, even after the brilliant campaigning by ex Member of the U.S House of Representatives and non-other than Patrick J Kennedy, it still seems like mental health care in America is an afterthought.

The next issue is gun crime and how in the past couple of weeks many have called for more in depth checks when purchasing a gun including someone's mental health background, Donald Trump even called the gun crime epidemic a "mental health issue," those comments were followed this week by President Obama mentioning more checks on someone's mental health background before the purchase of a gun. Is this fair?

President Obama message was powerful and he really gave a heartfelt and admirable speech but it's very important to not be carried away with implicating people with mental health conditions and drawing correlations to such horrific events as named in the speech. It shows that we need a bigger discussion on the correlation between gun crime and mental illness. With that said it has been reported that the Obama Administration is proposing an investment of $500 million into increased access to mental health care.

The next issue is to address the police, there has been much speculation on whether the police have enough training on how to deal with someone suffering from a mental health crisis, and this is not just an issue in the U.S but an issue in the United Kingdom. With better training we could potentially prevent the mentally ill ending up in prison.

The next worrying factor to include is the amount of people suffering from mental illness ending up in the American prison system. In June 2015, now presidential candidate John Kasich said "now I don't know how many of you know people who struggle with these illnesses, but if you've got a problem with schizophrenia you find yourself in a prison? It's a disgrace in this country." Very strong words, but is there actually anything happening to counteract this problem.

The fundamentals of the situation is mental health costs lives, it needs to be looked at very closely in the upcoming presidential election on both sides, it needs to be a bipartisan issue and it's time America started talking about mental health.

Kathryn Snowdon   |   January 5, 2016    8:01 PM ET

A journalist from Armed American Radio said that the deaths of 13,338 people in the US last year from gun violence was "just a part of life" during a heated interview on Channel 4 News on Tuesday.

Neil McCabe was questioned by Jon Snow Tuesday evening - hours after President Barack Obama announced tighter gun control measures following a series of mass shootings in the US.

A Channel 4 News report on gun control in the US revealed that 125 people have already died this year as a result of gun violence. There were 13,338 deaths in total last year.

jon snow

Neil McCabe was questioned by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News on Tuesday

Following the report, Snow asked McCabe whether he was "proud or ashamed" of the number of people who had died from gun violence in the US.

McCabe said: "I don't know if I am ashamed and I don't know if I am proud. It happens and in a free country these things happen.

"There is always going to be risk. There is always going to be situations."

READ: Why 'Gun Control' Isn't Going To Save A Single American Life

During the segment, Snow increased the figure to 137 people and then to 141.

When confronted with the escalating statistics, McCabe said: "It's just part of life."

McCabe added: "More people die by fists and kicks than by rifles... people die, people are murdered. It's human nature. But in those situations there is no obligation to be a victim. I don't want to hide under a desk.

"I would rather have a gun to protect myself."

Many were shocked at the number of people who had been killed this year already - just five days into the year.

Others were in disbelief at McCabe's reaction to the shocking statistics:

And some could not decide whether McCabe was being serious or not:

While the majority praised Snow for his interview:

McCabe defended himself on Twitter, saying that Snow was "confused".

The interview comes hours after Obama announced his long-awaited gun control measures during an emotional speech on Tuesday.

The proposals, made by executive action against the will of Congress, will improve the background check system for gun sales by expanding the number of buyers who are subject to criminal checks.

The action also sought to improve research into gun violence, increase domestic violence prosecutions and better keep track of lost firearms.


Paul Vale   |   January 5, 2016    4:57 PM ET

Barack Obama shed tears as he announced long-awaited gun control measures on Tuesday in the wake of countless mass shootings that have made the US an international outlier for gun violence. The proposals, made by executive action against the will of Congress, were revealed at the White House, the president flanked by families of the victims of many of the mass shooting that have blighted his presidency.

The action will improve the background check system for gun sales by expanding the number of buyers who are subject to criminal checks; give millions of additional dollars to mental health services; and kick-start smart gun technology.

obama gun

Obama wept while talking about the massacre in at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012

The action also sought to improve research into gun violence, increase domestic violence prosecutions and better keep track of lost firearms.

"Fort Hood, Binghamton, Aurora, Oak Creek, Newtown, the Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, San Bernardino. Too many," the president reflected. Weeping as he referred to the children slain at the Newtown massacre in 2012, he said: “First graders... every time I think about those kids it makes me mad."

Chastising congress for its inaction despite the incessant deaths, Obama said the US is "not the only country in earth with violent or dangerous people" but it “is the only advanced country on earth that sees this type of mass violence with this type of frequency."

“It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries," he added. "It’s not even close."

"Somehow, we become numb to it and we start thinking, 'This is normal,'" he continued. “Instead of thinking about how to solve the problem, this has become one of our most polarised debates. The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they can’t hold America hostage. Congress still needs to act. The folks in this room will not rest until Congress does.”

obama gun

US President Barack Obama delivers a statement on executive actions to reduce gun violence on January 5, 2016 at the White House

The background check proposals, which enjoy widespread support across the US, were immediately attacked by Republicans as unconstitutional, with legal challenges likely to follow.

"This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it," said House Speaker Paul Ryan.

In a statement released after Obama's speech, the speaker challenged the president's "dismissiveness toward Americans who value the Second Amendment," saying: "At a time when the country wants the president to lead the fight against radical Islamic terror, this is yet another attempt to divide and distract from his failed policies."

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted: "Obama overstepping his constitutional authority to force his policies on the American people."

Jeb Bush, currently running for the Republican presidential nomination, released a statement condemning the move. "Rather than taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens as Obama and [Hillary] Clinton would like to do, we should focus on keeping guns out of the hands of the terrorists who want to kill innocent Americans,” he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by many of Bush's GOP rivals, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who promised to repeal the executive action once he's president. "When you live by the pen, you die by the pen," he said, adding: that his own pen "has an eraser on it."

READ: Why 'Gun Control' Isn't Going To Save A Single American Life


Eve Hartley   |   December 31, 2015    2:48 PM ET

President Barack Obama revealed on Wednesday that a “pretty sizeable percentage” of world leaders are “out of their minds”.

The politician made the admission to Jerry Seinfeld during an episode of 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee'.

Chatting in the White House cafe, Seinfeld asked Obama: “How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind?”

“A pretty sizeable percentage,” the commander-in-chief responded.

barack obama

Barack Obama has admitted that a "sizable percentage' of world leaders are 'out of their minds'.

At the start of the 18-minute clip, Seinfeld arrives at the White House, greeting the President through his window.

Obama got into the spirit of the film, saying: “I always wanted to be in a show about nothing and here I am."

On insane world leaders, Seinfeld quipped: “Some of these people, you must meet them, you must be chatting and you see it in their eyes… you go ‘oh, this guys gone’.”

Without naming names, the 54-year-old president revealed: “Part of what happens with these guys, is the longer they stay in office, the more likely that is to happen.”

“Of course, they lose it,” interjected the comedian.

Obama continued: “At a certain point your feet hurt and you’re having trouble peeing, [but] you have absolute power.”

“Privilege is toxic”, Seinfeld said.

“It really is,” said Obama.


Eve Hartley   |   December 22, 2015    3:05 PM ET

Social media users lambasted Donald Trump on Tuesday for making a penis jibe towards Hillary Clinton, claiming the Republican frontrunner’s comments are "astonishingly sexist."

The presidential hopeful used the vulgarity to refer to the Democratic candidate, saying she was “schlonged” in her 2008 Democratic primary loss to Barack Obama.

The definition of "schlonged" itself has caused much confusion in the Trump camp, with the media-moguls spokesperson, Katrina Pierson, seemingly unclear on its meaning.

Pierson was trying to clarify his comment and said: “I think he was meaning, like, ‘schlonged to the ground,’ ‘schlonged around."

Speaking on CNN, Pierson said: “What does schlonged mean then? Why don’t you tell me what schlonged means?”

Schlong is a Yiddish term for penis.

A backlash followed, with columnists and political followers jumping on the candidate’s wording:

Meanwhile Clinton's camp have refused to respond to the “degrading language.”

Trump used the insult during a campaign rally on Monday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It’s not the first time that the candidate has used the vulgar term on the campaign trail. In a 2011 interview with the Washington Post, Trump blamed Republican Paul Ryan for the party losing a special election.

The media mogul said: “I watched a popular Republican woman [Jane Corwin] not only lose but get schlonged by a Democrat [Kathy Hochul] nobody ever heard of for the congressional seat and that was because, simply, because of the Paul Ryan plan.”

Chris York   |   December 19, 2015   12:34 PM ET

The White House welcomed a very special guest on Friday as everyone's favourite dustbin-shaped droid R2-D2 dropped in.

He was also joined by these two rather suspicious looking characters.

As well as these two far more friendly-looking ones...

The Stormtroopers and R2-D2 also made a special appearance with White House spokesman John Earnest in the briefing room following President Obama's year-end news conference.

Obama was among the millions feeling the force as he sat down in the White House Family Theatre to watch 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' with families of military personnel killed in the line of duty.

Ryan Barrell   |   December 15, 2015    5:05 PM ET

It's safe to say Drake's 'Hotline Bling' was one of the most viral music videos of the year - mostly because of the strange dancing.

Now the video editor behind BaracksDubs has put together something even better - President Obama singing the song and even doing some of the weird dances.

Merry Christmas to us.

[h/t Tastefully Offensive]


Climate Change: Merci M. Fabius

Alistair Burnett   |   December 14, 2015    6:07 PM ET

French may no longer be the language of international diplomacy, but French diplomats have not lost their touch.

The Paris climate deal reached at the weekend is a testament to their skill and endurance.

Many environmental activists and experts, among them the British climate economist Lord Stern, have been effusive in their praise for the French delegation led by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

According to Lord Stern "they have taken great care to make everyone listened to, that they were consulted. There was a great sense of openness, of professional diplomacy, and skill."

What Fabius, his colleague, Environment Minister Ségolène Royale, and their team have pulled off is the first ever agreement that all countries - rich or poor, developed or developing - will take action to tackle climate change by reducing their carbon emissions and reversing the deforestation and environmental degradation that is depriving the planet of its ability to take carbon out of the atmosphere naturally.

Of course, France did not do it alone.

At a time when the international system - and the United Nations in particular - has been written off by many as incapable of achieving the consensus needed for decisive action over conflicts like Syria and Ukraine, the success in Paris is a welcome reminder that the international community is capable of coming together for the common good.

The deal has allowed a rare moment of optimism over the climate change, which has been reinforced by research just published suggesting carbon emissions could have stalled this year despite the global economy growing.

The climate accord also builds on the momentum of September's agreement by all UN members to sign up the Sustainable Development Goals which aim to eradicate poverty by 2030 by meeting people's economic, health, education and social needs while protecting the environment.

It's a far cry from six years ago in Copenhagen when the last attempt to get all countries on board in the fight against climate change fell apart amongst rancour and recrimination between the world's major powers - particularly China and the United States.

So it's no coincidence that another of the contributors to success in Paris was the growing climate cooperation between Washington and Beijing which became public last year during President Obama's visit to China and was reaffirmed a few weeks ago during President Xi's visit to the US where the two leaders announced a shared vision for the Paris talks as well as how their countries would cut carbon emissions.

In the US, President Obama has broken with his predecessor's skepticism - some might say cynicism - over climate change action and made it a signature issue of his second term. But given the Republican Party's control of Congress, Obama has had to use executive powers, not legislation, to take action.

One of the key features of the Paris deal is how the French and UN negotiators were willing to work around the American President's political obstacles and produce an agreement that would not have to be ratified by the US Senate.

That's why the Paris accord avoids a legal commitment by countries to actually cut emissions. Instead countries have submitted voluntary plans of how they will reduce emissions and fight climate change called - in UN-speak - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs.

The voluntary nature of these central commitments has been criticized as a major weakness of the deal, so in order to try to ensure countries keep their promises, the agreement legally requires all states to monitor their emissions performance and to come together every five years to review their progress.

The idea being that global peer pressure will encourage countries to do their bit.

Another obvious weakness of the deal is that, as things stand, when you total up all the INDCs it does not add up to preventing a temperature rise above 2 degrees Celsius, which most climate scientists agree is the tipping point where global warming will produce catastrophic climate change.

There is an aspiration in the preamble to the agreement to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees and the hope is the five-year review process and peer pressure will lead to countries committing to ever-deeper emissions cuts as they go along.

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon - another leader who has made climate change a signature issue - described Paris as "a truly historic moment".

It could be - if countries follow through.

What we can say for sure is that Paris has given humanity a fighting chance in the battle against climate change and for that a lot of the credit should go to France.

President Obama - You Fought for Obamacare...Will You Help Us Fight for Our NHS?

Chris James   |   December 9, 2015    5:35 PM ET

Dear President Obama,

As the leader of the free world I am sure you have many things on your mind. Unrest in the Middle East, President Putin, Donald Trump, China, Syria, Islamic State - I can only begin to imagine what your diary must look like.....no wonder you have become the silver fox of world politics (I am hoping flattery will get me everywhere).

My existence is somewhat simpler as a Junior Doctor in the British National Health Service. My diary does have its own complexities, however, in the sense of the rota I work - no week is ever the same. I cover late-shifts, nights, weekends and even the odd 9-5 - Mr Cameron would perhaps have you believe we don't already have a 24/7, 365 a year health service but I assure you we do.

Each patient I see also lends their own complexity to my world. Everyone's physiology has its qwerks and no sick patient seems to play by the rules. My world is dominated by self-doubt as well as by life and death decisions made at all hours under huge pressure, with limited information. My world is riddled with mistakes and regrets - all doctors have their ghosts which follow them.

But then I don't need to tell you any of this - again I can only begin to imagine...

What I do know, however, is that in your 2 terms as president you have been partly defined for your attempts at healthcare reform. The "Affordable Care Act" - otherwise fondly known as "Obamacare" has laid a foundation stone for the revolution of American healthcare. It has already dropped the number of uninsured Americans from 15.2% to 9.2% - and I am sure if you had your way that would be 0% uninsured. You are rightly revered throughout the world for this ideal.

There is thankfully a simplicity in my world which resides in the foundations of our NHS - a health care system which has blossomed quite stunningly from the ashes of WWII. We treat all citizens, regardless of wealth or status, from cradle to grave. The cost of this? 9.7% of our GDP - about half of US expenditure - and we do not have the "uninsured" to worry about. Coverage by the state ensures there are no tales of people bankrupted. No tales of patients turned away in their hour of need. As a doctor I get to treat ALL of my patients based on their medical needs with only their best interests at heart. I am in a position to treat anyone and everyone based on need and an evidence base - not greed and a balance sheet.

It is a beautiful place to work Mr President. Nye Bevan is our hero in this tale - fighting successfully for its implementation in 1948. Could you imagine it Mr President? Not fighting for a 5% drop in the population uninsured but for a health service that provides comprehensive healthcare for ALL - no strings attached. Yes it has its problems but with a core of empathy, care and compassion can we really go too far wrong?

Our NHS is under attack, Mr President, from a conservative government hell bent on tearing it apart in the name of profit and greed. They are dismantling it and idolising the American system because it would prove so fruitful for the rich. They are aiming for a system that you have fought so hard to reform - we have everything you have fought for, everything that you would love to provide for your citizens.

With the greatest of respect, Mr President, we don't want what you have.

In 2006 in a speech aimed at the African Nations you said "In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost". Amen to that sir. Amen.

The NHS protects the British people and unashamedly promotes their common welfare. I have treated the homeless and I have treated lords of the realm. I have done this without bias or prejudice against either group - again a beautiful place to work. This government seems to have lost their way.

We need some heavy-weight help sir.

You have achieved much as the leader of the free world Mr President but I ask for one small favour. Come out in defence of the NHS. We are fighting for everything you would love to have for your own people, everything you have fought so hard for.

I am forever told that I am naive and idealistic - that I do not understand the complexities of politics. I live in hope this is true - I am not interested in Mr Cameron's feelings nor that of any other politician. I firmly believe there are some absolutes which transcend politics and are non-negotiable. Access to healthcare for all is one of these absolutes.

If our generation is to watch over the loss of our NHS then it will be a national disgrace which will define our children's lives and indeed their deaths.

Please Mr President stand with us. We have reached tipping point - it is balanced precariously. We are not politicians and our lack of a media platform confirms this. Every lie and deception put forward by this government is backed by a media machine that is as relentless as it is powerful in the minds of the public.

We need a handsome, silky-smooth, silver fox in our corner. A real statesman who transcends politics and simply makes a stand for what is right. Our government is selling out its people - they are out of touch and threaten the future of millions in the name of ignorance and greed.

In 1948 Nye Bevan, the then Minister of Health said "The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it". That faith burns bright in the masses of the British People Mr President, but the darkness is creeping in and a spark from across the pond could make all the difference.

With hope,

Dr Chris James

Cilmate Change and Terrorism: Which Is the True Existential Threat?

Alistair Burnett   |   December 3, 2015    7:29 PM ET

Climate change is "the most severe problem that we are facing today--more serious even than the threat of terrorism".

So said the then UK Chief Scientific Adviser, David King back in 2004.

It's a view that's been echoed by, among others, President Obama in this year's State of the Union address.

Eleven years on, King's comment came to mind as the UK parliament debated and approved air strikes on Islamic State in Syria at the same time as delegates from more than 190 countries were meeting at the UN climate summit in Paris to try to agree a deal to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The Syria vote took up many more column inches than the goings on in Paris despite the presence of world leaders, including Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the opening of the summit.

Polls in Britain about the most important issues facing the World, indicate terrorism is seen as a much greater threat than global warming. It also seems public concern about climate change has declined since the last disappointing key UN climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

Why should this be when the scientific consensus is that unless the world takes measures now global temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees and cause catastrophic changes in the climate that will pose a grave threat to all of humanity?

Some climate scientists think it's partly their fault. They believe they gave people the impression climate change would be more dramatic and also that it may be too late to do much about it. But climate change is likely to be gradual and psychology suggests if people think they can't do much about something, they will most likely carry on as usual.

But political leaders and the media also bear some responsibility.

When there is a terrorist attack, there is frequent talk about terrorism as an existential threat.

Prime Minister, David Cameron, himself has said he believes IS is an "existential threat" to the UK.

According to the dictionary "existential" means "relating to existence". So an "existential threat" to the UK is something that threatens the very survival of the country.

Does the Prime Minister really believe IS poses a threat to Britain's national survival in the same way Nazi Germany did in 1940?

Surely not?

But he is not alone in using this language - other politicians and media commentators have also liberally used the cliché - and it is bound to have an impact on public perceptions.

Anecdotally, I know well-informed people who agree with this assessment of the scale of the IS threat and dismiss climate change as exaggerated - when it is precisely the other way round.

The frog in boiling water is the analogy that's used to explain the lack of urgency about taking action to combat global warming. Then there's the fact that because climate science is developing all the time, there is always an element of uncertainty about it, even if the broad trends are clear.

However, there is already evidence that climate change will disrupt our way of life and threaten the existence of states.

The Pentagon and other defence ministries now recognise climate change as a threat to national security and see it as a driver of conflict.

One of the causes of the unrest that led to Syria's devastating civil war that may well end in the permanent disintegration of the country was prolonged drought and it's very likely climate change was a cause of that drought. It's this research Prince Charles was referring to in a recent interview with Sky News when he grabbed headlines by suggesting a link between terrorism and climate change.

The conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, which the UN estimates has killed around 300,000 and displaced almost 3 million, has also been linked to drought caused by long-term changes in climate.

Another problem when it comes to public perceptions of the two is that while terrorist attacks are sudden and shocking - that is the whole point of them in the eyes of the people carrying them out - climate change is incremental.

We humans also seem to find it far easier to empathise with the relatively small numbers of victims of sudden random violence than we do the large numbers whose lives are threatened by an creeping menace like climate change.

I don't intend to diminish the impact terrorism has on its victims and their loved ones.

If you are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity of a terrorist attack then it is an existential threat to you.

But, unless you live in a handful of countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia or Afghanistan, terrorism is not a threat to the future of your country. It's also not a threat to human existence. Climate change, on the other hand, probably is.