Everyone loves sales. Whether it's the latest Xbox game, kitchen appliance or electronic gadget, people are always looking for bargains, especially during the run up to Christmas. But there's a stark difference between lining up for Boxing Day sales and the animalistic behaviour witnessed last week during the "Black Friday" sales...
It is unlikely that these demonstrations seen today in Hong Kong will bring about significant change. Nevertheless, whether you are a democracy advocating global citizen, a government looking at how best to peacefully manage demonstrations, or just someone interested in international politics and what life in a future, more developed, China might look like, today's protests are a significant event worth watching closely.
Since 9/11 and the subsequent terrorist attacks which have taken place in the West, Muslims have been entrapped in a vicious circus show called "Not in my name". This circus show entails guilt by association of faith, and the never-ending apologies and condemnations that Muslims are forced to make for crimes allegedly committed in the name of Islam.
Neither Russia nor the West is contemplating going to war over Ukraine. There is far too much to lose for both sides for this to be a serious proposition. However, until the West changes a mindset which cannot conceive of a world in which its hegemony does not hold sway, crises such as the one that has unfolded in Ukraine will continue to occur, along with the dangers inherent in them.
The sight of Russian soldiers in the Crimea is evidence that western hegemony, long held as the sine qua non of global affairs, is no longer a given. It is also further evidence that when it comes to foreign policy, Vladimir Putin is playing chess while his counterparts in Washington, London, and throughout the EU are playing checkers.
It wasn't just Russia that breached the sovereignty of Ukraine. The West did it too. And, in doing so, it set the scene for one of the most precarious international crises for a generation... The Eurocrats and oligarchs have failed Ukraine. Its people now need to look to each other in the fight for justice and liberation.
On a geopolitical level, Russia and to a lesser extent China's support for Iran and Syria is part of a struggle against the West's objective of maintaining Washington's writ as leader of a unipolar world against a multipolar alternative in which Russia, China and the other BRIC group of developing economies enjoy parity... The stakes involved in the Syrian conflict, therefore, could not be higher.
What "saved" Malala was not a knight in shining armour, but a skilled experienced team of specialised trauma surgeons and intensive care staff in the UK. That a 15 year old being shot for writing about civil rights might strike a chord with activists on these global universal human rights issues should not surprise us, except perhaps Baig and others that suggest a Western saviour complex.
Cultural diversity has played a key role in forming the multicultural Britain of today, far more so than adherence to one set of 'national values' has. The role of the state is to enforce this tolerance through laws and expose children to the true diversity of the world they are entering in the education system.
Despite Watson's claims, it is not 'one-sided', sensationalist or impartial to state the truth - that North Korea is, in fact, 'a rogue, propaganda led state' that enforces absolute control over its people through extreme brutality and fear. That is the reality, and Watson would be better served facing it than creating his own. Guardian readers, the Left, and- most importantly- the North Korean people, deserve far superior journalism than this.