Welcome to our weekly View round-up where we take a look at the hot topics that have had you talking this week. With powerful testimonies of personal suffering and endurance to Donald Trump’s political woes, we aim to give you a flavour of the opinions that have driven debate across Europe and beyond over the last seven days.
Social media is dominated by personalities called influencers. Acting as a muse to millions of people, they help to inspire our tastes and influence our decisions. Of course, the power of the individual to do this through the written word is incalculable, as we see each week in the op-eds on View.
Some of the most powerful pieces are those that help others to understand a subject that would otherwise be inaccessible to most people. How would you feel, for instance, if your spouse was suddenly arrested and kept captive in prison for months for expression an opinion on Facebook? This is the harrowing situation currently facing Mohammed Lofty, whose wife’s detention tore apart his family. In his op-ed this week, he writes that her fate says something worrying about the current regime in Egypt and the future EU-Egypt partnership.
We read the details of another unimaginable trauma in the personal testimony of an abuse victim in a special care centre for children run by a religious order in Poland. This first person account recalls events that shocked Poland and beyond at the time - and has since influenced the way many people view the Catholic Church as yet more stories of abuse are uncovered around the globe.
While the voice of one individual has the potential to change public opinion – or even history – the power of the collective can often be more effective, as we can see with the petition this week aimed at persuading our fellow European citizens to take more of an active role in deciding the fate of the continent. The signatories of the petition avow that ordinary people could - and should - influence Europe’s future. Do you agree?
The collective will to change things is arguably strongest in the United States at the moment as a growing chorus of detractors seek to change the course of the Trump administration. Ever defiant, Donald Trump continues to portray himself as an individual outwith the Establishment, fighting it many fronts. A group particularly targeted by his ire are journalists, who he has labelled “the enemy of the people” for promulgating what he deems as “fake news.” However, many of his scandals are finally starting to catch up with him, with parallels being made to another infamous Republican president. Richard Nixon famously told reporters “I am not a crook” before being forced to resign. Michael Conway argue, however, that unlike Nixon, Trump will not be impeached because of his recent transgressions.
Of course, in some movements, individual voices are often needed to help corral public opinion in favour of its objectives. Long before the #MeToo movement, the first European queens to rule in their own right were harried by the men of their time. With filming beginning only a month before #MeToo really broke out into the news agenda, the latest biopic about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots – her loves, her loss, her vulnerability and her strength - has become an ode to every woman kept from greatness by men and flies the flag for women everywhere, writes Ani Bundel.
Throughout the years of her captivity, Mary would perhaps have understood the impact that solitude has on a person. For anyone who has ever suffered from poor mental health, the feeling of being washed far out to sea, alone and afraid, is palpable. Pete Davidson, a popular personality on US satire show Saturday Night Live, recently made a cry for help after posted his suicidal thoughts on Instagram. In an important piece, psychotherapist F. Diane Barth discusses what we can all do to bring someone we love back from the brink.
Other articles that should have been on your radar over the last seven days are Karl Henrik Sundström’s piece on how taking action on climate change is now everybody’s business. Tackling what has long been a controversial topic, French farmer Rémi Dumery speaks out in support of GMO products and pesticides as a means to an end to avoid future food crises in Europe.
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