Politics & Society

The Breakdown of Our Political Discourse

“If you are to truly believe that your political opposition is composed of bad actors with evil motivations then you effectively disqualify any chance of even starting a conversation in good faith. The attribution of unscrupulous motives to somebody is not to simply say that they are wrong, but that they could in fact never be right” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Scottish Nationalism: A Movement Bereft of Ideas

“A lesson that many independence supporters failed to heed from 2014 is that being able to mobilise tens of thousands of already engaged people (some zealously so) might look good for a modicum of publicity, but it doesn’t necessarily conflate with political clout or persuasion” (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

A Dangerous Rhetoric

“The World Wars taught us that we cannot afford to negate diplomacy and allow the endless escalation of aggression in place of diplomacy and rationale. Now that we are in a world that has nuclear weaponry and technological advances that pose real existential danger how can we possibly justify using petty point scoring language and aggression in place of real negotiation” (Read More)

Europe

Interpol’s Miscarriage of Justice

“Interpol has been left unnoticed, understaffed and stripped of all funds for the past few decades. Rarely does anyone speak of it, apart from the conspiracy theorists and some human rights activists. Sadly, lack of media coverage, governments’ interest and reforms have made this extremely useful organisation prone to the influences of the authoritarian governments from all around the world.” (Read More)

Europe

Votes for Life must only be the beginning

“While the passing of the Bill will likely meet the government’s pledge of legislating on the issue before the 2022 general election, it will most likely not be in place before Brexit on March 29, 2019. On the off chance there was to be another referendum on any final deal, the most populous territories of expats – 308,000 British citizens in Spain, 254,000 in Ireland and 185,000 in France – would again be denied a say on their future.” (Read More)

Europe

Passports are a hint of things to come

“Campaigns have now emerged to have the passports made in Britain. Made in Britain. The ludicrousness of that statement couldn’t be clearer. For decades, centuries even, Britain has done more to shape the modern trading world than perhaps any other country bar America. To be so parochial now, to place nationalism over practical necessity, is a cop-out.” (Read More)

Europe

Brexit makes me angry, and you should be too

“Now – this is where the slightly irked, mostly p*ssed perspective comes into play. My fiancé could have been from any one of the 27 other countries in the EU, and the situation would be the same. This doubt, this fear, is happening to hundreds of thousands of families. Those British and EU citizens who migrated exercised their democratic freedom of movement at a time when the prospect of an EU referendum, never mind Brexit, was not even a talking point.” (Read More)

Europe

Why it’s time for overseas MPs

“Yet Brexit has ably demonstrated that unless one renounces their British citizenship, the motherland is always over the shoulder. Political decisions taken by Her Majesty’s Government can have real and lasting consequences on the five million people who make up the British diaspora, and there’s little they can do about it beyond writing to and contacting their local Member of Parliament.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Civilised?: I’m Not So Sure

“The way we look back at these societies actions’ with disdain and disapproval will be the same way future generations look back at our treatment of refugees. I like to think that as society continues to advance, the actions of our government and its citizens today will be also be classified as ‘uncivilised’.” (Read More)

In the News

Has the Scottish Government missed its flight?

“Reducing APD would help combat Scotland’s sluggish economic growth and boost Scotland’s tourism and wider economy. An in-depth report conducted for Edinburgh Airport by York Aviation concluded the benefits of merely halving this tax. If the tax was to be halved it would create up to 4,000 more jobs by 2020. It would have by 2020 added £1 billion extra to the Scottish economy. Instead, because the Scottish Government have acted so slow Scotland won’t see any of these benefits. It will instead see potentially 300 job losses!” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Help to Buy isn’t helping the people who most need it

“Shortly before the Conservative Party conference in 2013, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, “talk of a housing bubble to people here in Manchester or Salford, and they would literally laugh in your face”. Just a 40 minute drive away in St Helens, house prices increased by 9.1% between 2012-2014. It is no coincidence that St Helens is one of the top twenty local authority areas where ‘Help-to-Buy’ has been used, according to research by the housing charity Shelter.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Guns will stop the U.S government? Give me a break

‘In modern times Americans presume that Newton’s third law is still at play. With equal force, comes an equal reaction. If these weapons really are to protect citizens from the government, then by what possible means could they be used to push back with equal force the almighty power of state and federal government. The United States boasts some of the finest weapons and equipment and manpower in the world. How could Americans resist an almighty slaughter, as the provision seems to suggest, from a force of that strength without the population being as equally well-resourced?’ (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

The Legacy of the Genocide Convention: Forgotten Groups

“Hitler himself targeted groups not mentioned in the Convention.  He authorised that every ‘incurably sick’ German be granted a merciful death and 70,000 Germans with hereditary diseases were exterminated.  He targeted homosexuals, communists, liberals, trade unionists, and other oppositionists and also at one point speculated that he might exterminate the intellectual classes” (Read More)

Classroom/ CC
Politics & Society

How a change in the curriculum could help put an end to ‘small island syndrome’.

“It has been part of every post-war British Prime Minster’s rhetoric to emphasize what a great and powerful country the United Kingdom is. The perceived size and stature of our island contributed to the misconstrued argument of the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum, helping to persuade millions of the electorate that Britain would prosper without the European Union.” (Read More)

Europe

Moscow and Brussels: A Tale of Two Cities

“As the Russia investigation into Trump continues across the Atlantic, there are reasons to believe a similar situation could play out in Europe as the foundation of democracy is ‘chipped away’ by Russian interests. There may come a time when a similar public investigation(s) is carried out on this continent.” (Read More)

Europe

The Conservative Party cannot be saved

“I have always admired the aims of groups like Bright Blue who seek to modernise the Conservative Party towards a new, more moderate message. However, this pursuit, noble as it is, is ultimately futile. The Conservative Party cannot be saved and this has become more and more evident as time has gone on, subsequently resulting in a crisis of alienation and despair for the right.” (Read More)

Books

Review | ‘The Case for Impeachment’

Distinguished Professor of History at the American University in Washington DC, Allan J. Lichtman has produced my favourite book of 2017. Renowned as the man who predicted Donald Trump’s election to the White House, Lichtman turns his attention to how and why President Trump should be impeached. (Read More)

Politics & Society

Has Kezia Dugdale done anything wrong?

“Well, yes and no. In the gloriously apt and heartbreakingly missed ‘The Thick of It’, Malcolm Tucker spits that “People don’t like their politicians to be comfortable. They don’t like you having expenses; they don’t like you being paid, they’d rather you lived in a fucking cave.” (Read More)

In the News

Is Alex Salmond an unwitting Russian stooge?

With the former First Minister of Scotland starting a new career as a talk show host on the Kremlin-backed news channel, RT, the author discusses why those from the left have an unusual obsession with Russia and why Alex Salmond is ignoring Britsh history as well as embarrassing Scotland. (Read More)

History & Philosophy

The invention of history in the Scottish independence debate

“In March 2013 a piece of history was invented, that in 1940, in the face of an impending invasion, Scotland was to be ‘sacrificed’ to protect England. This ‘factoid’ was widely used and elaborated online in the months leading up to the Scottish independence referendum. It continues to be sued to demonstrate Scottish victimhood and grievance.” (Read More)

'Man' / José Carlos Cortizo Pérez / CC
Politics & Society

Shouldn’t International Men’s Day be as important as International Women’s Day?

“The figures themselves are deeply troubling. In 2016, the suicide rate for males was more than two and a half times that for females. In 1981, 63 percent of UK suicides were male, but in 2013 the figure was 78 percent. The proportion of male to female deaths by suicide has increased steadily since the early 1980s. The NHS estimates that around 9% of men in the UK show signs of alcohol dependence against 3% of UK women. Testicular cancer incidences have increased by 28 percent since the early 1990s. The list continues.” (Read More)

Education

Current British politics mirrors the mantra of its history: glorify the good, bury the bad

Is it possible that fewer people would hurl racial and Islamophobic slurs at Pakistanis and their communities if they knew that the British Raj was responsible for encouraging Pakistani migration to Britain in the mid twentieth century? I think so. The act of brushing such periods of history under the carpet, means that bigotry is fed by ignorance, which then allows for obliviousness and inaccuracies to find their ways into history books. (Read More)

In the News

Does Remembrance Day remind us of Britain’s future?

As we commemorate those who gave their lives during the two World Wars perhaps we could reflect on what we have done with our freedom and how we have honoured those who paid the ultimate price.

With Brexit, I think there are real opportunities to be had in terms of reflecting, re-assessing and redefining our vision of Great Britain.C (Read More)

'Europe' / CC
Europe

How could an independent Scotland join the European Union?

Another question to address is whether Scotland would have to adopt the euro as its currency. Tobias Lock and Kirsty Hughes, writing for European Futures suggest that Scotland ‘would probably have to commit to eventual euro membership, but would not meet the criteria yet.’ They also submit that an independent Scotland would ‘be able to postpone this [adoption of the euro] (probably indefinitely).’ (Read More)

Asia

North Korea: A genuine threat or grand strategy hindrance?

Tensions between the US and North Korea have reached new heights in the last few months, with the war of words between both nations ramping up and becoming increasingly hostile, but what does this conflict ultimately boil down to? Do the US believe North Korea poses a serious threat to the world order, or are they more concerned about the threat they pose to US grand strategy ambitions? (Read More)

Europe

Article 127: The question of the Single Market

With Theresa May’s Florence speech offering a semblance of calm in Europe, the fact remains that the process of leaving the European Union has only just begun. Indeed, amidst the backdrop of strenuous, prolonged negotiations, lies the small, often underreported piece of legislative verbiage that could prove to be the thorn in the side of Britain. (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

You are not oppressed

This article deals with the difference between oppression and prejudice. Many people now claim to be oppressed now but are rather suffering from prejudice from a tiny minority of their fellow citizens. As a result, many people have a ‘victim mentality’ which isn’t really justified. (Read More)

Photograph: 'The pro-EU march from Hyde Park to Westminster in London on March 25, 2017, to mark 60 years since the EU's founding agreement, the Treaty of Rome' by Ilovetheeu / CC
Politics & Society

Is May safeguarding the position of EU and UK citizens?

“At face value, it appears to be a good deal. However, when one reads the small print, it becomes apparent that there is no value in the offer, and it lacks the certainty that Theresa May continuously refers to. The offer has come after the EU Council Decision of 22 May proposing their policy on safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU. Therefore both sides have now adopted their position. However, the UK’s offer is nowhere close to what EU would like to secure as a part of the exit deal.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Homelessness and expense: The reality of the private rented sector

“While, of course, the series undoubtedly explores areas such as unaffordability and sub-standard living conditions, we must remember that it acts only as a microcosm of society, by exploring the conditions of only a handful of private tenants. Indeed, the fact of the matter is that the impacts of the Private Rented Sector are becoming more profound and widespread than ever before.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Has May got a one-nation Brexit policy?

“A case in point is that the supposedly politically kindred likes of Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine are condemning their own prime minister. It’s more telling, still, that the one-nation mantra was borrowed unapologetically by Labour leader Ed Miliband in 2015 and he wore the banner with greater accuracy than either Cameron or May.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

May’s snap judgement leaves the Tories red-faced

Perhaps it will be her who will now be the centrepiece of a ‘coalition of chaos’. She will be aggressively pursued by the parties who find themselves out of the loop. Labour, the SNP, and the Lib Dems will all be sharpening their knives. The next five years look set to be plagued with uncertainty and instability, the products of a divided Westminster May so confidently promised to unite.
(Read More)