Ideas & Discussion

You are not oppressed

22/07/2017 David Bone

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

01/07/2017 Oliver Murphy

“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)

Ideas & Discussion

Alastair Stewart | Has May got a one-nation Brexit policy?

16/06/2017 Alastair Stewart

“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

15/06/2017 Thomas Nugent

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)

'Theresa May' by DonkeyHotey
Politics & Society

How Politicians Talk To You

05/06/2017 Luke Murphy

“Jeremy Corbyn’s socialist approach has not been in the mainstream for decades, and we are unaccustomed to hearing the idea championed that the broadest shoulders should bear the heaviest load. This principle has been normal in rich countries like Norway and Sweden. However, some of the richest 5% find it galling to be asked to pay yet more. The reintroduction of basic socialist language into British political debate jars profoundly with the individualistic language of our society normalised by Thatcher in the 1980s. As a result, Corbyn’s old ideas sound new and exciting to young people because they have never heard them before.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Confessions of a Shy Tory

05/06/2017 David Bone

“I can assure you it takes more than money as well. You need to deeply change a culture and foster an atmosphere of individual responsibility and initiative in people. The only party that seems to mention responsibility is the Conservatives now, who have the word 11 times in their 2017 manifesto compared with 7 for Labour. A very crude measure, but like I say, much of this is just general feeling from the different parties.” (Read More)

History & Philosophy

Liberalism’s problem with the concept of violence

05/06/2017 Stephen Mallet

“What is violence? In truth, there is no clear definition. Political theorists often disagree about the parameters of the word and its relation to other metaphysical concepts such as power. This leads to radical differences. An anarchist may see violence as any act which restricts choice; whereas, a liberal may view violence as physical, empirical, an action of causing harm. How violence is theoretically treated radically defines many political doctrines.” (Read More)

Books

Review | ‘The Broken Journey: A Life of Scotland 1976-99’ by Kenneth Roy

02/05/2017 Alastair Stewart

That’s extremely important given today’s politics. So much of Scotland’s past is used as a resource to fuel arguments, on both sides, of the constitutional debate that it’s rare to find a rhizomatic reading of history concerned with how well the system worked. How the Scottish justice, health, education systems operated with and through the Scotland Office; its ministers and its instruments and scope of its power in Scotland make for a fascinating read and serves an accessible index of political parties and policies still asking for your vote today. (Read More)

Politics & Society

Hugh Andrew | The joy of democracy

26/04/2017 Hugh Andrew

“All the endless consultation about what the people want has neither settled anything nor tracked any clear path. Indeed, the government has largely halted in the last few years in the ceaseless build up or wind down from one vote to the next. The Scottish Parliament has no legislation before it and – before the Prime Minister’s announcement – the sole topic of interest seemed to be another referendum.” (Read More)

Africa

The distorted manifestation of an ‘instant’ man-made famine: how the current crisis in South Sudan was no surprise

26/04/2017 Priya Surendra

“Famine in South Sudan is not rare. Poor governance and instability quickly turn drought into a humanitarian crisis. The political and economic situation amongst the population of South Sudan has been disastrous even before the country gained independence in 2011. The Christian population of South Sudan comprises mostly black Africans, while Northern Sudan is predominantly Arab and Muslim. The political, religious, economic and social asymmetries in favour of the north, as well as racial tensions, have widened this divide between the two countries.” (Read More)

Art, Design & Photography

Donald Trump and Theresa May’s ‘special relationship’ has been turned into NSFW street art

24/04/2017 Alastair Stewart

“Young people have never even more isolated, and some are lashing out. Street art represents an immutable reaction against a political class that doesn’t want to listen, a voting system that is flawed and a society that feels angrier than ever in a generation. It is no coincidence that these montages are so often graphic in their depiction and so publicly displayed.”
(Read More)

Politics & Society

Trump’s obvious historical strategy

19/04/2017 Alastair Stewart

“The result is genuine fear rooted in a powerful unknown president. And it is fear which is the most useful tool in the arsenal of any leader who wishes to make a lasting change. Machiavelli argued that sometimes it is “a very wise thing to simulate madness.” In this, Trump is unrivalled at stoking bewilderment and panic with no resource able to extrapolate his next move.”
(Read More)

Europe

May is right to hold a general election

19/04/2017 Alastair Stewart

“May has eight weeks to win an election, but even less time to put together a manifesto package that is comprehensive and unequivocal on Brexit. There have been no signs to date that the UK Government has an overarching negotiating position or even an agreed understanding of what needs to be agreed upon with the EU.” (Read More)

Books

Why Tam Dalyell is the passing of the Old Guard

03/04/2017 Alastair Stewart

“Dalyell’s final title is fascinating in that not only was he was an eyewitness to events, but a participant over the last five decades. It’s a genuine a breath of fresh air because he writes with a decency to candidly admit the highs and lows of his contribution, successes and failures and all. Every sentence brims with a sense of history that contains the wisdom of a participant who isn’t trying to rewrite his role to suit the turnout.” (Read More)

Photograph: 'First Minister Nicola Sturgeon' / Ninian Reid
Europe

Why Scotland is good for Brexit

30/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“Even if one acknowledges that Scotland voted ‘No’ to independence in 2014, and even if it’s conceded therefore that Scotland is a collection of constituencies and not an individual nation in UK general elections, it is impossible to deny that the reality of Brexit will affect every devolved sphere of Scottish society.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

History and hope over terror and tyranny

23/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“The irony of any attack on London is that it’s a special kind of museum for centuries-old hatreds which have transformed into a successful, multicultural peace. It is not perfect, and if it’s not always a simpatico example of multiculturalism then it’s certainly a melting pot of hatreds that have been confined to the past.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

The Labour Party: Goodbye working class?

22/03/2017 Oliver Murphy

“The Labour Party recently has been plagued with a myriad of controversial events. Front-bench resignations, shadow-cabinet reshuffles and reports of bullying have engulfed the normal day-to-day operation of the party to such an extent, that its effectiveness as an opposition and prospective government has come into question. In light of this, you would be right to think that matters couldn’t get worse. But they have, with two recent by-elections in Copeland and Stoke central bearing this out. ” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Hugh Andrew | In the Kingdom of Allemonde

22/03/2017 Hugh Andrew

“There seem to me many Golaud’s in Scotland today. Their shrill and loud voices speak of their own desire to silence the still small voices of doubt inside them. And many of these Golauds speak too on the Unionist side of the argument. In the stentorian shouting match about the ‘answer’, people have forgotten what the true ‘question’ is. Nor it is it, of course, one ‘question’ but many (and many in each of us) which feed into a sterile and binary divide. And that question is at the deepest level about who we are.” (Read More)

Food and Drink

Why I hate vegans

22/03/2017 Daniel Hewett

“Taxidermy is soon to be found only upon the walls of edgy right-wing night-clubs. Veganism is on the ascent and has quickly become an echo-chamber of sanctimony and righteous indignation. Quinoa and tofu; pine nuts and avocado: these are the altars at which the vegan worships, and the vegan worships loudly.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Unionists should welcome Indy2

22/03/2017 Daniel Hewett

“Are we deceiving ourselves into thinking independence will grant our extensive wish list? Of course not, but as things stand we are getting very little. Scotland should be the author of its fate even if the road is wrought with difficulty.” (Read More)

Europe

From conflict to peace: Remembering Martin McGuinness

21/03/2017 Oliver Murphy

“What is easy to do, and perhaps too easily so, is to allow for the visceral reaction to turn into a reignition of past difficulties. If there is to be one rallying call today, it’s that peace, first and foremost, be celebrated and protected. That is a legacy, for all people and all sides, to hold onto and belongs to more than just one man. ” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Should the over-60s be banned from referenda?

20/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“The moral, practical and political appetite to restrict universal suffrage makes a change unlikely, even though society already curtails rights based on age. Declining ability and the diminishment of mental faculties in elderly people have prompted regular calls for mandatory driving tests for the over 70s. Qualification for jury service stops at 65 and previous eligibility for conscription during the Second World War was capped at 51. Should these restrictions, in light of the referendum, be expanded to include voting rights and if so, how?” (Read More)

Photograph: 'Michael Heseltine' / By Julian Mason
Europe

The old men in grey suits should be listened to

14/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“A peculiar thing happens to politicians of a particular age at the end of their careers. When they’re done with government or opposition, they’re shuffled off to the House of Lords where they either languish gracefully or take to the television circuit to gently voice their view or to share their experience. The animosity, whatever it might be against them, ends and they become that most pervasively undefined of creatures, the respected ‘statesman’.” (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

Political rhetoric isn’t at an all time low, it’s changed forever

13/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“There are innate, widely shared moral standards in our society about what is acceptable and unacceptable in public life. Much of it is common sense, otherwise, it’s the product of family, institutions and generational veneration of esteemed figures. The bitter consequence of creating good citizens over critical thinkers is it’s creating a dissonance and disbelief that pure deception could be taking place in broad daylight. ‘Not here’, they say. ‘Surely not, must be an explanation for it’. Yet we’ve crossed the Rubicon with rapid speed.” (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

Is this the end of the Liberal international order?

12/03/2017 Olivia Beer

“Neither must we conflate nationalism with national pride and support for national values, and especially not with racism. It is perfectly legitimate for nation states to defend their own borders and define their own narratives. An integral part of the liberal world order is internationalism, a body of interacting nation states that may trade freely, share policies and examples of best practice that can simultaneously remain as sovereign actors.” (Read More)

Africa

The African AIDS epidemic is the West’s failure

12/03/2017 Hannah Tayab

“A huge number of victims of AIDS are young women due to their lives as sex workers as there is a lack of opportunities to otherwise make money for women due to education deprivation. Developed nations, therefore, can be argued to have ultimately failed to meet their global responsibilities, as so many African women are still unable to access education and therefore, unable to progress their lives. Accessible education around the globe is a global responsibility for all developed countries.” (Read More)

Featured

Murdo Fraser | Sturgeon doesn’t speak for Scotland

10/03/2017 Murdo Fraser

“It is perhaps little wonder that Ms Sturgeon sees the political distraction offered by Brexit as an opportunity to divert attention from away from her government’s dismal domestic failings, and is promoting a grievance agenda against Westminster in order to try and drive up Yes support.” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Trump, the alt-right, and the normalization of bigotry

09/03/2017 Daniel Hewett

“But, with the normalisation of bigotry in the name of free speech, the alt-right will find themselves increasingly providing a cover for people with sincerely ugly beliefs about ethnicity, sex, culture, religion and more. Even now it’s hard to tell the genuine fascists apart from the common trolls.” (Read More)

Europe

Did the sun really set on the British Empire?

08/03/2017 Alastair Stewart

“The English language and the osmosis of British music, film and fashion around the globe create the usurpable fact that Britain’s reputation and influence are already second to none. If Brexit is not about economics or military dominance or cultural hegemony then what precisely are the imperial designs ministers have?” (Read More)

Politics & Society

Saving UKIP: A Herculean Task

01/03/2017 Allan Nixon

“He has, until recently, retained strong support amongst both UKIP’s longest-serving members as well as the MEPs currently sitting in Brussels. And he may yet win the hearts and minds of the disillusioned, working-class voters he so doggedly pursues. The odds, however, are stacked heavily against him. Nevertheless, what is clear is regardless of whether Nuttall or UKIP survive this storm, the appetite for a party representing disillusioned, anti-establishment voters in the UK isn’t going anywhere.” (Read More)