Brexit

Now Is The Time To Codify A Constitution For Britain

“Brexit’s is perhaps the most divisive issue ever to befall British politics. Everyone has their own take on the advantages, or pitfalls, of this leap into political uncertainty. It necessitates that Britain re-write its relationship with the European Union, requiring parliament to legislate on areas of policy that once came under the EU’s purview” (Read More)

Scotland

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)

Brexit

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)

Brexit

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)

Brexit

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)

Brexit

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)

Classroom/ CC
UK Politics

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

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)

Scotland

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)

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)

'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)

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)

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
Brexit

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)

UK Politics

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)

UK Politics

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)

'Theresa May' by DonkeyHotey
UK Politics

How Politicians Talk To You

“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)

Scotland

Confessions of a Shy Tory

“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)

Reviews

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

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)

Scotland

Hugh Andrew | The joy of democracy

“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)

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

Why Scotland is good for Brexit

“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)

UK Politics

The Labour Party: Goodbye working class?

“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)

Scotland

Hugh Andrew | In the Kingdom of Allemonde

“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)

Scotland

Unionists should welcome Indy2

“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

“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)

UK Politics

Saving UKIP: A Herculean Task

“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)

UK Politics

Government defeated on Brexit Bill as House of Lords back amendment to protect EU citizens

“Within three months of exercising the power under section 1(1), Ministers of the Crown must bring forward proposals to ensure that citizens of another European Union or European Economic Area country and their family members, who are legally resident in the United Kingdom on the day on which this Act is passed, continue to be treated in the same way with regards to their EU derived-rights and, in the case of residency, their potential to acquire such rights in the future.”
(Read More)

Middle East

Netanyahu’s UK visit represents a paradigm shift with Israel

“Settlements aside, Israeli/UK business remains stronger than ever. Trade relations between both countries are positive and are steadily growing in both directions. Bilateral trade is worth £5 billion a year and has doubled in the last decade. The UK is Israel’s second largest trading partner after the US. And, technological, pharmaceutical and military collaboration between both sides remains strong.” (Read More)

Education

Higher Education: Is Social Mobility working?

“I graduated in the summer of 2016, now while my student experience was absolutely fantastic; just a seconds thought about my £27,000 plus student debt is enough to make me feel nauseous. Coming from a working-class family, choosing Higher Education was incredibly daunting, I don’t even think my parents had £9000 in hand to claim their own. University felt like my only option, I needed a degree; if I wanted a successful career and to break my barriers, I had to obtain a degree and I’m so glad I did.” (Read More)

Scotland

The British Premier League

Countries stay together because they want to. Constitutional arrangements are contingent upon this desire, not progenitors of it. You see, there came a moment when no amount of ‘home rule’ could have preserved (all) Ireland within the Union. Think of it in human terms if you prefer, eventually a partner who is perceived as intolerable to live with is shown the door: no amount of domestic tinkering can mend the broken will. Thus it can be observed that a singular focus on the constitution as unionists strive to safeguard the British Union is to put the cart before the horse. Unionists have to cultivate the desire to remain British amongst their fellow countrymen or the Union is burst. (Read More)

Photograph: 'European Communities Act 1972' / Legislation.go.uk
Brexit

A snapshot of Brexit legalese

‘What is clear, however, is that like a patient who has voted to get better, it’s lunacy, improper and downright unprofessional to deny the consultation of, prognosis by and treatment from professional doctors who have decades of experience. Why would the Government want to deny the expertise, opinion and voice of 650 full-time MPs elected to represent the very people whose will they now want to implement?’ (Read More)

Photograph: 'US-UK-Flags' / CC
UK Politics

Farage, Trump and the Future of UK-US Relations

In the current global political climate, UK-US relations hang worryingly in the balance. Relations with one another’s transatlantic counterpart have simultaneously been touted as pivotal and yet uncertain, currently. Yet with Nigel Farage marching onto the scene claiming to be the key to reviving relations between the two nations through his ostensible “bromance” with Donald Trump, why, then, has Downing Street rebuffed Farage’s overtures so swiftly? And what are we to make of the future of UK-US relations? (Read More)