Europe

Frame it, win it, eradicate It – The cultural genocide of Macedonians

“This is what’s happening to Macedonia and Macedonians. We are being rebranded as “Northern Macedonians” and our country as “North Macedonia”, thus relinquishing the terms “Macedonian” and “Macedonia” to our biggest oppressor, Greece, and we get to read about this “victory” in the Western media every day. Our name and identity is being given away to the very country whose primary foreign policy objective is our eradication.” (Read More)

Europe

Can voting change Romania?

“I can go into many political arguments of why voting matters, but that is not the topic of this piece. What I want to talk about is what are the reasons for which someone who feels morally compelled to vote, chose in this particular context not to exercise their right. Why does voting matter to me as an individual? To me, voting matters because, historically, woman suffrage was not easily achieved.” (Read More)

Politics

How the traditional media harms our politics

“We need to think carefully about how we stage our conversations if we are to get the most out of them. At present, our practices fail to provide a suitable stage for the questions we want answering. Short form debate has its advantages but it’s restrictive and conducive to a tribalistic simplicity.” (Read More)

Politics

What is the Alt Right?

“What then is the Alt-Right? This is still a difficult question to answer. It is unclear if the Alt-Right themselves are even sure as to what constitutes their core beliefs, especially with regard to specific policy prescriptions. They remain, despite the widespread hysteria, a movement in their infancy retaining only a single guiding conviction. A desire to form a white ethnostate.” (Read More)

'European Union, new headquarters' / CC
Europe

Brexit: Exit stage Left

“The dismal Brexit negotiations have left the British public with a poor appetite for politics. Those that voted remain believe their worst nightmares are only being confirmed by the Cabinet’s incompetent and lacklustre handling of the negotiations. Those who voted leave are left frustrated by the slow process, especially when the government cannot deliver a clear message of what a post-European Union Britain will even look like when we leave.” (Read More)

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)

US & Canada

Clinton Compares Herself to Winston Churchill

“Hillary Clinton likened herself to Winston Churchill as a “polarizing” figure in an interview with the British newspaper, the Guardian, this week. In trying to walk back her statement she said, ‘I mean, I’m not comparing myself, but I’m just saying people said that but he was right about Hitler, and a lot of people in England were wrong. And Churchill was a pain. He kept popping up all the time'” (Read More)

US & Canada

The Space Force: Would You Like To Know More?

“President Trump is essentially viewing space as another area for the American hegemon to exert its influence as it has done over the land, sea and air at least since World War Two. As he said himself it’s a “warfighting domain” and this has been the case for some time.” (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)

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)

World Politics

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)

World Politics

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)

World Politics

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)

Opinion

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
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

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)

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)

World Politics

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)

Opinion

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
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)

History & Philosophy

Liberalism’s problem with the concept of violence

“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)

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)

Africa

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

“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)

Arts & Culture

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

“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)

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)