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)

Opinion

Is this the end of the Liberal international order?

“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

“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)

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)

US & Canada

Caroline Kennedy: America’s Next President?

“The argument exists that she currently lacks sufficient experience to run; the same argument was used against JFK when he ran for the Presidency in 1960. One has only to study Caroline’s past and observe her speak to see she is a natural diplomat and public speaker with some excellent political and legal experience; certainly more than many other Presidents and Presidential hopefuls in the past.” (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)

World Politics

Parliament: The effectiveness of representation

‘MPs at the end of the day are representatives. It is this status, I believe that is the very cornerstone of our democracy. Not all, but a large majority of MP’s, I have noticed, do represent their constituents using ‘their own judgement’. Examples include Dennis Skinner, Alex Salmond and Jacob Rees-Mogg. More specifically the Hon. Philip Davies, states that he will ‘always put constituency interests first’. This highlights how Parliament is beginning to improve in its function of representation. ‘ (Read More)

'Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.' by Gage Skidmore
World Politics

The Donald is the presidential rule, not the exception

There’s much to disagree on. Money can’t buy class, and Trump’s signature over the top lavishness is clearly compensating for something. Even with the indisputable fact that he is an accomplished businessman, if you watch every video on Trump you see soon enough that there is a painfully apparent chip in his psychological make-up. (Read More)

Books

‘It Can Happen Here’ is as relevant as ever

Michael Meyer’s wonderfully acute, succinct and thought-provoking introduction describes the book’s protagonist, Doremus Jessup, as ‘a mild, rather indolent and somewhat sentimental liberal’. If only the world today was full of indolent sentimental Liberals. Similar to those in It Can’t Happen Here, with the exception of Jessup, today’s Liberals seem on the one hand content to hold together a world that is evidently not working for the majority of people, while also to their credit are able to identify a truly dangerous, hapless president who poses a threat not just to their world but to the ideals of the whole population. (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)

Donald Trump speaking with the media at a hangar at Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona. / Gage Skidmore
US & Canada

Dangers from Trump’s narrow hinterland

“The second weakness is that his entire career has been as a businessman. The fact that he has proved very capable in his various business appointments does not obviate the risk of harm that experience only in this one arena could bring to governmental processes. On the contrary, it could increase it. Trump has already shown he has the prejudices of many business people about government: that it is a hindrance to productive business.” (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)

'Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.' by Gage Skidmore
US & Canada

The surprise election of President Trump

With the recent election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, this article briefly discusses some of the factors behind his successful election, what we can glean from his statements so far and why his election doesn’t spell the end of the American republic. (Read More)

World Politics

Winter is Coming. Hurrah!!

Summer seems to get all the attention from the media these days. But what about the autumn and winter? This short, humorous article lists some of the authours favorite things about the more maligned of the seasons in no particular order, that should hopefully help you appreciate the autumn and winter a bit more. (Read More)

'Latin America' / CC
Latin America

What’s next for Colombia?

Since 1964 Colombia has been embroiled in a civil war that has claimed over 200,000 lives and displaced over 5 million people. One of the most prominent actors that emerged from this civil war, has been the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist Guerilla group.

(Read More)

'Saltire' / Julien Ortet / CC
Scotland

What next for Scottish nationalism?

This short article discusses the fact that Scottish nationalists have not had the ‘summer of love’ that they had anticipated. With the divisive legacy of the 2014 referendum still raw, bad economic news and the failure of a significant ‘Brexit’ bounce they may face an uphill struggle in the short to medium term. Even their party leader has had to acknowledge this fact and state that Scottish independence now transcends economic considerations and that the Scottish people may not be better off financially post-independence. (Read More)

'Food for the weekend' / CC
World Politics

5 Foodie Reads for the Weekend

TGIF. Whilst it’s been a short week for us in the UK, the hot weather has made commuting particularly difficult. Here’s 5 foodie things to read with a glass of wine to get you excited about what you’re going to cook and drink this weekend. (Read More)

Air strike in Sana'a / Credit: ibrahem Qasim
Middle East

The neglected war in Yemen

Gabriela writes about the civil war currently going on in Yemen and the role the US and UK are playing. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015 and up to now all peace talks have failed and the country is in chaos. (Read More)

'Donald Trump' by Cage Skidmore / CC
US & Canada

The appeal of Donald Trump

This short article discusses the appeal of Donald Trump to many in America. It argues that this is predominantly down to two main reasons. One, his lack of establishment credentials and secondly his policies mark a return to the prominence of the nation state after decades of globalisation. (Read More)

'Houses of Parliament' / CC
UK Politics

Labour Leadership Crisis: What is the problem?

In the Labour Party split, there are two main factions that formed after the general election. They both hold different outlooks on the same conventional wisdom in British politics. This division derives from those who are seen as more left within the party and those that are seen as more moderate. The conventional narrative of British politics, which both sides have a different reading of, is that the Labour party was unelectable for 18 years because of disputes over how left wing or moderate the party should be. The party took unpopular far left policies thereby ruining its electability.

This narrative is what has pushed the party to see the situation with two different truths. The moderates read the Corbyn left, as disconnected with what the country would desire and is unelectable, just like the Labour of the 80s. The more left-wing in the party see Corbyn as having formed a different left. The similarities between them and 80s Labour are not problematic because the change in the world since the Cold war has made it so the issues should be viewed in a different light, such as nuclear disarmament. (Read More)

'Europe'/ CC
UK Politics

UK votes for Brexit in historic referendum

The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union in a historic referendum. This result will change the course of British history and possibly have a domino effect on other European countries. The result came as a surprise to many, even the Leave camp, but there are already some politicians in other European countries that want to hold a similar referendum in their country. The economic implications of Brexit are still not known but businesses have made it clear that they will have to review their plans now that the British people have voted for Brexit. Furthermore, prime minister David Cameron has resigned and will be remain in office until October. Only time will tell exactly what kind of consequences this referendum will have for the UK, Europe, and the world. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Business & Economy

Basic Income: Scotland and Beyond

Professor Standing is right; with pilot programmes launching across the world, the time is ripe for a Scottish experiment – and with a Scottish parliamentary majority comprised of Greens, actively advocating for a basic income and a Scottish National Party amenable to the idea, there has never been a better time to push for a Scottish study. Scotland’s unique characteristics, population density, GDP and economic diversity make it an ideal candidate for a national pilot. (Read More)

Profile Cover Photo: Calton Hill, Edinburgh / Raphaël Chekroun / CC
Scotland

Could Ruth Davidson be the next leader of the Conservative Party?

In an era which has seen antipathy and mistrust towards the political classes mount to such levels as to give rise to the likes of Donald Trump, few politicians from the political mainstream can be deemed genuinely popular. And yet, the presidential-style campaign lead by the young, gregarious, kick-boxing, tank-straddling, former Territorial Army signaller struck a chord with voters in a way in which precious few in Ruth Davidson’s party could ever hope to emulate.
(Read More)

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon TV interview / Scottish Government / CC
Scotland

Not the Scotland I want to see

In my relativity short life, I have witnessed Scotland go from a stoic, sensible nation, where politics was based on the traditional left-right ideology and people made decisions based on economic and social evidence, to a place where large swathes of the population would vote for a party that’s primary aim would cause them grave, long-lasting, deep economic harm and social uncertainty, but yet would happily dismiss anything that counters this view. Any contrary evidence is just debunked as the work of the “establishment” or “Wastemonster” or “quisling politicians.”
(Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Brexit

Time to reboot the debate on Europe

Last week the first of a series of debates on the UK’s membership of the European Union took place in Glasgow. This debate were to focus on the concerns of young people, but it maybe didn’t get off to a wondrous start. The panel, with its mean age of almost 60, is maybe not the best to really understand the concerns of today’s youth. The debate itself very aptly summed up the referendum debate so far – scaremongering, with little regard for facts as the dominant narrative. This is doing nothing to rebuild the public’s trust in politicians, especially as both sides contradict the other sides’ arguments on a continuing basis. With less than a month to go, it is time for a reboot of the debate on Europe. (Read More)

Europe

Turkey: current developments and ambitions

Erdoğan also claimed that funds promised by the EU have yet to reach Turkey. The refugee problem has put a severe strain on Turkey, especially after the recent EU-Turkey agreement of March 20. This agreement called for all migrants who arrive illegally in Greece to be sent to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or if their claim is rejected. So far, Turkey has taken in some three million refugees and has had to spend about $10 billion of their budget on dealing with the refugee crisis. (Read More)

Asia

Afghanistan and the promise of democracy? The fable of ‘Enduring Freedom’.

Yet, 2016 has caused this eye to shut. Afghanistan has faded from memory as developments in other areas, namely Iraq and Syria fixate public concern. The emergence of ISIS has created a new enemy. We are now greeted with stories of hostages and air strikes with ISIS becoming the new global security threat; a threat which can be encompassed by the recent terror attacks in Paris. As important as the impact of ISIS is, Afghanistan has become a child overshadowed by the birth of a new sibling. It has been neglected and pushed to the side, replaced by something new and more interesting. Arguably, in a few years, ISIS may suffer the same fate. (Read More)

UK Politics

Ken Livingstone and the freedom of speech

It should be stressed that recent statements from Ken Livingstone and other representatives of the Labour Party have been anti-Semitic in their nature, and their suspensions, therefore, are correct. However, we must act with caution, especially in the current time. The ever-so-difficult balance between the freedom of speech and the protection against abuse must be found. (Read More)

'European Union, new headquarters' / CC
World Politics

We don’t need to lie to defend our membership of the EU

George Osborne has recently been berated as one of the least popular members of the government following his second omnishambles budget, delivered just last month. It appears that the government is incapable of making logical decisions regarding anything at the moment, yet the most bizarre thing has to be the Chancellor’s intervention in the EU referendum campaign. (Read More)

UK Politics

We owe ourselves more than cynicism in the wake of the #PanamaPapers

When we respond with sarcasm to the news that the prime minister profited from a scheme designed to avoid tax and lied about it to the public, we contribute to a culture that allows these injustices to go on unpunished. Cameron has claimed that his late father’s arrangements were completely legal and that the £31,000 dividend he received (which, incidentally, is more than the average U.K salary) was subject to all relevant U.K taxes. But legal isn’t the same as ethical – and wouldn’t we rather the two concepts were better aligned? (Read More)