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)

'Europe'/ CC

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)


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)

'Marriage' / CC
Ideas & Discussion

Where are the political spouses these days?

To be an example of something ordinary and relatable is precisely what ‘the alternative’ third way doesn’t need. Populism doesn’t require ‘ordinary’ because it often hinges on one individual who holds the gravitas and sway to make the unpopular and unthinkable the new mainstream. No one has any need to know about the marriages of Nigel Farage or Alex Salmond because it bursts their messianic, single-issue singularly of purpose and the anecdotal novelty which props it up. (Read More)

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

Can Trump still get the nomination?

Having lost in Wisconsin, the Trump campaign will have to start thinking about the possibility that he might not get the 1237 delegates he needs to get the Republican nomination and that he might be challenged at the convention in Cleveland in July. “The sheer magnitude of the margin of Trump’s humiliating loss shows that his trail of outrageous comments is finally catching up with him,” said Ryan Williams, a Republican political consultant and former spokesman for Mitt Romney. Some say he’s not acting politically enough and that his attacks on Cruz’s wife really hurt him much more than it hurt them.
(Read More)

Politics & Society

American politics and the quiet deference

…The UK on the other hand treats US politics with an imperial deference. It is at once all encompassing but goes into nowhere near as much detail as you might expect from a country as fixated as us on the romance of Washington. If you are to commit to hypocrisy at least do it well; saturate the British press and social media with every minutia of congressional humdrum and follow through. (Read More)

Ideas & Discussion

Why isn’t politics taught in school?

The outcome of the upcoming election will have huge implications on the lives of young people. Decisions on the budget deficit, welfare spending, job creation, house prices, tuition fees, climate change, and swathes of other issues will have more repercussions on the young than anyone else. It’s a travesty therefore that young people are so disempowered. The following two passages in the Conservative Party manifesto typify this. (Read More)

History & Philosophy

To understand federalism’s future, we must look to the past

From the cyclical nature of history we can learn a lot. In our current turbulent political atmosphere we may look to historical antecedents for knowledge and wisdom. As the general election looms ever closer on the horizon and the political arguments take shape one issue will ever present in the mind of Scottish voters whether they were in the Yes or No camp, that is the promise of ‘near federalism’ by Westminster officials. This is the story of a struggle for federalism from which we may gain some insight. (Read More)

'Scottish Parliament' / Andrew Cowan / CC

A golden age for Scottish politics

This is a golden age for Scottish politics. No, don’t close this page and go back to Twitter just yet. It really is. The referendum was an extraordinary democratic event, which engaged — and expanded — the electorate like never before, and we’re still feeling some of that being reflected in the way that the General Election is being approached. Many of the campaign groups that emerged to fight the referendum have turned their attention to this new battle, and new groups specific to the election — not least those interested in grassroots tactical voting — are starting to come to the fore. (Read More)

Photograph: 'Views of Jerusalem' / Flickr
Middle East

Bye-bye Bibi, Bibi bye-bye?

March 17th is the day of reckoning for Benjamin Netanyahu, a man who polarises the Israeli electorate like no other. In under two weeks time there remains a possibility that the world will wake to the political obituary of Israel’s second longest-serving prime minister. (Read More)

Photograph: Pexels
Edinburgh Festival

Politics, Distraction and the Digital Inferno

Every year for the past eight years I’ve spent August at the Edinburgh Fringe, seeing shows and writing a few reviews. As founder and editor of FringeReview I have had the opportunity to observe at first hand the changing nature of marketing at the Fringe. Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile is still packed each day with thousands of hopeful artists handing out paper leaflets – the famous ‘flyers’ – in the hope of gaining an audience for their production.

In parallel, the rise of social media has led to Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, Linkedin groups to name but the most famous (or infamous) ones. (Read More)

Art: Churchill by Paul Don Smith / Hanbury Street. England / Picture: Sara Kelly
Politics & Society

Churchill won’t be British after a ‘yes’ vote

Whether it be the Queen or the BBC, Yes Scotland have attempted to present unassailable guarantees that with independence the sun will still rise, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who will still be on TV, and a ‘social union’ with our ‘closest friends’ will operate across the British Isles. But will it really endure? (Read More)

'Europe' / CC

Do you know how the EU works?

Democracy in all its forms is delightful. One flick through the news channels is enough to see that millions are still denied the right to vote because of strife, repression or fear. But democracy relies on the electorate making as informed a choice as possible. If knowledge is power, then I worry that all political parties have missed a beat with Europe.

(Read More)

'History is all around us' / CC
Politics & Society

It’s time to bring history into the referendum debate

For most of those 307 years Scotland was an equal partner in the British Empire. When considering then the case for independence, “can we seriously pretend”, as Jeremy Paxman asks in his book ‘Empire’,” that a project which dominated the way that Britain regarded the world for so many hundreds of years had no lasting influence on the colonizers, too?” (Read More)