News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

Monthly archive

June 2016

Who’s Resigned From the Shadow Cabinet and Why Does It Matter?

in UK by

The Labour Party is facing a rebellion at the heart of parliament, with a series of high profile resignations sending the party into turmoil. But what does it all mean? Since 23 MPs have now left the Shadow Cabinet, at the time of writing (the remaining members of the original Shadow Cabinet are Jeremy Corbyn, Tom Watson, Rosie Winterton, John McDonnell, Andy Burnham, Emily Thornberry, Jon Trickett and Diane Abbott), not all of the Shadow Cabinet members who have left will be listed below – however the most important will be detailed. Hilary Benn Hilary Benn was sacked by Corbyn after Benn told Corbyn that he had no confidence in his leadership. He fundamentally disagreed with Corbyn on foreign policy and had voted to authorise bombing…

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Turkish foreign policy: Erdogan reassesses his options

in Middle East/World by

I have previously been a little critical of Turkey’s approach towards foreign affairs. Before now it seems as though they have done nothing but make mistakes: whether it be backing groups that proceeded to fail dismally, possibly funding ISIS or alienating almost every major player in the region it seemed as if Turkey was never going to make any good choices. Now however that seems to be changing. The relationship between Russia and Turkey has historically been frosty. In fact, the two powers have never quite seen eye to eye. This is a problem for Russia, as the Bosporus is the only way for Russian ships to enter the Mediterranean. It also poses a major problem for Turkey, as they stand between one of the…

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Football and the Law: Are the SNP Criminalising Football Fans?

in UK by

In 2012, Scottish Parliament hurried through the Offensive Behavior at Football Act as a knee-jerk reaction to the so-called ‘Shame Game, a particularly toxic derby between Celtic and Rangers in which 34 arrests were made. Since the bill’s conception it has faced fierce opposition from within Holyrood and from football fans themselves. A history of migration between the west of Scotland and Ulster has meant that Glasgow has the sectarian undertones of Belfast with less frequent outbreaks of violence. Without going off on a tangent about the nature of the political and social landscape of Glasgow and Ireland, it is important to understand the volatile relationship between republicanism and unionism in modern Scotland. The bill set out with the aim of eradicating sectarianism from Scottish…

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Europe Just Outplayed Us on an Astronomic Scale

in EU Referendum/Europe/World by

As a believer in the creation of a federal Europe you may expect me to be disappointed with the result of the referendum. On the contrary however, I am really quite pleased – and impressed. Many heralded yesterday’s Brexit vote as the death knell of the European project; the end of the 50 year attempt to unite the continent after 30 years of war. It was assumed that with Britain’s departure, other states would follow and the EU would collapse. Of course, this is a distinct possibility, but if Europe can weather the current storm (and from the looks of things, it can), then Brexit might just have been exactly what the European Project needed to finish the job. Since it joined in 1973, Britain…

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Parallels Between Roman and Modern Politics

in Europe/History by

Politics has always been an integral part of human society and no less so than in Roman government. In fact, ancient societies, such as Rome and Athens have been greatly influential in the structure of our politics today. For example, the Romans gave us the word ‘republic’, one of the main forms of governance in our modern world, coming from the Latin words res publica, literally meaning ‘public matters’. Athens gave us the great ideal of democracy, literally the ‘rule of the people’, which is the foundation of our modern government system. In fact, clear parallels can be made between ancient politics, particularly Roman politics that I will be looking at in further detail, and our modern politics. Firstly, there are some obvious parallels between…

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BrExit: A Frenchman and a German

in EU Referendum/UK by

In 2014, a Frenchman, President Francois Hollande and a German, President Joachim Gauck stood side by side, hand in hand, to commemorate the sacrifice their countrymen made in two wars that ripped apart their continent. They met on the side of a mountain at Hartmannswillerkopf, an area overlooking the Rhineland, that saw some of the worst fighting of World War One. The soldiers called it ‘The Man Eater’. 99 years after the battle ended, the leaders of these two great nations united to remember. In moments like this it is hard not to feel emotional and somewhat proud of humanity; Europe’s darkest days have always been followed by its finest hour. I am a Bolton Wanderers fan, a flautist and a Briton but I have…

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Life imitates art: Leadership challenges in Israel and the UK

in Middle East/UK/World by

A few months ago, -in a move eerily similar to a certain Conservative politician in the UK- the defence minister of Israel, Moshe Ya’alon resigned. At the time he cited: ‘difficult disagreements on professional and moral matters’, and made no secret of his intention to stand for office in the future. This week the moment of truth finally came, with Ya’alon making his first pitch to the people of Israel. One of the issues he highlighted was that Israel’s current government is using scaremongering tactics to maintain control by terrifying Israelis with fears of external enemies. Ya’alon stated his belief that Israel is the strongest country in the region, and it’s people should not be living in fear. He also stated that he would attempt…

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Is the Middle East on a Course for Cataclysm?

in Middle East/World by

‘History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.’ This famous line is often attributed to Mark Twain, despite their being no actual evidence that he was the one who first said it. It’s one of those lines that you can produce in conversation if you wish to appear more knowledgeable without offering any actual comment on a subject. It causes people to take pause and consider that the solution to many of our current problems can be found in analysis of past events, and one of our current problems is the unsustainable situation in the Middle East. The international situation in the region has been balanced on a knife’s edge since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The borders imposed on the region by…

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Korean Reunification: Can it Ever Become a Reality?

in Asia/World by

The Cold war divided the entire world. Even in those states that weren’t torn apart by conflict, ideological differences split families and communities. International politics was split into two camps: Communist and Capitalist. Since the Cold War ended in the 90s, many of the countries that had previously been divided have been reunited. Germany and Vietnam being prime examples of this. But one pre-cold war state remains divided and has dominated newspaper headlines in recent years: Korea. The division of Korea began in 1945, when the newly independent state (free from Japanese rule for the first time in 35 years) was split between a communist north and capitalist south. As relations between the USSR and USA deteriorated, so did the plan for reunification. Free elections…

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China’s Foreign Policy – Simplified

in Asia/World by

In any discussion of current affairs and international relations, there is always one topic that always crops up – China. Whether it be through Trump’s bizarre obsession with the country or the threat it poses to the European steal industry, we are constantly being warned about the danger posed by China to the West. But what do all those warnings actually mean? How is it that China is becoming such a scary prospect for western leaders? Xi Jinping is the current leader of China, having taken office in 2013. Xi’s leadership style is certainly different to that of his predecessors – several western commentators have noted that he seems to be attempting the mimic Mao’s dictatorial style, though just stopping short of a personality cult.…

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