News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

Monthly archive

July 2016 - page 2

The Hive Mind of Modern Politics

in EU Referendum/UK by

Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after her. Jonathan Swift In 1989, Sir Tim Berners Lee invented the world wide web. As we now know, it opened channels of international commerce and communication to everyone, with no strings attached. Despite having the opportunity to make billions from his work, Berners Lee made it openly accessible as a gift to humanity. This should open us to new ideas and new ways of thinking but it has instead solidified our pre-held convictions. One’s ability to customise the content we see, although convenient, has created echo chambers which are having drastic effects on politics, especially the EU referendum. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow its users to streamline their content. This has the power to one sided…

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The Black Lives Matter Dichotomy and Gun Control

in US and Canada by

On 7th July I woke up to the news that yet another black American had been murdered by police. This may seem callous but by this point I hardly batted an eyelid. People ask me if I’ve seen the video of the murder and I reply ‘which one?’ On July 8th I woke up to a media frenzy over the five dead police officers in Dallas in one of the most predictable acts of barbarism ever seen in the western world. It’s almost too surreal to take in at this early stage but the worst thing is, I’m not even surprised. This has been bubbling in America for some time and, while what happened to what can only be assumed are innocent policeman, this is…

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The Chilcot Inquiry: What Does This Mean for Young People?

in UK by

Seven years in the making and £10 million later, the Chilcot Inquiry, a 2.6 million word report into the nation’s role in the Iraq war spearheaded by senior civil servant Sir John Chilcot, was published this week. The report, ever since it was commissioned in 2009, has been greatly anticipated, with some hoping that Blair would be put on trial for war crimes for sending British troops into an 8 year long war in Iraq on the false pretence of disarming Iraq of WMDs and implementing a ‘democracy’. The Iraq war has been described by a plethora of notable characters including war veteran Tomas Young who describes the war as “the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history” as the Iraq was invaded before the UN weapons inspectors…

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Is Scottish Independence a Foregone Conclusion?

in UK by

On the 23rd of June this country decided on a huge constitutional change and by this country, of course, I mean England. Scotland voted unanimously to stay (in terms of voting areas) and was the victim to tyranny of the majority of the U.K. During the campaign to keep Scotland within the union one of the main reasons that we were ‘Better Together’ was membership of the EU. With one referendum, Westminster has lost a bargaining chip. There is huge disillusionment with politics in Scotland. They see themselves as being ruled by Westminster, in a city who are completely out of touch with Scottish identity. When the issue of greater devolved powers comes up, there is always a wave of nationalist support. It is easy…

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How History Won the Referendum for Brexit

in EU Referendum/History by

After only a few centuries of getting it wrong, we’d reached a position in Europe where we’d stopped fighting wars and started fighting over bendy bananas. Although the latter may sound pretty threatening, I can assure you that being unable to sell a banana of the incorrect curve gradient is far more enjoyable for all than medieval slaughter. But this week, Britain decided to give it all up for a floppy-haired ex-Mayor of London and his over-excited, purple-flag-waving colleague. So why was it that the 65+ generation were so keen to leave, when the downsides of a discordant Europe are most fresh in their memories.   To answer this question we must first look at the campaigns that were run. The Remain Campaign presented Gordon…

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BrExit: Winners and Losers

in EU Referendum/UK by

So, now what? The political landscape has been changed significantly by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, so who has paid the price and who has profited from the result? Winners Nigel Farage He is the real winner here. Not only has he achieved his lifelong ambition but he remains a political outsider, meaning that he is unaccountable for the negotiation process. As demonstrated by his appearance on GMB on the 24th June, he is also free to criticise Vote Leave’s campaign, having supported Arron Banks’ Leave.EU and appearing at Grassroots Out events. There is nothing that this country can offer the Polish government that would convince them to abandon free movement of people, it would be too politically toxic for their government: the…

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Sacrificing the NHS for the Greater Good

in UK by

Today the NHS celebrates its 68th Birthday. The NHS or National Health Service was formed in 1948 to provide healthcare free to all UK citizens. The original principles where that it was to be financed from central taxation, care was entirely free at the point of use and that everyone was eligible for care, even those with temporary residence in the UK or visiting the country. When the NHS was launched it was originally given a budget of £437 million (£15 billion at today’s value.) Whereas in 2016 the overall NHS budget is £116.4 billion. Moreover, in the last 20 years the budget has increased by roughly 96%, and is now 20% of the governments spending per year. Therefore, the question must be asked, at…

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The Case for Narrative History

in History by

It is easy to assume, in the modern world of the Internet and the instant transfer of information that narrative history is losing its relevance, as this technology: ‘Allows historians to reduce the narrative of their work and let the facts and arguments speak for themselves under the harsh scrutiny of the world academic stage’, but such an approach would be unfounded. History may have become more scientific than ever before, but this does not necessitate a departure from the time-tested narrative style. Narrative history is often dismissed as simple ‘stories’ – romanticized tales of the past designed to glorify national heroes or support the beliefs of a particular ideology. The alternative –the analytical style- may seem to be a modern, empirical and scientific approach…

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What is the Future of UKIP?

in EU Referendum/UK by

UKIP, a party that in recent years has become a powerful force for Eurosceptics to challenge the establishment. After rising to victory in the 2014 European elections, it was clear that UKIP had made an EU referendum inevitable. This had given Farage a soapbox from which to espouse his views and give a voice to the supposed “silent majority” who felt aggrieved by the EU, but also by the rising xenophobic sentiment. There is speculation surrounding the future of UKIP and what route the party will take now that the public has arbitrated on what it thinks of the EU establishment. Although Farage’s Grassroots Out lost the bid to lead the BrExit campaign, an issue which created friction between him, Suzanne Evans and Douglas Carswell, Farage…

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How Has Globalisation Affected Modern Historiography?

in History by

Each era faces its own unique challenges of historical objectivity, and the academic history from each period becomes very much a product of the political and social climate from which it emerges. One of the significant features of the modern world is globalization, defined by Steger as a set of social processes by which local issues become more heavily influenced by global actions as people become increasingly aware of the interconnections between the local and the distant. It is my opinion that our brand of modern history is laced with traces of globalization, just as Roman historiography was clouded by the story-telling rhetoric of Livy, Sallust and Tacitus or as Christian historiography was rich with moral lessons and godly interventions.   Globalization, and the technology…

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