News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

Author

Alastair Sledge

Alastair Sledge has 10 articles published.

UK

The Bad Penny Debates: Should there be a Second EU Referendum?

After the British Public voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%, should there be a second referendum to fight to protect our membership? With the campaign promises of Vote leave starting to unravel, should there be a re-run? Panel: Tara Sallis, Finn Beckett Hester, Alastair Sledge and Emily Atkinson. Hosted by David McLelland. Filmed at the National Film and Television School. Keep Reading

UK

The Bad Penny Debates: Should there be an Early General Election?

As BrExit becomes the focus of Theresa May’s new government, should she seek a mandate from the people or does the principle of parliamentary democracy allow her to continue her work without the consent of the public? Panel: Tara Sallis, Finn Beckett Hester, Alastair Sledge and Emily Atkinson. Hosted by David McClelland. Filmed at the National Film and Television School. Keep Reading

UK

The Bad Penny Debates: Does Labour Have a Sexism Problem?

The Labour Party hasn’t had a female leader in it’s 116 year history. Despite having more female MPs than any other party in Westminster, a woman has never polled above a man in a leadership election. Does the party really have a sexism problem? Panel: Tara Sallis, Finn Beckett Hester, Alastair Sledge and Emily Atkinson. Hosted by David McLelland. Filmed at the National Film and Television School. Keep Reading

UK

The Bad Penny Debates: Grammar Schools

Theresa May is, reportedly, going to lift the ban on new grammar schools being created across Britain. Tony Blair introduced the ban in 1998 and it has been hotly debated since. Do grammar schools help the poor and should the new Education Secratary, Justine Greening, end the ban? That sounds like the makings of a debate, so let’s have it. Finn Proposals to introduce new grammar schools, after their decline over the past 60 years, is a topic that is of importance to me as a grammar school student myself. Before any possible misconceptions occur I do not take my position lightly, I realise that I am indeed in a fortunate situation. However, I cannot argue for the introduction of more grammar schools, or for that… Keep Reading

UK

Toby Young on Social Mobility, Splitting and Selective Schooling

If every minister was as bold as Michael Gove, Britain would have the largest economy in the world within 50 years. Toby Young. A self-proclaimed classical liberal and associate editor of The Spectator, Toby Young is no stranger to controversy. As a BrExiteer, the former CEO of a free school and the founder of #Tories4Corbyn, frequently finding himself on the front line of political debate. One of the first major policies of the new government is, according to reports, to lift the ban on new grammar schools. Theresa May gave a stirring speech about the importance of a fair society on the steps of Downing Street, but on average only 4.85% of grammar school students have been eligible for free school meals at any point in… Keep Reading

Election 2016/US and Canada

What We Learned from the Conventions

The conventions are done, the candidates are back on the trail and this is the state of play. He’s Kaine, He’s Sore, He’s Bonkers Senator Tim Kaine is an unsurprisingly safe choice for VP. He toes the party line on abortion, despite his personal qualms, and speaks fluent Spanish, which will hammer home the Latino vote. Trump rushed to Twitter to swiftly rebuke Clinton’s pick and claimed that he introduced unpopular tax rises in New Jersey, despite him governing Virginia. It is an excellent choice from the Clinton campaign, despite some suggesting Cory Booker or Julian Castro as party unifying tickets. It hammers home the ‘safe hands’ message and, although he isn’t an attack dog, has the fight in him to take Trump down a… Keep Reading

EU Referendum/UK

The Hive Mind of Modern Politics

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… Keep Reading

EU Referendum/UK

BrExit: Winners and Losers

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… Keep Reading

EU Referendum/UK

BrExit: A Frenchman and a German

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… Keep Reading

Election 2016

Trump’s Success is Not the Start of an Authoritarian Revolution, it’s a Victory Lap.

Since 2008, the two party system in America has slowly been eroded. The rise of the Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin and Donald Trump has changed the shape of social conservatism. This change had led to a split in the GOP and the existence of an ersatz multi-party system, led by the Democrats, the Republicans and the Authoritarian Republicans. The authoritarians are about to make a huge break through and America has one group to thank, the Tea Party. After the financial crash and bailout of the banks, working people were angry. FreedomWorks capitalised on this and used it to mobilise the public against higher levels of debt, increasing taxes and Obamacare. They created the Tea Party, a grass roots movement of patriots who were sick… Keep Reading

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