News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

Author

Finn Beckett-Hester

Finn Beckett-Hester has 9 articles published.

Asia/World

China’s gunboat diplomacy

China for the past 1,000 years has focused on consolidating power over its vast and diverse landmasses; China has to focus on preventing nationalist sentiment and any possible rebellions from territories such as Tibet and Xinjiang seeing themselves as independent from the Han Chinese which dominate China politically, economically and culturally. Meaning China historically has only been able to have a Green Water Navy  to patrol its maritime borders, and not the Blue Water navy (a maritime force capable of exerting influence globally) that it desires. However, recent developments mean that the realisation of a strong Blue Water Navy is becoming more of a possibility. On the 28th June, China launched Asia’s biggest and most advanced warship, enabling China to strengthen and modernise its navy.… Keep Reading

Europe/History

Austria needs to stop trying to erase parts of its dark history

When I went to Auschwitz this summer I wanted to write a piece on the experience but just couldn’t think of anything to say, until I read that Hitler’s birthplace (an Austrian city called Braunau) is to be demolished by Austrian authorities in an attempt to prevent the site from acting as a focal point for Neo-Nazi ‘pilgrimages’ worldwide. This is a completely ridiculous solution, a futile attempt at addressing the symptoms of a decaying society. It’s almost as if the Austrian interior minister doesn’t realise that other much more important sites pertaining to Hitler exist. Should we knock those down to for the sake of crossing off one more stop on the neo-Nazis road trip? There is more than mere historical value in this… Keep Reading

Europe

Liberty with Caveats: France’s Move Towards Fascism

Liberté, égalité, fraternité. These are the words behind the 1789 French revolution, a movement that abolished the monarchy and established a secular and democratic republic and the liberation of the people from monarchist repression. Recent events concerning the banning of the ‘burkini’ have thrown these values and France’s ‘secularism’ in to question. What must be discussed now is whether or not the French government is really committed to these values. French Prime minister, Manuel Valls, stated on the 18th of August that wearing a burkini was “not compatible with the values of the French Republic”. Calls to ban Islamic religious symbols in public have risen since 85 people were killed by a truck on Bastille Day in Nice last month, such bans have been imposed… Keep Reading

Asia

Is the time right to revaluate Hong Kong’s ‘pressure-cooker’ style of education?

Having collected my AS exam results, I breathed a sigh of relief as a very long year had come to a conclusion. I found myself wondering how other students my age have been faring in other countries over the past year. Hong Kong, a high density population of 7,000,000 has 3 universities in the annual Time Higher Education ranking. This is an impressive feat for a country with such a comparatively small population. The Hong Kong education system is reputed as one of the best in the world, producing a high number of students which go on to further education and high-paying jobs. However, it is all swings and roundabouts. Hong Kong’s education system has its fair number of vocal cynics and has been labelled… Keep Reading

UK

Trade Unions: An ineffective vehicle for change

During the 1980s Thatcher was at the reins of the countries’ domestic and economic policy and trade union activity was fervent. My father being a card holder of the Union of Communication Workers would frequently ‘coalesce’ – that is picketing and conducting demonstrations with other union members to show indignation against the neo-liberal system that Thatcher was building: the closing of the coal mines, use of police as a repressive force and privatisation of industries. Amongst workers there was a strong sense of injustice that needed to be addressed. Hitherto wages were generally rising in correspondence to levels of production as unions were taking more active roles and held greater bargaining power. Now however, even within the current framework unions have failed to prevent the… Keep Reading

US and Canada

Mobile Justice App: A futile solution to America’s policing problem?

The three remaining Baltimore police officers were excused of all charges over Freddie Gray’s death on the 27th of July. Gray was a young black man who was killed in April 2015 after being subjected to beatings whilst in police custody. Gray’s death marked a turning point in Police-black community relations, sparking two week long protests in Baltimore followed by two days of rioting which highlighted police brutality issues. The media turned public attention to police brutality cases and all of a sudden such cases appeared to become very common occurrences, most recently Alton Sterling, a 37 year old Black male who was shot as a result of selling CDs and Philando Castile shot one day later when reaching for his drivers’ license at a routine… Keep Reading

EU Referendum

A Socialists’ Perspective: Why We Should Oppose the EU

As a Socialist I fundamentally oppose the European Union and everything that it stands for, so naturally when news came through that Britons had decided to kick the European establishment in the teeth -and the working classes had shown what they think of crippling austerity measures- I was indeed very optimistic. Especially since Donald Tusk, president of the European Council issued a statement that BrExit represented “the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also of western political civilisation”. The liberal Guardian and all other like-minded newspapers are throwing a hissy fit including many of the so-called ‘leftists’. I argue that those upset with the result, -well, those who believed that the EU took an active role in promoting the welfare of… Keep Reading

UK

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

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… Keep Reading

EU Referendum/UK

What is the Future of UKIP?

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… Keep Reading

Go to Top