News and Opinion From a Team of Young People


Joe Beaden

Joe Beaden has 18 articles published.

History/US and Canada/World

The Self-Destructive Revolution and Saving the Future of the West

Reform has always been the death of revolution. Reform is what governments and leaders do to keep their heads attached to their shoulders. The principle behind this is obvious – if you give the people what they want, they won’t have to take what they want by force. Reform is a counter to change; gradual (sometimes so gradual as to be insignificant) change as opposed to any real alterations. For the most part, reform is good. Revolution can be sloppy, and if poorly executed, disastrous for people, nations and sometimes the world. There are countless situations (most recently the 2011 Arab Spring), where some degree of reform on the part of governments would have prevented copious loss of life. But sometimes revolution is necessary, to… Keep Reading

Election 2016/World

International Revolution is Coming, and We Need to be Ready to Face It.

Recently, I attended a lecture at a local school on the on-going American election. One issue raised during this talk was the sustainability of the international system – one of the academics present made the point that our current international system was designed to maintain the power balance of 1945 when it was set up. We can see this with just the slightest glance – the UK and France both have a veto in the UN, ahead of more populous and powerful countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia. Our international system was designed for 1945. It was designed to address the concerns of 1945 and to prevent a repeat of the Second World War. The problem is that we no longer live in 1945,… Keep Reading


Baluchistan, India and China: Poetry in Politics

One of my more unfortunate habits is projecting my own sense of poetic justice and a sense of overarching narrative onto reality. Though in my head it immeasurably improves the 6:00 news, in reality it is more of a troublesome habit that clouds my understanding of international politics. Despite this, there is something irresistibly human about looking for pattern or a story in events – searching for something solid and dependable in an ocean of uncertainty and doubt. The desire to feel an emotional connection with characters in an unfolding history; this is a habit that –though I recognise it’s profound distance from reality- I guiltily indulge in. It is for this reason that I take particular interest in the unfolding drama in the East… Keep Reading


Brexiteers’ Reaction to the Olympic Games Has Been Deplorable

Billions of people around the world see the Olympics as a noble example of international cooperation and the indomitability of the human spirit. For once, the Olympics offer us a chance to set our political beliefs and agendas aside, and instead come together to celebrate our common humanity. For some of us, that is. Of course the Olympics will never be free of political agendas. Since it’s earliest days the event has been seen by countries as a chance to show some form of superiority over their neighbours. This is as true in 2016 as it has ever been. Ever the opportunists, Brexiters have taken the triumph of British athletes to demonstrate the natural superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race; despite this year’s team GB having… Keep Reading


The Refugee Crisis and the Importance of Action in International Relations

In international politics, as in life, it can seem easier to stand back and allow others who want to, to deal with the world’s problems. On an individual scale, sometimes that’s the best decision. However, on the international scale the people who want to deal with the world’s problems are exactly the people you wouldn’t want dealing with them. The only way to ensure that we achieve what we want is to go out and get it. It’s ridiculous to assume that doing nothing is going to get us the solution we want – because when we’re doing nothing, others are most certainly not. The first issue that we can apply these ideas to is the refugee crisis. The UK has done little to nothing… Keep Reading

Europe/Middle East/World

Putin’s Unlikely New Friendship

A few days ago, after visiting a local Chinese restaurant, I received an ominous message from a fortune cookie: ‘An unexpected friendship will turn out to be permanent.’ Of course, I interpreted the prediction as applying to me, despite the fact that it is not specified. However in an unexpected twist in the tale of modern international politics, the anonymous writer may have for once made a successful foretelling. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister announced deepened defensive cooperation with Russia, establishing a joint military and intelligence mechanism with their former foes. It was only last year when Turkey and Russia were at each other’s throats after the downing of a Russian jet by Turkish forces. More recently, Erdogan began to consciously push for… Keep Reading


Europe Needs Pragmatism and Unity, Not Delusions

For a long time, I’ve been hesitant to express my thoughts about the EU. Months ago I published a short piece on the topic, but in it I simpered and tamed my ideas to make them more palatable to those who may be undecided on the issue of Europe. That was before the referendum. Now, those of us who supported EU membership have been proven right. The warnings we issued to the British public were not heeded and the suffering we predicted is materialising. People don’t need to be persuaded by sugar-coated arguments, they are demanding truth – and the truth is what I will give you. Brexiters even now continue to peddle the fantasy of a ‘global Britain’. A Britain engaged in the world,… Keep Reading

Middle East/World

Why Secular Democracy Will Never Be Achieved in the Middle East

In the west, we see secularism, democracy and liberty as the zenith of human progress – admirable goals which all societies should aim for. Indeed, throughout most of our history we have attempted to enforce these values on the rest of the world. Though our understanding of western values was different in the 19th century, European empires still attempted to ‘civilise’ the rest of the world by forcing their values on them. There are places where these practises have successfully created ‘Western’ democracies, however there are even more where this strategy has backfired with terrible consequences for the nations involved. Despite these failures, western countries continue to attempt to mould the world in their image, regardless of the consequences. A more recent example of this… Keep Reading


Should We Be Worried About the Situation in the South China Sea?

A common theme when discussing China (and a theme that I have mentioned in numerous articles) is that of events currently unfolding in the South China Sea. For those of you who don’t watch the news, the situation is as follows: The South China Sea is an area (plot twist) just south of China. The sea is considered by most of the world as international waters, however China claims almost all of it. This has upset the other nations that border the sea –e.g. the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan- and has prompted the USA to test China by constantly sailing vessels through these waters to demonstrate exactly how ‘international’ they are. This has obviously annoyed China, who have taken their claims further by building airports and… Keep Reading


The Bad Penny Debates: Positive Discrimination

On Thursday evening a photo appeared online appearing the show what would have been Andrea Leadsom’s policies with which she would have run for Conservative leader. One of these policies was: ‘Make positive discrimination explicitly illegal’, and it caused some disagreement amongst the Bad Penny Team. Andrea Leadsom has now dropped out and though the validity of the document can be questioned this remains an important debate. For this reason I collated responses from a few (more vocal) members of our team to allow our readers to see the arguments on both sides of the debate. Adam If we want gender equality and we want it soon then we need to have some element of positive discrimination to make up for the difficulties that women… Keep Reading

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