News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

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UK

An Open Letter To John Bercow About The Speaker’s Seat

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I recognise that I have written about this situation before, but in light of the 1,967 spoilt ballots (9 Jun, 08:32 on the link) in the recent general election and John Bercow’s pledge to ask the Procedure Committee, when Commons select committees are reformed, to reconsider the situation whereby four constituencies have no MP able to speak in debates or vote and one constituency has no properly contested election either, I have written the following letter to him: Mr Bercow, The situation with the Speaker’s Seat, as it stands, cannot go on any longer. In the Buckingham constituency, electors (not me, since I was under 18 in 2010 and 2015 and very fortunately able to vote in Exeter (my university’s constituency) in 2017) have had…

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The Queen’s Speech: What is it and what happened?

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The Queen made a speech in the House of Lords on Wednesday. In her speech was the government’s plans on what they want to do over the next two years (would usually be one year, but Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled next year’s Queen’s Speech). Over the next week, Parliament will debate the Queen’s Speech and vote on it. If the government loses the vote, then this is considered a vote of no confidence in the government, though a proper vote of no confidence may need to be passed before the government calls a new general election. However, it’s unlikely that the government would lose the vote on the Queen’s Speech, because they’re forging a deal with the DUP, who have enough seats for them…

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The NHS needs more funding

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It’s easy to dismiss calls to properly fund the NHS, assuming that talk of ‘crisis’ is meaningless and assuming we don’t have the money. But crisis means not being able to go to A&E when you’re in an emergency, because it’s shut, or an ambulance taking valuable extra time to go to an A&E further away, with the consequence that you might not get to the operating theatre on time and might die because the closer A&E was shut. It means really long waiting times. It means being on a trolley for hours because they have no beds, and even dying on the trolley. It means waiting ages for an operation and possibly being in extreme pain or discomfort until it happens. It’s easy to…

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Is our relationship with the US really that special?

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Britain and the US have appeared to have a very cosy relationship during the last century and so far in this one. We have fought World War I and II together, defeated Hitler and then, eventually, the USSR. We have fought together throughout the Middle East, destroying nations. You could liken it to a wrestling tag team, taking on the rest of the world together in order to be the supreme champions, but then again has it really been so rosy? Has Britain not dragged the USA into wars it didn’t want and vice versa? Maybe. If you actually analyse the relationship between the two states, we might be able to glean what could happen both post-Brexit and post-Presidential election. During the First World War,…

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Down’s-selective abortion is a mistake

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A new procedure is being rolled-out in the NHS which could potentially remove Down’s syndrome from society forever. On the face of it, this seems like a great thing, Down’s is a condition that we want a cure for, though Down’s children often give people great joy and live satisfying lives, but this particular procedure has some quite severe consequences if we follow through with it. The current prenatal tests for Down’s syndrome are either fairly risky in that it the chance of the test procedure killing the child is about the same as the likelihood the child has the condition (and so not so many mothers take those tests as they would the new one), and they’re not particularly good at identifying when an…

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Corbyn May Have Won Labour Leadership But He Won’t Be Popular For Long

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The crinkled-shirt-wearing, smarmy smile baring Corbyn strolled out onto the Question Time stage last week to take on his challenger Owen Smith. Smith was flustered from the moment that the first ardent Corbynista began their wild hand gestures and angry insults and the show didn’t improve from there. David Dimbleby, with mildly irritated facial expressions that were conveying the mood of most of the viewers more adeptly than the sycophantic pleas of either candidate, made increasingly obvious attempts to introduce some balance into the debate. “We’ve heard from the Corbyn supporters, now let’s hear from a staunch Smith supporter”. In return he got an irate gentlemen about six rows back, who offered us no more support for his chosen candidate than the justification that he…

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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