News and Opinion From a Team of Young People

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One Referendum Was Enough for A Lifetime

in EU Referendum/UK by

Since the result of the first EU referendum, there have been calls for a rerun. Some have said that ‘Remain’ are sore losers; some have said they’d be stupid not to push for a rerun; some people want a vote on the terms of the eventual deal. May has floundered, Davis has put his foot in it, and Boris has fallen off the face of the earth. Asking for a second referendum is like jumping off a cliff and then running back up to do it again because you enjoyed it so much the first time: plain insanity. If, like me, you did want to stay in the EU, you will be tempted many times over the coming weeks to join the fight in the…

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Why the LGBT rights movement still has a place in the United Kingdom

in UK by

Today, a school in my local area released a maths question as part of a routine homework exercise, stating the following: ‘If in a town 70% of the men are married to 90% of the women (and each marriage is between one man and one woman, as God intended when he made humans male and female) …’ Obviously this view does not reflect the view of the school as whole, however, there is still a very obvious problem with this being published into a school environment. Not only will this affect any potential LGBT minors reading this question, but also reiterate potentially homophobic rhetoric and beliefs that many people in modern society still hold. Yet what should truly be taking away from this exam question,…

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A Disease We Cannot Fight With Force

in UK by

A seventeen-year-old boy is swaying side to side at Leeds Festival to the deafening sound of music. His T-shirt is drenched from the continuous sweat caused through his energetic movements. The sun’s brightness is overwhelming and he covers his eyes in order to keep the main stage in sight. He gazes to his left and then his right, seeing some of his closest friends enjoying the music with him; it will be a memory that should last forever. Around him stand thousands of people with synchronised smiles; the usual animosity that is felt in such a large crowd is absent. How many times have you seen so many people together, connected and unified through joy? A mist of stress that is typical of human beings…

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Nudging : The Way Forward?

in UK by

Human beings are remarkably good at decision making. Millions of years of evolution mean we are capable of processing information and making decisions quickly and with minimal effort. We like to think of ourselves as rational, and much of economic analysis relies on the assumption that humans are always rational. However, the growing field of behavioural economics is symptomatic of a realisation that homo economicus, the consistently rational ‘economic man’, is in many instances far from reality. Homo sapiens unlike their Spock-like subspecies, do make a number of predictable mistakes because of a number of cognitive biases, heuristics and social influences. In other words, humans are susceptible to making very human mistakes. The work of Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, summarised in their book Nudge…

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Radicalisation: The Law is in Your Hands

in Middle East/UK/World by

Radicalisation: the buzzword of security councils and foreign ministers around Europe and America. From Jihadi John to Kadiza Sultana, the names that plaster our front pages are starting to pose increasingly complex moral questions to which we must somehow find legal responses. It is on all of us to take a vocal stance on these issues because these crimes are new. UK law will have to try and catch up with new ideas of justice, freedom, security, responsibility, vulnerability, and rights. If we don’t start asserting our own ideas on the issues then huge legal changes will go on behind the scenes and it will be too late for us to guide them. You have more power over the progress of British ideals now, as…

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What the Train Debacle Tells Us About Corbyn

in UK by

A number of thoughts sprang to mind when I saw the hunched figure of Jeremy Corbyn grasping at a newspaper on a grimy train floor, asking me to believe that his press team and his sarcastic tone couldn’t have cleared a whole carriage for him in a number of minutes, posing as a man of the people once again. Train floors cannot be good for your clothes, or your public image it seems, but luckily Jeremy’s suit was pretty raggedy before he squatted down and raised an eyebrow declaring that nationalization of the trains was the only way to save him from this awful fate. What was this meant to induce in me? Pity? Laughter? Anger? I have strong suspicions that his press officer is in…

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Brexiteers’ Reaction to the Olympic Games Has Been Deplorable

in Europe/UK by

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…

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Trade Unions: An ineffective vehicle for change

in UK by

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…

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Restricting Labour Members’ Voting Rights is an Insult to Democracy

in UK by

Labour’s leadership election misery continues as the Court of Appeal overrules the High Court’s ruling and thus upholds the Labour NEC’s (National Executive Committee) original decision to disenfranchise from the election anyone who joined after 12th June, unless they paid £25. This means that 130,000 new members are unable to vote in the upcoming Labour leadership. The original High Court intervention into party politics was unprecedented and could’ve dramatically changed the outcome of the Labour leadership election and the fate of the Labour party itself. In a time of political disillusionment and disempowerment, Labour must ask what party they want to be: one which serves the people, supported through a democratic mandate, or a party which governs the people by telling them it knows best…

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The Bad Penny Debates: Grammar Schools

in UK by

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…

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