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Toby Young on Social Mobility, Splitting and Selective Schooling

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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…

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A European’s Last Stand: Tim Farron on Liberty, Labour and Leaving

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Tim Farron has been the leader of the Liberal Democrats since July 2015 and his party has just seen a surge in membership following the EU referendum. What is the future of the Liberal Democrats and what part will they play in the fallout of the recent political turmoil? The Parliamentary Labour Party, after voting overwhelmingly in a vote of no confidence, have forced a second leadership election for Jeremy Corbyn. This has left the Labour leader commanding little respect from his MPs and in no fit state to be leader of the opposition. Despite some on the backbenchers accepting electoral defeat in 2020 and hoping that the likes of Lisa Nandy, Kier Starmer and Dan Jarvis become credible leadership candidates for 2025, there is…

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A Socialists’ Perspective: Why We Should Oppose the EU

in EU Referendum by

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…

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Life Without an MP: The Failure of UK Democracy

in History/UK by

In this article I will allude to the posts of Speaker of the House of Commons, but also those of the three Deputy Speakers who are subject to the same constraints. Unless stated otherwise, any argument made in this article for the Speaker also applies to the Deputy Speakers. Also note that ‘they’ can be a gender-neutral singular pronoun. The problem One of the current absurdities of the unwritten, ‘uncodified’ UK constitution is that the Speaker, who is strictly nonpartisan and presides over debates in the House of Commons, is an ordinary MP. The Speaker, currently John Bercow, is not allowed to participate or vote in debates and thus represent their constituents in Parliament. The Speaker is allowed to cast a vote in order to…

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Why Trump May Be Right About Immigration

in Election 2016/UK/US and Canada by

Immigration- even the term, itself can be considered controversial. Raising the topic runs the risk of sounding racist or small-minded. The entire discussion has become warped, due to the fear of not being ‘politically correct’, both with ordinary citizens, and politicians. This had led to key issues surrounding a very important topic being glossed over or dismissed entirely. Purely to avoid any hint of not following the normative belief, which is that everyone is welcome no matter what. This has to stop. By avoiding the entirely issue, it leads to the general public becoming more and more frustrated, until the entire issue is blown out of proportion. Immigration, in the correct numbers has unlimited benefits to society. Job vacancies and skills gaps can be filled,…

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The Bad Penny Debates: Positive Discrimination

in UK by

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…

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The Hive Mind of Modern Politics

in EU Referendum/UK by

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…

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

in UK by

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…

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Is Scottish Independence a Foregone Conclusion?

in UK by

On the 23rd of June this country decided on a huge constitutional change and by this country, of course, I mean England. Scotland voted unanimously to stay (in terms of voting areas) and was the victim to tyranny of the majority of the U.K. During the campaign to keep Scotland within the union one of the main reasons that we were ‘Better Together’ was membership of the EU. With one referendum, Westminster has lost a bargaining chip. There is huge disillusionment with politics in Scotland. They see themselves as being ruled by Westminster, in a city who are completely out of touch with Scottish identity. When the issue of greater devolved powers comes up, there is always a wave of nationalist support. It is easy…

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How History Won the Referendum for Brexit

in EU Referendum/History by

After only a few centuries of getting it wrong, we’d reached a position in Europe where we’d stopped fighting wars and started fighting over bendy bananas. Although the latter may sound pretty threatening, I can assure you that being unable to sell a banana of the incorrect curve gradient is far more enjoyable for all than medieval slaughter. But this week, Britain decided to give it all up for a floppy-haired ex-Mayor of London and his over-excited, purple-flag-waving colleague. So why was it that the 65+ generation were so keen to leave, when the downsides of a discordant Europe are most fresh in their memories.   To answer this question we must first look at the campaigns that were run. The Remain Campaign presented Gordon…

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