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Nudging : The Way Forward?

Human beings are remarkably good at decision making. Millions of years of evolution mean we are capable of processing information and making … Keep Reading

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

in UK by

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?

in UK by

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?

in UK by

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?

in UK by

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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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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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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Baluchistan, India and China: Poetry in Politics

in Asia/World by

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…

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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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