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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

Toby Young on Social Mobility, Splitting and Selective Schooling

in UK by

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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Europe Needs Pragmatism and Unity, Not Delusions

in Europe by

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,…

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Western Elitism in History: Thinly Veiled Lying

in History/World by

In sixteenth century Korea, a naval genius called Admiral Yi changed the course of history almost single-handedly. The Japanese military leader Hideyoshi had made the decision to invade China to bring down the Ming dynasty and all that stood in his way was the militarily weak state of Korea. Having rejected the introduction of guns into their army years before, the Korean aristocrats that fought still used archers as their main form of attack. Their cannons were around one metre at largest and they had never updated their defensive walls to allow for the firing of these cannons at advancing troops from the ground. Their weakness showed when they were faced with noise and dust billowing around them as gunfire erupted and Japanese Samurai charged.…

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What We Learned from the Conventions

in Election 2016/US and Canada by

The conventions are done, the candidates are back on the trail and this is the state of play. He’s Kaine, He’s Sore, He’s Bonkers Senator Tim Kaine is an unsurprisingly safe choice for VP. He toes the party line on abortion, despite his personal qualms, and speaks fluent Spanish, which will hammer home the Latino vote. Trump rushed to Twitter to swiftly rebuke Clinton’s pick and claimed that he introduced unpopular tax rises in New Jersey, despite him governing Virginia. It is an excellent choice from the Clinton campaign, despite some suggesting Cory Booker or Julian Castro as party unifying tickets. It hammers home the ‘safe hands’ message and, although he isn’t an attack dog, has the fight in him to take Trump down a…

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Why Secular Democracy Will Never Be Achieved in the Middle East

in Middle East/World by

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…

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Banning Foreign Funding for Mosques: A Purely Political Move

in Europe by

This week the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has made a statement that supports the idea of banning foreign funding to all mosques. This idea has been raised in an attempt to improve the security of France, a country that has been the target of multiple high-profile terror attacks which have been claimed by the so-called Islamic State. This Islamic extremist terrorist group recruits some individuals for its cause through local mosques where preachers prey on and eventually radicalize people living in the West. It is thought that by cutting off the money from extremist groups, the incentive for a mosque to turn a blind eye to extremism, or even to actively encourage it, will be diminished and so will the number of radicalized individuals.…

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Mobile Justice App: A futile solution to America’s policing problem?

in US and Canada by

The three remaining Baltimore police officers were excused of all charges over Freddie Gray’s death on the 27th of July. Gray was a young black man who was killed in April 2015 after being subjected to beatings whilst in police custody. Gray’s death marked a turning point in Police-black community relations, sparking two week long protests in Baltimore followed by two days of rioting which highlighted police brutality issues. The media turned public attention to police brutality cases and all of a sudden such cases appeared to become very common occurrences, most recently Alton Sterling, a 37 year old Black male who was shot as a result of selling CDs and Philando Castile shot one day later when reaching for his drivers’ license at a routine…

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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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The Bad Penny Debates: Are Religious Freedoms and a Liberal Society Contradictory in Modern Europe?

in Europe by

  Emily Religious freedom, to me, is the right to act as you please in regards to following your own personal religious beliefs. Many liberals would argue that it is necessary to have religious freedom to function in a liberal society. However, within certain religions, not only does it dictate how the religious follower should act, but how the religious follower should respond to someone else breaking that religions laws, such as adultery or homosexuality. The resulting question raised is: to what extent may someone act out their religion and have the right to religious freedom, even if it removes the freedom of another citizen? Throughout history, the state and church have acted as one. This usually means that there is one main religion within…

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