By Allen Wesson (Politics and Economics student at University of Surrey)
Due to the current climate in the UK I am left wondering if this spell of warmer weather is a cruel trick played by the Gods to send more Patriotic Brexiteers to British holiday destinations this year, knowing full well that whatever happens on the 29th March or beyond, they will probably flock to mainland Spain, Magaluf and Ibiza anyway. Satire very much not aside, in a holy crusade of knowing what’s best for you, the archetypal hard-line ‘Remainer’ has in fact become what it set out to destroy – a fount of satirical nonsense, spouting stereotypes and further pushing divides between themselves and those who disagree.
Instead of the ‘Gang of Four’ (4 MPs who broke away from Labour to form the Social Democratic Party in 1981), there is a ‘Magnificent Seven’. Angela Smith, Ann Coffey, Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Gavin Shuker, Mike Gapes and Luciana Berger have resigned from the Labour Party and formed The Independent Group.
I joined the Liberal Democrats back in 2014, probably at the height of their unpopularity. My politically inclined friends would often question why I would ever join such a party – the Lib Dems were set to be decimated at the next election, they had alienated students through the tuition fees fiasco, and had entered a coalition with the Conservatives to the chagrin of so many of their supporters. Yet despite their tattered reputation, in this party I could see so much potential, not just as a home for my political views but for all of the United Kingdom.
Out of all contraceptive methods, the pill is one of the most popular types of female contraception, with an almost 99% effectiveness rate when used correctly. It cannot be disputed that the introduction of the pill has changed society forever. It gave women control over their reproductive organs and sex life, made casual sexual relationships less of a risk and taboo, and impacted greatly on women’s lives, both in a good light and not. In the US it is estimated that one third of women use the pill as contraception, however more than 50 years after becoming an established form of birth control, new research has changed the guidelines from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). These updated guidelines now show that the common seven-day break while using most combined pills had no health benefits, and that there is nothing to be gained from stopping the contraceptive to have a monthly period. This understandably has caused a lot of questions to be asked – why was it ever a guideline? Why, more than half a decade on, are we just finding out that the pill could have been taken continuously?
The parliamentary votes on January 29th has given the government renewed mandate to pursue negotiations with Brussels, but will do little to allay fears that Britain risks a disastrous exit from the European Union.
Some may suggest that due to recent events such as vote of no confidence in Theresa May, alongside a vote of no confidence in the current standing government, that support for the Conservative Party is a difficult position to stand for. On the contrary, I believe recent events, and the actions of multiple other parties in the house, have given me a plethora of reasons as to why I can continue to support the Conservative Party at this current time.
While Britain finds itself embroiled in the complexities of its exit from the European Union, it is important to remember that other areas of the world are undergoing important evolutions that will also have effects on global politics. India is set to elect representatives to the 17th Lok Sabha (India’s lower house) in April, which will determine the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. It will either remain Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the controversial Hindu nationalist who as cast himself as India’s strongman, or a challenger from the Indian National Congress (INC), India’s historical political party that was at the forefront of independence. If it is the latter, it is anyone’s guess who will be nominated to the Premiership.Continue reading “Tides of Change: The Indian Election”
In a society where mass consumption fuels day-to-day life, it is easy to become disassociated from the products we buy. UK consumer spending in the 3rd Quarter of 2018 peaked at £336,079 million, a record high since monitoring data began in 1955 (Trading Economics).
Capitalism, championed by Western states such as the UK and the US, has become the assumed norm. Francis Fukuyama referred to the post-Cold War period of rapid liberal, democratic, capitalist development as the ‘End of History’. The US has tasked itself with protecting capitalism’s market-based ideals, even going so far as to intervene militarily to protect the ‘light of liberalism’ (See: Vietnam conflict, US Intervention in Afghanistan 1979).
Whilst consumer spending is increasing, we are also beginning to see a significant rise in anti-consumerist movements in response. Year on year, more people are beginning to realise that such high levels of consumption are trapping our global population into a cycle of environmental and social degradation. Essentially, populations are realising that we are living in an environmentally unsustainable economic system.
There truly is nothing quite like Australian politics. At the time of writing, the man currently at the helm of the Liberal National Party government is Scott Morrison, or ‘ScoMo’. If you know anything about Australian politics however, I might be so facetious as to suggest he will have been ‘back-stabbed’ and removed by a member of his cabinet by the time you get around to reading this. Although I am exaggerating, Morrison is the fifth Australian Prime Minister in as many years, and it is clear to see why so many Australians are losing confidence in mainstream politics.
On Tuesday evening, the Government suffered a historic defeat in the House of Commons. The Withdrawal Agreement that Theresa May has spent years negotiating and months trying to sell to MPs was decisively rejected-202 ayes to 432 noes. In the aftermath of this catastrophic defeat and the subsequent failed Vote of No Confidence, what now for Brexit? Some of our writers share their thoughts on the situation.