When marriage equality was legalised in England and Wales in 2013 celebrations were held across the two countries and many people believed that this would be the first of many dominoes that would lead to more egalitarian societies across Europe and around the world. While the legalisation of same-sex marriage was a significant step forward for the LGBT community in England and Wales; a large majority of the British Isles’ LGBT population was allowed to legally marry in the next two years when Scotland and Ireland both followed suit, but there are some parts of the British Isles that have yet not established full equality in this area.
Following the loss of his parliamentary majority, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared that there would be a general election to be held on 20th September 2015. SYRIZA’s surprise victory essentially left his party back to where it was before the election, however the ruling coalition between SYRIZA and the right-wing anti-austerity Independent Greeks has been slightly diminished majority of only 5 seats. One week on from that victory, and with the new Greek government still in its infancy, the question now is what should SYRIZA do with this reaffirmed anti-austerity mandate.
Us on the Left were totally obsessed with the Labour leadership campaign and potential election of Jeremy Corbyn, but since his election the conversation has shifted to how the Left can work actively to oppose the upcoming Trade Union Bill that passed its second reading on the 14th September and is now in committee. There are number of ways to fight the bill and this piece will be a look at three different strategies, all of which will involving challenging the Tory narrative of trade unions being a negative force in British society.
With the 2016 Presidential campaign well under-way, and the failure of Rick Perry confirmed, eleven GOP hopefuls travelled to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which presumably is full of Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand books, to square off in the second official Republican debate on this cycle. The event was broadcast live by CNN who wanted to shake off the perception of their news organisation being solely for people transiting through airports by staging the debate in front of a plane in what appeared to be a massive hanger.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been trying to portray himself as the GOP’s silver bullet to appeal to Hispanic voters whilst also hoping that his relative youth among the other candidates would give him the appearance of a ‘fresh-facedness’ that would inspire people to vote for him as a vessel for change. What the debate has shown is that he is more right-wing that I originally thought and that he is potentially one of the more dangerous candidates as unlike Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee, I fear that Rubio will be able to spin his message effectively enough to both win the GOP nomination and effectively challenge the Democratic nominee in the general election.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz still thinks that he is going to be elected president and as a result talked down the camera lens to the people at home whilst also giving out so much misinformation that it’s hard to fathom such stupidity exists inside one person’s head. Very much trying to appeal to the fundamentalist Christians and libertarian-right, Cruz is more ideologically in line with the GOP base than say Chris Christie, but by constantly speaking like what people characterise politicians as sounding like, he will be overlooked for the nomination, even if his nomination would certainly result in any Democrat winning the election.
Dr Ben Carson is a former neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital but don’t let that fool you- he’s incredibly stupid in every other field, but this stupidity wasn’t particularly on show in the debate. Obviously I’m not saying I agree with Carson but it was interesting to see that, despite the very right-wing crowd in front of him, his policy suggestions were quite moderate (for someone who thinks God called him to run for President). Remarkably he is currently second in the Republican field and his position as a soft-spoken outsider has been one of the main reasons that he has been so successful. Unlike some of the most right-wing politicians in the GOP field like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz, Carson as a genuine chance of being the GOP nominee, which is terrifying.