Policy Proposal: Humanitarian Service

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month the British media have been openly discussing what Britain’s response should be. Indeed David Cameron has announced that he intends to bring forward another vote on air strikes in Syria which is expected to be supported by the House of Commons as many Labour MPs have said that they would defy any whip. Terrorism is a very complex issue and there are many ways that it should be addressed but I would like to discuss the idea of creating a humanitarian service.

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Schools failing on same-sex relationship education

Sex education is a key part of a young person’s life, especially given how sexualised British society is, yet research from Birmingham City University and Sheffield Hallam University has revealed that these lessons are ignoring gay and lesbian relationships. Considering that a recent YouGov showed that 49% of young people aged 18-24 do not identify as totally heterosexual, it is at least possible that this same number could be in a same-sex relationship at some point in their lives. It is crucial for same-sex relationships to be acknowledged in schools so that young people do not feel ashamed of their sexuality and resort to drastic behaviours such as self-harm or suicide.

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Portugal Turns Left

Nearly two months ago the Portuguese Legislative Elections took place and the centre-right coalition Portugal Ahead (PàF) was the largest party, attracting 38.6% of the vote and winning 107 out the Assembly of the Republic’s 230 seats. As those among you who can count will have noticed, this meant that PàF were short of a majority and were faced with a problem: they couldn’t form a governing coalition as all of the other parties were left-wing. In the month that has followed the PàF couldn’t form a majority but, at the request of the centre-right President Aníbal Silva, formed a minority administration. This did not last.

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Catalan Independence: The Final Hurdle

Following the success of pro-secessionist parties in the 2015 Catalan elections I articulated my view that independence from Spain was “inevitable. My belief in pro-secessionist movements is not based in any form of nationalism, whether ethnic or cultural, as I am an internationalist; it is based on passionate support for decentralisation and the weakening of existing state-power, particularly in the case of former colonialist powers. I still do believe that Europe is on the way to having another nation-state within its borders, but it would be foolish to ignore the biggest challenge that still remains: Spain.

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Fourth GOP Debate: Review

The fourth GOP debate has come and gone. With just under a year to go until election day what is said now will not determine the result of the general election, however the candidates’ words are important nonetheless. In these preceding months the candidates are supposedly grilled by the media so primary voters can evaluate the policy proposals on offer, but this is not the case. Since the debacle surrounding the third Republican debate with CNBC, the media have been cowed into doing as the GOP says and it is the American people that shall suffer as a result.

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Fourth GOP Debate: Carly Fiorina

Former CEO of HP Carly Fiorina is still under the impression that she can be the next president and, despite having an average debate performance, is unwavering in this belief. Given the success of outsiders in the Republican primary campaign so far my dismissiveness would seem to be ill-judged however I think that Fiorina isn’t bringing much to the debate that is not also being brought by other candidates. The debate itself proved this point as at times she faded into the background and, although she was specific in regards to some policy areas, she was not asked about a big enough variety of issues for her to stake her case.

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Fourth GOP Debate: Marco Rubio

Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been seen by the media as the dark horse in the race so far as he is seen as conservative enough to appeal to supporters on the Right of the party, as well as moderate enough to appeal to more establishment voters. It is unclear at this point whether or not Rubio could be the nominee as, even though he is probably performing the best among the politicians running for the nomination, polling at this point in the race shows that most GOP primary voters don’t want a politician. His debate performance was better than many of the other candidates as he showed himself to be quite polished, but this is also potentially his biggest weakness with Republican voters that do not trust polished politicians.

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