I have done my best to ignore the Brexit fallout but the constant media circus and the response from many people across the country has been insufferable. This is not going to be a rerun of the arguments for and against leaving the EU because I, like most of the country, is glad that bloody referendum is over. However I would like to point to something that is on the rise: political idiocy. One of the themes of my articles is combating what I term ‘intellectual laziness’, but I fear that the Brexit vote had jolted into something even more annoying.
In December, Spain went to the polls to decide the composition of the Cortes Generales however this resulted in an election with no clear winner. After months of wrangling and negotiations, the time expired and new elections had to be called. The results are in, and nothing really changed. Spain’s second elections threw up results that still leave all parties and potential coalitions short of forming a government. Indeed for leftists, this election was a step backwards, and we need to re-evaluate our strategy in order to make substantive electoral progress in the near future.
The UK has made history by becoming the first country ever to vote to leave the European Union. With a turnout of approximately 72%, the British people narrowly voted to exit the trade bloc, a decision that has far reaching consequences in a number of different areas. At around 6am London time the Leave campaign crossed the necessary threshold of 16.8 million votes to claim victory and achieved around 52% of the vote, compared with the Remain campaign’s 48%. It was a hard night for the Remain campaign as polling had suggested the UK would stay in the EU, however as results continued to flood in throughout the evening the Leave vote appeared to be stronger that originally thought.
Language is a powerful tool. It can be used to impress, to inspire, and to insult, however language also can have a symbolic and political purposes. The approach of a group of people toward language is an interesting area of enquiry because the language used by a group of people about another group of people is revealing. There is now a growing trend among LGBT people of reclaiming typically homophobic language in order to remove its venom, which clearly puts the LGBT rights movement in a long tradition of marginalised groups acting in this way.
Since the end of World War II the United States and Japan have been strong allies. As well as rebuilding the nation through huge amounts of financial aid, the United States also agreed to defend Japan from invasion. In exchange for this military agreement the United States retained large amounts of Japanese land in the form of military bases, the most famous of which are in Okinawa, an island group 640 kilometres south of the Japanese mainland. However ordinary people in japan are starting to grow tired of this arrangement. Continue reading →
Yesterday afternoon Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen, was working in her local community near Birstall Library. She had spent the day doing constituency work and campaigning for Britain to remain a member of the European Union. However this turned out not to be a normal day for her. At around 1pm 52-year-old Tommy Mair stabbed and beat her before shooting her twice in cold blood. Although people from across the political spectrum have been united in grief by the tragedy, information is coming out that is troubling.
Yesterday it was announced that the Scottish government has reached their carbon emission reduction targets six years early. The original targets were set to be achieved in 2020 however the emissions figures released for the year 2014 were lower than those 2020 targets. Through state intervention in the economy, both in the form of investment or regulation, constructive change can take place. This story is positive a positive one but, whilst this achievement shouldn’t be minimised, some other facts need to be considered.