The Labour Party exists to represent the working people of Britain. It’s founders, inspired by socialist thinkers throughout the ages, wished for ordinary people should be represented in the corridors of power. For many years they were successful in doing this, however although the years of New Labour put the party into government, working people felt abandoned. The difficulties that the Labour Party currently face are in part because of this feeling of abandonment. Labour need to change tack so that they can return to government whilst also sticking to their socialist principles. The example I shall take is how Labour should approach the business community.
The Tories support the idea of a ‘property-owning democracy’ and have enacted policies like Right to Buy and Help to Buy to make this ideological principle into a reality. However the Tories are failing to do this, and criticism of the Tories in accordance with their own logic is important if they are going to be defeated in an election. According to the OECD, Britain is 32nd out of 37 countries when it comes to home-ownership among families the report characterises as ‘just managing’. The housing crisis is at intolerable levels for millions of people across Britain, and the Left needs to put forward a convincing case to deal with the immediate problem.
A heterosexual couple in Britain has been refused the right to enter into a civil partnership after losing a legal battle at the Court of Appeal. Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan had argued that the first ruling against them had been discriminatory because they were prohibited from this legal status because of their sexual orientation. The pair have said that they intend to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The court case is important because it addresses the issue of inequality in our society but from a perspective that is often ignored, and the questions raised by refusing civil partnerships to heterosexual couples are interesting.
Arlene Foster today unveiled the DUP’s manifesto for the assembly election that will be held on 2nd March. However, rather than outline a detailed plan about what the DUP was planning to do, she mentioned general policy goals with a lack of substance to back them up. Rather than talk about the issues that the people of Northern Ireland are desperate to have resolved, the former First Minister emphasised the potential electoral success of Sinn Féin in an attempt to scare unionists into voting for her party. This cannot be allowed to stand.
Malaysia has decided to adopt incredibly antiquated and oppressive views to sexual minorities by endorsing gay conversion therapy. Federal authorities claimed in a video that a person’s sexual orientation can be ‘cured’. Ironically, the video in question was an attempt by the Malaysian government to prevent people in the country’s Muslim communities to be hostile towards LGBT people. Indeed, the video says at one point: “the fact is, there are those among Muslims that have non-heterosexual orientation but remain steadfast on the path of Islam”. The video may have been intended to reduce discrimination towards the LGBT community, but the language used reveals just how far equality campaigners have yet to go.
One of the things that the mainstream press have done is focus on Trump’s outlandish statements, particularly his empirical statements. For example at his press conference today Donald Trump said that “I guess it’s the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”. I don’t blame the media for doing this as there is only so much time in the day, and such a statement is easy to disprove, but given the scale of the lying by Trump, I have decided to avoid these little things as much as possible. At the end of the day whether Trump’s win was the biggest ever or the smallest ever doesn’t really matter because he still won. Instead, I’m going to look beyond the stupid statements of the President, and highlight the horrible things the GOP are doing. And this starts right now.
One of the many definitions of politics is that it is a collaborate effort between different social groups with the purpose of resolving disputes. As a result of this definition, a variety of government systems have been designed by political scientists, and many of these focus on the idea of consensus. Northern Ireland is a prime example of a consensus system, as opposed to the majoritarian system of Westminster. Consensus systems are designed to stop policy-making from occurring when there is no consensus. This mechanism is essentially to prevent one social group dominating another, but apparently some parts of Northern Irish civil society are unaware of this concept.