The Conservatives called this general election because their polling suggested that they would win a landslide victory, with some polls putting Tory support at close to 50% and Labour’s support hovering around 30%. No matter what Theresa May says about Brexit or “strong and stable leadership” it is clear that the election was called for her own political purposes. It was therefore widely thought that manifesto week would be a formality where the Tories are characteristically ambiguous and thus would maintain their lead. The popularity of Labour’s policies and the surprise announcement about Tory changes to pensions and social care have cast doubt on the idea of a coming landslide. The media is now changing their emphasis to focus on the Tory own goal.
Since the election of Donald Trump people from across the political spectrum have been scrambling to explain how Trump’s message was spread and why it was so potent. As a result there has been a lot of talk about ‘fake news’ and how it is a scourge that needs to be eradicated. However I believe that ‘fake news’ is a loaded term invented by centrist liberals to easily whitewash dissenting opinions and redefine existing concepts. In short, we shouldn’t use the term ‘fake news’.
Across the world lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are gaining political rights in the same way that other oppressed groups had in previous centuries. This progress is not uniform, particularly in parts of the world where conservative religious views are commonplace, but certainly in the Western world LGBT acceptance occurring at a rapid pace. I believe that framing other political discussions in this way will push back the encroaching forces of intellectual laziness. Continue reading →
The discourse around the refugee crisis has been incredibly depressing and has been sickening at times. Columnists have dehumanised these people and policy-makers have ignored them for political expedience. As a result the dominant ideology, when it comes to this issue specifically, is one that is incredibly right-wing. Across Europe right-wing populism has risen in popularity and the rhetoric towards refugees has been increasingly xenophobic. An example that is often given is the social problems that large numbers of refugees cause especially in Germany. Here is a story that puts a different complexion on this view.
In the past few days the Republican National Convention has been underway and an interesting trend has started. In a series of different people’s speeches, significant rhetorical devices and phrases have been plagiarised. Two things struck me about this turn of events: I didn’t realise that Republican delegates would be stupid enough to plagiarise speeches when the entirety of the media is watching every step you take; and also that the media’s coverage was so nearly actually good. The GOP ‘s speech-writing problem could be a consequence of two scenarios that I will touch upon, but the main point I want to elaborate is on the power of political labels.