Tag Archives: Conservatives

eu flag

Euro-sceptic? Eur-so-silly

David Cameron’s speech is a mere publicity stunt instrumented to falsely ensure us of democratic legitimacy, through making it seem as though we all have a choice over our country’s future.

[dhr]

united nations flag

[dhr]

Today Prime Minister David Cameron declared he is set to make negotiations with the EU in relevance to treaty changes and the euro. As you would expect from a politician (especially a Tory), Cameron is presenting us with a more tactical, underlying negotiation which is quite simply, “A vote for Conservatives in the next election is a vote for an in/out of the European Union referendum.

Last month, Anti-EU party UKIP increased its share of the vote from 6 per cent to 9 per cent. This rise in popularity massively reflects the British populaces increasing intolerance of the EU, and a prime reason for this is the general attitude towards immigration. Take for instance YouGov’s latest poll for the Sunday Times, which revealed, rather unsurprisingly, that 67% of people believe that immigration has been a ‘bad thing for Britain’ with the second majority, 18% believing it has been ‘neither good nor bad’.

It was Gordon Brown who coined the term ‘British jobs for British workers’. In 2011, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) produced a report that made the headlines; take for instance the Daily Mails’ choice, ‘Migration is killing off jobs: 160, 000 Britons have missed out on employment because work was taken my foreigners’ – not quite the snappy title I was hoping for. Alongside Brown’s pledge, this outbreak of outrage in the media was symbolic of the increasing mass hostility towards immigration. One could even argue not only did it encourage public opinion towards the topic, but created it too. Nonetheless, the subject of supposed scandal here is as shallow as scandal gets. Firstly, a job is a job – I’m not quite sure what makes it British. (According to Chris Bryant, this is ‘hospitality construction and agriculture’) . More importantly, the allegation that immigrants ‘fill the limited vacancies which exist in the fragile UK economy’ is pure fiction. This is the lump of labour fallacy; the notion that there is no such thing as limited jobs.

Then again, these are the type of people complaining about “no jobs”.

The article goes on to manipulatively inform its readers that immigration is ‘full of loopholes, such as an exemption for so-called “intra-company transfers”, which allow firms to bring in thousands of their existing staff from abroad’. It is absolutely absurd to undermine the act of bringing competently skilled workers into the British labour force a “loophole” in immigration policy, considering that is a chief beneficiary of immigration.

Cameron believes the best way to create a democratically accountable Europe is for the British population to vote on whether they want to be a part of it or not. He says, “It is time for the British people to have their say. This will be your country… a choice about your country’s destiny.” Other than sounding like Uncle Sam encouraging young American boys to sacrifice themselves in the name of war, it is utter rubbish. Whilst Nigel Farage has successfully infiltrated popular opinion through highlighting the costs of the UK’s EU membership, the government has failed to educate the British people on the benefits.

The only source the British people of this “democracy” have to base their views on, are newspapers – the most popular being subliminally fascist tabloids such as the Daily Mail. Cameron’s speech is a mere publicity stunt instrumented to falsely ensure us of democratic legitimacy, through making it seem as though we all have a choice over our country’s future . Well, democracy doesn’t mean shit when the people don’t know shit.

It is time for UKIP, the Tory’s and the like, to realise that leaving the EU may cover the odor of the turd that this situation is, but it certainly won’t stop the UK from being in a faecal matter.

[hr]

Photo Credit: dimnikolov

london education cuts protest

Are Protests A Complete Waste Of Time?

As the NUS prepares for another round of protests on the 21st of November, one can only ask whether it is a waste of time or a vital action that may lead to positive results.

[dhr]

london education cuts protest

[dhr]

20th October 2012 saw one of the largest protests in recent years. Titled “A Future That Works”, around 150,000 students, activists, politicians and other members of the public filled the streets to voice their disapproval and anger at the public cuts, welfare budget cuts and against austerity measures put forward by the Coalition government. Additionally the protest aimed to change the way politics works in Britain. Their objective is to create a nation which pays workers a living wage, where bankers do not get high bonuses, where the government ensures the inequality between the rich and the poor is shrunk.  These objectives are not new and throughout the years citizens have demonstrated against their government’s policies in hope of change. But does change ever come?

Undoubtedly some protests can have devastating effects on the governments. The Arab Spring is a perfect example of small scale marches turning into full-blown revolutions which resulted in regime change in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Protests have also had a positive impact in America where slavery and segregation were abolished thanks to the protests and marches organised by Martin Luther King. Finally, Gandhi had an innovative idea of protesting – peaceful non-violent civil disobedience which led to the independence of India from the British Empire.

However, recently a large number of people have claimed that protests do not achieve anything and looking back over the last few years it is understandable why that is the case. Almost a million marched against the war in Iraq in 2003, yet the march did not prevent the invasion. Thousands of students marched against the rise in tuition fees, yet once again the results were unsuccessful. One has to also ask what the Occupy Movement has achieved over the last year except media coverage.

Evidently some protests and marches achieve their aim and some do not. Perhaps one explanation for this could be the cause of the protests. While most marches have some validity, one can argue that marching against authoritarian regimes and against slavery and segregation is far more important than marching against a tuition fee rise or austerity measures. In addition, some of the causes which have been successful are quite objective. Anyone with any sense of morality would agree that racism, slavery and life under a dictatorship is wrong and thus it was inevitable that change would eventually come. Austerity measures, education cuts and even the invasion of Iraq are issues which are less clear cut and can be viewed as rather subjective.

Does that mean that less important matters should be left untouched by activists and protesters?  Absolutely not: the secondary aim of marches is to illustrate the dissatisfaction of citizens against a particular policy and additionally to spread the narrative among the public who may not be aware of the damage these policies may be causing. This is exactly what the protests against the invasion of Iraq, against the tuition fee rise, and the most recent austerity march has achieved: the illustration of anger at the government and widespread media coverage attracting others to the cause.

Let us also not forget that student demonstrations can be very effective. For example, thousands of students took over the university as part of the uprising of the Polytechnic University of Athens. As a result the military junta stormed the university gates using tanks. The outcome was the killing of many students by the dictatorship, however, a few days later a nation-wide uprising took place against the junta. This demonstration resulted in the creation of the famous legislation known as the Students Asylum or Academic Asylum. This law was introduced to protect freedom of thought and expression on campuses in 1982, when memories of Greece’s repressive military dictatorships of the late 1960s and early 1970s were still raw.

So where does this leave modern day protests and marches? As the NUS prepares for another demonstration on the 21st of November, one can only ask whether it is just another waste of time or a vital action that may lead to positive results. From the examples given in this article it is clear that many marches do create change, regardless of whether it takes weeks or years. In addition these marches can achieve much more than transformation of the society. They can ensure the government is well aware that their citizens are not prepared to stand back and let the establishment make unpopular choices. Demonstrations keep the government on their toes and ensure politicians are always accountable for their actions. For these reasons, protest and demonstrations are vital ingredients of our political system and have an intrinsically important role to play in society.

[hr]

Photo credit: Selena Sheridan

Amy Winehouse and close up text

What Do You Think Of David Cameron?

Artist Annemarie Wright is creating a unique piece of artwork based on public opinion and she needs you to contribute your opinion of David Cameron to make it happen!

[dhr]

Amy Winehouse and close up text

[dhr]

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nnemarie Wright is a text based artist specialising in the production of handwritten artwork. She is most well known for a piece of Tony Blair – “Their families have been told” – created using the handwritten names of fallen British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has now turned her eye to our current Prime Minister and is calling for the thoughts and opinions of the public to create a life-sized image of David Cameron. This piece is to remain objective and we are encouraging contributors to be constructive with their comments.

Comments will be collected until the 10th August 2012 to allow Annemarie sufficient time to finish the piece before the Conservative Party Conference in October. There are several ways to contribute, the preferred being Twitter, though if your opinion needs more than 140 characters then you can get in touch via Facebook, email or the comments section below.

I am going to create a piece of work that will bring people together and allow them to get involved in something. This will not only make it more special for me, but will allow people to actually voice their opinions in an illustrative way.”

[hr]

Web: WhatDoYouThinkOfDavidCameron.com // Twitter: @WDYTODC

Email: [email protected] // Facebook: facebook.com/WDYTODC 

Rupert Murdoch

Politics & The Press: One Big LOL

The government is too preoccupied with courting the press rather than scrutinizing them: the relationship is one big LOL, but not the lots of love kind.

[dhr]

Rupert Murdoch

[dhr]

Propaganda is information that is not impartial, but biased and often misleading. It is dispensed with a certain political agenda and therefore used to promote or publicise such causes with the intention of influencing the masses and directing them towards that agenda.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver this month, Module 3 of the Leveson Inquiry has proceeded to examine the relationship between politicians and the press. The highlights of this week have been particularly engaging, starring John Major, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband as witnesses in a decisive case against Rupert Murdoch. But why does Murdoch matter so much?

The Murdoch Empire has been labelled the biggest media player in Europe – an unquestionable cause for concern predominantly in the fields of British politics and populace.

A tabloid can be defined as ‘sensational in a lurid or vulgar way’ and with particular emphasis on the latter, The Sun is a fitting example. It is part of Murdoch’s News International Corporation and has a national daily circulation of over 2.6 million, which makes it the most popular source of written news in the United Kingdom. To put it plainly, the Murdoch Empire has a mass audience in Britain and therefore potential mass influence. This provides a basis of explanation as to why the relationship between the press and politicians has become so intimate and ultimately concerning.

As the 1997 election approached, Conservative Prime Minister John Major was heavily encouraged to strengthen relations with the Murdoch press and on Tuesday, Major revealed that in  February prior to the election a significant conversation between Murdoch and Major occurred amidst their fine dining. It culminated with a statement similar to the following:

 “If you don’t change your policy my organisation cannot support you”

Murdoch outright threatened to remove support for the Conservative Party unless Major changed certain policies towards Europe, which is likely to have referred to a referendum on leaving the EU. Although Major was admittedly “too sensitive to the press” which he even once called a “source of wonder”, the matter was not pursued and the Tory’s lost the election, Murdoch’s support aligning itself with the new Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. Twelve years later in September 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused any negotiation with Murdoch and support from The Sun was withdrawn and naturally, returned to the Conservatives. The Tories won the following election.

With such a blunt correlation between party politics and the press, Ed Miliband’s suggestion that “one person should not control 34% of the British press” is extremely accurate and quite frankly, exceedingly long overdue. This is because ultimately if the Murdoch Empire has the power to change British political policy whilst having significant access and influence over the population, his tabloids can be described as the most useful instrument to promote and publicise particular political agenda and can therefore be labelled as pure propaganda.

Nobody can deny that the government is far too preoccupied with courting the media rather than scrutinising them and as a result the relationship between editors and politicians have consequently ended in one big lol, but not the lots of love kind.