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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 4 July 7:00pm start

Tuesday 4th July: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

Discussing First topical issue (Mark Iddon) and Second topical issue (Simon Belt)

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Opinions from the North West
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Ian Bett's opinion articles

Gael Garcia Bernal

Gael Garcia Bernal's search for brotherhood

Ian Betts reflects on the importance of solidarity in Gael Garcia Bernal's films and others from the ¡Viva! Film Festival at the Cornerhouse - March 2012

 

Gael Garcia Bernal has starred in many definitive Latin American films: Amores Perros, Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Motorcycle Diaries have all garnered international awards and credibility for the way they represent the social issues of their respective cultures. Ironically though, they all depict Bernal as the cunning underdog struggling to escape the confines of the societal entrapment they criticise.

 

What is it about Gael that is so appealing? Perhaps it is because he lacks the hyper-masculine posturing of many established Hollywood stars; in Amores Perros, his character Octavio, a stubborn, beleaguered teenager, seeks to escape the squalor of his neighbourhood by entering his Rottweiler into dog-fighting competitions as he wishes to finance a new life for himself and his abused sister-in-law. A stubborn, beleaguered teenager, Octavio is an endearing and familiar protagonist who epitomises working-class ambition despite being failed by the promises of capitalism.

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Ian Bett's opinion articles

Young people pose the thumbs up

Votes at 16: an aspiration?

Opinion piece by Ian Betts January 2012

In my Salon article New Year, New Optimism, I suggested reducing the voting age to 16 to help end the stagnation of progressive politics and the endemic disaffection of young people in our society. Here, I lay out my reasons why I believe this to be the case.

 

Whatever your political leanings, this year will see significant developments in the mechanisms of our democracy. How we register to vote will change with plans to introduce Individual Electoral Registration, and how we are grouped in constituencies will be reworked by the Boundary Review. With a week of campaigning planned in February by Votes at 16 supporters to add names to their e-petition, it seems timely and relevant to discuss this proposal now.

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Simon Belt's opinion articles

Problem with Young People

The problem with categorising Young People

Comments by Simon Belt August 2011

 

I've come into contact with a section of society known as Young People quite a bit recently, and to be honest I don't care for the category much. Having worked in the civil service and an international outsourcing company for long stretches, I'm familiar with the concept of new this, that and the other, which are usually recycled and repackaged presentations of something very similar to what existed before. Young people are clearly not a new occurrence, but I get the feeling that the use of the term has moved from being a description of comparative or relative age to a category or identity of a relatively separate group, for more than marketing reasons.

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Katherine Sansom's opinion articles

What slutwalkers think of dress codes

Slutwalks and the future of feminism

Opinion piece by Katherine Sansom June 2011

 

In January this year, addressing a group of students at a Toronto college, PC Michael Sanguinetti expressed the view that women “should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimised”.(1)


In February, a man in Canada was found guilty of rape but sentenced to probation, with Justice Robert Dewar asserting that the victim’s ‘tube top and heels’ must have suggested to the rapist that she wanted sex.(2)

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Jane Turner's opinion articles

Come on down?

It's a job centre, but not as we know it... 

The unemployed are now being offered counselling when what they really need is a decent job!

Rant by Jane Turner May 2011

When you’re looking for a job and you want a job (to bastardize a line from Morrissey) what you really don’t want or need is therapy, especially from a Government agency, or what is optimistically known as Jobcentre Plus.

 

Not the sort of place I’d ever drop into for a friendly pep-talk and certainly not the place to go if you really are looking for a job, as the few vacancies “on offer” are limited in every possible way.

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