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Tuesday 4th Apr: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

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

Articles for 4-Apr-17

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First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2015


Devo Manc and the 2015 electionDevo Manc and the 2015 election

by Simon Belt

 

Hanging onto the flippant disregard for the integrity of the nation state, with their lack-lustre defence in the referendum for Scottish independence, the civil servants in Westminster and their willing local politicians in Greater Manchester signed an agreement to champion the calls for freedom and democracy oop north.

 

Only no-one in Manchester had been calling for devolution outside of a small coterie of local administrators and politicians who could see their names in the limelight. Indeed, just a few years ago, proposals for a locally elected Mayor rejected the idea - and that in the wake of Labour's plans to impose regional assemblies on us was well and truly thrown out by the electorate.

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News Reviews from 2015

Natalie BennettHousing Policy and the 2015 election

by Mark Iddon

The meltdown of Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, on LBC Radio last week caused a few sniggers about her ability to be a serious contender in the general election but it distracted attention away from any discussion of the merits or otherwise of the Green Party housing policy.

 

She was perhaps foolish to make an announcement of their forthcoming policy document including the building of 500,000 new homes without having facts and figures at hand to support her initiative, as she was in a complete muddle when held to account as to how it would be funded. It was quite painful to listen to but many people can relate to the experience of mind blank when the spotlight is on them.

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News Reviews from 2014

FIRST TUESDAY News Reviews from 2014

The First Tuesday discussions on current affairs aim to provide attendees with a way of developing and testing their understanding of a range of current affairs topics; improving their journalistic capabilities so that they can write opinion or comment style articles for the regional or national media or blogs, respond with a thoughtful angle on radio chat shows, TV talk shows or maybe just have an interesting angle to respond at work with.

The topics discussed in September 2014 were:

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News Reviews from 2014

Demonising Israel fuels the war in GazaBoycotting Israel plays on antisemitism

by Simon Belt

 

Whilst the open-ended ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza holds after months of Israeli bombing, the media spotlight has refocussed on the UK's terror threat level being raised from 'substantial' to 'severe', supposedly in response to recent activities in Iraq and Syria. The focus on activities in the Middle East through the summer has perhaps made for the least silly season for news I've known. That might sound trite given the horrors of war, but just just because it's usually off the front page doesn't mean to say it's not happening or that it's not better to cover, so don't be quite so quick with your comeback.

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News Reviews from 2014


An Independent Scotland

by Mark IddonScottish Independence


On 18th September 2014, Scottish residents will get to vote on whether to have an independent Scotland or retain the union with England that was established 300 years ago. The referendum was put forward by the Scottish National Party (SNP) as part of its election manifesto when it won a majority of seats in the 2011. The sentiments of the campaign appeal to many in Scotland who feel that the government in Westminster does not give sufficient regard for Scotland and takes for granted the resources of Scotland.

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