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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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First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
Let's Kick Censorship Out of Football PDF Print E-mail
News Reviews from 2014

Nickolas Anelka and his Quenelle gesture

Let's Kick Censorship Out of Football

and why it matters by Mark Iddon


Racial insults and offensive behaviour (of players and fans) seem to have made news headlines on a regular basis recently. There are two stories which stand out - the quenelle gesture by Nickolas Anelka and the arrest and charging of Tottenham fans for chanting Yid at a football match.


The quenelle gesture by Anelka, the West Bromwich Albion striker, was a goal celebration that he said was anti establishment but was interpreted by the Football Association to be an anti-Semitic inverted Nazi salute.

Do we get the news we deserve? PDF Print E-mail
News Reviews from 2014

Do we get the news we deserve?Do we get the news we deserve?

by Julia


I found myself ranting at the radio last week. This is not an uncommon pastime for me, but the spluttering behind my steering wheel was more colourful, vehement and incoherent than usual. At issue was the spat between deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman and the second most widely read newspaper in the country, the Daily Mail, which was being intoned about in soothing accents on the BBC.

Whole-Life Orders: Does Life mean Life? PDF Print E-mail
News Reviews from 2014

Whole-life sentences

‘Whole-Life Orders’: Life means life

... except that it doesn’t quite

by Sundeep Athwal


The Court of Appeal has recently confirmed that judges in England and Wales are not prohibited by human rights legislation from imposing ‘whole-life orders’ when sentencing people found guilty of committing ‘exceptionally serious’ criminal acts. However, the predominant reaction to the decision, celebrating the possibility of offenders spending the rest of their lives in prison, fails to grasp the reasoning behind the decision and largely ignores the need to justify the imposition of whole-life orders.

Playing politics with education PDF Print E-mail
News Reviews from 2014

Playing politics with educationLabour peer Baroness Sally Morgan pictured with Alastair Campbell

by Simon Belt


Self-consciously defining themselves as different and separate from their past, New Labour used the slogan 'Education, Education, Education' in its successful campaign in the UK General Election in 1997. Education went on to experience a highly centralised re-organisation of its values and standards that made Thatcher's Clause 28 look like parochial bigotry in its timidity.


The unbelievable success story of year on year improvement in school exam results overseen by New Labour, with questionably giddy approval by Teachers' unions, would be enough to prompt the most sober of bystander to want to toast their achievements. Some years on, and the now Coalition government is now accused of politicising education. And by whom? Well, funnily enough it's the present chairwoman of Ofsted, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, whose 3 year contract the Education secretary Michael Gove has said he will not renew as he wants to freshen up Ofsted.

Apologies: in place of politics PDF Print E-mail
News Reviews from 2014

Nick Clegg says sorrySorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

by Denis Joe

It is a strange world that we are living in. Children are encouraged to tell their parents off for smoking or drinking alcohol. There is discussion about lowering the voting age to 16. Conversely, adults are treated more and more like children. Nowhere else is this more noticeable than the forced apology. In 2007 Tony Blair apologised to the Irish people for the potato famine. In 2008 the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally apologised to all Aborigines for laws and policies that "inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss". David Cameron has apologised for not sounding a warning over the economic crisis in 2008 and for Section 28 in 2009. Then as prime minister he made an apology for Bloody Sunday in 2010, then apologised for Hillsborough and the murder of the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane an act carried out with collusion from the British state.

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