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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 2011


Financial CrisisGlobal Financial Crisis (Aug 2011)

by John Hutchinson

 

We are all familiar with the sequence of events of the financial crisis popularly known as “the credit crunch” which developed in 2007-8. This reached a climax in September and October 2008, symbolised by the collapse of Northern Rock, the demise of Lehman Brothers, the enforced nationalisation of RBS and HBOS and the bankruptcy of Iceland.

 

However, is this financial crisis over? Have we now moved into a second much more dangerous phase which has two significant points of focus? On the one hand, the banking crisis of toxic mortgages and esoteric financial derivatives (which not even the banks themselves understood) has given way to a sovereign debt crisis. Greece, Ireland and Portugal have all been forced to go cap in hand to the European bank and negotiate and renegotiate bail-outs of their insolvent banking systems. The contagion is threatening to spread to Italy and Spain and drag the whole Eurozone down under the weight of debt, even the industrial powerhouse of Germany.

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News Reviews from 2011

The royal marriage and the media

Royal marriage and the media (Apr 2011)

by Dave Porter

 

The house of Windsor is a divided house. At least as far as the press is concerned, that is.

 

In typically irrational and schizoid fashion, the media has of late served up a royal villain – Prince Andrew, or HBH (His Buffoon Highness) – and a royal model couple, William and Kate side by side.

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News Reviews from 2011

Eddie Izzard says Yes to AV

Alternative Voting won't help democracy (Apr 2011)

by Simon Belt

 

The official 'About my vote' website helpfully explains the elections taking place 05 May on the voting system with a video cartoon featuring Victor the Vote Counter. Having worked with civil servamts like Victor, responsible for election counting nights, and having also been on the candidate's side of the counting table at a couple of counts, I appreciate the importance of The Count.

 

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News Reviews from 2011

End of Gaddafi?

Developments in Libya (Mar 2011)

by Mark Iddon

 

As I write, Sunday 27th February, Colonel Muammer Gaddafi is clinging on to power in Tripoli as it has been reported that 80% of the country is now in the control of opposition forces. He has been in control of Libya with no opposition parties since he emerged as leader in 1969 following an Officer’s Coup in which the British backed King Idris was deposed.

 

The regime was to be a Socialist Peoples Arab Jamahiriha in accordance with his Third Universal Theory and his Little Green Book. Relations between Libya and the West have been uneasy throughout that period but over the last few years, trade relations have developed and Gaddafi’s autocratic regime is tolerated as a relatively stable country.

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News Reviews from 2011

Blaming the unemployed for lack of jobs?

Welfare state reforms (Mar 2011)

by Jane Turner


INTRODUCTION

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan-Smith’s (IDS) welfare reforms were being discussed on a phone-in radio show recently and one caller said he would prefer to live off £65 per week unemployment benefit and spend time with his children than work in any of the jobs on offer where he lived. While this might shock some and bring out the “hang-em, flog-em, get-on-yer-bike or make them do national service” brigade I have some sympathy with his point of view. About to become an unemployment statistic myself due to the vicious council cuts and low economic horizons of successive governments I can confirm that the job vacancies on offer are mostly dire, and that signing on seems marginally preferable.

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