Blog Archives

Sleaze in political lobbying – are we surprised?

Ever since last week’s exposé of the political lobbying industry in The Independent, the media has been rife with politicians and lobbyists alike scrambling to pass comment on the issue. The exposure of underhanded tactics and dirty tricks within the industry, as well as the inappropriately intimate relationships between lobbyists and senior Government Ministers has resulted in widespread condemnation of the lobbying profession, but in reality there are two questions that must be asked. Firstly, are we surprised by this revelation relating to the prevalence of corruption in politics? But secondly, how concerned should we be? Read the rest of this entry


Could Extradition be the Non-Negotiable Issue in this “Special Relationship”?

Over the last decade we have constantly heard about our Americanisation and had our “special relationship” thrust in our face at any media opportunity, but a group of MPs seem to feel that enough is enough. How easily the Americans can be angered we are yet to tell, but holding a Parliamentary debate (including a vote) on whether our US-UK extradition treaty is still viable and fit for purpose is surely not going to please.

Long have we been the smaller brother of America, often clinging to their every word and whilst not always agreeing, always appeasing at least – but this now seems set to change. The UK has finally decided that it is not reasonable for us to have to present evidence to an American Court when we request an individual on an extradition charge when the Americans do not have to do the same.

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Can the Republicans beat Obama on Foreign Policy?

As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took his spot as the latest frontrunner in the Republican race for the White House, the candidates assembled in their nation’s capital on Tuesday for the latest debate in this most chaotic of races, this time to discuss foreign policy. Previous debates have revolved mainly around domestic affairs, addressing the pressing issues of unemployment and the economy, alongside other matters such as healthcare and social security.

While these debates have been rife with criticism and contention between the candidates, ideology over broader policy measures has been fairly consistent, with mediators constantly being forced to bring up smaller and more divisive issues in order to stimulate more engaging debate. Indeed, up to this point, the televised debates have been characterized predominantly by the high-profile gaffes made by the candidates, rather than any sort of wholesale division over federal policy. Foreign policy, however, marks an interesting turning point, as it forces the Republican candidates to look beyond America’s borders and express a coherent world vision. Everyone knows their respective records on employment and the economy, but now is the time to test their knowledge on what is happening outside of their North American bubble. Read the rest of this entry

What does America’s mass troop withdrawal mean for the UK and Iraq?

In the wake of President Obama’s announcement that a mass withdrawal of troops from Iraq is imminent, many have been left confused as to the future of the conflict. Major talking points include the authenticity of the withdrawal, given the maintenance of a significant NATO presence, and the future of an Iraqi state that is still fragile in spite of the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. Obama’s state visit to the UK earlier this year may have been a PR friendly affair, but it once more called into question the solidity of the Special Relationship, something that will be scrutinised once again in the aftermath of this announcement. Read the rest of this entry

Enter the Dragon

As Europe continues to titre on the edge of financial crisis, an economic giant from the East continues to prosper. China, a nation that has experienced double-digit growth for nearly a decade continues to grow in terms of influence and superiority in the global economy. Just this year China overtook Japan to become the second largest economy in the world  causing great ripples in the west, predominately worrying the USA. As many countries grow suspicious of this economic heavyweight, what is unearthed in this scrutiny is the sheer size of China PLC around the world. Click here to keep reading

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