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Politics and the WWF – The New Alliance?

Today the Guardian’s article on the Earth expiring by 2050 has shocked many including myself. Whilst I cannot be said to be an ostrich Tory, burying my head in the sand about global warming and the Earth’s potential dilemmas, I certainly would not have guessed the Earth could possibly become uninhabitable within this time-frame. The Tories used to have the motto “vote blue, go green” and when the WWF’s study is officially released on Tuesday this will be more necessary than ever. UK elections have never really been won or lost on the environment, on pollution, global warming, save the rhino or any other liberal-sounding ideologies but it seems the time has come when this is indeed necessary.

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Reforming the Education Mantra

The mantra “Education, education, education” is burnt onto the minds of many of those who followed the news in the run-up to the 1997 election campaign – it was Tony Blair’s main priority, to bolster the educational standards of the children and schools within the country – an admirable aspiration it must be said. 14 years on and Mr Cameron and Mr Gove seem to have the same aspirations but vary slightly in application. Mr Blair brought in tuition fees for Universities, GCSE results improved and Sure Start was launched. Mr Cameron is using these as a foundation and rightly so, but focusing not just on grades but on ‘worthy’ grades, it could even be said that the new mantra is “Employability, employability, employability!”. Click here to keep reading

Oh expenses, whatever next!

The expenses scandal will go down in political history for one of the worst breaches of public trust in recent years. Before we jump to conclusions though, let’s analyse this a little further. Yes, there were a few cases that can be legitimately described as ‘criminal’ and some of those individuals have started to feel the full weight of the law. The most recent case was of Lord Hanningfield, a Conservative Peer but he was preceded by four former Labour MPs and another Tory Peer who have already been given prison sentences for their actions. If we put these more serious breaches aside for one second though there is one thing that must be said which has been so far largely ignored: whether we like it or not and whether it was morally correct or not, most of the expenses claimed were perfectly legal and legitimate. Read the rest of this entry

Americanised Britain: Elected Second Chambers and Expertise Cabinets?

Britain’s ‘special relationship’ with the US has always been hailed and grew during Mr. Obama’s recent State visit to the UK, but how far is too far? We have recently ‘upgraded’ from our traditional Judicial Committee of the House of Lords to an all new singing and dancing Supreme Court. Additionally, you cannot now escape the debate on the potential reform of the House of Lords which some have proposed may even become a Senate. The Liberal Democrats are viewing it as a way to show their backbone whilst Labour and Conservative MPs are torn. On the one hand, democracy should always rule and hereditary peers are becoming figures of the past, adding to the meritocratic status of Britain. However, those against an elected chamber are constantly citing the expertise they bring us and their broad interests and knowledge on subjects that politicians know little. Would people of the arts, the sciences and leading technological minds put themselves forward for these new positions? If not, are we willing to sacrifice the scrutinising of legislation by those who actually have life experience in the area?

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