Jack Butler
Student at University of Birmingham, studying English with Creative Writing. Occasional blogger on politics and other such things. Fighting against injustice, dishonesty and male pattern baldness.

Entries by Jack Butler

Osborne's Political Budget a Pitch for a Post-2015 Promotion

(16) Comments | Posted 21 March 2014 | (23:00)

The headline on the front page of Thursday's edition of the Sun was particularly impressive, as that paper goes. It was 'WIN-GO!', which doesn't sound like much, until you realise that it was stylised to match the logo of the Sun's own online bingo site. The headline succeeded as an...

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The Lesson for British Eurosceptics From Ukraine - Europe Matters, and Europe Works

(12) Comments | Posted 3 March 2014 | (15:25)

25 years ago this November, the Berlin Wall fell and the separation between east and west in Europe began the long, torturous process of healing. Today, you might be forgiven for thinking that the political distance between eastern Europe and western Europe is again growing, rather than shrinking. Ukraine is...

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Protests on Campuses Just One Sign of the Malaise Gripping Universities

(0) Comments | Posted 5 February 2014 | (23:00)

As I write this, I am looking at two very different documents. The first is an e-mail I received on Thursday morning from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, David Eastwood. The second is a press release put out on the same day by Defend Education...

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The Big Thaw: Are Labour Hearts Melting to the Lib Dems Again?

(1) Comments | Posted 12 January 2014 | (23:00)

New Year's resolutions are a silly old game, let's be honest, but it seems they may be all the rage in Westminster this January. Ed Balls is definitely giving them a good go: it looks like one the changes he's making for 2014 is to be nicer to the Liberal...

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This Government Is Hammering Young People - Because It Can Get Away With It

(47) Comments | Posted 17 November 2013 | (23:00)

I am a student - obviously, this is the Students page. As a student living in the UK in 2013, I have to pay over three thousand pounds a year for my university education; I have friends who are paying closer to nine thousand. Why is higher education so expensive?...

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Will 2015 Be the Last 'Old Media' Election - Or the First 'New Media' One?

(5) Comments | Posted 23 October 2013 | (00:00)

Anyone who reads newspapers on a semi-regular basis will have noticed that, recently, there's been a steady, drip-drip increase in stories about Leveson and freedom of the press. Newspaper stories about newspapers aren't generally big sellers - people vaguely approve of a free press, disapprove of hacking the phones of...

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Cameron Pitches to the Old Tory Base - But It's Him That's the Problem

(1) Comments | Posted 3 October 2013 | (20:14)

The Conservative party conference, image-wise, was a festival of traditionalism. The flag was everywhere, for instance - though that's the style these days, and not exclusive to the Tories' Manchester bash. The flag of the Union even managed to splash itself all over the Conservatives' own logo, albeit an awkward...

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Miliband Nails His Colours to the Mast - But Can He Make Them Stick Until Election Day?

(0) Comments | Posted 24 September 2013 | (20:28)

There's something different about Ed Miliband when he steps onto the stage at Labour party conferences. He is, in many ways, an awkward media performer, often garbled, often repetitive, often unclear. Yet, as he showed in Manchester last year and in Brighton on Tuesday, he is capable of pulling a...

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Clegg's Tactic of Centrism Won't Ring True to His Party - Or to the British People

(1) Comments | Posted 19 September 2013 | (18:50)

Nick Clegg's speech to the Liberal Democrats at their party conference in Glasgow was focused, very definitively, on the centre. The Lib Dems, he said, are 'in the centre of Government and the centre of British politics, standing up for the millions of people in the middle.' He spoke of...

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Labour Aren't in as Much Trouble as You Think - But Miliband Must Be Assertive if He Is to Win

(38) Comments | Posted 16 August 2013 | (00:00)

Now is the summer of our discontent - if you're a Labour voter, at least. Backbenchers have been crawling out of the woodwork in the past few weeks, angry at the perceived lack of direction from Ed Miliband and his shadow cabinet, worried that the party is not doing what...

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Bash the Bishop Over Wonga? No, Bash the Government

(3) Comments | Posted 25 July 2013 | (14:33)

Once a businessman, always a businessman, eh?

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has announced plans to use the Church of England to expand credit unions. His thinking is that this will provide the poor with an alternative to pay-day lenders, such as the oft-criticised Wonga. Welby joined...

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MPs Should Be Paid More - But to Do the Job, The Whole Job, And Nothing but the Job

(19) Comments | Posted 13 July 2013 | (00:00)

Is an MP worth £66,396 a year? How about £67,060? £74,000? Hard to say, but the general perception is that parliamentarians are fiscally well-endowed but morally bankrupt. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Association (Ipsa) doesn't agree, and its chairman, Ian Kennedy, has recommended that MPs should indeed get £74,000 a year...

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Gove's Stance on Exams Unfairly Hurts Any Students Who Don't Conform to His Standards

(5) Comments | Posted 21 June 2013 | (00:00)

At the end of my second year at university (around six weeks ago now) I had to sit three examinations. These exams were all 100% of the module - the score I got for those papers determined my score for those modules, with nothing else going towards the mark. Two...

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The UK Needs to Decide What Kind of 'Big Footprint' It Wants to Leave in the World

(0) Comments | Posted 17 June 2013 | (13:37)

The G8 summit in Lough Erne will probably get more attention than it deserves. Are these eight countries - the USA, Russia, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and the UK - really the most representative or relevant voices on any one issue? Shouldn't we be expanding our focus to take...

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Tinker With Benefits All You Want - The Only Way Is Work

(0) Comments | Posted 8 June 2013 | (20:45)

The British people hate benefits, right? Wrong, in fact. Actually, it's almost a dead heat - 36% say the government's too tough on welfare claimants, 38% not tough enough. A majority of Brits - 52% - say it's the government's job to redistribute taxpayer's money across the income range. 74%...

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Cameron's Got It Right on Cabinet Job Security - It's Just a Shame That Means Osborne's Staying Put

(1) Comments | Posted 31 May 2013 | (00:00)

There's a good story about Tony Blair from back in 2001, sourced from Andrew Rawnsley's The End of the Party, which sums up that particular government's attitude to job security within Cabinet. After the general election, Blair summoned the ministers of four key departments - the Home Office, health, transport...

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Miliband Talks the Talk on Tax Avoidance - But Can Anyone Walk the Walk

(4) Comments | Posted 23 May 2013 | (00:00)

Ed Miliband went to a Google event on Wednesday to talk about tax avoidance. He didn't go there in a softly-softly way; he instead tried to heavily publicise his appearance at the 'Google Big Tent'. He published the text of his speech beforehand in the Guardian, and

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Gove and Hammond's Comments Highlight Cameron's Lack of Control

(0) Comments | Posted 18 May 2013 | (15:40)

The silver lining in David Cameron's current flurry of clouds is that no ministers have yet decided that their career prospects would be better served by resigning from his government. Michael Heseltine, Nigel Lawson and Geoffrey Howe all saw fit to flounce out of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet. Gordon Brown's brief...

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The Dark Side of Osborne's Wooing of 'Star Wars'

(9) Comments | Posted 13 May 2013 | (00:00)

Nerds, rejoice! Yes, Star Wars is coming to the UK! The announcement this weekend that the latest instalment in the multi-billion dollar franchise will be filmed at British studios will no doubt excite the multitudes of fans, who'll flock to Elstree and Shepperton to catch a glimpse of all their...

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Does Standing on a Pallet Really Make Miliband Look 'In Touch'?

(1) Comments | Posted 5 May 2013 | (12:25)

We all know what soapbox politics is, I think, and we all know it's in pretty short supply at the moment. One of the biggest complaints levelled against politicians today is that they aren't in touch with ordinary people. Is this because they don't pitch up on street corners anymore...

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