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Kamran Hussain

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Review of British Politics 2013

Posted: 31/12/2013 17:00

2013 is drawing to an end and it's fair to say it has been an eventful year in British politics. From Thatcher's death, to parliament voting against military intervention in the Syria, this year has most definitely been an intriguing one to say the least.

The biggest shock of the year was MPs voting against the government's motion of proposed military intervention in the Syria crisis. A blow for the PM indeed, this was the first time since 1965 that a government failed to gain majority support of parliament for a deployment of the armed forces. A clear divide between the Conservatives as Michael Gove allegedly bellowed at Tory rebellions branding them a "disgrace".

Ed Miliband said that Britain must act in the national interest and not just act as puppets of America. There was a majority consensus among the public that they did not want to rush to war and would prefer a much more calm and measured approach. It seems that Labour has learnt from the mistakes of Iraq and has stood up for the interests of the people.

MPs decided to vote against the governments plans to redraw constituency boundaries before the general election. There was a further setback for the government when Britain lost its Triple-A credit rating for the first time since 1978. Although the economy is now gradually improving it can be many years before the people see a rise in their wages.

The much anticipated Leveson report came out but the government failed to back it. A Royal Charter on press regulation has now been enacted. The press have rejected the Royal Charter and feel that politicians are trying to put a lid on 'free press' which undermines democracy.

The date for the Scottish Independence Referendum has been announced as 18 September 2014. Later Scotland's First Minister launched the Scottish Government's White Paper setting out the foundations for an independent Scotland. The PM openly criticised the document claiming it does not answer questions about Scotland's relationship with the EU or currency issues.

Margaret Thatcher's death was always going to divide opinions and it did. Tories wept as expected whilst the North-East partied in celebration. A state funeral funded by the tax-payer didn't go down too well with the public, with an estimated grand total of £3.6million. The 'Iron Lady' was never going to leave without a stir, however a prominent figure in 21st century politics has now left us, to some peoples sadness and other peoples delight.

The Conservatives finally crumbled under Ukip pressure and published a draft bill aiming to hold an in/out Referendum of the EU in 2017. Another disruption amongst Tory MPs as the legislation for a referendum was not mentioned in the Queen's Speech to many Tories disbelief.
It was a controversial summer for Labour as allegations that Unite the union was secretly signing up its members to get its favoured candidate elected in Falkirk. Ed Miliband was very robust in his approach and ordered that he will end automatic membership fee. A very risky move from Miliband but handled with great integrity.

Important steps for the LBGT community as same sex marriage in England and Wales finally becomes legal.

A strong stance from the PM as he announced plans to block pornography in every UK Household unless they 'opted in' to viewing it through their Internet provider.

Labour announced that it will freeze energy bills for two years if elected in 2015. Ed Miliband dominated PMQs and other debates leading with cost of living crisis and the crisis in the energy market.

The Tories seemed to bounce bank with the latest Autumn Statement, a much awaited and welcomed growth of our economy. However, we still have a cost of living crisis, 13 million people in Britain living in poverty and more people using foodbanks than ever before.

The latest YouGov/The Sun polls: Con 34%, Lab 39%, LD 11%, UKIP 12%.

We hope that 2014 brings us more exciting times in the world of politics. All major parties should focus on getting young people more engaged and more informed about politics. Transparency, integrity and courtesy needs to be at the forefront of all campaigns. Unless you're Ukip of course, you have to tell fibs and scare people in to voting for you, the art of propaganda and its wicked ways.

 

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