UK Democracy

Kwibuka 20: Remember Rwanda by Celebrating Its Future

Tony Koutsoumbos | Posted 09.04.2014 | UK
Tony Koutsoumbos

One wonders why the world insists on re-visiting Rwanda's violent past when it has such a promising future. To be sure, we must never forget, which is why last night's touching service was so important. Today though, when I think of Rwanda, I think of Joyce, Bruce, and Victor, and celebrate the victory of a bright future over a dark past.

It Is Perverse to Encourage Young People Not to Vote

Bob Morgan | Posted 08.04.2014 | UK Politics
Bob Morgan

Russell Brand - who has a lot of influence and a very loud voice, has suggested young people should not vote - this is perverse. It is alright for him to take this view - his opinions will get attention. For him to suggest that other people should not bother to use their only instrument of influence is wrong.

An EU Referendum Would Be Unconstitutional and Undemocratic

Sam Fowles | Posted 08.04.2014 | UK Politics
Sam Fowles

By now tens of thousands of words have been written about the Nick Clegg vs Nigel Farage debates but I think you can sum them up in just three: They were rubbish. While no one was expecting either man to be an Obama (or even a Romney) we deserved a higher standard than what was essentially a playground spat.

Missing Inaction: The Politicians of Tomorrow

George Baggaley | Posted 07.04.2014 | UK Politics
George Baggaley

Imagine a country where only a certain demographic participates politically, and in return receives favorable policies from the leaders they elect. Meanwhile, the remaining population is left on the outside - some without care, others simply unaware - while they are repeatedly ostracised, burdened and demoralised by the decisions of those above.

Being Called a 'Fundamentalist Secularist' Is an Insult I Would Welcome

George Gillett | Posted 04.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
George Gillett

It is this debate that secularists, both religious and otherwise, are fighting for. The movement doesn't aim to destroy or dismantle religion, but to create a society where no one group is granted special privilege or power. A society which ensures that all beliefs are protected and welcomed equally. But this debate can only be had once you stop using "secularism" as a slur.

Three Reasons Why Tunisian Democratic Transition Works

Peter Lesniak | Posted 01.04.2014 | UK Politics
Peter Lesniak

After relatively short post-revolutionary transition period, Tunisian democracy is slowly standing up on its own feet.

'We Are Graciously Permitted To Elect Representatives, Then We Have No Control'

The Huffington Post UK | Posted 31.03.2014 | UK

What does People Power mean in the age of the internet? Do we need party politics? Can children run schools? How can people relate more constructively...

The Algerian Presidential Elections: The Burlesque, the Tragicomic and the Farcical

Hamza Hamouchene | Posted 27.03.2014 | UK Politics
Hamza Hamouchene

Algeria's next Presidential elections will be held on 17th April 2014 and for the last few months; this important electoral rendezvous showed all the hallmarks of a masquerade, consistent with almost all the elections in the history of the Algerian state since independence in 1962.

Even With the Ballot Box, We're ALL Boxed In

John Bunzl | Posted 25.03.2014 | UK Politics
John Bunzl

Mainstream political parties in virtually all countries are struggling to differentiate themselves from one another, at least in terms of their economic policies. And the factor that's forcing them to become virtually indistinguishable is: globalisation.

Where Are Political Fiction's Lesbians?

Steven Fielding | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Politics
Steven Fielding

Are lesbians hidden from view in political fiction as much as it seems? Or have I just not been looking in the right places? It's interesting that if the paucity of lesbians is more than a reflection of my own inadequate research they are an exception to a general rule...

Erdogan Polishes His Iron Fist

Alexander Leivesley | Posted 17.03.2014 | UK Politics
Alexander Leivesley

Right now, Turkey is no place to be an activist - or a journalist. There are currently 50 behind bars for doing their jobs. Last year, it came top of the pile for journalists imprisoned, with Iran and China following close behind (source: Committee to Protect Journalists).

As the Web Comes of Age, Will It Herald a New Democratic Era or Just Distract Us From Deepening Crisis?

Jon Alexander | Posted 12.03.2014 | UK Tech
Jon Alexander

This is a root question, which I believe lies at the heart of every one of the major challenges we face as a society, from digital privacy to climate change - and one which we need to ask now, as the Web's coming of age provides us a rare moment when change is possible.

The Maajid Nawaz Controversy - Rights, Democracy and Cartoons

Liam Deacon | Posted 10.03.2014 | UK Politics
Liam Deacon

The debate over group rights is contested, but what shouldn't be, is the fact that calling for instant and somewhat arbitrary retributive action against a single MP candidate, who has exercised a right afforded to everyone else, just isn't a convincing way to invite this debate into the public domain. Neither is it just or democratic.

Winston Churchill, Putin's Russia and Ukraine: Timeless Lessons from the 'Iron Curtain Speech' 68 Years On

Philip White | Posted 06.03.2014 | UK Politics
Philip White

Can a speech made by a former Prime Minister 68 years ago still be relevant today? When we're talking about Winston Churchill's Sinews of Peace address (aka 'the Iron Curtain speech'), the answer is a resounding "yes."

In the Ukraine Powerplay, the West Has Much to Answer For

Paul Embery | Posted 03.03.2014 | UK Politics
Paul Embery

It wasn't just Russia that breached the sovereignty of Ukraine. The West did it too. And, in doing so, it set the scene for one of the most precarious international crises for a generation... The Eurocrats and oligarchs have failed Ukraine. Its people now need to look to each other in the fight for justice and liberation.

Crimea on the Brink: No Velvet Divorce for Polarised Peninsula

The Conversation UK | Posted 02.03.2014 | UK Politics
The Conversation UK

These are dangerous times in Crimea. While the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has exposed the division between the country's pro-Western and pro-Russian populations, another divide is more clear-cut and arguably more imminently threatening: the divide between supporters and opponents of separatism in Crimea.

Ukraine and Venezuela Show Us that Freedom Is Not Free

Nicholas Rogers | Posted 27.02.2014 | UK Politics
Nicholas Rogers

No less incredible were the scenes from Venezuela, where tens of thousands of people gathered to protest again President Maduro, following weeks of sometimes violent protests in which several were killed by Venezuelan police, who also dress like soldiers and fire live rounds.

Iraq - Genocide in Fallujah

Struan Stevenson MEP | Posted 25.02.2014 | UK Politics
Struan Stevenson MEP

The unfolding tragedy in the Iraqi city of Fallujah seems to have slipped off the international radar screen, as the focus of the global community drifts from Syria to Kiev and back again. The humanitarian situation in Fallujah is dire.

Russell Brand Didn't Cave to the System, He Hacked It

Katherine Sladden | Posted 20.02.2014 | UK Politics
Katherine Sladden

In Jon Snow's interview with Russell Brand last week the presenter accused the comedian of inconsistency for rallying against parliamentary democracy while asking people to sign a government e-petition. I think Jon missed the point. Russell Brand didn't play by the rules of our parliamentary system, he hacked it.

People Are Switched Off Politics - We Must Bring Them Back

Nicholas Rogers | Posted 17.02.2014 | UK Politics
Nicholas Rogers

That people are disenchanted with politics is hardly an original observation. Turnout at elections is declining, politicians are almost universally derided, distrusted and disliked. Perhaps it was ever thus, but modern voters seem less interested and less willing to listen to what politicians say than ever before.

Arab Spring Stifled

Yousef Dar | Posted 15.04.2014 | UK Politics
Yousef Dar

Sadly the region is still in turmoil, and the scent of freedom is once again a distant pipe dream for millions. Why has this happened ? What led the historic opportunity be lost in this modern and enlightened era?

Planned Protest in London to Demand Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan

Ruwayda Mustafah | Posted 14.04.2014 | UK
Ruwayda Mustafah

A small number of Kurdish people in London have organised a protest 'cycling for freedom' against the Turkish government's life imprisonment of Abdullah Ocalan. Their message is clear on the Facebook page created, with over one thousands invites sent out already...

Union Ballot Thresholds Pose a Greater Threat to Democracy Than Low Turnouts

Paul Embery | Posted 12.04.2014 | UK Politics
Paul Embery

Amid the boilerplate Tory bluster about militant trade unionists holding the public to ransom with unreasonable demands and threats to withdraw their labour comes a new and sinister campaign, led by the mayor himself, demanding the government legislate for a 50% turnout threshold for industrial action ballots... The most dangerous consequence of any new law on ballot thresholds would be for democracy itself.

Politics Is Far Too Important to Be Left to Politicians Alone

Kamran Hussain | Posted 06.04.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Kamran Hussain

Banging on about democracy is one thing and actually implementing it fairly is another. Whether it's "why young people don't vote" or the call for "the ban on the niqaab" being discussed, those representative of the groups in question are not given the opportunity to have their say.

Policitians DO Listen to Us... But Too Much

Joel Durston | Posted 01.04.2014 | UK Politics
Joel Durston

Politicians just don't listen to us these days - so goes probably the common, and personally most inane, refrain in current UK politics. But is there actually much truth to it? I don't think so. In fact, I think quite the opposite is true.