Browsing: Politics

At the onset of a tumultuous academic year, Seren spoke to Welsh Minister of Education Kirsty Williams, to find out more about the ramifications of COVID-19 on higher education in Wales. From the budget cuts in Bangor, to the tuition refund petitions across the UK, we discussed the challenges created by the pandemic, and addressed what plans the Welsh government has prepared to mitigate them. Question: There have been several petitions across the UK expressing student dissatisfaction with the quality of their university education due to online teaching. Several of the most prominent, now debated in the UK parliament, go…

Photo by Rennett Stowe (CC BY 2.0) The UK government has rejected a recommendation to implement a centralised system to process student loan refunds. The recommendation was made in a July 13th report published by the Petitions Committee, in response to several online petitions for tuition refunds. The largest of these petitions, titled ‘Reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19,’ garnered over 350,000 signatures. The Petitions Committee report, titled ‘The impact of COVID-19 on university students,’ acknowledged huge disruptions to the student experience due to difficulties accessing online materials and the lack of access to…

Image by Julia Hawkins (CC BY 2.0) Over 60 members of Extinction Rebellion were arrested yesterday after an attempt to blockade NewsCorp printing presses in Broxbourne and Knowsley. Papers affected by the blockade included The Sun, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The London Evening Standard, all owned by NewsCorp, the traditionally conservative company founded by Rupert Murdoch. As their reason for the protests, Extinction rebellion cited “the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate & ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulation of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.” The conservative…

A letter sent to an MP by a MoJ minister outlines what a new Welsh Government bill would mean in practice; Welsh parents could lose their jobs for smacking their kids if the new law is implemented, a letter from the Ministry of Justice has warned. If a Welsh Government bill to outlaw reasonable chastisement passes, parents suspected of smacking their children will face police investigations. The news was confirmed in a letter sent by an MoJ minister to David TC Davies, the MP for Monmouth, at the end of last year. It also confirms that information about parents who…

The 2021 census could be the last one ever to be carried out, the UK’s national statistician has revealed. Prof Sir Ian Diamond said he was examining cheaper alternatives to the 10-yearly compulsory questionnaire delivered to every UK household. The census, which has been conducted for almost 200 years, provides valuable population information to help councils and the government plan services. But Sir Ian said he was “hopeful” data from other sources could replace it. “The census is frankly as good as it is possible to get,” he said. “Let’s see if we can get to a similar place, more…

As we all aware, the UK decided to leave the EU following a referendum in June 2016 with 17.4 million in favour of the motion. Brexit being the buzzword of the last few years, the question on everyone’s lips is what happens next? Following the formal departure on January 31st, 2020, months of negotiations for what the next steps will be were sparked. While our departure has been agreed, both the EU and the UK need to decide on the future relationships, creating the transition period. In the next 11 months the UK will still follow the rules and regulations…

With the general election now only days away, it’s time to really think about where your vote will go! Young people aged 18-24 have the power to change the way the government is run; don’t let a lack of knowledge affect your vote. Putting your tick in a box does make a difference, so don’t let your voice go unheard. This is the third general election since 2015 so let’s make this one count! So, with that in mind here is a rundown of the parties’ top priorities for this election. CONSERVATIVES  Leader Boris Johnson Top priorities Bring back…

The island’s outgoing MP remains confident that a multi-billion-pound nuclear plant will go ahead, despite question marks over its future Approaching his final week in Parliament, the North Wales MP says he remains confident a multi-billion-pound nuclear plant will go ahead despite question marks over its future. Other political distractions like Brexit or the upcoming election won’t stop plans for the plant.  First elected in 2001 – one of only two gains made by Labour that night, Albert Owen has represented Ynys Môn since that surprise win 18 years ago. But having spent his early career riding on a crest…

Despite official abolitions of slavery during the nineteenth century throughout the actual EU member states and its colonies, in these same states, thousands of individuals are still subject to exploitation nowadays. As such, the notion of modern slavery is commonly used to refer to a wide range of exploitations which violate human rights and dignity. However, it is used as a concept which is not in itself properly defined in the international or European Union law. Legislations rather specify the treatments through which individuals might be exploited under the legal term of human trafficking, or even forced labour, but not…

If the pillory by the US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, does not register a crystal clear intent of the Trump administration to dominate the global trade stage, then nothing else will. This week Sondland slated Phil Hogan, the imminent EU trade Commissioner, in a preliminary sniper fashion. The swaggering Hogan had elected to acknowledge his impending EU portfolio by flooding the Irish RTE radio waves last week expressing, without mincing his words, his intent to spare no effort at cautioning Trump about his much publicised erroneous conduct on trade. Hogan, who is a veteran Irish politician, authenticated…

The result of the 2019 general election could determine whether Brexit happens or not. Some campaign groups are suggesting people use tactical-voting websites, to help them decide which candidate to support. One website has faced criticism over the nature of its advice. What is tactical voting? Put simply, tactical voting is when someone backs a candidate they wouldn’t normally support, to stop someone else winning. This could happen in a constituency where two parties are in a tight race and candidates from other parties trail far behind. In these circumstances, a supporter of the candidate who was a distant third,…

With the upcoming general election looming, it is more important than ever to have your voice heard. Not voting equals no change! Your votes do make all the difference in the bigger picture.  While you may be registered to vote in your hometowns, you are allowed to register in your university town to ensure you have the chance to vote.  While the Christmas break may begin the day after election day you still have until the 26th of November to register for a postal vote so you can be heard!  10 reasons why it is important that you register…

With Brexit only a matter of days away, the UK has fallen under a blanket of uncertainty with the temporary termination of parliament leaving the nation unsure of its future, here’s a recap of what we do know.  What is the Brexit deal? The deal consisted of a withdrawal agreement – which set out the terms for the ‘divorce’ process. There was also a political declaration – which outlined the future relationship between the UK and EU. The withdrawal agreement covered a range of things including: the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU…

A key part of the Brexit negotiations has been the border that separates Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The border is a matter of great political, security and diplomatic sensitivity in Ireland. Therefore, the UK and EU agreed that, whatever happens as a result of Brexit, there should be no new physical checks or infrastructure at the frontier. This is where the controversial “backstop” comes in. Why might the backstop be needed? At present, goods and services are traded between the two jurisdictions with few restrictions. That is because the UK and Ireland are part of the EU’s…

Does Brexit worry you? Is the prospect of studying at Bangor University in a post-Brexit UK causing you anxiety? Seren’s Politics section is looking for students who want questions answered about their future and about what’s happening during and after the end of this month. Please email politics@seren.bangor.ac.uk or message us on Facebook with your questions!

Yesterday saw crowds marching through Bangor in protests supporting School Strike for Climate, a global movement pushing for action to be taken on climate change. (for more information, see our main article at: https://www.seren.bangor.ac.uk/news-politics/local-news/2019/09/21/global-climate-strike-march-bangor-protest-takes-to-the-streets/). Seren Bangor spent the march interviewing over 40 individual protestors to hear why they personally had taken to the streets. The following 10 interviews represent a cross section of those interviewees. What has brought you here today? “I’m a medical student and you can’t just neglect climate change, and it’s getting worse by the minute and I think we’re getting to the point where…

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