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Browsing: Politics

Bidding for student support, and their society membership, representatives of Bangor’s Student Political parties have clashed at a political hustings, organised by the Bangor University Debating Society, held alongside the student fair this past Saturday. Chaired by fellow student Edward Kendall, the debate, which lasted a little over an hour, covered issues ranging from the new Trump administration to climate change. The panel was composed of: Edward Kendall – Chair of the Debate Jaydan Pratts, representing the Bangor University Conservative Society Courtney Hickey, representing the Bangor University Labour Society John Hanley, representing the Liberal Democrat Party Owen JH, representing the Bangor University Plaid…

Last week, Britain’s MPs backed UK air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, with 397 voting in favour of the airstrikes and 223 voting against. 25 MPs were either absent or did not take part in the vote. Prime Minister David Cameron stated after the results that those who had voted in favour had “taken the right decision to keep this country safe”. Within hours of the vote being decided, four British Tornados were dispatched, hitting several targets in eastern Syrian oilfields. The Government’s victory in the vote was aided by 66 Labour MPs who voted with the Government in…

The Conservative Conference that took place from the 4th to the 7th of October gave the party a chance to counter the Labour party’s conference, and it was a chance that Prime Minister David Cameron took with open arms as he lay into newly-elected Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn. “We cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love” he told his audience. Cameron was also very critical of Labour’s economic ideas, claiming they were not offering “any sensible, reasonable, rational arguments on the economy”, before later adding that “Labour ideas don’t help the poor, they hurt…

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood began her party’s conference by attacking Labour, hoping to replicate the Scottish National party’s success at the General Election and gain seats from Labour in the upcoming Welsh Assembly elections. Wood criticised Labour for taking Welsh voters for granted and repaying them with “incompetence, inaction, and indifference” before accusing Labour of reducing Wales to a “second-class” nation. She issued a rallying cry to Plaid supporters, aiming to break Labours 17-year hold of Wales by saying: “There is nothing about Wales that cannot be fixed. There is no challenge that cannot be overcome by a determined…

The Labour conference brought about new Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s first speech as leader of the party. Despite not actually discussing any policy announcements, Corbyn had many issues to talk about, ranging from the idea of renationalising the railways, to attacking the Conservative’s broken promises on child tax credits, to making solving the housing crisis his “top priority”. In his speech he also responded to Cameron’s claim that he, Corbyn, was a threat to the security of British families by stating, “there’s no security for the 2.8 million households in Britain forced into problem debt by stagnating wages and the Tory…

In the past week, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) afforded to MPs an annual wage of £74,000, a rise of £7,000 from previous years. This, claims IPSA chairman Sir Ian Kennedy, is a “one-off adjustment” to compensate for recent pension reductions and expense restrictions. However, John Ralfe revealed in the Financial Times that MPs with as little as 14 years’ service will actually be entitled to retirement bonuses worth tens of thousands, with top front bencher payments even hitting the £50,000 mark. Mr Ralfe claims that, between wages and pensions, MPs will now receive £90,000. The Prime Minister David…

Today the Liberal Democrats announced their new leader: Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron (45). He gained the position with 56.5% of the votes, defeating his opposition, Norman Lamb. 56% of members took part in the vote, with Farron winning 19,137 of 33,987 votes. The Lib Dems had a disastrous outcome from the 2015 General Election, with only eight MPs left in office. Farron’s role as leader is now to regain the ground the party has lost. The new leader has already ordered his staff to liaise with charities in their constituencies and moved Liberal Democrat HQ out of parliament…

On July 8th, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne presented his budget to parliament. This is the first Tory budget without Lid Dem input since 2010, and the second of the year. Undoubtedly, this budget will have an effect on the students of Bangor; past, present and future. We at Seren have combed through over 100 pages of statistics, numbers, and political thinkspeak to bring you the Budget for Bangor, demonstrating how the Budget will impact our students. Universities The Good News “The government has […] committed for the first time to remove the cap on student numbers, enabling thousands…

Welsh government plans to introduce regional boards which will have members of the public sitting on them have been released. Patients could have more say over the running of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board under Welsh Government’s proposals to strengthen the NHS. Six regional health boards would be set up across Wales forcing local councils and health boards to work more closely together and sharing funds for certain services, including social care. Flintshire, Wrexham, Anglesey, Gwynedd, Denbighshire and Conwy councils would work together with representatives from Betsi with a member of the public elected to sit on the panel. The…

It has been an extraordinary 24 hours. Nobody could quite believe that exit poll when it emerged, not least Paddy Ashdown, who promised to eat his hat if the poll was right. Against all expectations the Conservatives were thought to be the largest party yet shy of a majority. Would they renew their vows with the Liberal Democrats to get over that magic mark of 226? Or would Tory backbenchers prefer to partner with the DUP and UKIP? Over the course of the night one big name after another dropped like crestfallen flies. Simon Hughes. Jim Murphy. Vince Cable. Ed…

As the General Election (7th May) gets closer, Bangor University’s Debating Society have cooperated with Bangor’s Student Union to bring us ‘Candidate Question Time’. If you’re familiar with the format and structure of Candidate Question Time, this needs little explanation. If you’re not, here’s the low-down: the host of the debate was Lucy Grimes, the president of the debating society, who questioned the leaders on certain topics: education, welfare, and housing were covered extensively. The parties included in the debate were the Liberal Democrats, Welsh Labour, Welsh Conservatives, UKIP and the Socialist Labour Party. The candidates first introduced themselves in…

Hywel Williams, pictured at Bangor train station above, is a member of parliament for the Welsh national party Plaid Cymru and represents the Arfon constituency, which includes Bangor and the surrounding area. At two minutes to nine, on a surprisingly dry morning, I entered Plaid’s office on Bangor High Street. The office (obviously adapted old housing) seemed small. I was instructed to wait for Hywel on a row of chairs, which gave a sense not unlike being in a GPs consultancy ward. My thoughts of this comparison, however, were cut off as Hywel came in through the front door and…

This January, the world was shocked by the shootings of employees from France’s Charlie Hebdo comic, after they produced what were perceived by some as ‘anti-Muslim’ cartoons of the prophet Muhammad. Twelve people, including the magazine’s editor Stephane Charbonnier as well a policeman, were shot and killed by masked gunmen later discovered to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi. Discussions online sparked like wildfire over ideas of censorship and the right to free speech, and Paris was thrown into turmoil with a spate of further incidents taking place. In a siege on the Creation Tendance Decouverte printworks on the 9th…

United refuse to give convicted rapist Ched Evans a contract – but will this late decision spare their reputation? Sheffield United revealed last week that footballer Ched Evans will not be offered a contract, despite having returned to training earlier in the week. The 25-year-old was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in 2012, but has recently been released from prison after serving half of his sentence. Many were shocked when less than a month later, Evans was reported to have begun training again with Sheffield United, for whom he formerly played. His return sparked not only public, but also…

Ukraine has lived through a troubled past. Crimea, which recently underwent a Russian-backed referendum on March 16th, was originally a part of the Turk Ottoman Empire until Catherine the Great annexed it as part of Russia. It was then gifted to Ukraine by the Soviet Union in 1954 – Ukraine still being a Soviet territory at this point. In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine and Russia became separate countries. Since, the country has been pulled in two ways. The west of Ukraine has traditionally had greater ties to Europe. Joseph Stalin deported many Crimean Tatars (the native people…