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Browsing: Politics

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…

Is feminism still relevent in the 21st century? Tom Andrew Munro and Becci Jameson discuss. Tom Andrew Munro is a second-year student studying English language and linguistics with media. He is arguing for feminism. Do we still need feminism? To answer this curtly, I believe we do, despite women in the UK striving for and achieving roles in our society of ‘equality,’ –  possible examples of this including Margaret Thatcher and J.K. Rowling. Even though their fields are not linked they have both achieved great things, and the common denominator that has allowed them to achieve such success is feminism.…

by Peter Clarke A few weeks back, a group of history students at Warwick university organised their own lectures in response to their temporarily absent tutors, who were on strike for a few lectures. Teachers at Warwick were on strike for a plethora of reasons, and the immediate reasons for the protests in recent weeks, according to Sally Hunt (general secretary of the union representing academics), was to request further negotiations to improve the pay rise offer of employers from a minimal 1 per cent. Warwick university, similarly to universities all across the country, have of course been arranging strikes…

I once heard a joke in which a Finn meets a talking elephant. Instead of asking the elephant relevant questions, like how the talking elephant came to be, the Finn is only interested in what the elephant thinks of Finland. I find the joke very fitting because as a small country we are desperate for the world’s approval. Now our fragile egos have been shaken. In a piece written for The Guardian, British journalist Michael Booth kicks the proverbial hornet’s nest by giving his honest opinion about the Nordic countries. Even though Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland get their fair…

I was raised in the notoriously Democratic Washington state; the home of hipsters, Nirvana, and Microsoft. During the last election, we were not just one of the states to vote to re-elect Obama, but we also legalized recreational marijuana and gay marriage. Not only that, but my parents are biologists, so it was no surprise that I grew up listening to Bob Dylan and growing my own organic vegetables. I was as liberal as Barack Obama’s use of the word “folks.” So when, at age eleven, I moved to Enumclaw, a conservative farm town an hour away from Seattle, I…

Is Scottish, Irish, and Welsh devolution a positive thing? Sara Lloyd Williams and Victoria Allen discuss. Sara Lloyd Williams, 22, is a third-year student studying History.  She is arguing for devolution. The question of devolution over independence is a hard one to grasp with facts and figures. In September 2015 the people of Scotland will go to the polls to vote for or against independence for their country. Currently in Scotland opinion polls show an apparent majority against independence in the country (the last yougov poll showed 52% against, 32% for). But can an issue that runs so deep and…

By Callum Lewis A few months ago the internet was ablaze with debate over the proposed introduction of an internet filter proposed by the Conservative government, set to block pornographic content unless one opts out of the default filter settings. ‘This is absurd!’ we all cried. ‘This will never happen!’ Well, it appears we are in for a rude awakening. The internet filter is going ahead, and this can only mean bad things. Support for such measures has been fleeting at best. A public consultation last year concluded that ‘no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default…

As a rule, students don’t care about politics. This statement has been hammered home for me during my first few weeks as Seren’s new politics sub-editor. When I announced my new role, people nodded approvingly and offered their congratulations. When I asked them if they wanted to contribute anything to the new politics pages, I was met with awkward silences and the universal refrain of the university student: “I don’t know anything about politics.” If I had to sum-up the current generation’s political attitude in one word, I’d use “apathetic.” Of course we’re apathetic. British politics is dull. Let’s look…

This article is partially a follow up to the first one written in the last edition of Seren. The overall results of the 41 Policing authorities are as follows; Conservatives (15) Labour (13) Independent (10) and Zero tolerance policing (1). The results do confirm all of the predictions made before the election, that the turnout would struggle to reach 20% in many places and indeed the turnout nationally didn’t reach 20%. The government failed to adequately advertise the PCC elections; it failed to communicate effectively what the PCC’s would do and yet managed to spend a hundred million pounds on this…

Starbucks is planning to change the way it operates so that it will end up paying corporation tax in the UK. Despite being one of the biggest competitors and having almost one-third of the UK coffee shop market, Starbucks has paid corporation tax only once in the past 15 years. Corporation tax is paid by foreign companies on profits made in the UK, while UK-based companies pay corporation tax on their taxable profits wherever they are made. In a report published on Monday, Public Accounts Committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) needed to be “more aggressive…

Jordan’s acting information minister Nayef al-Fayez has said that his government shared the UK authorities’ disappointment at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) ruling on Monday. Both Jordan and the UK had a special interest in making sure that he was charged for his crimes but under British law, there isn’t even enough evidence to try him in a court. When Abu Qatada arrived back at his home in London, around lunchtime on Tuesday, a small group of protesters – holding a “get rid of Abu Qatada” placard – gathered outside and chanted, “Out, out, out.” Earlier this year, judges…