Author Archive
Forced Motherhood: Are Abortion Laws a Denial of Human Rights?

Forced Motherhood: Are Abortion Laws a Denial of Human Rights?

Rape and pregnancy are typically not the concerns of children, or so we would hope. Yet, these are precisely issues faced by young girls across the globe, including a 10-year-old Senegalese girl who has been denied an abortion despite being pregnant with twins after being raped by her neighbour. Abortion is a highly contested issue...
Can We Bank on the Big Society?

Can We Bank on the Big Society?

Several years ago, the idea that thousands of UK citizens would be dependent on food banks for their survival would have been almost inconceivable. Hunger is not something that is allowed to happen in Great Britain, right? However, in recent years, there has been a remarkable rise in the use of food banks in the...
You Better Work, Kids

You Better Work, Kids

If you asked anyone in the developed world about what they thought about child labour, the answer would be an almost universal condemnation. Yet, what if your country was so impoverished that parents sending their children to work everyday was the only way for them to survive? Bolivia’s social and economic conditions are so desperate...
A New Brand of Politics?

A New Brand of Politics?

In an expletive-spattered, 4,500 word opus as guest editor for the New Statesman, and a clash with Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight, British comedian Russell Brand declared the political system irreparably broken, and in the service of the corporate and upper class elite. He then disseminated a rallying cry for the coming Socialist revolution. Was...
Boycott or Business as Usual?

Boycott or Business as Usual?

In the world of diplomacy and power politics, the suggestion of a boycott of the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) over the host State’s continuing human rights abuses might seem slightly over the top. No State is perfect; international politics doesn’t halt with the first mention of internal difficulties. Yet, there have been...
Who Actually Gives a Frack?

Who Actually Gives a Frack?

Protesters in Guy Fawkes masks, seen it all before, right? The hallmark of an opportunist, anarchist troublemaker. Yet behind the masks lie fears for the English countryside and demands for a more equitable energy industry. The Reclaim the Power and No Dash For Gas protests at Cuadrilla’s exploratory hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, site in Balcombe,...
Politics and the Press: A Match Made in Hell?

Politics and the Press: A Match Made in Hell?

A free press has long been considered a crucial pillar of democracy. Keeping the public informed of local, national, and world events, providing an outlet for comment, opinion, dialogue, and criticism, and holding public officials accountable are all indispensable public services offered by a robust and free press. Attempts to restrict the liberty to print...
I Predict A Riot: Sparks Fly over Belfast’s Union Jack Decision

I Predict A Riot: Sparks Fly over Belfast’s Union Jack Decision

Our sense of identity shapes who we are and how we act; this is as true of collective identity as it is individual. But, what happens when the cohesiveness of collective and national identity is ruptured, divided, and used as a weapon? Northern Ireland’s troubled history has been defined by the continuing clashing of religious...
“Enough Food For Everyone If…”

“Enough Food For Everyone If…”

We’ve all seen the pictures. Young, pleading eyes staring back at us through our television screens: children’s bellies swollen with starvation. Yet, in international affairs, the issue of global hunger is often overlooked and rarely tops the political agenda. Won’t there always be poor people? Don’t world leaders have more pressing issues to worry about...
Starbucks: Would you Like Some Tax with your Latte?

Starbucks: Would you Like Some Tax with your Latte?

While many of you may have been rushing to get your ‘iconic’ Christmas Red Cups from the hallowed espresso machines of Starbucks, you probably didn’t think it would cost you more than the £3.30 you normally spend for your Grande Gingerbread Latte. Yet, for Starbucks, as well as other multinational companies, tax avoidance schemes have...
Britain: ‘One Nation’ or New European Leader?

Britain: ‘One Nation’ or New European Leader?

While the rest of the European Union celebrated the honour of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the halls of Westminster were conspicuously silent on the matter. There can be no doubt that the EU has transformed Europe from “a continent of war to a continent of peace”, but the lack of enthusiasm at the announcement...

Pussy Riot: Paying the Price for ‘Free’ Speech

Many international commentators must have been mystified as the political protest of three Russian feminist punks resulted in a wave of human rights activists across the globe donning fluorescent balaclavas and proclaiming ‘Free Pussy Riot’ in solidarity. Why did a minute-long performance of a ‘punk-prayer’ against the hierarchical Russian political system warrant such a strong...