2016 – A bad year for progress

To say 2016 was a bad year for progress is an understatement. A right-wing populist surge continues to sweep the Western world, bloody conflict rages on in the Middle-East, and with it comes an outpouring of refugees in unprecedented numbers. The left and the principles of liberalism as a whole have taken a beating, and…

Young people and democracy: a troubled relationship?

If you’re 16 in the UK, you can drop out of school, get a job, pay taxes, and even join the army. Yet, in spite of all of this, you cannot vote. Governments with the ability to send people to war, change the rate of tax and change the laws to which we are all…

The Westminster game has failed. So let’s change the rules.

Our democratic deficit is deeper than anyone wants to admit. Governments are elected with  less than 37% of the vote and just 24% of all registered voters, whilst voter turnout peaks at 66%. Our upper chamber is the largest in Europe, unelected and unrepresentative of the general public. It’s no wonder why we’ve come up…

Owen Smith cannot be the Labour Leader

Is it not better for a country to have two clearly distinct political parties, or is better for one party to attempt to resemble the other in a bid to get elected? Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith are the physical manifestations of these two ideas, with the former having vigorously opposed the Conservative Party for…

The Cruel Circle of Brexit

Several areas of the UK with high percentages of ethnic minorities voted in favour of Brexit. They certainly influenced the vote greatly, but is the result now impacting them more than anyone else? 73% of black voters, 67% of Asian voters and 70% of Muslim voters all supported to remain in the EU. Despite this, as country…

Scandinavia is not a socialist triumph

Sorry, socialists; Scandinavian success isn’t your trump card. While Scandinavia has emerged as one of the world’s leaders in terms of how to run an economy, many advocates of socialism claim that its success is down to large numbers of socialist economic principles. This fanciful perception could not be any more untrue; in fact, the Scandinavian…

Theresa May offers nothing new

The whirlwind of events that transpired on Thursday morning will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on British politics. Boris Johnson, a man who many considered to be heir apparent to the premiership, made the remarkable announcement that he would not run for Prime Minister in the wake of Michael Gove’s announcement that he would, branding…

Editorial: The EU Referendum

Here at Pertinent Problems, we strive to promote free and open debate, and inquiry at the very highest of levels on the global issues that matter. In an EU referendum campaign that has been too close to call, we think it would be helpful to those seeking to gain an understanding of the debate to present…

Let’s be frank: we’re staying in the EU

Barack Obama’s recent comments that it could take 10 years for the UK to sign a trade deal with the USA should they leave the EU,  has resigned me to something I’ve been trying to deny for a while. Regardless of the merit of the arguments on either side, it is ultimately the fear factor…

Why the mayoral election matters more than you think

With a budget of £16 billion pounds, jurisdiction over 8 million people, and much media scrutiny, being the mayor of London comes with great responsibility. The mayor is undoubtedly both an important job in terms of power wielded as well as a feather in the cap to whichever party holds the position. Perhaps that is…

The Pernicious Tendencies of the Referendum

Hi everyone – I’m Sahil from theforeignmonde.wordpress.com and I’m guest posting today – if you’re interested in the EU and foreign affairs etc. be sure to visit my blog.   Hugo Rifkind’s article in the Times a while ago summed up my sentiment on the EU issue in a way – all conversations are bound…