Archive for June, 2012

The UN Security Council: Syria and the need for reform

As day after day the situation in Syria gets worse, the startling inadequacies of the United Nations Security Council are laid bare for all to see. Any attempt by the ‘international community’ (read:the West) to do anything is blocked by Russian and Chinese vetoes that ensure that more Syrians are slaughtered by both pro- and anti- Assad forces. It is not an exaggeration to say that both the Russian and Chinese governments have blood on their hands, but part of the blame must be accepted by the UK, the US and France for opposing what has been necessary since the end of the Cold War – a radical reform of the UN Security Council.

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Turkey and the EU: “She doesn’t even go here.”

Yes, all blogs should start with a Mean Girls reference.

I’ve never really been a huge fan of the EU, or the Euro,  but nor have I been a massive critic either. The EU to me, like many other people I imagine, is just not an interesting project. So, in order to expand my knowledge of the body I took a module in ‘The  Politics and Government of the European Union’. I’ve finished this module with no new burning passion to rise up and defend the EU from its critics, nor do I want to burn it to the ground and start afresh. Placing myself firmly in the ‘liberal intergovernmentalist’ camp alongside Andrew Moravcsik I see the EU as nothing more really than the sum of the various national governments – yes, here and there a European bureaucrat may be able to make a few decisions without consulting nation states, but the big, important things are down the member states… Or just Germany and we should all follow lest Poland get nervous. As such, I’m apathetic – well, in most areas. The one area that seemed to really interest me was the issue of enlargement, especially with regard to Turkish enlargement. I can not see how a credible case can be made for the EU to enlarge to include Turkey without fundamentally changing the inherent nature of the European Union.

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Trade Unions: The acceptable face of the tyranny of the minority?

It was always going to happen – ever since the Coalition government took office in 2010, the stage was set for a series of confrontations between unions and the government. Everybody expected the civil servants, the teachers and the Tube workers ‘rising up’ against this ‘ideologically driven government’, but who really would have predicted we’d see HMRC staff, driving examiners and coast guard officials take to the picket lines? Not ChairmanDavey, that’s fo’ sure. For many, the strikes are a symbol of unity against the programme set out by this government. But is this the case? The evidence seems to point to a tyranny of the minority that gives a false legitimacy to the actions of unions in the name of the ‘workers’, when in reality most of the workers haven’t gave a preference either way.

The main problem presented by the amount of strikes taken by the unions is that they simply lack legitimacy.

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NUS Rant

This is why you shouldn’t post ranty comments on the student newspaper website… they might actually print it.