Putin Turns towards Korea

By Oliver Ward Since Kim Jong-un came to power in the final days of 2011 he hasn´t left North Korea, however there are strong indications he may be preparing to leave the peninsula at the start of May. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has suggested there are "positive signs" that he will attend a ceremony in Russia commemorating the end of WWII  on May 8th. This is the latest in a string of moves dubbed "Putin´s Pivot" which has seen...

Grexit or no Grexit, Greece must tackle its tax evasion problem

By David Binder Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you won’t have failed to notice the sudden rise of the radical left in Southern Europe and the social, political and economic shockwaves this has sent across the continent. As voters across the Mediterranean have reacted against severe austerity measures, parties previously seen on the fringe of national parties have seen an unprecedented surge in support. In Greece, this has been manifested through Syriza, which has grabbed headlines for its incredible...

Social Value – you can’t measure what you don’t have

 By Dan Ebanks The ‘transformative’ Social Value Act came into force in January 2013. Two years on and the evidence suggests not a huge amount has changed. Of approximately 480 English councils surveyed by the Social Value Portal, only 15 per cent said they were developing a council-wide approach to Social Value Act. Why hasn’t the Act been taken up more widely, especially as its potential benefits would be of great succour to resource starved community based organisations and small...

Scottish MPs will Play a Part in any Future UK Coalition Government

BY David Thomson With less that 100 days until the General Election all the opinion polls are saying that there will be a “hung parliament” with either the Conservatives and Labour being the largest party. As a result, both major parties will need to start to prepare for a coalition with some, if not all, the smaller parties at Westminster. Former Cabinet Minister and EU Commissioner, Lord Mandelson, said recently that the lesson to be learned from the 2010 election is...

Voter Guidance

By David Harvey In case you hadn't heard, a General Election is coming. Before you switch off, thinking this may be some party political point, it isn't, but it does offer a genuine alternative to the status quo. Your real alternative is to vote “none of the above”. The only problem is that The Electoral Commission who “work to support a healthy democracy, where elections and referendums are based on our principles of trust, participation, and no undue influence” seem...

Bias Battles on the Ukip Express

By Bill Lytton "A biased, partisan depiction of the only party that Believes in Britain." Those are the words - and remember them - of Nigel Farage describing Channel 4's "docu-drama": 'Ukip: the First 100 Days'. Fictionalised satire, or speculative fiction; this is Chris Atkin's dystopian sketch of a United Kingdom where the Farage party have taken the country by means of unfathomable political landslide. Already, this sordid act of biased fictional portrayal has garnered more than a thousand complaints...

SMART TV’s – An Orwellian nightmare or data-storm in a teacup?

By David Binder Imagine this, a Western government in the name of wanting to make sure we’re not plotting a terrorist atrocity, or ‘having our best interests at heart’ by ensuring we’re adhering to ‘British values’ introduces legislation to monitor our private lives through our TV’s, mobile devices, tablets and so on by actually listening to our conversations, recording our keystrokes and listening into our phone calls. Worse still, imagine the Government can identify who is typing the anti-government message,...

Rise of the left in S.Europe

By Laura Griffiths The potent austerity measures that Southern Europe has had to contend with as a result of the Eurozone crisis were never going to be welcomed with open arms. With the number of people protesting in the hundreds of thousands and culminating in violence since 2010, it was inevitable that the masses would be listened to by new emerging political parties or young coalitions. Disenchantment in politicians and a tough economic situation on a national level has always resulted...

Parliamentary sketch 11th Feb – HMRC it’s easier on HSBC

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Mexican drug cartels, terrorist organisations and now dodgy party donors. It’s a wonder HSBC had time to sell PPI insurance to us mere mortals, but they did…bless them. Hours before today’s PMQs there were revelations about political benefactors (mainly Tories), peers and a high profile MP who held accounts in Switzerland with HSBC. It appears the world’s local bank – for the super-rich – is an office in Zurich. This was Ed’s chance to finally...

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