Preview - Caterham School

Page 1


2 0 1 9 -2 0 2 0 I S S U E

PREVIEW 2020 1


review magazine has been a great tradition at Caterham, and after a couple of years out of the business we’re back and better than ever!

We have had fantastic articles sent in from an array of students, all politically enthralled with the world around them. From Spain to Hong Kong, China to the United States, articles in this edition have truly covered the whole expanse of the surface of this world.

Why does the President want to Trump Iran? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Henry Du Plessis

How similar are the UK and US constitutions? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Rhianna Harding

Two-state solution? The Israeli-Palestinian conflict . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Narek Nahapetyan

Uighur imprisonment in the Xinjiang province . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Ben Mistry

In this edition, we cover: the 2019 election and how we came to that result; the escalation between Iran and the US; feminism; the future of democracy and much more. It is without a doubt that I can say this is the most diverse Preview we have ever seen.

VOX: a resurrection of Francoism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

I cannot wait to see what these writers get up to next as we see some great potential in the ranks. Best of luck to all of you writers in the years to come!

Electa Yeung

Maisie Greener

How can online terrorism be prevented? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Olivia Sturgeon

Hong Kong A Democracy Moving Towards an Autocracy? . . . . . . . 26 UK vs US healthcare politics and why the UK’s is better . . . . . . . . . 30 Ben van As

I want to offer a thank you to my fellow editors for sharing out the workload and bringing fantastic articles forward to go in the magazine. Genie, Narek and Amya, you were awesome to work with.

Do we still need feminism? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

This issue also gives us a chance to thank Tom Murphy. Unfortunately, we have to say goodbye to a teacher who has inspired us all; we will especially miss his stories of when he meets top brass political figures “at the pub”. We will sorely miss Mr Murphy and all he has put into the school during his tenure here. I am sure he will keep in contact with the school community and we all wish him the best of luck for the future.

Is democracy still the best form of government? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

I hope you enjoy this edition of Preview as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Although at the end it had become a little trickier with Coronavirus kicking around, it has still been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this. “Here’s to many more years of Preview!” Henry du Plessis Preview Chief Editor 2019-2020

Lauren Kosky

Democratic primaries: what does it take to win? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 George Thomas

Laura Chisholm

Modern India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Amya Maini

Political Disengagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Nathan Price

Should China’s ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ be seen as a risk or an opportunity? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Reggie Palmer

Is the future of learning online? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Charlotte Yendall

What did Corbyn’s Labour do to fare so badly in the 2019 General Election? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 James Hills

Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Neil Parker, Mathew Owen and Becky Hunter

2 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 3

Why does the President want to Trump Iran?

President Trump has made a string of decisions to get one over on his rivals in Tehran. The tension between the two countries escalated to the extent that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called the actions of Trump a ‘major crime’. But how did this rivalry begin with over 7000 miles between the two nations?

Henry Du Plessis Upper Sixth 4 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 5

Why does the President want to Trump Iran?


ince the US pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2019, tensions have continued to rise and ultimately led to the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, in January 2020. Commander Soleimani was heavily influential in the activity of militia groups throughout the Middle East, such as in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Tensions escalated originally after Iranian-backed revolutionaries stormed the American Baghdad embassy. Previous tensions were caused by the seizure of oil tankers in the Gulf of Hormuz, all due to the withdrawal of the US from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Democrats are arguing that Trump is now doing what he accused President Obama, his predecessor, of doing. In 2012 Barack Obama also had to deal with escalating tensions in the region, this led to the accusation from Donald Trump that this was just for “political gain”. This, according to Democrat critics, is “hypocrisy”. The “political gain” that Trump was referring to was Obama’s possible re-election later on that year. The comparison can be drawn because Trump is also up for re-election later on in 2020. However, Trump has said that the reason for the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal was because there is a much better “New Deal” available. This is because in his opinion, the current deal benefits Iran more than it benefits America. Due to his populist approach to government, this is unacceptable and must be changed. The persistent support of the Saudis in the Middle East, as well as their support of the state of Israel, is also an important factor. The Saudi Arabians and Iranians have been locked in a Cold War-like conflict, supporting opposing sides in civil wars across the Arab world. The Israelis are threatened by the likes of Syria which have the backing of the Iranians. For the American-backed side to be dominant in the region the Iranian influence must be limited somehow. This can be done by making the regime seem weak and unsuccessful. Trump’s policies may be able to achieve this.

As tensions grow in the region the allies of the US have been divided on whether to support the President or to stay neutral. The Prime Minister has backed the US in the crisis but only as far as to say it was within their rights to kill a “terrorist” with “British blood on his hands.” French and German leaders have condemned the actions of the President and are looking to stay neutral. The Russians have stayed abnormally quiet throughout these past few months. Possibly because, after interventions in the Ukraine and Chechnya, they are happy to take a back seat and allow other events, such as those in the Middle East, to take the headlines for some time. Trump has always had a belief in “America First”, but his intervention in Middle Eastern affairs seems more globalist than his original isolationist rhetoric. Others point to the fact that US troops have been killed and injured in attacks orchestrated by Qasam Soleimani and other Iranian officials. Therefore the policies enacted by President Trump have been in American interests. Although the personal reasons for Trump carrying out the actions he has is up for debate, the results, so far for him at least, have been positive. His intervention may have been a deliberate strategy to help win re-election later this year. But we will never really know his motives. Trump is clear he took actions to protect the American troops stationed in the region with a display of force and future intent. The ball remains in Iran’s court for the moment. We should wait and see what else happens in the following months before deciding whether to describe the actions of President Trump as successful.

A strong stance against Iran has already caused a crisis in the state. Some are backing the current hardline, Islamist regime. But also, many are supporting a more pro-democracy regime that will negotiate with the West. 6 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 7

How similar are the UK and US constitutions? Rhianna Harding Upper Sixth

The UK and US constitutions are predominantly different due to the uncodified and unentrenched nature of the UK constitution, compared to the codified and entrenched nature of the US constitution. This makes the process for amendments, repeals or new laws also very different. Additionally, the differences in the separation of powers among the judiciary, executive and legislature mean that the structures of government are largely different between the US and UK.

8 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 9

and more recently, their veto of Trump’s border wall funding, and the subsequent government shut down in 2018. This was established by the Founding Fathers to ensure power is not abused and to avoid a tyrannical rule. Differently, the UK has a fusion of powers: although the judiciary is separate (following the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009), the executive and the legislature are not; the cabinet and the Prime Minister both derive from the legislative chamber – the House of Commons. This is fundamentally different from the US as the prime minister and the government, depending on the size of their majority, can wield a significant amount of power in the House of Commons, and thus on the legislative process. This means that the US Constitution is more effective in establishing a separation of powers as it avoids too much authority being wielded in a single body.


irstly, the UK constitution is uncodified, therefore it is not contained in a single document, and instead is derived from various sources (such as statute laws, common laws and EU laws & treaties). This allows for a flexible constitution which can adapt in order to keep up with the times through a simple act of parliament. This, thus, allows for rapid constitutional change when deemed necessary, exemplified when David Cameron forced through the Gay Marriage Act in February 2013. In contrast to this, the US Constitution is codified and is thus contained in a single, written document. Although this provides clarity for US citizens, there is also less space for interpretation; controversial cases such as abortion rights can only be interpreted by the Supreme Court — as seen in the 1973 Roe vs Wade case. Therefore, the UK constitution is better in its ability to easily implement laws, while the codified nature of the US constitution 10 PREVIEW 2020

is arguably less democratic as the power to interpret the constitution is bestowed on the unelected and unrepresentative body of the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the UK constitution is unentrenched, therefore there is no special procedure for amendment — a simple Act of Parliament can change the constitution. Conversely, the US constitution is entrenched, thus there is a special procedure for amendment: for an amendment to be passed, two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as three-quarters of US states, must approve, hence there have only been 27 amendments to the US Constitution, with only 17 since 1791. Although this ensures that rights are properly known and protected, it also makes it very difficult to withdraw amendments; for example, the 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms) has been unable to be changed, despite numerous high profile gun massacres in

the US. By contrast, following the Hungerford Massacre in the UK in 1987, parliament was able to pass the Firearms Amendment Act in 1988, thus limiting citizens’ right to own a gun. This shows that the UK constitution is more effective than the US constitution as its ability to respond to events through laws allows for outdated legislation to be either amended or appealed. Moreover, the US constitution sets out a separation of powers. This means that the 3 branches of government (the legislature, the executive and the judiciary) are independent but co-equal. For example, Obama had to resign from the senate in order to become president in January 2009. Also, each branch can exert checks and balances on each other, and therefore exercise control over the actions of other branches; for example, the executive can amend, delay or reject legislation, as manifested in their delay and amendment of Obamacare in 2009,

Despite this, there are some similarities between the US and UK constitutions. Firstly, the US constitution exercises federalism, meaning that the federal and the state governments are side by side governments with concurrent powers, such as taxation and legislation, while also having separate powers, for example, foreign policy and currency are controlled by the federal government, while education is controlled by state governments. Although Westminster holds sovereignty in the UK, under ‘New Labour’ policies, local governments, the Welsh and NI Assemblies, and the Scottish Parliament were given devolved powers, which have extended to including tax-varying and secondary legislation powers, as exemplified in the 2016 Scottish Act, which gave the Scottish parliament tax-varying powers of 1p to the £1. Although these are different, with federalism consisting of co-equal powers, and devolution being only delegated from

Westminster, in practice it would be very difficult for Westminster to now take back devolved power having already granted it, thus creating a similar nature of federalism in the UK to that in the US. Finally, the US constitution is presidential, whereas the UK constitution is parliamentary. While the US president is the head of state, the head of government, and the ‘Commander-in-chief’ of the US military, the UK prime minister is only the head of government (as, despite having no political authority, the monarch is still the head of state). Moreover, the prime minister is supposed to act as a primus

inter pares within the executive, and therefore should consult their cabinet before proposing laws. They are also elected differently; while the president is elected through the Electoral College system, by the vote of US citizens, the prime minister is elected, firstly through being elected leader of their respective party by their own party, and then their party gaining the majority vote in the general election. Therefore, the prime minister is a member of parliament, unlike the president, who is not a member of Congress. However, there has been some blurring between presidency and

premiership, predominantly seen in the ‘presidential’ premierships of Margaret Thatcher (1979-90) and Tony Blair (1997-2007), who showed spatial leadership through aloofness, lack of consultation with cabinet and a disregard of parliament. This suggests that presidents and prime ministers are not as different as they may initially seem, through the ability of both to exert significant power over their respective legislative chambers. Overall, although the US and UK constitutions are predominately different in theory, in practice the US constitution is more flexible than it may seem due to the Supreme

Court’s role as the final arbiter of the Constitution, while many important acts in the UK are practically impossible to remove (such as devolution and the 1911 Parliament Act), therefore making the US and UK constitution more similar than they superficially appear. Nevertheless, they are ultimately more different than similar due to the differences in the separation of powers as well as their head of governments. While the US constitution proves better in its separation of powers, the UK constitution is more effective, owing to its flexible and unentrenched nature. PREVIEW 2020 11

Two state solution To what extent is the two-state solution going to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Narek Nahapetyan Upper Sixth

With the recent increase in tensions in the Middle East, the possible implications of these developments on the IsraeliPalestinian conflict are not clear. The conflict traces back to the creation of the Jewish state in May 1948, which resulted in the beginning of one of the longest-lasting conflicts in modern times. Nowadays, Jews and Palestinians living amongst one another are trying to ensure that their historic, religious heritage is maintained and that their rights over key areas are respected. Various peace agreements have been discussed over the decades, but the most plausible and “fair� out of those is the two-state solution. However, the extent to which it will solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is debatable.

12 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 13


he concept of a two-state solution was put forward by a UN resolution in 1974. It called for the creation of “two States, Israel and Palestine”. However, this was not the first attempt of the international community to solve this conflict. The Peel Commission report of 1937 proposed the creation of Jewish and Arab States in the British Mandate of Palestine. None of these proposals has greatly succeeded since their presentation. This is due to historical, cultural and religious reasons. After the Holocaust, during which around 6 million Jews were killed in Europe, there was a great migration towards the Americas, as well as to what was known as British Palestine. This was because of the existing Jewish community in the region and the hope to recreate a state in their historic homeland. Over time, the Jewish population of Palestine increased and they decided to declare independence in 1947, which led to the Arab-Israeli wars. Throughout the following decades, there have been many major conflicts, including the Six-day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). These military conflicts exacerbated the situation due to the conquering of land by both sides. Eventually, there were agreements between all sides to end fighting. These historical developments emphasize the significance of this area and why the possibility of having two states is not realistic. The two-state solution is undermined because of the fear of a repeat of the persecution of Jews as well as their historic claim over the land. At the same time, the historic connectedness of Palestinians to this land means that are likely to oppose any attempt to take it from them (whether it is under the name of a two-state solution or not). Palestinians claim their right to historically Arab lands, but their voices are not always heard. It is also worth considering the religious implications of the conflict. For centuries, Jews believed in the idea of “promised land”. Hence, Jews believe that there is a moral obligation for this land to be theirs. This is

14 PREVIEW 2020

especially problematic in the negotiations over the status of Jerusalem, which is considered as a holy city for both Jews and Arabs. For Palestinians, the land is significant from the religious perspective as many of the Muslim mosques like Al-Aqsa are in this area. Hence, the religious importance of these areas for both sides makes the negotiation hugely challenging. On the other hand, Palestinians and Jews are closer to peace talks under the Presidency of Donald J. Trump. The latter has been keen to solve this conflict permanently. This is why he promotes what is known as the “deal of the century”. It is divided into two portions: economic and political. The extent to which this is similar to the two-state solution is debatable. The deal of the century considers great investment in the Palestinian controlled areas, with around a $50 billion investment in various infrastructure projects, whereas the political portion is not yet finalized. Whilst some claim that President Trump aims to develop the region, there has been growing concern in Palestine that Trump’s motives are pro-Israeli and he is trying to ‘bribe’ the Palestinians with investments. This can be a valid concern when considering his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, which has disputed status. Overall, the two-state solution can potentially end this long-lasting conflict, but the extent to which it is possible to be implemented is not certain. Attempting to resolve any conflict needs to be approached holistically. This means that any kind of solution needs to appeal to both Jews as well as Palestinians. It can be quite challenging to ensure this because a gain from one side will imply a loss from the other, so the ability to compromise will be vital in achieving a solution. Therefore, whether the twostate solution will be greatly successful depends on what compromises Jews and Palestinians are going to make.

PREVIEW 2020 15


A threat to the population or a threat to the maintenance of absolutism? Uighur imprisonment in the Xinjiang province. Ben Mistry Lower Sixth

16 PREVIEW 2020

he Chinese government claims that the detention of the largely Muslim Uighur population in re-education centres in Xinjiang province is an attempt to ‘eliminate extremism’. Is the reality that it is a calculated strategy to crush opposition to the maintenance of its model of absolutism?

Xinjiang are voluntary, local court records indicate a total of 230,000 people, the majority being of Uighur ethnicity, have either been imprisoned within the centres, or have been given other punishments in 2017 and 2018 alone, a statistic that has been on a constant rise since 2016.

In March 2017, the government in Xinjiang passed an anti-extremism law which prevented people from growing long beards and wearing veils in public, while also officially recognising the use of re-education centres to ‘eliminate extremism’. Until October 2018, government officials ignored the existence of these camps, and in March 2019 Xinjiang’s governor, Shohrat Zakir, described them as ‘vocational training centres’ or ‘boarding schools’ that provide ‘job skills’ to ‘trainees’. This was uncovered as a lie in late 2019 when official documents were leaked which showed how local officials worked to repress the Uighurs, detaining them forcibly in camps and stopping them from leaving. Zakir has claimed that these leaked documents were ‘pure fabrication(s)’, but then declined to give the numbers of people in camps, saying that the population was ‘dynamic’ and could not be estimated.

Most prisoners within the camps are not there for criminal activity but could not afford, or did not have access to, any legal representation and therefore could not challenge their sentences. The reasons why so many people have been imprisoned vary, but amongst the Uighur detainees it is understood largely to be in relation to travelling to, or contacting, any one of the twenty six countries which are deemed ‘sensitive’ to the

Uighur repression has been an issue for decades in China as authorities have prolonged their ‘crackdown’ upon the minority group, who make up almost 50% of the population in the North-West province of Xinjiang. The Chinese government used the 9/11 attacks in the US as examples of the danger of anti-government sentiment, and as justification for their treatment of the Uighurs who led several riots in response to the government’s justifications in Xinjiang in 2009. However, in the past few years, the estimated numbers of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities being detained has reached between 800,000 and 2,000,000. Despite Chinese government officials saying that the re-education centres in

Chinese government (such as Turkey and Kazakhstan), attending Mosque services, and/or sending texts which contain or relate to the Quran. All of this seems to indicate that the authorities are prosecuting them for purely practising their religion. The authorities continue to claim the camps are ‘voluntary’ and that many of those detained have now been released, despite the fact there are no records of this and family members across the border have also said that they still have relatives in the camps. The Chinese government has faced a major backlash from many European countries who have presented a signed letter to the UN Human Rights chief, condemning China’s actions

in Xinjiang. However, China have also been praised by over thirty-six countries who have also signed their letter, in response to the UN one, which glorified what they say are China’s ‘remarkable achievements’ in human rights and its ‘counter terrorism’ efforts within Xinjiang. One thing that can be concluded from this letter of praise is that these states are prepared to turn a blind eye to the issues in Xinjiang for their benefits: trade, economic and strategic links to China. The EU has called upon China to allow religious toleration and change the policies within Xinjiang, and human rights organisations have requested that China shut down the camps and answer the questions about the many disappeared Uighurs. The USA has sanctioned Chinese officials suspected to be involved with the actions against the Uighur people. Activists are also calling upon the US to grant asylum to those who have fled Xinjiang in fear of being detained. In response to the sanctions, early 2019 saw the Chinese government organise trips for foreign diplomats to tour Xinjiang and visit one of its centres, the first time that international visitors had been allowed such a visit. Notwithstanding these moves, upon entering and seeing one of the centres, a US official reported that it seemed ‘highly choreographed’. Since the Chinese government has denied the persecution claims, it is hard to prove that these allegations are true with little firm evidence. However, the scale of the claims made, and statements from those who have been restricted from seeing family members and have been impacted by the actions being taken, would appear hard to disregard. It is never easy to hear that these actions have happened in the past, but to know that they are happening currently, and the people who are at fault are denying any responsibility, is very concerning. It is at this point that you must ask, how far will governments go to maintain absolute power, even in today’s modern world? PREVIEW 2020 17

VOX: a resurrection of Francoism. What has produced the far-right’s rise in Spain? Maisie Greener Lower Sixth

Despite Spain abandoning its authoritarian principles in 1975, in the November 2019 election the ultranationalist and populist far-right party Vox acquired a monumental 52 seats, catapulting it to become the third-largest party. Vox’s astonishing ascendancy is seen by its recent establishment in 2014 and skyrocketing of seats from the previous 24. The party’s success can be attributed to Santiago Abascal’s traditionalist policies which have appealed to Spain’s grievances regarding Catalonian independence. Additionally, Vox’s triumph can be contextualised as accompanying the international surge in far-right support. The party has undoubtedly manipulated this dynamic by offering ‘a patriotic alternative’ underpinned by false statistics championing their view.

18 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 19

C “

atalonia is a big mess. I voted Vox because I want order and I want peace,” explained Juan Montoya, who resides in Ocaña where Vox claimed an impressive 34.5% votes. The 75-year old’s incentive is a microcosm for Spanish society, where ¼ of voters in the April election revealed that Catalonia shaped their vote. Shocking statistics like the Catalan Department of Health’s ‘761 injured in the violence’, in the wake of the landslide vote for independence, unearthed constitutional questions regarding the effectiveness of Spain’s 17 autonomous communities and provoked Spaniards to pursue alternative leaderships to Rajoy’s government. Appealingly, Vox dismisses Spain’s devolved system, despite its entrenchment, calling for ‘one single government and one single parliament for all of Spain.’ Strikingly, Vox’s ban on ‘parties, associations and NGOs that strive for the destruction of the sovereignty and territorial

20 PREVIEW 2020

unity of the nation,’ mirrors Franco’s firm belief in homogeneity which was epitomised by centralisation and the unitary party arrangement. Many consider Vox a ‘protest vote’ against the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party and the People’s Party’s failure to settle territorial problems. Regarding immigration, Abascal portrayed a relationship between Spain’s neglected social services and high levels of immigration. Abascal capitalised on concealed xenophobia by dispensing false statistics and by correlating the rolling back of public services with the high levels of immigration. Vox’s demonization of ‘the other’ is also expressed through its proposed ‘integral plan to encourage knowledge, awareness and protection of the national identity and of Spain’s contribution to civilization and to universal history’ and its intention to establish Spanish language examinations in the school cycle. Alarmingly, Vox’s patriotic purposes are reminiscent of Franco’s

accentuation of Spanish heritage, in the form of flamenco dancing and bullfighting, and the linguistic regulations are mirrored in the Francoist regime where Castilian was the only recognised official language. Moreover, Vox recently protested the relocation of Franco’s body from a mausoleum to a modest cemetery: an overt sign of their empathetic outlook on Franco’s regime. Vox’s triumph in the Southern region of Murcia confirms the enticement of these populist policies because the province still endures the financial crisis’ consequences and is tormented by low-paid and unstable jobs in agriculture, which are often occupied by immigrants. A citizen of Ocaña epitomised Spanish resentment towards immigration, saying, ‘There are too many illegal immigrants and they get help that Spaniards don’t. It’s just out of control and somebody needs to get a grip,’: Vox appears to have the solution. Torreblanca, a senior policy fellow

at the European Council on Foreign Relations, explained the psychological motivations for supporting extremist parties in the elections ‘are much more, playing on feelings, aggravations and identities rather than policies’. Due to its recent establishment in 2014, Vox is equipped with an ‘outsider’ status which has permitted the party to survive corruption scandals like the infamous Gürtel case, which entangled the ‘Partido Popular’ in money-laundering and bribery. Counts of corruption have plagued Spanish politics for years, and Vox has thrived off the public’s resentment by translating their irate sentiments into policies like the abolishment of government pardons and tougher punishments for corruption-related crimes. Abascal has enhanced Vox’s magnetism by publicising its ‘progressive dictatorship’ during the televised leaders’ debate for the first time too. The party’s passionate condemnation of ‘feminazis, gender violence legislation and increasing political

correctness,’ has captivated traditionalists who oppose progression; Abascal’s ambition to introduce ‘an organic law protecting the natural family,’ has particularly enticed the strongest Roman Catholics. Vox’s rise also mirrors the far-right’s presence on the international political stage. Recently, xenophobic and racist beliefs have metamorphosed into ultra-parties embraced by mainstream politics. For example, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats won 18% votes in the 2018 general election. Additionally, Brazilians elected Jair Bolsonaro who has promised to erase feminist and homosexual messages from school textbooks to advertise his Judeo-Christian values. Simultaneously, Abascal attempted to forward his religious agenda by alluding to the Reconquista period, when Christian kingdoms recovered Muslim territories on the Iberian Peninsula. Vox’s religious intolerance is further displayed by its calls ‘to shut down fundamentalist mosques,’ and

requests to participate in ‘military combat missions against the Jihadist threat’. Notably, Abascal’s Islamophobic language is redolent of Franco’s frequent cautioning of the ‘Moorish threat’ in propaganda. Other far-right figureheads have encouraged Vox’s victories: Italy’s League Leader tweeted, “Great advance of our friends of Vox,” and Marine Le Pen celebrated: “The Vox movement is making incredible progress during the parliamentary elections in Spain.” Vox’s success is both justified and stimulated by the far-right’s triumph elsewhere. Despite the international growth of far-right activity, Vox’s cannot be normalised as a mere fragment of a global trend. Vox seeks to amplify the ‘Sociological Francoism’ that already plagues the country despite the sexism and fascism the dictator engendered. As long as Vox exploits the Catalonian Crisis and immigration issues, and fortifies their policies with emotion, they appear unstoppable.

PREVIEW 2020 21

How can online terrorism be prevented? Olivia Sturgeon Upper Sixth

As our lives steadily begin to revolve around the use of media, we are surrounded by certain dangers, one of which is the propaganda and recruitment of Islamic terrorist groups. These groups, for example ISIS, use social media due to its convenience and low cost, and its wide range of worldwide platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.

22 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 23


n social media platforms, select terrorist groups engage and recruit their intended audience through carefully made videos and specific posts that can damage and manipulate someone’s mind. It is extremely important to stress how the threat to the UK today from terrorism is ‘severe’ according to the MI5 Security Service. We are not only battling with foreign terrorism that is seeping into our country through many different avenues such as the media, but also terrorism in our own country. One aspect that may indicate how the media attracts support for Islamic terrorist groups is that recently there has been an upsurge in the number of Britons travelling abroad in order to take part in extremist groups. These people pose a direct threat to national security and often are recruited by both images and videos on social media. This innovation has now played a role in an estimation that in July 2017, 850 individuals from the UK have in fact travelled to Syria to join Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS. The majority of these ‘newly recruited terrorists’ were able to connect with Islamic terrorist groups through social media where propaganda circulates and targets these impressionable people. One example of a recent online recruitment video is ‘There’s no life without Jihad’, which was posted on YouTube and featured one Briton and three other Islamic fighters posing with rifles. This was made in order to encourage people to join the fight. The video urged Muslims in foreign countries to take up arms in Iraq in order “to answer the call of Allah and his messenger”. It is clear that ISIS has a fairly sophisticated media strategy with videos directed at a specific audience – media clearly plays a strong role in attracting support for these terrorist groups. 24 PREVIEW 2020

Due to the fast-paced world of social media, Islamic terrorist groups are constantly changing the way they use media in order to increase support for their groups. One way in which they do this today is, instead of just using popular social media platforms, they now use media platforms that allow their posts and content to be easily spread and protected. For example, and Surespot are encrypted messaging apps which pose a large threat to the government. Security experts that investigated Surespot announced that 115 Jihadis and ISIS supporters had used the messaging app in the last six months of 2015 alone. It is safe to assume that the use of these sites has only grown since. The chilling operation to recruit and attract support involves ISIS uploading large numbers of videos and images of executions and beheadings as well as images of life in Islamic terrorist groups. The lack of checks online ensures that the content they upload can attract and recruit people, with less of a threat of having their accounts shut down or the police warned. Therefore, social media platforms play a crucial role in attracting support for Islamic terrorist groups in light of there being a reduced number of censors.

controversial, but counter-terrorism is extremely important to ensure our country and media are not flooded with terrorist activity. In addition, social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are all working to ensure that the terrorists do not go from one platform to another. Technology is the new way in successfully combatting the increasing use of social media in terrorist groups. The media plays such a key part in both the recruitment and the overall promotion of foreign terrorist groups. These Islamic terrorist groups are highly successful and penetrate our social media platforms with propaganda that alarms society. Control of the terrorist propaganda is increasing, with multiple organisations emerging, as well as technology and data companies helping to combat this growing crisis. The future of counter terrorism has only just begun, but we are undoubtedly moving in a positive direction, by hopefully further reducing support for Islamic terrorist groups in the future.

The Government is now trying to disrupt any ways that terrorist groups are trying to recruit using the internet. In the same way that Islamic terrorists use social media to recruit and attract support, our government is using these same platforms to counter this. Although media platforms are now starting to realise how important countering terrorism is, it has not always been this way. There is a very thin line between these platforms honouring “freedom of speech” and realising that it can reach a point at which people are inciting terrorism, which calls for immediate action. This is PREVIEW 2020 25

Hong Kong A Democracy Moving Towards an Autocracy? Electa Yeung Upper Sixth

A Look Inside what has been going on in ‘the Pearl of the Orient’ Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time’, ‘Free Hong Kong’, ‘Never Surrender’. Chants amongst millions of protesters have been ongoing for months in the city that never sleeps. Apprehension has been spiraling over the increasingly dominant and absolute power of China’s autocracy over Hong Kong, a proclaimed democracy, meaning ‘rule of the people’. 26 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 27

being able to oppress those who express political dissent towards the country, leading to mass protests.


o, what has all the fuss been about? To untangle this question, we must first dive briefly into the political history of Hong Kong. Hong Kong, a part of China, was first ceded to the British Empire in 1842 as a result of China’s loss in the First Opium War. Fast forward 142 years and Margaret Thatcher signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, guaranteeing ‘one country, two systems’ under the Hong Kong Basic Law – meaning 28 PREVIEW 2020

Hong Kong’s previous capitalist system and its way of life would remain unchanged for 50 years until 2047. On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was officially handed over back to China as a Special Administrative Region. Since then, there has been a general sense of fear towards the control and influence of China in Hong Kong. Whilst this fearful sentiment has escalated over the years, it was the recent series of protests that shed

light onto this issue in the wider international community. The so called Extradition Bill, the origin of the protests, was first introduced in April 2019. It enabled the extradition of fugitives from Hong Kong to Taiwan, Mainland China and Macau. Whilst the bill was introduced at the time for the purpose of extraditing Chan, a Hong Kong resident who murdered his girlfriend in Taiwan, critics were quick to point out that this bill could open the gate to China

Some would say that the protesters’ concerns are valid. Prior to this incident, there were previously similar triggers regarding the autonomy of Hong Kong. One of the most prominent examples was the uproar in 2003 regarding Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law. The bill, which would allow the Hong Kong government to ‘enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government’, led to a protest involving half a million people. The general consensus amongst the public was fear that the People’s Republic of China would increasingly interfere in the domestic affairs of Hong Kong, slowly stripping away the 50 years of autonomy as we arrive closer to the expiry date. The same was echoed in 2015, when the Causeway Bay Books disappearances occurred. Due to the anti-China theme of the books sold at the store, the founder of the shop, and subsequently its shareholders, ‘disappeared’ and were detained in China for no apparent reason. The affair stirred up panic over the seemingly autocratic move by China, and was even brought to the then British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond’s, attention. When the 2019 Extradition Bill surfaced, many quickly slotted the bill into the bigger puzzle of China’s influence over Hong Kong. These repeated incidents add on to the argument that Hong Kong, a democracy, as established back in its colonial days, is falling into the hands of an autocratic China. On the other hand, there is an argument that democracy in Hong Kong is unlikely to be swept away by China’s autocracy. For one, the

sheer ability of the protesters in Hong Kong to stand up to authority is a sign that ‘the city’s not for turning’. Despite thousands of arrests and injuries, Hong Kongers still rally in the streets regularly. The grit of Hong Kongers towards their fight for democracy is strong proof that China’s attempt to assume autocracy over Hong Kong will not be made easy. A further argument suggesting that the city’s democracy is protected is the international backing behind maintaining Hong Kong’s autonomy. As a former British colony, the United Kingdom offered words of support towards the protesters and condemnation of the Chinese government. This was demonstrated by the debate

amongst members of the House of Lords in October 2019 regarding the recent political unrest in Hong Kong, and calls to offer residents of Hong Kong citizenship in another country. On another front, the United States passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, a federal law that requires the U.S. government to impose sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong, as well to conduct an annual review to determine whether changes in Hong Kong’s political status justify changing the trade relations with the U.S. With responses such as this from G7 countries, as well as pleas

from international pressure groups such as Amnesty International, it will be unquestionably hard for China to exert autocracy over Hong Kong. This assertion, however, is undermined by the fact that though Hong Kong is still superficially a democracy, the ability of China to intervene in her domestic affairs indicates creeping autocracy. There is no doubt that the key powers of Hong Kong are held by China, giving pro-democracy groups little chance of success. ‘All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others’. Perhaps the so-called democracy in Hong Kong bears a different meaning to that of other democracies. When protesters in Hong Kong set out to rally, they laid out their five key objectives: a complete withdrawal of the Extradition bill, a retraction of the government’s characterization of the protests as ‘riots’, the release and exoneration of arrested protesters, the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into police conduct and use of force during the protests, the resignation of the Chief Executive and the introduction of universal suffrage. Whilst these demands, specifically the demand for universal suffrage, seem only necessary for a place deemed to be defined as ‘rule of the people’, the meagre response from the government seems to give insight into Hong Kong’s gloomy future ahead. Despite the extradition bill being officially withdrawn on 23 October 2019 as a knee-jerk reaction from the government to the 6 month-long protest involving nearly one third of the population, it is evident that democracy in Hong Kong still has a long way to go. Undoubtedly, China has immense control over the city, given the close link between the two – socially, culturally, economically and geographically. Is Hong Kong a democracy moving towards an autocracy? Only time will tell. PREVIEW 2020 29

UK vs US healthcare politics, and why the UK’s is better‌ Ben van As Lower Sixth

Healthcare is one of the most notable political differences between the UK and our friends across the pond. We have a national health service, which is free at the point of delivery for every British citizen regardless of wealth, and is primarily funded through government taxation. It can also treat visitors in cases of emergencies and some infectious diseases for free.

30 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 31

Healthcare in the United States: The United States has a primarily insurance-based healthcare and not a universal system. American healthcare is extremely expensive, and for those that do not have insurance, the costs will simply be prohibitive, leading to many people neglecting their health in order to save money. In 2013 the rate for uninsured adults peaked at 18%, the highest it has ever been. The reason America was drawn to this model in the first place was what gave them their enormous wealth and influence: capitalism. Whilst capitalism has allowed the US to become the lone world superpower and help it become one of the richest countries in the world, its model doesn’t work for healthcare. Most developed capitalist countries recognised this between the late 1940s and 1960s to some extent.


he NHS has always been one of the most central issues in British politics and plays a huge role in all of our lives. In America, healthcare is provided through a mix of privately owned health insurance, and public health coverage such as Medicare/ Medicaid. In 2018 the US spent 17.7% of its GDP on healthcare, whilst the UK spent 9.6%, of which 80% is on public expenditures. Healthcare in the United Kingdom The National Health Service was founded in 1948 by the post-war Labour government, and after several years also received support from the Conservative Party. This consensus was reached after both parties acknowledged that a governmentfunded healthcare system was much needed, due to its huge popularity and the poor system of healthcare in place before WW2. The NHS was maintained by all governments throughout the 20th century, 32 PREVIEW 2020

including Margret Thatcher’s 11-year period of leading the country. After 1983, more than £29 billion was raised from privatising industries, which was associated with vast improvements in the economy and labour productivity. However, throughout this period she remained heavily protective of the NHS. In 1982 she promised that the NHS was ‘safe in our hands’, as it was very popular with the general public and had been an overall success. This trend continues today, as our national health service is one of the nation’s proudest achievements. In 2016 Ipsos MORI found that the NHS ranked first in the list of what makes us most proud to be British, at 48%. An Ipsos MORI poll in 2018 found that the country with the highest proportion of people that view their healthcare system positively was the UK, at 73%. The health service has become the most powerful symbol of human decency we have, and is now an essential part of being British, so it’s

therefore always a big issue during elections. As a result, both parties fight to look like the party of the NHS and always call for an increase in funding. The NHS was founded on a few core principles, with one of the most important tenets being that help is given based on clinical need, not ability to pay. The people that need treatment the most are prioritised regardless of wealth. This principle has allowed people that otherwise have very poor standards of living to access first rate healthcare, which is better than many other developed countries (without people incurring huge insurance bills). Whilst the workforce is often overstretched and the winter season can be a nightmare for doctors, the NHS is much better than the alternative. All you have to do is look at the American healthcare system.

In the US the capitalist market cannot be the best solution for healthcare because if you or a loved one have a serious illness, you become very cost insensitive. Patients can be blinded to the expense of treatment, leading to extortionate bills and debts that can last a lifetime. Patients are forced to take advice on what they need and don’t need based on cost, which can often drag doctors away from their actual job, which is to treat people, and instead into a minefield of expenditure. Moreover healthcare isn’t the same as many other markets where the consumer is educated on what that product means for them; they have to trust doctors to make the decisions for them. This disastrous system has led to America spending more on healthcare, as a percentage of their GDP, for worse results. Furthermore America has intertwined employment with healthcare. Most middle-class workers have their health insurance covered by their

employers, which is a massive weight on the economy as it makes it harder to employ people and start a business. Over many years the US has created a labyrinth of its healthcare system, with public and private insurers in a confused mess, where sometimes poorer people are entitled to free healthcare and sometimes almost no one is. In most states even the poorest adults around the poverty line don’t get Medicaid. Both the Republicans and Democrats agree the American healthcare system needs reforming, but can’t agree on how to go about it (like pretty much everything else). Both solutions are often seen as impractical and inefficient. Many Democrats want free Medicare for all, but to completely eliminate the insurance based system would be very difficult to do and most likely impractical. Republicans mainly want to keep the balance between insurance-based healthcare and public healthcare the same, but want to change the bureaucracy associated with healthcare. This has been criticised for not solving the core issues with American healthcare. Overall, the UK’s system of healthcare delivers for the whole of the UK regardless of income and is one of our best institutions, compared to the continuous problems that America experiences with healthcare.

PREVIEW 2020 33

Do we still need feminism? Fourth-wave or no wave? Lauren Kosky Upper Sixth


he idea of “fourth-wave” feminism has been a widely debated topic, with many arguing that the reach of a new wave of feminism is simply unconvincing. With Trump’s election win over the USA’s first viable female presidential candidate, a surge of new feminist campaigns began, with Trump’s historic degrading and sexist comments resurfacing. In addition, many proclaim that the media has negatively impacted the view of women to the extent that it must be the next obstacle to overcome, the suffrage and working rights of our time. It is naïve to proclaim that the media is not obtrusive on the rights of women as well as how they are viewed socially. Negative ads, perfume commercials depicting a strong man and ‘his’ woman clinging helplessly to his side, women who are selling products based on the ‘image’ women are commercially exploited to try and emulate; a photoshopped and impossible image. Intersectional feminist bell hooks famously called Beyoncé a “terrorist” because of her depiction of herself in the media, to sell herself to make the most money. Whilst this could be considered an overstatement, many agree with hooks that the perception Beyoncé wants to give as a feminist is not internalised in her actions. hooks went on to explain that she

34 PREVIEW 2020

sees a “part” of Beyoncé as “a terrorist especially in terms of the impact on young girls”. She further said: “The major assault on feminism in our society has come from visual media and from television and videos.” By damning Beyoncé’s use of the media to almost entrance young girls to strive for an impossible image (instead of a career or job one might add), it seems that bell hooks is welcoming a fourth wave of feminism to control the destructive presentation of women in the media. Fourth-wave feminism arguably started in 2012 with the focus being on sexual harassment, embodied in the viral #MeToo movement. Arguably fourth-wave feminism is the most intersectional yet, involving all women including those in the LGBTQ+ community. Controversially, other feminists have been against the fourth-wave feminism movement. Second-wave feminist Germaine Greer stated on the Weinstein allegations: “If you spread your legs because he said ‘be nice to me and I’ll give you a job in a movie’ then I’m afraid that’s tantamount to consent, and it’s too late now to start whingeing about that.” Therefore it is understandable that there is confusion surrounding fourth-wave feminism when there seems to be divisions even amongst women who call themselves feminists. This has led many to say that the biggest

factor holding back fourth-wave feminism is previous generations of feminists. Moreover, to use Donald Trump’s “fake news” mantra, many believe we have already achieved equality with legislation in place to allow women to achieve more rights. Another statement could be “false news” with claims of sexual harassment, particularly in Hollywood. Many instead take the view that the media is a place for freedom, and that women’s depictions in this should be respected – whether a company chooses to use thin models or otherwise. Finally, there is the argument that fourth-wave feminism has no clear goal to work towards. With suffrage achieved and much legislation guaranteeing equal rights for women, there seems to be some confusion as to what fourthwave feminism is aiming to do. With issues such as the gender pay gap closing, the question remains: do we still need feminism? I, however, have no doubt that feminism at its core is needed more than ever. Although there are more females in politics than ever before, there is still yet to be a female US president and increasing regulations are being placed on women to seem as if progress is reverting. The strong abortion laws placed in Southern states in the US such as

Alabama and Georgia have restricted female liberty over their own bodies, undermining the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling. Coupled with the inequality still faced in the workplace, with a 2018 study finding 21% of men are afraid to hire women after the #MeToo movement, it is evident that equality is yet to be achieved. The divisions within the feminist ideology have left many complacent to patriarchal roots remaining, with fighting amongst feminists clouding the fight for equality. Understandably there are arguments to divide the fourth wave, but it is the best form of feminism for the modern day. The fourth wave is anything but binary; the previous waves of feminism do not encapsulate modern times, with modern problems that require modern solutions. So, fourth-wave feminists – come forth, feminism is alive and kicking.

PREVIEW 2020 35

Democratic primaries: what does it take to win? George Thomas


t the time of writing, two primaries, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and two caucuses, Iowa and Nevada, have occurred. Although it may seem rather early for voting to begin, given that the actual election is in November, arguably half of each presidential term in US politics is occupied to some extent by the campaign for the next president. Since the Democrats do not have an incumbent president running for re-election, at various points a total of 29 candidates have been in the race for the nomination to contest the election with Donald Trump. Six candidates currently officially remain, with five still polling at percentages of any substance. Four candidates have emerged from the crowd as front-runners: senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former VP Joe Biden, and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg. Such a saturated field has meant that many early front-runners, such as Sen. Kamala Harris, have been subsumed through lack of a clear stance and intense pulling power. One clear similarity between the majority of the frontrunners is their notability amongst the American public. Joe Biden was the vice president throughout the Obama administration, Bernie Sanders narrowly lost the last democratic primary process to Hilary Clinton, and Elizabeth Warren has always been a prominent figure on the left of the Democrat Party. In a large field, a recognisable name has put them at an immediate advantage, making sizeable amounts of crucial funding easier to come by through donations and increasing their chances of mainstream news coverage. A slight disadvantage of their stature within the race is that this often invites criticism and attack by lesser-known candidates attempting to draw attention to themselves, and indeed from the opposition party (see Donald Trump’s recent attacks on Joe Biden). The substance of these attacks can range from the candidate’s voting history, as has often been a problem for Biden, or simply past statements, such as Sanders’ admiration for the left wing regime which caused Venezuela’s economy to crash. On balance, however, the ability to draw funding and support usually means that larger names do better in the race despite these attacks on their positions and character, and attacks against big name players in the race rarely have a large impact on the outcome. Securing sufficient donations from the public in order to properly advertise a campaign is vital if a candidate is to mount a proper challenge for the nomination, but there is rarely a direct correlation between success in fundraising and success amongst the electorate. Take businessman Andrew Yang as an example. He remained in the race until very recently, having raised over 15 million dollars, and has a very committed but niche base of supporters who continued to keep him well funded. However, Yang only polled at 4% nationally at his strongest point, with the majority of moderate, older democrat voters arguably not buying in to his commitment to the ‘freedom dividend’, a system of universal basic income which would give $1000 a month to every adult American that was the focus of Yang’s campaign. His inability to cause a stir amongst the wider

36 PREVIEW 2020

Democratic base led to him not qualifying to be present at the most recent debate between the democratic nominees, which eventually spelled his end as a candidate. Another case in point is Bernie Sanders, who received many more donations at a grassroots level than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race, but failed to draw centrist voters with his socialist principles and ended up losing the nomination. Perhaps holding more sway over the end results of many primaries, and therefore relevant to the discussion, are super PACs (political action committees). A political loophole exists in which the PAC operates as an independent entity to the campaign but can support it with no legal donation limit. The existence of such organisations is often bemoaned by voters and candidates alike, but there is little evidence of this disapproval when it comes to polling time, and it has been proven time and time again that big money wins out over committed grassroots support. Having previously spoken out against super PACs, both Warren and Sanders now accept their help readily, possibly a sign that two anti-establishment candidates fighting for votes from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party have accepted the presence and importance of big money in US politics, and that it may be more important in the current climate to draw backing from millionaires and billionaires rather than avid supporters. However as the race has drawn on, one factor has emerged above all as the most important: the ability to draw voters across all ages, genders and ethnicities in order to compete in the vastly different states along the way. The latest casualty of the race is Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out after failing to win any significant number of African American voters – a core demographic within the Democratic Party. The vastness of the USA means that every state has a totally different demographic of voters, leading to different candidates being favoured in different states and meaning that aspects such as race, class and level of urbanisation are considered to be crucial to the race in a way that we are not accustomed to in the UK. The fact that Buttigieg was considered a front-runner after winning the very rural, majority white first caucus state of Iowa, shows how fickle and convoluted the race for the party nomination can be. States that are far more representative of the country than Iowa followed, resulting in a swift fall down the delegate standings for Buttigieg. The other effect of holding two unrepresentative states at the start of the race is that candidates who have a more broad based appeal are often underestimated, if not counted out entirely. Former VP Joe Biden came fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire, leading the press and media to swiftly declare his campaign to be spluttering to a halt. Biden then went on to come second in Nevada and deliver an emphatic victory in South Carolina, giving him a huge amount of momentum heading into ‘Super Tuesday’, March 4th, when 14 states will vote. Bernie Sanders still holds a delegate lead and is leading in polls in the majority of ‘Super Tuesday’ states, but with an apparent two-person contest developing between the progressive Sanders and the moderate Biden, the race is about to get much more interesting. PREVIEW 2020 37


hurchill famously once said that ‘democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried.’ Indeed, the absence of plausible alternatives has long been one of the forces holding democracy in place. One alternative which could work, however, is epistocracy. Epistocracy can be most simply defined as ‘rule by those who know best.’ It differs from technocracy, which is rule by mechanics and engineers. To use an analogy, technocrats are people who understand a machine and what is best for it, whereas an epistocrat tries to work out whether this is the machine we should be using. One of democracy’s strengths is its ability to adapt to changing circumstances and respond to challenges. Democracy also assumes that if voters make mistakes, they should live long enough to suffer the consequences.

Is democracy still the best form of government? Laura Chisholm Upper Sixth

Living in the UK, it is easy to take it for granted that democracy is the best form of government. However, democracy is just a system, which we built and which we can replace. Of course, democracy has many benefits. Democracy delivers freedom, autonomy and choice to its citizens. Moreover, it demonstrates that all citizens are of equal importance in the eyes of the state: one person, one vote. However, increasingly, we are facing issues which need long term action to deal with them, while democratic politics means that politicians focus on short-term gains in order to win favour electorally. Moreover, with an ageing population, it appears that the young have no power over the future; this is leading to an increasing disillusionment with politics. Therefore, recently there some are quietly thinking the unthinkable: can democracy survive these challenges, and even if it can, is it still the best form of government? 38 PREVIEW 2020

However, epistocracy tries to avoid the mistakes altogether. One example of a system of epistocracy is that proposed by the nineteenth century liberal John Stuart Mill. He proposed that there should be a system of voting where the value of votes varied according to the profession and expertise of the voter, justifying this on the basis that those who are more highly qualified and do more skilled jobs have a better aptitude for thinking about questions with no easy answers. However, there are many challenges facing epistocracy. Who, for example, should count as the ‘knowers’? Moreover, in the case of an exam to decide which category citizens belong to (and, by extension, how much weight is given to their vote), who would get to set the exam? The technically correct answer to questions on the exam would also depend on who was marking it. To make matters worse, the educated are just as subject to groupthink as other people, sometimes even more so. Political scientists Achen and Bartels, for example, state that ‘the historical record leaves little doubt that the educated, including the highly educated, have gone wrong in their moral and political thinking just as often as everyone else’. Therefore, it is evident that, while epistocracy is an interesting concept, it is largely utopian and would not work in practice.

The Chinese model of twenty-first century pragmatic authoritarianism offers us another alternative. In place of the personal dignity and collective benefits promised by democracy, China delivers collective dignity (in the form of national self- assertion on the global stage) and personal benefits to its citizens. Non-democratic China has made more progress in reducing poverty and increasing life expectancy than democratic India. Even Trump’s electoral pitch in 2016 used the rhetoric of collective benefits: Make America Great Again. Moreover, pragmatic authoritarianism could be advantageous when dealing with urgent environmental challenges such as climate change, because citizens do not have to vote for a party which promises action: politicians will take action anyway. However, this also appears largely utopian. Politicians may not automatically take action, and, in that case, citizens will be powerless to force action. Furthermore, relying on the continuation of rapid economic growth comes with significant risk. The great long-term strength of modern democracies is their ability to change course when things go wrong. They are flexible. The danger of the pragmatic authoritarian alternative is that when the short-term benefits start to dry up it may be difficult to find another basis for political legitimacy. Therefore, pragmatic authoritarianism, like democracy, has many challenges. A new alternative to democracy has arisen in the past decade, and that is ‘liberated technology.’ In his widely acclaimed book ‘Sapiens,’ Harari argued that the digital revolution marks the end of human history because it spells the demise of human agency as the primary determinant of social change. Our future will be shaped for us by machines, and human experience will be reduced to a series of data points. Following this logic, democracy would be ineffectual, as it would no longer be able to produce the meaningful personal dignity that individuals expect. With developments in AI, it is perfectly possible that machines could increase the productivity of not only our industries, but also the state as a whole. Moreover, digital technology provides many forms of political communities where individuals can

debate and make decisions collectively – a new form of democracy. Perhaps a combination of these machines and small decision-making networks could work as a plausible alternative to democracy. However, putting our faith in the emancipatory potential of machines requires a huge leap of faith. What happens, for example, if a machine has a fault? In addition, there is an inherently human side to politics, which could easily get neglected if machines were to make the ultimate decisions based on a series of data points. Therefore, while a system of government based on technology could feasibly work, for the moment there is a lack of certainty over the extent to which this system would be ‘better’ than democracy. To summarise, democracy has its problems, but so do the alternatives to democracy. Perhaps the biggest danger facing our society is that democracy will stop becoming democracy without anyone noticing, for example, by large corporations such as Facebook having undue influence over voting behaviour through micro-targeting individual voters. It is for this reason that Mark Zuckerberg is considered by some to be the biggest threat to democracy in the modern day. Of course, we can make changes to democracy to suit our modern society, one such example is that proposed (albeit not in a serious manner) by David Runciman, a Cambridge University professor, who suggested lowering the voting age to 6 years old to combat the issue that young people are numerically outnumbered by older people electorally, and thus must rely on them to decide their own future. The justification for this was that people already make political decisions about voting based on their social identities and peer pressure, and thus anyone who could read should be able to vote. This change would remove the numerical advantage of older people, meaning young people would be more likely (if they all vote as a group) to be able to determine their futures. Changes such as these may improve democracy, however they would be difficult to implement in practice. To come to a conclusion, then, there is not a ‘perfect’ form of government, and democracy remains on balance the best there is for now. PREVIEW 2020 39

Modern India Amya Maini Lower Sixth

The smell of freshly frying pakoras, the squealing children running around you on the street, the chaotic honking of cars and the ringing of rickshaws weaving past you whilst your skin glistens under the bright sun as you laugh amongst your friends, waiting for your chai. That is my India. India encompasses a diversity of religions, languages and culture from its vast geography. India is a “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic” as quoted from the preamble of the Constitution.


oday, this vision is threatened by the government in power. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is currently the leader of the right-wing nationalist party, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). There are rising concerns about the political motivations and intentions of the ruling party which could impact nearly 1.3 billion people, and further marginalise minorities in the country. The country has been facing widespread protests against a bill passed called the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The new act amends a long standing one (against illegal immigration) and states that Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parci, Buddhist and Christian religious minorities in the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan can gain Indian citizenship. Opponents argue it deliberately excludes Muslims. The government and supporters say the act will provide a sanctuary to minorities and it argues that Muslims are not minorities in those countries. Fears rise from the way the National Citizens Register (NRC) was implemented in the north-eastern state of Assam which declared 1.9 million people stateless, to prevent illegal immigration. The lack of documents like birth certificates which they can show to officials, essentially make it near impossible to prove their Indian ancestry. The Indian government planned to issue the NRC throughout the country, and with no guarantee against corruption of officials, the combination of the CAA and the NRC could, perhaps, be terribly discriminatory. Nothing prevents the government from deeming several Muslims illegitimate citizens. Furthermore, if the Indian government truly wanted to help persecuted minorities, they failed to act during the Rohingya massacre as 200,000 citizens of Myanmar fled what was nothing short of an ethnic cleansing. It could be the BJP genuinely trying to help people but to some, it also gives more weight to critics of the party.

to a nearby hospital. This was followed by protests by university students across the country, protesting against police brutality. At the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a university known to be liberal and left wing, students were attacked by a group of masked men and women. The attack was blamed on a right-wing student group, who are also linked to the BJP, but they denied this vigorously. Witnesses claim they saw police officers stand and watch, not helping those being attacked. This mobilised several students to protest further. This is not the first time JNU has been controversial. The student body president, Kanhaiya Kumar, had in 2016 been arrested on the grounds of sedition for protesting against the use of capital punishment and the rights of Kashmiri people. Critics of the BJP argue that events like these show they are trying to repress freedom of speech through violent pseudo-nationalist propaganda. The CAA has been challenged in several courts in India and its implementation is uncertain and unpredictable. The government seems to be re-evaluating its course of action in light of the widespread protests. The protests, to me, are a glimmer of hope, and there is evidence to suggest that people’s view of politics is changing through them. There is a plethora of incidents the BJP is responsible for, including their handling of the Jammu and Kashmir security crisis in February 2019, the controversial ‘beef ban’, and riots in Gujarat which led to Modi being banned from the UK and US. Furthermore, Modi’s government has arguably failed to keep their promises, with there being rises in unemployment and in the cost of living. However, there is hope that human kindness will triumph. The soul of India is made of love and equality and I sincerely believe this will come through in time.

Young students from universities across the country have been at the front of the protests. In particular, Jamia Milia Islamia, a Muslim university, had students out protesting, but things took a violent turn on the 15th of December. During the clashes, two buses and a motorcycle were set alight in Delhi and the police and paramilitary forces used tear gas and stormed the campus. Videos circulating on social media show female students trying to prevent their male colleagues from being beaten by the police. Over a hundred were taken 40 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 41

Political Disengagement T

he UK, one of the oldest and most well-established democracies in the world, has for the most part ironically ignored political education. Politics is notable mostly through its absence in the education system, seen only as an option for A-Levels in a select few schools, which leaves many both uneducated and unable to show their interest in the subject. This, when combined with the fact that we are a generation seen to be politically uninterested through low turnouts of 47% among people aged 18-24 in the 2019 election, raises the question: why isn’t there anything being done to counteract this? Politics is never at the forefront of discussions in the majority of schools, leaving young people to be influenced by the media, which as we all know is definitely far from unbiased. People who are politically interested after global events - such as the Brexit referendum of 2016 - end up shunned by the system, which does not allow the average person to become

Nathan Price Upper Sixth

knowledgeable about politics through the education system. Thus, people become apathetic because their views, interests and knowledge are left to rot in favour of subjects deemed to be more employable, such as maths and sciences, despite the fact that politics will be used frequently throughout life. Despite these factors, across the UK, government officials frequently talk about the need for citizens to respect their duties such as voting. They fail, however, to explain how we are supposed to understand these duties and how to fulfil them if they have not been taught to us. Therefore, it is crucial that an unbiased and well-taught education in politics is introduced. This could be, for example, through the introduction of a Politics GCSE for everyone, giving young people the information they need in order to become active political citizens. Changes must be made. Politics is used in everyday life when you grow up and yet it still isn’t taught until you reach 16, even then in the schools where it is taught it is an option which is declined by

many people. Changes such as adding it as an option for a GCSE subject, or as a more core aspect of PSHE, could lead to more awareness and thus a greater level of political understanding within the younger generations. As a GCSE subject, it would give a chance for younger people to select it as an option at a time where they have greater freedom to choose as they have a larger number of options, rather than at A-Level where people commonly take only three or four. The incorporation of PSHE as more of a key factor in schools would also supplement this, as everyone would take part regardless of whether they took politics or not. From an earlier age schools could cover the core aspects of politics that everyone should know, such as how the voting system works and how government functions. These changes would inevitably lead to a surge in people becoming both more politically aware and politically active, which overall would solve issues like apathy and lead to increased turnouts, which are required to make democracy both effective and more representative. Thus, some form of political education is needed to stop the disengagement from politics that is currently happening, and in order to create more politically active citizens of the UK.

As a whole, our society has discerned that the time when people are defined as fully-fledged adults is when they turn 18. A sudden change when people are deemed to be responsible and gain responsibilities such as the right to purchase alcohol, gamble and most importantly the right to vote in elections. However, while this has become an almost universally accepted concept, it is strange that for the majority of the time before turning 18 political education is ignored. Instead, most of people’s education around politics stems from conversations with parents and from what they see on the news, leaving them easily affected by bias and fake news.

42 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 43

Should China’s ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ be seen as a risk or an opportunity? Reggie Palmer Upper Sixth

The ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) is often called the greatest infrastructure project in modern history. It has been Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy, which he describes as the “project of the century”. The policy aims to provide the infrastructure needed for China to dominate trade from Asia to Europe, in cooperation with 68 countries holding 65% of the world’s population and 40% of the world’s GDP, recreating a new Silk Road of the 21st century. The initiative boasts many opportunities for member states, boosting connectivity and utilising resources that would otherwise be neglected and unused.

44 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 45


n the other hand a number of risks present themselves with the initiative, such as corruption and environmental issues, and the debt that comes with financing the operation. The Belt and Road Initiative is a very relevant yet largely undiscussed topic. It is important to be aware of it as the effects are likely to be worldwide by the time it is completed. One of the key selling points of BRI is the benefits the population of member nations receive from the project. President Jinping aims “to construct a unified large market and make full use of both international and domestic markets”. This is especially relevant as a large portion of the population in BRI countries live below the $1.90 poverty

46 PREVIEW 2020

line, such as 25% of the population in Kenya, or 21% of the population of Laos in 2018. If BRI is successful it will likely help the lesser off in society. The better infrastructure will aid the poorer, rural workers in transporting their goods, expanding their markets and also in making it easier to work in the city due to shorter commuting times, whilst the new building projects would provide employment to those who cannot find work. Although this improvement in wealth inequality is significant, it is counterbalanced by the large risk that China will prioritise whatever is more economically beneficial rather than the needs of the population in the countries, which should usually

be the top priority during economic growth. Another limitation is the fact that China often transports and uses its own workers in the construction of building projects as part of the initiative. This reliance on Chinese workers over locals has taken a toll on the projects’ popularity, with antiBeijing protests in Turkmenistan and Laos, whilst in regions where the local workforce is used there are frequent complaints of bad working conditions, culminating in protest in a variety of countries from Vietnam to Sri Lanka. One of the main risks of participating in the Belt and Road Initiative is the financing required, with the term ‘debt trap’ frequently being used to describe it. For many countries BRI brings a

huge risk in the form of ballooning debt to unsustainable levels. An example of this is the transfer of Hambantota port to China from Sri Lanka. This 99 year lease on the port came from Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hunger for loans from China, despite feasibility studies showing the project would not work. The fact that Sri Lanka is not one of the eight countries with dangerously high risks of debt distress shows the extreme danger the BRI poses to debt sustainability. These risks may however be exaggerated by the west, as China frequently reminds us. The Chinese government would argue that BRI provides a strong economic link between the individual member

countries and integrates them with the rest of world whilst also providing the infrastructure to access and exploit resources that would otherwise be underutilised. This can be seen in the dramatic increase in the contribution to global exports from BRI countries, almost doubling in quantity over the last two decades. This is especially beneficial to African nations where the lack of infrastructure investment has been the main cause of stunted economic growth. This points towards BRI being a great opportunity for countries that have struggled in recent years to integrate themselves with the rest of the world. This is however misleading, as China’s contribution to

global exports takes up the bulk of this data whilst countries like Laos, Nepal, Tajikistan and Afghanistan are still far below their potential. Overall it seems that the risks of the Belt and Road Initiative outweigh the benefits. Although the risk of debt is exaggerated it is still a danger for countries hungry for development, as most BRI members are. China’s motivations for the project are hard to pinpoint, whether it’s the ‘String of Pearls’ theory to surround India, or an attempt to grow China’s sphere of influence. Whatever the reason, most possibilities show that China will prioritise their own economic and political interests over anything else, including the local population.

PREVIEW 2020 47

Is the future of learning online? Charlotte Yendall Lower Sixth

Before January 2020 remote learning for UK education was primarily based around submission of work and email communication, with many educational institutions using IT ineffectively. Since the arrival of COVID-19 and the lockdown in the UK, responses by the educational establishment have been varied. This ranges from an excellent provision of teaching with materials online, alongside interactive live lessons and the full use of educational and communications apps, to very little support for students in some cases.


or the most part, prior to 2020, both schools and universities have heavily relied on traditional teaching resources in their education methods – with students attending in physical classrooms and lecture theatres for the majority of their learning, especially so in schools, which were highly regimented in their timetabling of the school day.

to the most deprived students during this crisis via provision of tablets and laptops to 15 year olds who do not otherwise have access, and the offer of 4G routers to let some families connect to the internet. This should be a precursor to further reforms including additional funding to bring foundational equality to all students in the UK.

Traditional educational methods are the tried and tested way of educational provision in the UK and should not be discarded lightly. There are certainly key features of traditional learning, such as invigilated examinations, of which there is no easy technological alternative. However, this is not a sound reason to prevent the introduction of more modern technologies to aid the teaching and learning process.

The university sector has generally been better equipped, with most students having appropriate technology available to them. Many universities ensure their lectures are recorded and available online for their students. The ability for the students to fully engage with their subjects however, is to a large extent, dependent on the subject studied – the practical and research elements of the sciences and engineering have been hugely disrupted compared to the arts and social sciences who have a greater ability for independent study.

Some institutions were more prepared to transition to online teaching during the lockdown than others – for example, schools and their use of online homework diary apps, online submission of homework and electronic versions of textbooks rather than paper copies. For these schools that were already advanced in adapting education using technology, changes to teaching and learning exclusively from home transitioned much more smoothly. These existing methods could just be transferred, alongside the introduction of ‘live lessons’ in some cases. However, for those schools who for the most part used more traditional methods of schooling, such as physical textbooks and paper copies of all work and diaries, the change to education from home during lockdown has had a far larger and more detrimental impact. There has been a wide variation between schools and the extent to which ‘live lessons’ and online resources are coordinated, with some students largely left to their own devices. But the lockdown should, if anything, encourage the schools who have not generally embraced the utility of modern technology to do so. The government has already identified the need to provide IT infrastructure

48 PREVIEW 2020

Perhaps a potential model for combining traditional and remote educational practices is that of the Open University. It is a large scale example of how online tools can be utilised for education. With almost 170,000 students currently and with its basis mainly online, this highlights how the technology available can successfully present new methods for learning. Even so, the OU acknowledges that there are necessary features of traditional education, since it holds invigilated examinations in various test centres to determine gradings of qualifications as they would at any traditional university. The physical universities and schools that mainly employ traditional methods could benefit from applying some of the more modern methods of the OU to their teaching, by making materials and the courses themselves more accessible, with online elements and more use of new technologies.

shedding light upon a move towards more accessible online education outside of the traditional institutions. There is no doubt that the Coronavirus crisis and the lockdown measures that have been taken to lessen the impact of the virus are difficult and present tragic times for the UK as a whole. With this in mind, the opportunity it could present for the academic establishment to become less reliant on only traditional methods and utilise more online educational tools going forward should not be missed. On 20 April 2020, the Oak National Academy was launched, a government-backed platform, set up by 40 teachers and funded by the Department of Education. In its first week of operation alone, it delivered 2.2 million lessons of virtual schooling. It was produced to complement existing lesson plans and strategies and help teachers and pupils gain access to more useful materials, not to replace them. This shows a clear government-endorsed desire to provide accessible online education for students in the UK, making use of the technology available, while coexisting with current practices. There is no question that the lack of social interaction from the lockdown will negatively impact the experiences of all students, but there is surely a way forward to ensure consistently high education is provided irrespective of the presence of a national crisis. As such, remote learning should be embraced by schools and universities, to bring education firmly into the 21st century.

Moreover, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have in recent years become much more common and accessible. As of January 2019, there were 11,400 MOOCs on offer worldwide, PREVIEW 2020 49

What did Corbyn’s Labour do to fare so badly in the 2019 General Election? James Hills Lower Sixth

One of the UK’s most significant and dividing elections in recent political history, Thursday 12th December 2019, produced a watershed victory for the majority-winning Conservative Party and its supporters - an astounding 364-seat annihilation leaving one half of the UK delighted and the other distraught. With a turnout of 67.3%, the electorate sourced a catastrophic wake-up call for the factionalised Labour camp, experiencing their worst defeat since 1935 – Corbyn and his acolytes a scary 59 seats away from their promising gain on Theresa May in 2017.

50 PREVIEW 2020

PREVIEW 2020 51


espite immediate electoral discussion orbiting around the triumph of mandate-holding PM Boris Johnson, public and media scrutiny rapidly turned to Labour and their horrific showing. Red supporters were left wondering what happened to the ‘Corbynista craze’, and why their Party Leader, their professed political renegade, was the most significant contributor to their downfall. As Labour were left confused about turncoat voting in their supposed ‘Red Wall’, many commentators remarked upon how Labour’s working-class voters were driven away by the recent ‘woke’ shift in their politics: Corbyn and his posse appearing to neglect their interests in favour of ultra-PC, middle-class cosmopolitans, who dominate social media and ‘trendy’ or ‘modern’ circles of political discourse. An ineffective election strategy and a poor manifesto also catalysed Labour’s collapse, their unclear Brexit stance the principal ingredient in a cocktail of political blunders. Noteworthy evidence and popular belief indicate that the most significant element to Labour’s end-of-decade

52 PREVIEW 2020

demise in December’s vote transpired to be their own frontrunner, the unpatriotic patron of the fashionable political elite - Jeremy Corbyn. This man proved himself to be the archetypal figure for precisely what his party did not need at such a chaotic time for British politics. In direct contrast to the bold decision by the Johnson-led Conservatives to put their firm commitment to leave the EU as their policy headliner and priority - a risk that was fundamental

and essential to their win - Corbyn remained unclear. He bizarrely failed to reveal his personal stance on Brexit until the second week of campaigning, most certainly shunting marginals on the fence to the tempting stability of the Tory cohort and the calming clarity of their manifesto: one that wasn’t being amended constantly by the top of a panicking Labour hierarchy. Labour’s election campaign was further stained by Corbyn’s infamous

past associations with terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and the IRA. With nearly half of Britain’s 280,000-strong Jewish community stating that they that would ‘seriously consider’ exiting the country if Corbyn was elected, anti-Semitic accusations within the Labour Party, combined with Corbyn’s terrorist links, intensely fuelled already dwelling issues within the Labour ranks. The prevailing long list of Labourite racism claims suggested that a façade had been unmasked to reveal a more sinister outfit than what was once imagined, Labour having previously been regarded as the supposed leading party in minority representation. These issues led to their ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ slogan being put into disrepute, members inside the party itself adulterating a compassionate and positive motto. Corbyn himself was most affected by these allegations; due to the public perception of him as a somewhat warm and friendly leading figure before these incidents became media famous, the ensuing reaction to his murky past was substantial enough to alienate members in his own party as well as countless citizens, and potential Labour voters, across the UK. A trend of apathy between the Islington North MP and many of his voters is statistically visible in the findings by Ipsos Mori. They recorded that the Labour talisman entered the campaign with ‘the lowest net satisfaction ratings of any opposition leader since the late 1970s’ – very much a sobering statistic foreshadowing Labour’s doomed efforts to assume government. This declaration bears further significance and shame for Labour, with Corbyn losing to his opposing competitor in Boris Johnson – notoriously known to have never been necessarily the most loved of politicians. The controversy swirling nationally in Labour voters around various constituencies – most notably in the North of England – in fact seemed to concern Corbyn, not the expected issue of Brexit. Fellow party candidates failing to win their seats, particularly in the Red Wall, were quick to blame their leader, rather than intentions regarding Europe, for the party’s defeat. Labour MP for

Edinburgh South, Ian Murray, was incriminating when recalling the people’s and party’s distaste, quoted saying that every constituent he came across revealed it was ‘not Brexit but Corbyn’ that triggered their falling out of favour with Labour. Candidates in Stoke North and Chesterfield – Ruth Smeeth and Toby Perkins respectively – joined the sizeable bandwagon of disgruntled party officials to blame the experienced politician for the Tory landslide. To paint the overall picture of his abject failure, not only did Corbyn lose a vital election and waste a valuable chance to add credibility to a declining Labour, he managed to divide the party, alienate his colleagues and electorate and discredit his name. As a personal reflection on this set of events, if Corbyn had perhaps been more of his own man rather than the puppet of political socialites in London and popular culture - attempting to be far too ‘PC’ and ‘woke’ - Labour’s result would have been far different, provided stable policies and stances were implemented. Despite the fact that an anthology could most certainly be written detailing Mr. Corbyn’s electoral negligence, he was not all to blame as Labour, with regard to the entire party, only contrived to circle back to a more radicalised edition of their 2017 manifesto. With policies that suggested hundreds of billions dedicated to renationalisation and infrastructure, voters began to question the matter of finance – all eyebrows rose when the promise of nationalised free Wi-Fi was made through planning the state purchasing of BT. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell proceeded to add to their potential mass spending after the manifesto was published, a £50bn increase promised to WASPI women’s pensions. Although these policies are good in nature, it is hard to

imagine how Labour would attempt to follow through with these financially ridiculous pledges – the Shadow Cabinet overseeing the induction of many policies that appeared only to achieve votes of minorities rather than wanting to represent and defend the nation. Labour’s election strategy was one that was daring, but in the end unsuccessful as it only contributed to a dreadful result. Their fairy-tale plan to achieve a majority through tactical voting was far too expansive. It increased the possibility of gaining some semi-marginal seats, but more importantly it put many other of their vital seats at risk, the outcome of this scheme likely significant only in changing their seat number in a decreasing fashion. The focus on specific constituencies - most notably Boris Johnson’s Tory-held Uxbridge and South Ruislip - led to party activists neglecting other marginal seats, where their efforts would have been far more greatly appreciated. The Labourites’ shambolic display at the crucial 2019 General Election indicates the imperative nature of drastic party reform. If Labour is to ever retrieve the power they recently held as the opposition (before they embarked on a process of selfdestruction, Jeremy Corbyn the leading proprietor), they must amend and transform a failing set of policies. Political loyalties aside – speaking objectively of election campaign strategy – the Conservatives had everything Labour needed: they were clear, understandable, and headed by an influential, strong figure at the forefront. Labour’s own misjudgement determined their decline. If they were to go back and correct many errors – such as party leadership, unclear policy and ineffective strategy – it is likely the extent of their loss would have been considerably reduced. PREVIEW 2020 53



7 Ran back to Ulster - a magical land (6)


16 He built a wall and held Paisley, perhaps, right in the middle (7) 18 Divert attention for girl's pamphlet (8) 19 Symbol of power came undone (4) 21 Free form verse with point at the end is hard (6) 22 What politician







13 14


16 17


10 Panties in a twist about Hollywood's foremost actor (8)

15 Access to prefight ritual for the audience (3,2)

4 8


9 Division in Knesset over returning (4)

13 Note's first slipped through door to reveal source of party funds (5)



8 A minor route that comes under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's influence (6)

11 Irreligious PM meets unsatisfactory end (7)



does with the parliamentary oath - says some offensive things (6) Down 1 Stop! Initial taxation to be got rid of! Opposition's starting to be a symbol of perfection! (4) 2 International organisation initially complains. Then UK's monarch with Italy and Norway's leaders state terrible doubts (13) 3 Clashes when General Agreement to


Tariffs and Trade comes into contact with the French - being the first and last to change (7) 4 Great women can be found in elements of Madame Sarkozy's presentation (5) 5 Already arranged, quietly put Republican original early manifesto before Democrat (13) 6 State where there is no security soldier initially needed or spies (getting rid of collaborators first) (8)

Crossword compiled by Neil Parker, Mathew Owen and Becky Hunter

12 Former partner - a striker in '72/'74/'84 - is responsible for a testing time (8) 14 Speediest footballers' test (7) 17 Having a position means being politically prejudiced? Not I! (5) 20 Irish town has a choice between cult leader and one from Ku Klux Klan (4) > Click here to reveal the solution