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First Tuesday current affairs discussion - Tuesday 6 February 7:00pm start

Tuesday 6th Feb: First Tuesday Current Affairs discussion

We'll discuss a couple of topical issues in the news

First Tuesday Current Affairs Forum
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News Reviews from 2012

 


Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement:

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

by Emma Short

 

In the time of a digital renaissance, wherein dissemination of ideas and sources of learning are widely available to a general populous of global proportions via the internet, the on-going freedom to obtain information in this culture of sharing knowledge is threatened by bills such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Rights) and ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). Never before has information been so widely available to so many, thus public availability is a good thing no? From a utilitarian stance it would be difficult to argue against, however the greatest good for the greatest many isn't all that's being considered.

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News Reviews from 2012

Current Affairs

The war on workfare is worse than workfare itself

by Brendan O’Neill, Tuesday 28 February 2012

Republished from spiked as background reading for a discussion on Workfare, to be introduced by Mark Harrop.

 

The pity and tears of the anti-workfare lobby are far more insulting to working-class youth than asking them to stack shelves in Tesco. As a radical leftist of some years’ standing, it pains me to point out the following: we are rapidly entering a new era in Britain in which radical protests against government austerity measures are more reactionary than anything proposed by the government itself.

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News Reviews from 2012

Current Affairs

Leveson Inquiry

by Denis Joe

 

Two of the basic principles that underpin a democratic society are free speech and a free press: both are inseparable as the exchange of ideas, through informed debate, is what maintains a democracy. Historically the undermining of free speech and a free press was associated with totalitarian regimes, whose rule was based on force rather than the free will of the people.  

 

Up until the end of the 17th Century nothing could be published without the accompaniment of a government-granted license. Publication was controlled under the Licensing Act of 1662, but the Act's lapsed from 1679–1685 and by the early 19th century there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles.  Taxes on newspapers were lifted by 1855 and there was a massive growth in overall circulation. The Times is the oldest surviving title but from the 1830s there were over 100 titles reflecting the political views of the time.

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News Reviews from 2012

Is our greed to blame?

Pay Restraint and Low Ambitions

by Simon Belt

 

Is society losing its historic drive to create more wealth? From Radio 4 and her Majesty's loyal opposition, to the front benches of the Conservative-Liberal government, there seems be widespread support for restraining bonus payments to top executives. It may sound radical and fair on behalf of working people, but coming alongside campaigns to increase the prices of low cost food items - the high point being demands by Ed Milliband to see W H Smith increase the prices of chocolate oranges. Giving up chocolate for lent may have been a personal test of faith once, but to impose it on ordinary people for their own good is another thing altogether. Are we all becoming too meek and mild as we approach Easter?

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News Reviews from 2012

Schools: what are they good for?

Schools: What are they good for?

by Jane Turner

 

As the Christmas decorations get removed and packed away carefully for another year, the school uniforms are retrieved from the back of the wardrobe in readiness for a return to school this week and parents quietly breathe a sigh of relief as they have just about reached the limits of their energy and patience.

 

But wait! Is it still wise to pack young people off to school anymore - as it's now widely recognised as an institution that's failing? Is it really worth investing around 36 weeks of the year for over 11 years in a place where little of any worth is actually taught or learned?

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