Author Archives: Alfred Motspur

Opinion: Magna Carta: Civil liberties 800 years on, under a Tory majority government

On Monday, the Magna Carta – the oldest charter in British (and indeed European) history which protects civil liberties – celebrated its 800th anniversary.

At a celebration in Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was sealed by King John in 1215, David Cameron pledged “to safeguard the legacy, the idea the momentous achievements of those barons” who first signed the Great Charter.

That’s quite a bold statement to make, especially considering he’s in the middle of damaging – not safeguarding – such a legacy by repealing the Human Rights Act 1998 (hereon the HRA).

Like the Magna Carta protected civil liberties in the face of the monarchy, so the HRA protects civil liberties in the face of our government. Consequentially, as Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder and Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld suggest in their article in The New Statesman, it’s hypocritical that the Tories should glorify the Magna Carta whilst scolding the HRA.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: We need votes at 16 for the EU referendum

I’ve recently become increasingly aware of some of the comments passed by the Tories and UKIP regarding the minimum voting age on the upcoming EU Referendum, which seems likely to be set at 18. They’re quite worrying to say the least.

John Redwood, Conservative MP for Wokingham, accused 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds of not being interested in voting and critics of trying to hijack the referendum by suggesting that they should receive suffrage, whilst numerous UKIP politicians have argued that we have been close to “brainwashed” through the education system by the Liberal Democrats in particular.

Speaking as a young person, I feel that these comments are hugely belittling and insulting. I would have hoped that the active participation of young people in last year’s debate in the run-up to the Scottish Referendum would have proved that we are more than capable of fairly assessing political situations and choosing for ourselves what will be best for our own future.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • John Waller
    On 3 March 2022 AOL said Zelensky called for direct negotiations with Putin. On 11 March 2022 Pope Francis offered to Putin to mediate. Putin said “not no...
  • Michael BG
    Peter Martin, As you know full employment is not defined as 0% unemployment for the reasons you gave. In the past it was defined as 2.5% unemployment. You...
  • Nigel Quinton
    To Tom Harney, while I suspect we do have slightly more influence than you suggest still, I agree it is minimal. What we can do, and should do immediately, is h...
  • Simon R
    @Katharine: Hard to explain stuff in 250 words but: Yes, ensuring everyone has a reasonable standard of living requires two things: Primarily you to make sure t...
  • Simon R
    @Peter Davies: Totally agree about the definition of poverty. When I talk about poverty, I generally mean the intuitive sense of people struggling to buy necess...