It often ends with a whisper, rather than with a Hollywood explosion. But unless you’re a completely idiotic uneducated moron (so basically a Brexiter), it is obvious that the 24th June 2016 is the day the United Kingdom, as we knew and loved it, ceased to exist. It will be replaced by something else entirely. We can’t say we didn’t see it coming. … Continue reading Everybody Knows That The Good Guys Lost
Last week, three friends and I attended the recording of a football podcast in a London theater. As we were smoking a cigarette outside during the interval, our conversation turned to the unmitigated disaster that is the possibility of ‘Brexit’. We all agreed that it felt as though we were strapped to the seat of a Japanese bullet train, heading straight for the cliff edge. … Continue reading In Defence of Immigration
Before we start our controversial debate as to whether it’s morally wrong for unimaginably wealthy people to avoid paying taxes whilst lobbying for austerity to be imposed on the poor, it is worth noting the complete inadequacy of the moniker ‘Panama Papers’.
The ‘Panama Papers’ sounds like a film starring Tom Cruise about a young, handsome, and yet vertically challenged lawyer, who finds buried evidence about poor procurement practices in Lancaster City Council, whilst wearing his Panama hat. It’s wholly inadequate for the situation we are facing here. It’s like calling the Jimmy Saville scandal ‘The Lime Grove Indiscretions’. It doesn’t exactly tell the whole story.
This should really have been called ‘You Are Getting Completely Screwed by a Super Wealthy Elite, And It’s Only Getting Worse, Part XVI’. No Tom Cruise needed for that one, and at least we all know where we stand. Continue reading “Panama Papers – The Great British Rip-Off”
The government is about to spend £2bn throwing petrol onto a housing market that is already on fire. It is just one example of a central government housing policy designed to convert scarce public resources into votes at the ballot box, regardless of whether they exacerbate the very housing crisis the government should be trying to solve. It is divisive, unjust and economically reckless. The total disregard for the waste of public resources required to fund these lunatic schemes should shame a government which boasts loudly about its economic prudence. That they seem to genuinely not care should be cause for national outrage. Continue reading “Mad as Mad Houses”
2016 could be a momentous year for the US and the UK. It’s quite possible that, by December, the UK will have left the EU and Donald Trump will be President-elect of the United States of America. A scenario which, 12 months ago, would’ve read like the script of a cheap TV drama about an unlikely political dystopia is now looking, if not probable, at … Continue reading Democracy’s Acid Test
The United States has given the world a lot of good things. Superbowl. Superman Returns. Super Tuesday. Post-it notes. The Doors. The Civil Rights Act. The Rule of Law and a democratic system that consists of a clear separation between Church and State. Like all other countries, the United States isn’t perfect and has also contributed its share of negatives: Iraq. WMD. The Middle East … Continue reading Make America Hate Again
The job title of ‘President of the United States of America’ is a rather coveted one, transforming its holder from a hopeful candidate to the most powerful person in the world. And yet, as Obama discovered, this job comes with a raft of checks and balances designed to constrain the power of the executive. While the President retains a lot of autonomy in the international … Continue reading Scalia, Obama, and Loretta – what next for the Supreme Court?
There are some things in this life that just don’t make any sense. The continued success of the Kardashians. The fact that a quarter of UKIP members would actually vote to stay in the EU. Or the fact that we, as a society, persist with this myth that unregulated free market economics is the only way to prosperity. We have written about the absurdity of … Continue reading The Decline
Every once in a while there comes a technology that revolutionises the way we live: the internet, penicillin, electricity, or the selfie stick, all have completely changed the way we interact and perceive the world around us. The technology is rarely political per se, but its impact is so great that it ends up shaping the way we live. Before the internet was regulated, and monitored, and encrypted, and taken over by governments and corporations, it was just an interesting communication technology that early adopters explored freely. There were no rules, no laws regulating its use, and no limits on the use of free speech on it. It was in its ‘pre-politics’ phase.
Today, the internet, like drugs and the use of electricity, is heavily regulated, monitored, and legislated for. It is inherently political. But that wasn’t always the case.
The technology that is the subject of today’s article has the potential to revolutionise humanity in a way that few technologies before have. Even more so than selfie-sticks. And if this technology is currently in its ‘pre-politics’ phase, it is blatantly obvious that it will become terribly political at some point. Perhaps even tragically so. It might therefore be pertinent to understand what this technology is, what it does, and what this means for us.
That technology is called CRISPR. I first heard of it on a podcast called RadioLab, and if you fancy a listen, you can find it here. I’m not one for hyperboles, but this technology has the potential to change the rules and parameters of human existence. It was invented millions of years ago. By bacteria, those invisible celebrities from the Yakult adverts. Continue reading “CRISPR and the Future of Humanity”
Happy New Year to you all, dear readers! What better way to celebrate a new year than by announcing the winners of our surprisingly successful ‘Refractory Awards 2015!’ With over 400 votes cast, millions of dollars spent on negative advertising, and some to-and-froing with the UN Electoral Commission, this is undoubtedly the first and most successful Refractory Awards of all time. And so, without further ado, … Continue reading And the Winners are…