BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Politics

  1. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: A response to Gove’s English syllabus reforms

    Michael Gove recently caused somewhat of a furore with the announcement of his plans to remove American Literature from the GCSE English Literature syllabus, discarding John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in favour of Austen and Dickens. One fellow English Literature student wailed, ‘Now kids will never know about Atticus Finch, and that is just wrong!’ Much as their melodramatic anguish made me laugh, I could neither refute that their point was valid nor that I was equally infuriated by Gove’s decision. That is not to say that Charles Dickens is anything short…

  2. The World’s Greatest Weapon

    What is the greatest weapon that the world has ever seen? There are a number of strong contenders: the bow and arrow is one of the most enduring and effective weapons in history, whose origins date back 12,000 years; the AK-47 is the most popular gun in the world with between 75 and 100 million in existence; the atomic bomb has the ability to wipe out whole cities in the blink of an eye. These weapons have been ruthlessly efficient at inflicting harm on people across the globe, but in this author’s opinion, none of them count as the world’s…

  3. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word…

    Wars do not just end once the armistice is signed and the combatants have agreed to a ceasefire. During WWI, German occupying forces devastated the Belgian economy by requisitioning resources, deporting labourers and moving entire factories to Germany to support the war effort. The Allied bombing of Dresden in World War II left the city in ruins and 25,000 civilians dead. The Kosovo War in the late 1990s left over 200,000 internally displaced in its wake. With the development of total war, the effects of war, and the consequences of decimated populations or devastated infrastructure, persist long after the cessation…

  4. Debate: Should Scotland become an independent country?

    Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom since 1707. On 18th September 2014, citizens will have the chance to vote on whether Scotland should become an independent country in its own right, but opinions on the subject are polarised. Here, two Butlerites present either side of the argument for Scottish independence, a debate which has divided the nation. Yes: Kieran Devlin explores the reasons why Scotland should become independent… In this conflict of sneering demonising and contrived one-upmanship, where one “camp’s” mantra is fundamentally petulant fear-mongering, and the other’s fundamentally naïve uber-nationalism; rationality and objectivity is a myth. It’s…

  5. Peace Building in Northern Ireland

    No region or country in the world is without its own troubles, and this is especially true of Northern Ireland. The Troubles which erupted in the 70s and 80s are painfully remembered by many who served in the area or had to live in the midst of the violence. This is why the recent wave of violence, which erupted over Belfast City Council’s decision not to fly the Union Flag every day of the year, has been so shocking and disappointing to us all.  However, it is all too easy to lament the images of reckless violence and devastation caused…

  6. The end of Berlusconi?

    The enduring popularity and success of Silvio Berlusconi has often seemed inexplicable from the other side of Europe, given his frequent problems with the law and penchant for affairs with girls a quarter of his age, but here in Italy there remains a significant proportion of the population entertained enough by his antics to support him. In November 2011, a variety of legal battles combined with the economic crisis saw his approval rating drop to a low of 22%, and he resigned shortly after. However, with the technocratic government of Monti coming under fire for what was seen as their…

  7. Why Romney lost the election

    Despite the economic downturn, high unemployment and low presidential approval ratings, Mitt Romney and his Republicans were unable to secure an election victory or regain control of the Senate. Whilst exit polls indicate that voters viewed that Obama as “more for the middle class”, with Romney tilting to the interests of the rich, many Republicans and conservative commentators are lost for explanations as to why they lost the election. This perhaps presents the perfect opportunity to shed light on what critics from all ends of political spectrum view as an “out of touch” Republican party, which, since the days of…

  8. LIVE ELECTION COMMENTARY

    Hear what Taha Abrar has to say on the election as it happens. Link to a Live Commentary on the Presidential Election, straight from the sofas of Butler Bar: >>>Election Live<<< Election Commentary 4pm-5am Tuesday November 6, 2012 4:03 BSJ: Hello and welcome to the Josephine Butler Scholarly Journal’s US Presidential Election Blog! Ever since Rick Santorum’s withdrawal all but secured Governor Mitt Romney’s ascension to the Republican Party nomination, the fight to be the President of the United States has captivated the US and much of the watching world. From 47%-gate to the Laughing Joe Biden Meme, it’s not an accident…

  9. Why all the excitement?

    In the 1960 US presidential election the main theme of John F. Kennedy’s campaign was ‘a time for greatness’. Arguably during that period the US was at its most powerful; it had yet to set foot in the jungles of Vietnam for a start. But the election this year, along with being highly negative, has also been about trying to persuade voters that America can get back to that level of power and prestige it enjoyed across the world. Obama has wanted to move ‘Forward’ while Romney has asked us to ‘Believe in America,’ but can we do that anymore?…

  10. An Election Overview

    I have been asked to write a few lines about the American election. Instead of trying to cover everything I have decided to write a little bit about a few issues and put some links down so you can read more if you want to. I decided to put a few of my opinions down in the end to start a discussion. Feel free to discuss and comment. I hope to see all of you in the bar tonight. If you do not want to read what everyone else is saying about Obama and Romney, but want to read what they…