All women shortlists: a step back for equality

Last month, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission ruled that using all-women shortlists to increase the number of women in the boardroom would constitute unlawful sex discrimination. However, EU law, puzzlingly, permits the use of all-women shortlists for political parties, as this is considered to fall outside the ambit of employment and occupation.

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Richard Dawkins’ comments on Down’s syndrome should worry us all

In a recent Twitter post, Richard Dawkins responded to a question about the ethical dilemma of a Down’s Syndrome pregnancy, saying “Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” Predictably, his tweet caused a tremendous outcry. Dawkins responded to the controversy in a […]

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Carnival just get along? Notting Hill and the problems of multiculturalism

Towards the end of the 1980s, at the very height of the tensions between the police and inner-city black communities, the Metropolitan police produced a report on crime in the Notting Hill area entitled ‘Life’s Not a Carnival’. It was an alarmingly ill-considered heading. It was at once an overt dig at the Caribbean festival […]

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Lord Falconer’s assisted suicide bill is dangerous

On July 18th, Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords, taking another step towards becoming law. I don’t doubt the good intentions of those who support the legalisation of physician-assisted suicide; by and large, the main concerns of the Falconer Bill’s proponents have been minimising suffering and upholding […]

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Now is not the time to worry about inconsistency over Gaza

Last week, 150,000 people didn’t march through London to condemn the actions of Islamist militants in Iraq. Scores of protesters didn’t speak out against the conflict in Ukraine. The streets of the capital weren’t flooded with demonstrators denouncing the violence in Syria. However, anyone walking through central London on the 9th August would have been […]

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Council by-election: don’t be duped

The last few weeks has seen quite an alarming exodus of Labour councillors at Oxford City hall, triggering three different by-elections in consecutive weeks. Whilst their tactic of staggered elections is nothing but a waste of public funds, there is something deeply disconcerting and undemocratic about the by-election called by Labour for the 4th of […]

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Disabilities – “I’m not your inspiration”

Performing an access audit on her local shops at the age of 14, Stella Young has engaged in a lifetime of vehement promotion of the disabled community. With membership of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and Ministerial Advisory Council for Women with Disabilities Victoria, Stella Young has also hosted eight seasons of No Limits, Australia’s […]

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The world cup: football’s victims

Let’s get one thing straight; I hate football. Yet the 2014 Fifa World Cup has exploded ubiquitously, rendering the event unavoidable and oddly mesmerising. I have been imbibed by the green and yellow hues of solidarity, globalisation and ‘national pride’. Sure, the matches have been exciting, cinematic even; Suarez’s rendition of Jaws is a case […]

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The Lib Dems: still a vital part of British politics

Nick Clegg has a lot of reasons to be worried. Last week, the Tuesday before the local and European elections, he received a frosty welcome here in Oxford, with protests outside two events he attended, and uncomfortable questions on tuition fees being asked inside. This, however, might have been the high point of his week […]

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Clinton’s child won’t change her career

When the news broke just last week that Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary, is pregnant, speculation was already rife about the newest addition to the Clinton dynasty. Will the baby be a boy or a girl? When is it due? Will Bill actually add “grandfather-to-be”to […]

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