The corporate cynicism of the 2015 Christmas adverts

Here we are again. Nothing makes me feel more old than the inevitable return of the Christmas ads, scurrying onto our screens every November like a horde of tinsel-furred rats, polluting the culture with a plague of scurrilously sentimental sweetness and itchily unpleasant hashtags. They are always the same, but somehow find a way to […]

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History curricula, student politics, and being British

Here at Oxford, plans are underway to change the current nature of the history curriculum. The most important proposal, as far as present purposes are concerned, is to move away from a focus on British and European history towards more “global” or “extra-European” history. The motivation is to enable students to study a wider geographical […]

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What does Missouri mean for race-relations in the United States?

Over the course of approximately two months several University of Missouri students, including Missouri Student Union president Payton Head, alleged they were called a racial slur. Also during this time, a swastika drawn in feces was found in a university bathroom. While I will assume that these allegations of racist speech are true, it is […]

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What if the living wage backfires in Oxford colleges?

Imagine that it’s April 2016. The government has just introduced its new national living wage (NLW) of £7.40 an hour. But, because that’s still below the £8.25 recommended by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF), Oxford colleges have bowed to the demands of student campaigners to adopt the latter. However, what should be cause for celebration […]

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Trident remains an important part of Britain’s defence policy

If there has been any issue in defence policy which has evoked spurious emotion and division amongst the general population in recent months, it is that of the Trident nuclear deterrent. This debate is not new: a very similar discussion took place during the 1960s, with the Skybolt crisis contributing to the downfall of the […]

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Refugees: Why European protectionism in the face of the refugee crisis is not only morally reprehensible but economically ill-advised

Early September in Munich, hundreds of mostly Syrian refugees arrived at the central train station cheered and welcomed by Bavarians on all sides. Images showed an instant of sincerity and humanity: timidity, hope, and fear on the faces of the arriving children, women, and men. These images went around the world, they touched our hearts […]

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Women’s work: lad culture and the necessary role of dignity

This newspaper recently ran an article describing the problems surrounding “lad culture” on campus. In the piece, Alex Lupsaiu argued that legislation is often ineffective in transforming human hearts and that it is up to students to change the “cultural landscape” of campus life. Though many recognise lad culture as wrong, and often dehumanising, my […]

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The day after: A student’s reflection on Paris

What can be said of the attacks on Paris? It is a horror beyond words. What can we offer but our total solidarity, our love? Friday night, as the tragedy unfolded in gruesome, gutting real-time before our eyes, Parisians offered their homes to those who needed shelter. The morning after they lined up outside hospitals […]

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Religion remains an important part of the Oxford college

In recent years, scholars and the public alike have fallen for the endless potential of “Big Data”. For a modern-day Super Man (or, perhaps more accurately, Sherlock Holmes), Big Data can deliver robust results faster than a speeding bullet and articulate elegant solutions that appear, well, elementary. As a quantitative researcher, I have swooned before […]

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The homeless shouldn’t be punished

According to its website, Oxford City Council’s proposed city-centre Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) “is about creating a safe and welcoming city centre for residents, businesses and tourists”. If you are homeless, however, your life is about to get a whole lot harder. Criminalising a number of behaviours deemed to be anti-social, the proposed PSPO […]

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Poppies and the political hijacking of remembrance

In his 2007 memoir The Last Fighting Tommy, Harry Patch, the longest-surviving British First World War serviceman, describes Remembrance Sunday and the characteristic sea of poppies that spout up around it as “just show business”. Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow has famously described the phenomenon as “poppy fascism”. Remembering the fallen soldiers of our country’s […]

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Rhodes remains a symbol of racism in Oxford

“Remember that you are an Englishman, and have consequently won first prize in the lottery of life.” Spoken by Cecil Rhodes, a 19th century British colonialist described (by Rhodes’ biographer Anthony Thomas) as an ‘architect of apartheid’, these words hang heavy in the air as I stand on High Street outside Oriel College looking up […]

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Religion at Oxford should be reexamined

Perhaps more than any other university, Oxford is defined by its skyline: Christ Church Cathedral, St. Mary’s Tower, the Exeter Chapel spire. These ancient towers rise above the University, defending its history and its tradition. Notably, all these landmarks share one thing in common: their religious origin and continued religious purpose. Oxford’s identity cannot be […]

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Radicalisation cannot be defeated by the government alone

The consequences of the rise of Isis have spread far beyond Iraq and Syria. Most recently, the thousands of refugees who have come to Europe has powerfully demonstrated the ways in which Middle Eastern affairs can now exert great pressure on European politics.   Last month Lisa Borch, a 15-year-old Danish girl, was jailed for […]

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