Moving the dialogue surrounding Oxbridge BME students beyond Lammy’s ‘social apartheid’ narrative

“Social apartheid”, “fiefdoms of privilege”, “centuries of entrenched privilege” – such are the damning, yet also all too familiar, condemnatory remarks recently aimed at Oxford and Cambridge by MP David Lammy. According to Lammy: “Only one in four Cambridge colleges made offers to black British students in every year between 2010 and 2015 […] And each year […]

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Is there really “social apartheid” in Oxford admissions? – Implications of data uncovered by David Lammy

Ever feel like everyone at Oxford is from London? Or at least say they’re from London so as not to confuse clueless northerners with alien territories such as ‘High Wycombe’, ‘Crawley’, or the most fabled of them all – ‘Guildford’. Well, truth is, that’s because they kind of are. Taking the almost unanimously stretched definition of ‘London’ as meaning all of Greater London and the Southeast, […]

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First Putin, now Xi Jinping: how unlimited power became the ‘in’ thing

If you were to cast your mind back to the finest music of 2002, it’s unlikely that the first thing to come to mind would be a Russian chart topper. That year, a song titled ‘A Man Like Putin”, in which a Russian girl-band sang about how they wanted a man like Vladimir Putin, dominated the Russian charts. Unsurprisingly, it propelled the band to worldwide […]

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20 years of devolution: has it been a success?

This year marks two decades since the people of both Scotland and Wales voted ‘yes’ to devolution in referendums promised by Labour’s victorious 1997 manifesto. Blair was confident that devolved governments in Scotland and Wales would mean “the Union will be strengthened and the threat of separatism removed”. Since then, major policy areas such as education, health and housing have been dictated in […]

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When is a vote for self-determination legitimate? – Catalonia, Spain and the 1st October referendum

On the 1st of October, Catalonia – one of Spain’s richest regions – had a referendum. It was quickly declared as ‘unconstitutional’ by Constitutional Court of Spain since the country’s 1978 Constitution affirms the ‘unity of the state’ – but this is hardly surprising. What is surprising, however, is that despite the initial excitement and commotion that it inspired, the referendum does […]

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