Archives for posts with tag: Redbrick

Theresa May has announced that the Conservatives will renew a pledge to hold a free vote on overturning 2004 ban on the blood sport. During a visit to a factory in Leeds, the Prime Minister said: “This is a situation on which individuals will have one view or the other, either pro or against. As it happens, personally I have always been in favour of fox hunting, and we maintain our commitment, we have had a commitment previously as a Conservative Party, to allow a free vote”.

Is anyone surprised? What are the lives of a few foxes and the welfare of our least fortunate citizens to a person prepared to press the nuclear button?

Nicola Stavrinou writes about this repeal in Redbrick* (accessed via the Brummie aggregator):

She asks why: as 84% of British people are opposed to fox-hunting, would the Conservative Party back such an unpopular repeal?

Her answer: “Theresa May is using this repeal to gain back the hardliner Tories who wish to see the ban lifted once and for all. She is going for an electoral majority which could potentially remove Labour and SNP from the equation. The anti-hunting Labour and SNP MPs who voted to ban fox-hunting could potentially be replaced with Conservative MPs who are pro-hunting. May knows that she has the power to pass unfavourable laws because of the Conservative’s recent surge in popularity, most recently seen in the Mayoral elections from the beginning of the month”.

Wryly she concludes: “I have no doubt that if there is a potentially high Conservative majority win in the snap election, this ban will be lifted. Not that it has actually stopped anyone from hunting since then anyway”.

*Redbrick is the student publication of the University of Birmingham, established in 1936 under the original title Guild News

It has evolved to include eleven sections covering wide areas of student life, and expanded into the world of digital journalism. All content is produced by student journalists, including reporters, commentators, photographers and editors. As a student society, any student of the University of Birmingham can join and contribute to the publication.

The hard copy is published fortnightly and its website is updated continuously with regular content, videos, audio clips and photography. Events are covered through live blogging, providing a platform for readers to get directly involved with the debates. The website currently receives approximately 40,000 unique views per month.

Other recent articles:

The One Show: It May Never Get Cringier Than This

Labour Party Broadcast: A New Peake?







James Cox of Redbrick (via the Brummie) rightly says that “It would be fair and accurate to say that there is currently a wave of anti-establishment feeling in Western politics” and as – Stahl & Hansen explain – that is a reaction to the actions of the mainstream of the political class who have squandered people’s trust, by not having their best interests at heart

jc-standingCox uses the term Populism, an easy label, widely applied, often referring to those of all ages who are newly enthused, because ‘ordinary’ people, such as those in the picture above, for the first time for decades can see a glimmer of hope on the political horizon after decades of government by a self-seeking minority.

Perhaps a few fringe advisers do, as Cox asserts without giving his source(s), believe that election prospects can best be furthered by ‘utilising Corbyn’s image as an ‘unpolished conviction politician’ fighting for the little guy against big business and vested interests’ – and perhaps not.

Cox adds that Corbyn is not the man to lead this change of message and refers to ‘his performances’ and reaction to pressure from hostile journalists.

jc-2-housing-coverI refer him and all readers to JC’s confident performance and clear messages in recent PMQs and urge them to see this interview with a determinedly hostile journalist, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg – not the clearest example seen, but clear enough.

Mr Cox is also referred to the Media Lens analysis on this and other subjects – always well worth reading.

And as Mr Cox thinks Corbyn lacks a message and clear purpose he is recommended to study a series of six accessible reports (cover of Housing Policy report left) following this link:





momentum first meeting city

Quiet, courteous and all-embracing – the Corbyn ethos prevailed at this civilised cross-party meeting, chaired by Rachael Harris, assisted by Richard Hatcher.

The writer estimates that about a hundred people attended the Priory Rooms in Bull St, with younger folk having to stand along the sides and at the back in the George Fox room designed for seventy.

A meeting with a difference:

  • no top-down agenda set by the organisers;
  • no invited speakers pinning folk to their seats for hours and
  • all who wanted to speak were heard.

momentum logo and pictures

Misgivings were voiced about the imposition of an elected mayor at this meeting – and at a meeting on electoral reform taking place at the same time in the Impact Hub, Digbeth.

Setting up local groups

Volunteers prepared to set up groups in five wards were found. One, from Birmingham University, fifth from the left at the back on the picture of a section of the audience, hoped to set up a group there and we may hear more from this group through the columns of ‘Redbrick’.

An accessible, affordable city venue

A group of disabled people attended, with speakers noting the effect of cuts on their lives, but primarily focussing on their inability to take part in many political events in the city. They stressed that an accessible, affordable city centre venue is needed.

Labour’s democratic deficit: a 20 year mystery to constituents and MPs alike

On her feet in the picture (taken and posted by Mohammed Jamil), Julia Larden, one of Birmingham’s most active citizens, focussed on the plight of Labour Party members in Hall Green, Hodge Hill, Ladywood and Perry Barr who are unable to function locally, to meet ‘officially’, to vote for councillors or to select MPs, due to being placed in ‘special measures’ in 1995. This situation has been described by Sandwell Councillor Bob Piper as a Kafkaesque farce; we read: “The first branches knew about it was when applicants to join Labour’s campaign against an uncaring coalition received a letter from said centralist bureaucracy explaining that they couldn’t join the Party because the CLP was in ‘special measures’ – although they weren’t offered an explanation either”.

The most imminent campaigning concern is agreed

As David Cameron returns to the issue of bombing Syria – execution by drone not only of ISIS fighters but also of civilians in the vicinity – it was agreed to focus on this issue before a formal proposal was made. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said “At the present time, the issue of the bombing of Syria does not seem to me to be the right way forward on this and so I don’t support it at this stage.” He insists that any military response should have the support of the international community and be legally sanctioned by the United Nations.

The meeting was united in enthusiastic support for Jeremy Corbyn and the aims of Momentum: to build a social movement for real progressive change, to make Labour a more democratic party and to work for a more democratic, equal and decent society.

Comment by email: Great counter-narrative to what we’re getting from the mainstream media,

via the Brummie

redbrick 2 reader

Mental illness is an issue that affects many individuals in society, so why is it that the government is not doing more to help? Keah Joseph of Redbrick – the student publication (hard copy and online) of the University of Birmingham – explains what the new Labour party are offering as a solution and what this means for the future. Summary below, link to full article at foot of blog.

Jeremy Corbyn is changing politics in many ways, but mainly by wanting to create a ‘kinder politics and caring society.’ This type of politics completely contrasts that of David Cameron who during the election period made promises which he had no intention of keeping.

Mental health is among the most widespread health issues, yet despite this it does not receive enough attention. Unlike physical health issues, mental health problems are not as easily noticeable, but are equally distressing. There have been many cuts to mental health trusts over the past five years and under the Tory government these cuts are not over yet. It is becoming harder and harder to help those who are suffering. 41 mental health trusts prepare themselves for an upcoming bleak five years, as the plans of the Tories have revealed, involve an 8% cut in funding to the trusts. Keah Joseph asks:

  • If 1 in 4 people are suffering with mental health issues within in the United Kingdom, why are the government cutting back?
  • Why are the conservatives not investing in mental health trusts and providing them with the facilities needed to help those suffering from mental illness?

Labour is introducing a fresh, new way of thinking about how to tackle the challenge of mental health within our society. Jeremy Corbyn is the first Prime minister (sic) to place mental health centre stage and recognise how much it affects so many people’s lives.

This was demonstrated on his first day which he spent attending a fundraiser for mental health. 1 in 4 people within the UK suffer a mental health illness such as depression, bipolar, anxiety, panic attacks and so on. Now that’s one quarter of our population being affected. The most common of these being a mixture of anxiety and depression. Around 10% of our population are diagnosed with depression each year.

Jeremy is stressing the importance in tackling mental health in a way no other party leader has done before by appointing Luciana Berger as shadow minister for mental health. This shadow cabinet is not only a first for specifically serving those with mental health issues it is the first shadow cabinet with a majority of women working on board.

Jeremy has informed voters that they do not have to accept inequality and injustice thrown at them; ‘things can and must change!’

redbrick logoTo read the article in full – including Keah Joseph’s interview with shadow minister for mental health Luciana Berger about her views on government stance towards mental health – go to


The Brummie aggregator site selected a thoughtful article by Matt Capaldi in Redbrick, ‘the student publication of the University of Birmingham’:


“As the Labour leadership battle comes to a head, Matt Capaldi assesses its favourite candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, and his chances to reinstate a Labour leadership in 2020 as the head of the party”.

He points out that the Scandinavian countries prove that left-wing policies can be very effective if done properly – the real problems perceived lie with gaining public trust. The writer argues that indications are that he has done this – even his most ardent opponents across the political spectrum agree that he is a kindly, honest and principled man.

More difficult will be winning over fearful colleagues in the Labour Party who place getting elected above all else and – to that end – trim their sails to the prevailing wind, convincing no-one. As Capaldi says:

“If Corbyn wins the election, there will be attempts to oust him from the inside. But, despite these difficulties, isn’t it worth a shot?”

“Corbyn could really rally up some passionate support with a more left leaning policy set, and it could be just what the Labour Party needs.

Could? He has already done this

Even if he does not win the leadership, it seems most likely that the social movement he seeks will develop . For the first time voters across the board see a hope of a change for the better – a change which is not possible with either of the mainstream parties in their present condition – and they will not lightly abandon this quest. As Capaldi ends:

“ . . . he is the only one who, in my opinion, could really do something spectacular and be the nation’s first choice, not just the least bad option. Yes, it is a risk, but I think it is one the Labour Party should take. If he can pull it off, Corbyn could win a landslide in 2020”.