Russian Airstrikes in Syria
Russian intervention in Syria this month came in the form of airstrikes which were welcomed and condemned by both sides. Russia has been criticised for targeting non ‘IS’ targets in a bid to help their ally, Bashir Al-Assad, to use the state troops and win the civil war. American and British airstrike intervention came before the Russians however it seems that the Russians have generally been more effective than the Coalition forces. Katherine Halliday explored what the ultimate goal was for Russia in Syria in her latest feature.
Tackling High Immigration and May’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech
The home secretary, Theresa May, made immigration the centrepiece of her speech to the Conservative party conference, saying that the scale Britain had experienced in the last decade was not in the national interest. May made 3 main broad points: immigration is forcing thousands out of work; mass migration leads to the wages of some low-paid workers being undercut and that the net economic and fiscal effect of high immigration is close to zero. Some have dubbed it May’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ Speech which echoes the title given to the late Enoch Powell’s speech that he made regarding immigration to the UK.
Tata Steel Closure
Tata Steel confirmed this month that it was cutting 1,200 jobs due to cheap Chinese imports, the strong pound and high electricity costs for this necessity. A number of plate mill are to be mothballed for the time being in the hope that the market effectiveness of British steel might again pick up. One cannot deny the demand for steel still exists however one of the main issues with regards to the UK economy is its reliance on free trade and cheap imports and its inability to invest in a home manufacturing market such as shipbuilding which would, ultimately, require steel production.
Tax Credits Cuts
George Osborne, this month, revealed his plans to cut tax credits this month. The House of Lords peers voted down the movement as they thought that the Chancellor should first come up with a way of compensating workers while the cuts are made. This in itself has also lead to a ‘constitutional crisis’ as some are saying that the House of Lords has gone beyond its powers. One must understand that indeed there is a need to cut down the inflated welfare state in the UK but Mr Osborne must put in place the living wage immediately should he wish to avoid further pressure on working families.
Shaker Aamer Released
Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee at Guantanamo Bay, has been released. Aamer, 46, was incarcerated for 14 years and it has been said he will need to go through many years of rehabilitation if he is to fully recover. He currently suffers from PTSD and other psychological disorders as a result of his time in the prison. He has plans to set up a Peace Foundation to ensure others do not have the same experience.