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Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the Cash for Access Scandal

15th March 2015 | Politics

Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the Cash for Access Scandal

The Conservative MP, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, has resigned as the chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Council (ISC) after allegations of him and fellow MP Jack Straw using their positions on behalf of a nonexistent Chinese company in return for thousands of pounds had been made by the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

 

Following the publication of this allegation, Sir Malcom Rifkind, had insisted that he “did not do anything wrong” in various interviews. Speaking after a meeting in Westminster, he continued to say “No, I don’t think I did anything wrong. I may have made errors of judgement but then we all make errors of judgement. We are all human beings in that sense.”

 

This statement, angered the public even more as he attempted to get us to sympathise with him because “we are all human beings in that sense,” however, the average tax payer does not earn £67,060 a year, or a live a life of relative luxury, so therefore Rifkind failed to get the taxpayer’s empathy. Rather, this scandal has hit the Conservative Party at a crucial time, especially with the general elections being so close. The Daily Telegraph published an article which shows that Conservative MPs had outside earnings of £4.74m whereas Labour MPs earn £2.05m outside of the office. Half of Labour’s expenses were accredited through the earnings of the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. 

 

Ed Milliband, earlier this week had proposed to the Prime Minister a ban on MPs having second jobs. In his speech he said, “Let’s talk about a party bought and sold by hedge funds. A man who appointed a self-declared tax avoider as his treasurer. That is the Conservative Party. He has got one more chance. He talked big in opposition about change. He is going to be judged on the…

Boris Nemtsov, Leader of the Russian Opposition is Killed

15th March 2015 | Politics

Boris Nemtsov, Leader of the Russian Opposition is Killed

Boris Nemtsov, 55, the outspoken leader of the Russian opposition, was killed earlier this year on the 27th of February in the evening, by four shots to the back by a gunman in a passing car while walking near the Kremlin. This was just two days before he was due to appear at an opposition rally in Moscow. This caused outrage within Nemtsov supporters, with many of the more cynical ones, declaring their suspicion of the involvement of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. This is because the killing had taken place in an area of high security near the Kremlin, which would not have been possible without official involvement.  Alexei Navalny, another prominent opposition figure, accused Russia’s “political leadership” for the death of Nemtsov. In addition to that, Nemtsov’s daughter Zhanna, told CNN, “Russia has crossed the line after this murder and people will be frightened to express ideas contrary to the official standpoint.”

 

President Putin has said that everything would be done to convict to those who committed a “vile and cynical murder”.

 

Boris Nemtsov, was deputy prime minister in the 1990s and had lately been working on a report containing “proof” of the Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Over the years, he had written many reports linking Putin to corruption, especially involving his inner circle, such as the $30bn dollars of funding for the 2013 Winter Olympics which had gone missing. This claim was denied by the Kremlin.

 

Two men, Anzor Gubashev and Zaur Dadayev, both from a region in Southern Russia associated with insurgent activity, have been detained in connection with the murder of Nemtsov. One of these men was also a former police officer. The investigation is currently still ongoing, and it is not clear whether the shots these men had fired had actually killed Boris Nemtsov, and…

Should Social Media Be Used To Identify Radicalism?

20th February 2015 | Politics

Should Social Media Be Used To Identify Radicalism?

Social media has increasingly become part of our lives. Criminals too. Over the last couple of years, sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been extremely useful for the police by giving them evidence during their investigations.

A murderer was caught when he took a picture of him and the dead body on the picture app Snapchat, in addition to that, a woman who planned an attack on a wealthy man was found guilty because of the video she posted a video of them celebrating with the stolen money on Facebook, and many paedophiles have been caught exploiting children on social media. Therefore, if social media can provide the police with evidence during a trial, shouldn’t it be used more proactively to identify the plans of radicals and extremists?

Over the last couple of months, Twitter has been used to identify those men and women who travel to Syria to fight with terrorist groups, and this has been shocking to many of us. Recently, a teenage boy was found to be planning to carry out an attack similar to that of the murder of Lee Rigby. He idolised Lee Rigby’s killers and even showed his girlfriend the weapons he planned to use. What is even more shocking is that, he posted on Facebook, under the name Mujahid Karim supporting the Sharia Law and stated that he was “willing to die in the cause of Allah”. This then poses the question, why did no one report him? Why was the police not aware?

If he had not been caught on his way to carry out the attack, what would have happened? A lot of taxpayers’ money goes into the running of the MET police, so the public are expected to be safe, especially from the growing terrorism threat.…