Podcast (ep. 18): Conservative Conference, EU Referendum and Russia in Syria

David Cameron at Conservative Conference Manchester, October 2015 by the Conservatives

After three weeks apart Jazza and Jimmy are finally reunited, and the sexual tension has never been greater.

We discuss the protests and content at the Tory party conference in Manchester, the egg slinging, the leadership posturing, the weird standing and everything in between.

We then segway seamlessly into the EU referendum campaigns being launched and how scared Jazza is of leaving, before finally, offering some interesting perspectives on Russia choosing to barge it’s way into Syria. Is it such a bad thing?

Image Credit – David Cameron at Conservative Conference Manchester, October 2015 by the Conservatives

Donald Trump tells Syrian refugees ‘they are going back’ if he becomes president

Donald Trump, CPAC 2011 by Gage Skidmore

American presidential candidate Donald Trump is continuing to spout populist policies as he tells Syrian refugees that if he takes the White House “they are going back” to the Middle East.

Speaking at a rally in New Hampshire the Trumpster claimed that the United States had “totally wiped out Iraq” and “totally destabilised the Middle East”, but went on the say that he would send back any people fleeing Syria as the country’s civil war rages on.

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Majority of Britons oppose increase of Syrian refugees migrating to UK

Syrian refugee in Lebanon by Russell Watkins-DFID

More Britons are opposed to increasing the numbers of Syrian refugees accepted into Britain than in favour of it, despite plans by prime minister David Cameron to raise the number taken in by “thousands”.

A shade over half of those surveyed by the pollster YouGov last week said they wanted the number of Syrian migrants being let into the country to remain the same, be lowered or even reduced to zero, whilst a third wanted the numbers to go up.

Should Britain admit more Syrian refugees than it has by YouGov

The continued frostiness of Britons to Syrian refugees comes even after public and press outrage at images of the dead Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi seemed to shift opinion on the matter.

Around 70 percent of those surveyed by YouGov on Thursday and Friday said they had seen the image, but only 9 percent said it had changed their opinions on migration.

Since the images broke both Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper have argued that Britain should take in more refugees, with the pair even saying they would house some themselves.

However data from YouGov indicates that immigration and asylum have become the most important political issues in British politics, having moved even further ahead of economics and welfare since the general election in May.

Important issues facing Britain immigration vs economy by YouGov

Whilst opposition to migration remains strong, around half of Britons support military involvement in Syria, Iraq and Libya, a contentious issue over the last few years owing to the unpopularity of previous Middle Eastern wars and accusations that such invasions caused the current instability.

Some 45 percent of YouGov’s respondents said Cameron had badly handled the European refugee crisis badly, compared to 27 percent who said his approach had been neutral and 21 percent who thought he had handled it well.

Though Britain remains hostile to migration its neighbour Germany is planning to spend €6bn (£4.4bn) to take in 800,000 Syrian refugees, and two-thirds of Germans surveyed by YouGov believe Britain should be following its lead.

Further details of YouGov’s survey can be found on the pollster’s website.

Image Credit – Syrian refugee in Lebanon by Russell Watkins, DFID

Reporting IS beheadings only spurs on the jihadists. We should stop it

News broke today that Islamic State (IS) terrorists have apparently beheaded the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

Should the video be verified, which seems likely at this point, it will be only the latest in a series of such killings committed to video tape. Around August last year the American journalist James Foley was murdered in the same manner, prompting the US to start a military campaign against IS.

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