Tag Archives: Politics

The Typewriter

3 May

Today, on 3rd May 2013, in celebration of the World Freedom Press Day, we present to you ‘The Typewriter’ – an online publication aiming to provide news editorial and opinion pieces from the local perspective. In this age of globalisation and sophisticated information technology, there still exists a disconnect between what is being reported by international media outlets and what is actually happening on the ground. We believe that the Typewriter is a way to rectify the situation. Further, by providing the world with our own thoughts and having the world to read our opinion pieces, we believe that this can be a part of a bigger movement to encourage global awareness and global citizenship.

The Typewriter will also act as a platform to provide the voice of common sense politics. For far too long, nearly everything in the world has been subjected to unnecessary political labeling. An idea proposed to the public is no longer just an idea anymore – it has to be pin pointed and fixated along the political spectrum. From now on, an idea will always be either liberal or conservative, either left wing or right wing, either progressive or old-school. Such ‘ideological anchoring’ gradually took over the centre-stage of policy-making and replaced the notions meritocracy, rational thought and common sense. Politicians from different parties find it increasingly difficult to cross to aisle and reach a reasonable compromise, for that might affect their job security. Being a moderate politician nowadays makes one look soft, undecided and disloyal to one’s political party. Media outlets are becoming more afraid than ever in losing their base audience when they try to be less partisan when reporting the news.

Many of us seemed to forget that the spirit of democracy celebrates the multiplicity of ideas and the existence of a forum for these ideas to be critiqued, looked over and transform into the best available solution for the situation concerned. This can only be done through constructive discussion, sincere dialogue and the willingness to listen to each other. We hope that the political commentary pieces in the Typewriter will remind readers, politicians and the general public of this from time to time.

Be not mistaken, this is not strictly online journalism. We are here to express our opinion about the world, not to report what is going on in the world. Considering how politically anchored media outlets are in this age of time and yet how desperate they are in trying to portray themselves as being unbiased, whilst masking their political agenda by handpicking which news to report and deciding on how it is reported, we prefer to just speak out in the most honest and direct way possible.

We sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading our articles. We also hope that this will allow readers from all across the globe to know just a little more about each other’s country, cultures, worries and problems. Perhaps some day we can all start to care for each other a little bit more, regardless of our apparent differences.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Typewriter/151452475018990?group_id=0
Twitter: @Typewriter_OpEd


The G8’s Challenge of Inclusivity

12 Apr

Once again, all eyes will be on the United Kingdom this summer as the UK hosts the Presidency of the G8 2013. However, as opposed to the cultured gathering of 204 nations, the G8 hosts an invite-only party of eight to Lough Erne, Northern Ireland. Yet the G8 isn’t likely to be as warmly welcomed to UK as were the Olympics. The G8 has been long criticised for being irrelevant, out of touch and far too limited in its selection excluding the likes of China, Brazil and India. Will this exclusive group of the world’s leading nations achieve more than mere round-table murmur to present feasible solutions to the most pressing global issues of today?

The first area of exclusivity of the G8 is represented in its limited nature as a party of eight. Made up of mainly Western nations and Russia and Japan, the G8 does not so much represent anymore the most powerful nations in the world with the exclusion of the BRIC countries bar Russia. However, there is a continuing global importance of the G8 members. The UK, USA, Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan collectively represent half of the world’s GDP, emphasising the ever growing importance of economic power on the global stage.

Even so, the G8 must extend its inclusiveness to allow for increased representation as well as greater support for frameworks and solutions outlined by G8 Ministers as a response to current global issues.The G8 ought to extend an invitation to Brazil, China, India , Mexico and South Africa as part of Outreach 5 to be able to move beyond the criticism of exclusivity and establish real frameworks and goals to achieve real global change.

The second area of exclusivity that must be addressed is the extent to which the agenda for this year’s G8 has been dominated by economic related issues, leaving little to be said for global issues such as the continuing instability in the Middle East, the growing threat of North Korea, the horrific stories of sexual violence in conflict from Syria to Somalia and the growing concern of climate change.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, David Cameron outlined his priorities for the UK’s G8 Presidency in largely economic terms keeping well in line with the roots of the G8. Mr Cameron has established the priority of the G8 in relation to the global economy by using the Presidency to focus on advancing free trade, tackling tax evasion and avoidance and establish greater transparency of the development agenda.

It would be much more feasible for Mr. Cameron to leave the economic agenda to the G20 that was established as the body of the world’s strongest economies to discuss and deliberate on matters of finance and economics. The role of the G8 was not and is not exclusive to economy and trade. There are a plethora of global issues that need to be discussed. By establishing the agenda of the G8 in terms of economics, it leaves far less room to discuss other global priorities.

This is not to say that discussing the global economy is not necessary, especially as the world currently undergoes an economic crisis. However, the scope of global priorities must extend beyond economic issues to address Human Rights, food shortages affecting Sub Saharan Africa and ongoing conflict in the Middle East and Far East Asia. We ought to leave the economics to the G20, while the G8 refocuses their concerns to those mentioned here.

The main issue that ought to top the agenda for this year’s G8 is Human Rights. As conflict rages on in Syria, the Congo and many other parts of the world, Human Rights must be upheld in the G8’s discussions and be the framework upon which global policies are created and implemented. Amnesty International has voiced this very concern urging the G8 leaders to ‘ensure that respect for universal human rights will be the hallmark of their deliberations and decision-making in 2013.’

Though Mr Cameron has not explicitly stated for Human Rights to be an utmost priority for the G8, Foreign Secretary William Hague and his fellow G8 Foreign Ministers have their priorities in much better order, having already discussed a range of issues far broader than the official economic based agenda, including the situation in the Middle East, political stability across North and West Africa, gender based violence and climate change and rightly so. The priorities outlined by the Foreign Ministers will discuss Sexual Violence in conflict, a vital Humans Rights issue to be considered, as part of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative  with NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children. Sexual violence is not only an issue faced by developing countries and therefore must be seriously tackled by the G8  countries in relation to their own country’s issues and broader implications of sexual violence in conflict.

We ought to applaud this effort of inclusivity by the Foreign Ministers to move the discussion beyond the global economy by discussing Human Rights issues in relation to Preventing Sexual Violence as well as the other priorities outlined of the Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition, security in cyberspace, Somalia and Burma. If the G8 prioritises these issues, as well as climate change and reaffirming its commitment to international aid and development, the exclusivity question can and will be answered with positive frameworks and progressive change coming directly from the world’s key players.

Man is by nature a political animal.

5 Jun

One of the greatest Philosophers of all time characterised the nature of man.

‘Man is by nature a political animal.’

The Greeks knew politics, they invented the basis for modern democracy. So Aristotle’s words ring true, for all of us. Politics is in our nature. Whether we like it or not. Instilled in all of us, is a desire and a want to have some sort of say in the decision making process that affects our society. Whether that be by running for President, voting, or even by voicing your opinions on a social network, We all have an intrinsic need to let people know what we think and why.

Why though, are some of us more vocal than others? The answer to this is specific to each of us. Some of us go through academia, some through grassroots programme and others like to have their tuppence worth in the comments section of The Independent online

I decided to pursue a career in politics, because they said I couldn’t. Simple. When I decided to study Politics and International Relations at University, the most asked question was ‘Why don’t you become a Dentist/Doctor/Insert-medicine-related-field-here?’ Instead of rethinking my decision, it just made me firm in my decision. That regardless of being a double minority (Muslim and Indian) and a woman, I will be able to pursue a degree and a career in International Politics.

Since beginning my degree, countering stereotypes has been my main focus. Since September 2001, I feel as though, and I’m sure many other Muslims do too, I have become a walking, talking stereotype. So engaging in Politics, for me, is a serious way to counter stereotypes of Islam as are seen today. Religion and politics have become inextricably linked and it is vital that those of us that identify as both political and religious use any available platform to discuss and counter such stereotypes.

And finally, the ‘You’re a woman’ comment. I’ve learnt to let that one slide. I know my gender is not a weakness and it will never prevent me from doing what I love. If someone else can’t see that, well that’s just their loss.

Man is by nature a political animal. So is a woman.

Not much of a writer, but let’s see how this goes…

4 Jun

I’m a talker. Never have been much of a writer. My ideas are best expressed through my words.

However, oftentimes, ideas and thoughts can be lost within seconds of being spoken. The best of thinkers write their thoughts down. Scribble a few notes on paper, on a napkin, on the back of a hand or two. Keep from them being lost forever.

So, I’ve decided maybe I should start putting pen to paper. Or rather, words to a page, (I’d almost certainly lose the pen and paper by the end of the day). I usually have a lot to say, so I’d like to express them to the world. Whether the world wants to hear it or not. I’d like to think it does, but then, there’s a lot like me who want to change the world with their ideas. But let’s start small. Babysteps.

I mainly talk Politics and Religion. Maybe a few other ideas that may cross my mind, but the capacity of my mind usually fills up quite fast. My thoughts are my own, unless referenced otherwise. My ideas are my own. You’re welcome to disagree ofcourse, as long as you respect my opinions like I will respect yours. Mutual respect and the world’s a happy place, right? So let’s see how this goes..