Are Oxford and Cambridge prejudiced?

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham in North London, has recently acquired data on admissions to Oxford and Cambridge universities. It shows that the vast majority of those who get in to the UK’s two best universities are from relatively wealthy families. A disproportionate number are from London and the South East. And while ethnic …

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Abortion in Ireland: the weaknesses of the Repeal campaign.

On 25 May, Ireland will vote on whether to repeal the 8th Amendment to its constitution, which prohibits abortion unless a mother’s life is threatened. Based on opinion polling, the Repeal campaign should win. But polls have tightened in recent weeks. About a fifth of Irishmen are undecided. The result will almost certainly not be …

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How the Trump presidency has improved American politics.

It’s fair to say I think the Trump presidency has been an unmitigated disaster.  His casual bigotry, dishonesty and regressive economic policies are terrible for America, and have made the world a less stable and safe place. The most recent example of Trump’s destructiveness is his withdrawal from the Iran deal, which will only hasten …

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Are the super-rich uncaring?

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the richest part of Europe, recently held elections for the borough council. The elections were believed to be unpredictable because of a terrible tragedy that had occurred last year, where a public housing tower block called Grenfell Tower burnt down, killing 71 people. The tower burnt because it …

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Why Westchester County should vote Democrat.

Today (Tuesday),  the New York state senate has two by-elections. Should the Democrats win, New York state will be under unified Democrat control; the governor’s mansion and lower house are already blue, but the senate is still mostly Republican. One of the senate races is a safe-Democrat Bronx seat. So the only election that matters …

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War is not conservative: The hypocrisy of Trump and May

Being politically conservative is a vague, hard to define notion that depends heavily on the context in which the term is used. To be a conservative in an Islamic theocracy is very different to being conservative in a communist dictatorship or a liberal democracy. Even within a country, the meaning of conservative can change over …

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Brief thoughts on the gender pay gap

In every country in the world, men are paid more than women. In the developed world, women tend to earn around four-fifths of what men do. In the developing world, it is common for men earn up to six times what women make, particularly in conservative Muslim countries like Iran. With the latter, it is …

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Why is America miserable?

For many Americans, particularly those of a conservative disposition, theirs is the greatest country in the world. Patriotism is a far more prominent feature of American politics and culture than in Europe, with adversaries denouncing each other for insufficiently loving and caring for their country. Much of this is justified, even if European liberals find …

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Is anti-Semitism a significant problem in Britain and America?

The first post I’ve done in a long time. I’m at the busiest time of my degree, so yet again I don’t know when I’ll be able to post next. Apologies. But this is a huge issue at the moment, so I felt the need to address it.  Anti-Semitism is on the increase in both Britain …

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The joys of music in schools

Music was one of my favourite subjects at school. It gave me an opportunity to express my more creative side. I would often spend my lunchtimes in the music computer rooms, working on my compositions. I was very blessed to have some excellent music teachers, a well-funded music department, a school culture where music was …

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Should Epicureans go into business and finance?

In a modern capitalist economy such as our own, businesses and the finance sector are crucial to society’s success. We depend on businesses, banks and investment firms to safeguard our savings, help struggling companies, and in most cases, employ us. I’m generally averse to vehement anti-business and anti-finance sentiment. Many businessmen and bankers may be …

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Should Epicureans pursue competitive sport?

Epicurus believed a stress-free and communitarian lifestyle, where one tries to be friendly with as many people as possible. His teachings have informed a scepticism of ruthless competition and cutthroat business dealings here on Epicurus Today. But does the collaborative congeniality of Epicureanism prevent his adherents from partaking in competitive sport? Firstly, I think its perfectly reasonable …

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The German government and the perils of Grand Coalition

After months of negotiation following an election in September, Germany’s two main parties, the Christian Democratic Union and the Socialist Party of Germany, have agreed to form a government, subject to a vote of approval amongst SPD members. This will be a continuation of the so-called ‘Grand Coalition’ government of the CDU and SPD, which …

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The hypocrisy of libertarians

I first became interested in politics through reading books by libertarians. I read books by Richard Maybury, who amongst other things, believed that America should never have got involved with WW1 and WW2, that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional, and that heroin should be legal. However wacky his ideas may seem in retrospect, his …

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How Britain should treat Trump.

Donald Trump is by far the most unpopular US president amongst British people in living memory, and that’s a huge low considering how unfavourable George Bush was with Brits. Admittedly, part of that is post-colonial snobbery; Trump epitomises an American brashness and distinct lack of intelligence and sophistication, serving a British narrative of cultural superiority. …

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How to solve the loneliness crisis

We’ve long been concerned with the loneliness crisis here on the Epicurus Blog. Loneliness is becoming more of a problem, and not just amongst the elderly. Despite the rise of social media (or perhaps because of it), we have fewer friends, and we aren’t as close to them. Ties between neighbours aren’t as strong as …

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The two Irans

About a month ago, thousands of ordinary Iranians took to the street, protesting against the Rouhani presidency and its failures. Rouhani promised a wealthier country as a result of the nuclear deal. But for many Iranians, these supposed benefits have yet to materialise. Unemployment is high, with many students graduating from university only to find …

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Why Republicans and Democrats need to compromise on immigration.

It’s official. Yet again, the US federal government has shut down, since the bill needed to fund the government has failed to clear the 60 votes required to overcome the filibuster in the Senate. It feels like we’ve been here before, with Republicans and Democrats blaming each other for the shutdown, both sides accusing the …

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The moral cowardice of moderate conservatism in Britain.

Historically speaking, but especially since when George Bush Jr became president in 2000, British conservatives have regarded themselves as more reasonable than their American cousins. Unlike the Republicans, British conservatives have no desire to allow mass gun ownership. They firmly believe in universal healthcare, even if they want the private sector to play a role …

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