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FIFA: Seven Days of Turmoil

2nd June 2015 | Politics

FIFA: Seven Days of Turmoil
I didn’t host my Wizard Radio show last weekend, but goodness, wasn’t there a lot to talk about in the news? Assisted dying, the Labour leadership heating up, banning women drivers, but most significantly: FIFA. I was sitting in none other place than News UK – the HQ of Murdoch’s media empire comprising of The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers, the latter of which comprehensively reported the extent of corruption in World Cup bids – when the story broke a week ago. Seven senior executives at FIFA had been removed from their Zurich hotel by Swiss authorities, charged by the FBI of systematic fraud and taking $150 million in bribes. As highlighted by Haaretz Economics correspondent Anshel Pfeffer, “the beautiful irony is that FIFA has been trying for decades to get the Yanks interested in soccer”, only they got the FBI interested instead of the American people.

There were already suspicions over FIFA’s venality, particularly after Russia and Qatar (the desert-dominated nation exploiting foreign workers, many of whom die building the stadiums) won the rights to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively. But this debacle marked the day that FIFA’s name was truly and officially tarnished. One of the men inculpated was Jack Warner, the ex-FIFA vice-president who faced charges dating back to the 1980s. He was caught handing out brown envelopes containing $40,000 to the Caribbean delegation as “gifts” for supporting the Qatari Mohamed bin Hammam. Though, he nonetheless does not admit a slice of guilt.

In the midst of all this, there was an election for FIFA President. The incumbent Sepp Blatter – not arrested or accused at this time – stood against the Jordanian Prince Ali, backed by many European states, including our own. Just imagine that Cameron had…

Opinion: Should the UK Abolish the House of Lords?

25th May 2015 | Politics

Opinion: Should the UK Abolish the House of Lords?

On the Sunday 24th May edition of TeenScope (with Joseph Perry), Joseph interviewed political journalist Henry Davies about the abolition of the House of Lords.

In a recent article for the website Whippersnapper, Davies called the House of Lords 'a true enemy of democracy', provoking much thought and discussion online.

Joseph wanted to know why Davies held these views, while asking TeenScope listeners if they also believed in Lords Abolition.

The results were as follow:

Here's the transcripted interview in full:

Joseph Perry: Let’s start with what you called an ‘archaic tradition’; the House of Lords. What is so ‘archaic’ about the institution?

Henry Davies: It is so old fashioned in everything about it. We have Lords and Ladies and Barons and Baronesses and, still, the hereditary side - with 92 hereditary Peers which are being phased out, but nonetheless are there. The Lords are paid £300 per day just to turn up in an attendance allowance, they don’t even have to vote, they are unelected, and the average age is about 70. So you can see where I am coming from on the ‘archaic’ side.

Joseph Perry: I can see where you are coming from, but there are lots of people who say that the House of Lords has worked well for centuries. Why is there a sudden urge to abolish it now?

Henry Davies: I have heard that point a lot actually. People say ‘well, it works - if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. But the evidence is that there has always been a will to change things. I spoke to a prominent Labour backbencher, Dennis Skinner, for my article on Whippersnapper. In 1976 he led a resolution to…

Royal Baby - Opinion 2: Republic

16th May 2015 | Politics

Royal Baby - Opinion 2: Republic

On the Sunday 10th May edition of TeenScope (with Joseph Perry), Joseph conducted an on-air, two-sided debate about the media coverage of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the latest addition to the royal household.

In the debate he interviewed Thomas Mace Archer Mills, Chairman of the British Monarchist Foundation, and Graham Smith, Chairman of Republic. The topic being questioned was whether the royal family had exploited the birth of Princess Charlotte for their own benefit.

The results were as follow:

Here's what happened during Joseph Perry's first interview, with Graham Smith, Chairman of Republic.

Joseph Perry: Let’s start with the term “exploitation”. We’re using that in our question tonight because it’s how you, personally, described the palace’s use of Princess Charlotte. Why did you use such a term?

Graham Smith: It’s simply the case that a birth is a private and personal event and the Palace always uses these private and personal events (whether it’s a birth or a wedding) to promote itself. They have a particular image that they want to promote and, specifically around these types of events, they want to reinforce two ideas: 1. They are popular and 2. They are largely harmless and it’s just a matter of the monarchy being something about celebration and events, rather than about politics and power.

Joseph Perry: Having said that, in the UK, whether we agree with it or not, there is a system of monarchy. Therefore it is important that the public see them as much as possible, isn’t it?

Graham Smith: Whether or not we seem them is neither here nor there – the point is, how are they portrayed and how do the media respond. The monarchy may want…