2020 was a quiet year for electoral politics in Britain for fairly self-evident reasons. But due to last year’s delayed local and regional votes, next month is set to feature a bumper batch of polls.
While numerous local elections for local councils and police commissioners are being held in various places across the country, more eyes will be drawn to the likes of the Scottish and Welsh Parliament elections.
In Scotland, five parties leaders from the SNP, Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and the Scottish Greens clashed in a debate on Tuesday – while former leader Alex Salmond has created a stir with his new found pro-independence party Alba. The result of this election will likely decide whether a fresh Scottish independence referendum will take place, depending on the pro-independence side’s ability (or lack thereof) to garner a parliamentary majority.
Meanwhile in London, no less than 20 candidates are set to appear on the ballot to decide the capital’s mayor. Incumbent Sadiq Khan remains the runaway favourite in the race, but no doubt many observers will keep a keen eye on the performance of some of the smaller and more eccentric candidates.
A couple of by elections to the national parliament are also on the horizon – with the election in the northern constituency of Hartlepool routinely being hyped as a potential bellwether. This vote will take place with the other local polls on May 6, 2021 – while a second by election in Scotland’s Airdrie and Shotts is set to be held on May 13.
Prime Minister Imran Khan recently called for for tougher anti-rape measures in Pakistan – including chemical castration as a punishment for certain offenders.
But Dr Amina Yaqin, a reader in Urdu and postcolonial studies at SOAS University of London told Redaction Politics reporter Josie O’Brien: “While chemical castration sends out a strong message about change and making society safer for women, there is a need to understand how familial power can contribute to oppression and work in tandem with caste and class hierarchies that normalise sexual violence across Pakistan.”
Protesters have taken to the streets of Britain against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – and our reporter Declan Carey looked into how it could affect Traveller communities.
Campaigner Luke Smith said: “We suffer some of the worst poverty and deprivation in the country, God knows how they think this is going to make their outcomes any better.”
ONE FOR THE GAMERS
Mason Quah took a look at the political simulation game Suzerain, writing: “The game shines in its writing and worldbuilding. The game’s narrative is highly focused on President Anton Rayne, and the decisions that must be made to reform a broken nation. At the same time the game offers choices oriented towards Anton as a husband and father.”