A report in Australia has just been released which indicts 25 SAS personnel in 39 acts of murder of civilians or prisoners of war in Afghanistan.

The government has disbanded one of four SAS squadrons and revoked 3,000 medals. In a murderous “warrior” culture, junior soldiers were encouraged by officers to kill innocents to “blood” themselves, and the patrol commanders who organised the killings covered the whole thing up.

The report has rightfully identified many structural problems but leaves the pervading military system that exists across the West (and most of the world) un-criticised.

So who is responsible for these horrific acts?

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Support for Scottish independence is growing off the back of Boris Johnson’s handling of Brexit and Covid. Liberals have been pro-devolution but anti-independence for fairly Liberal reasons to date, but has Brexit changed all of that? Is Scottish independence now more Liberal than British unionism?

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When people talk about politics, they inevitably break it down along a spectrum - with ideas and values attributed to each end of this spectrum. Social Justice on the left, respect for hierarchy on the right, etc, etc. Universal Healthcare, Wealth Redistribution and Workers Rights on the left. Law and Order, Discipline and a strong military on the right. etc etc.

Liberals often want to avoid this conversation entirely - believing (correctly, but unhelpfully) that the left/right spectrum lacks the nuance and dimensions necessary to convey what we believe, they instead seek to lecture on why the spectrum should be abandoned. "We're not left OR right - we're Liberal!", we will say (often smugly).

This just allows us to be cast in place by others: Conservatives define us as left-wing, Socialists define us as right-wing, and the public define us as centrist - as well as smug, lecturing, and devoid of any tangible values.

Liberalism is left-wing - let's consider why.

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With schools remaining open, now is probably the worst time possible to hold exams. Student stress is soaring, teachers are at their wit's end, and the system of inequality which the whole thing rests on is becoming worse as a result. I was lucky enough to have finished my A-levels this year with good grades.

Those in the years below? Not so much.

The English exam system's uniformity is both its great failure and its great success. It teaches to an exam, produces some knowledgeable students, and feeds into white-collar industries or university. But it achieves this only because of its uniformity, which the Covid crisis has thrown into chaos.

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On "Good Morning Britain" yesterday morning we listened to Nigel Farage (the British Ambassador for Donald Trump) explicitly deny that Trump talked about injecting disinfectant, and then continue to deny it after they played the video of Trump talking about injecting disinfectant.

As Liberals we can easily mock this. How could anyone listen to a word this idiot has to say?

Well, 68 million Americans (and counting) watched this kind of thing play out for the four years (four years!) of Trump's presidency. They couldn't escape it - every news channel, every Facebook feed and every Twitter stream. Pervasive, nationwide coverage.

And then they went "that's my guy" - and they went out and voted for him.

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There’s a buzz amongst Liberals and lefties of all types: Citizens Assemblies can fix our broken democracy. Green activists think an assembly will help stop Climate Change; the exciting, rebooted Social Liberal Forum wants a “Citizens Britain” with Citizens Assemblies built in to our future democracy. So-called ‘deliberative democracy’ is seen as a solution to the manipulated elections and referendums of recent years. But will Citizens Assemblies improve democracy or will they simply arm populists and ‘illiberal democrats’ with yet another opportunity for manipulation and control?

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