Developing my political views? Watch

MrDystopia
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Since I'm new to politics I'm just wondering where most people get the news, stories and whatnot from? Any particular newspapers you read, sites/blogs/official party stuff? Currently I go through the likes of the BBC onilne, New Statesmen and The Economist.

I'll go ahead and assume we all read a range of material, not just ones that are geared towards our own political ideals. On that note, what stuff would be more pro-Labour, and likewise, against it/critical of it? I ask because I currently view myself as a Labour supporter (On the basis that I support my current MP of my constituency). I've decided to throw myself into Labour Students as a way of developing my views further (So that combined with all the general knowledge I aim to gather could either put me off Labour completely or confirm my support! ).

Any and all help is much appreciated! I'm open minded to it all so feel free to chuck anything my way. After all, I'm sure you'll all agree the best approach is just that, open minded and not blindly following something.

Just really thinking of ways to develop my views. I know they'll come in time, but at the same time it's frustrating when I know, despite my keen interest in politics, I wouldn't be able to hold my own very well in a debate

Thanks in advance everyone!
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Biblio
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(Original post by DivinityA)
Since I'm new to politics I'm just wondering where most people get the news, stories and whatnot from? Any particular newspapers you read, sites/blogs/official party stuff? Currently I go through the likes of the BBC onilne, New Statesmen and The Economist.

I'll go ahead and assume we all read a range of material, not just ones that are geared towards our own political ideals. On that note, what stuff would be more pro-Labour, and likewise, against it/critical of it? I ask because I currently view myself as a Labour supporter (On the basis that I support my current MP of my constituency). I've decided to throw myself into Labour Students as a way of developing my views further (So that combined with all the general knowledge I aim to gather could either put me off Labour completely or confirm my support! ).

Any and all help is much appreciated! I'm open minded to it all so feel free to chuck anything my way. After all, I'm sure you'll all agree the best approach is just that, open minded and not blindly following something.

Just really thinking of ways to develop my views. I know they'll come in time, but at the same time it's frustrating when I know, despite my keen interest in politics, I wouldn't be able to hold my own very well in a debate

Thanks in advance everyone!
How old are you?
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felamaslen
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No! Avoid all party politics, it's screwed up. Just read the most unbiased news you can get. Obviously there will always be some bias, so try to read a few news sources, don't stick to one. The BBC, Reuters, Independent etc. all come to mind. The most important thing is not to be affected by political memes, which are self-propagating viruses of the mind, making people cling to life-long held beliefs based on no evidence and mere emotion or tradition. Believe what is right, not what is correct.
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MrDystopia
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19, which in itself is annoying slightly. I can probably reel off a list of views that would be similar to most uni students around the country ~_~
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Biblio
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(Original post by DivinityA)
19, which in itself is annoying slightly. I can probably reel off a list of views that would be similar to most uni students around the country ~_~
What subjects have you studied? Have you studied economics? history.. maybe even politics? before
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MrDystopia
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(Original post by Biblio)
What subjects have you studied? Have you studied economics? history.. maybe even politics? before
Only history as far as GCSE, but I adore reading everything and anything about it outside as a hobby. All my A levels were sciences and maths, and I currently study medicine at Uni.

Which makes things slightly more difficult :P
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Biblio
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(Original post by DivinityA)
Only history as far as GCSE, but I adore reading everything and anything about it outside as a hobby. All my A levels were sciences and maths, and I currently study medicine at Uni.

Which makes things slightly more difficult :P
Hmm well, I think the best way to understand politics is to get a basic grasp of the issues behind it..

These books should be a good read:

'Capitalism and freedom' - Milton Friedman

'The Good Society' - JK Galbraith

A quick flick through an AS economics textbook might also be useful. I don't want to come across as patronizing but gaining a basic grasp of economic theory got me into politics as I could now engage in debates much more easily.
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Biblio
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Maybe even read Marx if you want? you don't haave to just read consensus politics, then read a critic of marx afterwards.
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WarriorInAWig
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I use BBC News, Al Jazeera, LBC, Granada Reports, my local paper and people may scoff but I actually like 4chan /pol/ section. Once you get past the blatant lunacy and conspiracy theory of some of the posts, there can be some links that make you re-assess things and think of stuff from other viewpoints that you wouldn't normally do. It helped me understand the Trayvon Martin case a bit better and how I feel about the Middle East (Why are we on anyone's side there? Encourage them to talk, just don't arm either of them.)
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Nadheer_Ishak
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(Original post by felamaslen)
No! Avoid all party politics, it's screwed up. Just read the most unbiased news you can get. Obviously there will always be some bias, so try to read a few news sources, don't stick to one. The BBC, Reuters, Independent etc. all come to mind. The most important thing is not to be affected by political memes, which are self-propagating viruses of the mind, making people cling to life-long held beliefs based on no evidence and mere emotion or tradition. Believe what is right, not what is correct.
Lol, "read the most unbiased news you can get" and then goes on to recommend the left leaning BBC and Independent.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Nadheer_Ishak)
Lol, "read the most unbiased news you can get" and then goes on to recommend the left leaning BBC and Independent.
You can choose your own. The Telegraph and Spectator are probably worth a try if you want more right-leaning news. By the way, there are some awful articles in all newspapers (some more than others obviously), including the Independent, Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Mirror, Times, Spectator etc. Admittedly my choice of recommendations were all left-leaning but that's because I'm naturally a left-leaning person when it comes to a lot of issues. The point I was trying to make was more to read widely, than what exactly to read.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Biblio)
Maybe even read Marx if you want? you don't haave to just read consensus politics, then read a critic of marx afterwards.
Might as well go the whole hog and delve into Fascism too. I mean, it's responsible for less misery... slightly.
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Biblio
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(Original post by felamaslen)
Might as well go the whole hog and delve into Fascism too. I mean, it's responsible for less misery... slightly.
Marx was wonderful don't diss
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felamaslen
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(Original post by Biblio)
Marx was wonderful don't diss
His ideas certainly were not.
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tntn1010
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I study Economics and Government&politics...i suggest that you set up a separate Twitter account only for following news/politics/economics pages. In that way when you're scrolling through the TL, you can see politics and news stories from different sources all at once (hope that makes sense)
Follow accounts like UK Parliament, House of lords, House of commons, Guardian Politics, The Economist, BBC Politics, BBC News...just search for any you like and there should be one!

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STBUR
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(Original post by DivinityA)
19, which in itself is annoying slightly. I can probably reel off a list of views that would be similar to most uni students around the country ~_~
Oh dear, another lamb to be conditioned for his own slaughter by the Labour traitors.

I will ask you one thing. Why would you associated yourself with a political party that deliberately and covertly implemented cynical policies of mass immigration to systematically fracture our unity in this country for political advantage? And then used used false economic arguments to poo-poo the harsh social consequences? A party that lied about that and who recently (because they believe nothing can be done to counter it today) have admitted to this betrayal?

Jack Straw, Lord Mandelson and others have admitted that Labour deliberately sought out non-European immigrants to fragment the social structure of the UK. They did this (this is my opinion) because Labour struggled to maintain voters in an era of plenty; cheap cars, well paid, steady work. The workers class wasn't that interested in their rhetoric.

Before you hitch your wagon to these guys do yourself a huge favour and read the book the Diversity Illusion by Ed West. It traces the beginning and ideology behind immigration/diversity up to the current day and highlights the individuals, speeches, events that shaped the situation the UK finds itself in today. Far reaching effects such as the creaking NHS, mismanagement benefits system etc.

If after reading that you can honestly say you can still associate yourself with them... I will be surprised.
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chrisawhitmore
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(Original post by DivinityA)
Only history as far as GCSE, but I adore reading everything and anything about it outside as a hobby. All my A levels were sciences and maths, and I currently study medicine at Uni.

Which makes things slightly more difficult :P
An expensive but fun thing to do might be to get hold of a game called Democracy 3 (it's on steam or positech.com).

It's a government simulator, where you have to run the country and decide on policies while sorting out problems and trying to keep enough of the people happy enough to win the next election and avoid assassination (if you really annoy a group, they will come gunning for you, for example I banned teaching creationism, made abortions available on demand, defunded faith schools and legalised gay marriage in a USA game and was promptly shot by fundies).

You'll find yourself making compromises and supporting policies you don't agree with just to get yourself re-elected, and you can get some good insights on real world government by seeing if they're doing the same.
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Davij038
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For me Comedy opened me up to Politics, depending on how easily offended you are I would strongly recomend everyone watching some of American Comedian Doug Stanhope who just puts everything from nationalism to drug control into perspective, I don't agree with everything he says but he's taught me a lot more than most of university has so far (1st year Pol and Int Rel student).

I am also strongly left wing but I would also argue The Guardian is just as biased as the Mail and would again give the Independent (Or the i) my newspaper vote.

Don't support Labour just because they're the most accessible "left wing" party (They're really not left wing at all, despite what Miliband says) only sign up to a party who you truly agree with. I don't think the greens have a chance in hell of coming in to power in 2015, but I will still vote for them. Signing up to Labour just cos they're not Tory is strategic voting, which in my view is stagnant voting.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by DivinityA)
Since I'm new to politics I'm just wondering where most people get the news, stories and whatnot from? Any particular newspapers you read, sites/blogs/official party stuff? Currently I go through the likes of the BBC onilne, New Statesmen and The Economist.

I'll go ahead and assume we all read a range of material, not just ones that are geared towards our own political ideals. On that note, what stuff would be more pro-Labour, and likewise, against it/critical of it? I ask because I currently view myself as a Labour supporter (On the basis that I support my current MP of my constituency). I've decided to throw myself into Labour Students as a way of developing my views further (So that combined with all the general knowledge I aim to gather could either put me off Labour completely or confirm my support! ).

Any and all help is much appreciated! I'm open minded to it all so feel free to chuck anything my way. After all, I'm sure you'll all agree the best approach is just that, open minded and not blindly following something.

Just really thinking of ways to develop my views. I know they'll come in time, but at the same time it's frustrating when I know, despite my keen interest in politics, I wouldn't be able to hold my own very well in a debate

Thanks in advance everyone!
To make it short and sweet..

Newspapers..

Guardian
Telegraph
Times

Financial Times
Economist

As you know i'm right of center myself however i like to get a range of perspectives and consider the quality of an article (i.e. is it factual or spouting crap like the Mail/Express). The Guardian and Telegraph certainly have leanings however i can't recommend them enough as mainstream sources because they are generally good quality articles that are factual.

TV..

Quite simply the BBC and Sky News for politics will give you a mainstream but divided prospective (neither is that bad on most issues) however for more economic material i recommend a good hour per day of the following..

http://www.bloomberg.com/tv/

High quality, slight republican lean but excellent coverage.

Books..

Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations (highly recommended by... everybody)
Hayek - The Constitution of Liberty
Machiaveli - The Price (considered a good parable for Brown vs Blair)
Adam Fergusson - When Money Dies (will give you nightmares about hyperinflation for weeks)
Marx - Communist Manifesto
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Cylos
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As mentioned above, do not start out devoted to a political party. Research the basics, work out where your views lie the most. Try this website for getting a rough estimation of where you fall on the political spectrum:
http://www.politicalcompass.org/
Whilst it is not effective for total ideological clarity, it can give you a rough estimation of where you lie. Don't listen to our prejudice, research these things for yourself, read books from all backgrounds and when you find an ideal, individual or a group that lies close to yourself be prepared to read those who disagree with those views.
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