The Living Wage, Smart Drugs and Unrest in North Africa

23rd January 2013

In this week’s episode of The Big Picture the team kicked off with a debate on The Living Wage – is it the way to tackle poverty and inequality, is it feasible to enact, and even if it were enacted would it do the good it purports to? The panel also discussed whether the SU’s commitment to introduce a Living Wage for University of Nottingham employees could amount to anything, given that ultimately it is the University, and not the SU, who control salaries and funding.

With exams continuing to cast their shadow over University life, the panel next discussed the rise in the use of smart drugs, such as Ritalin and Modafinil, amongst students across the country. We speculated as to the reasons for the smart drugs phenomenon, and whether it would lead to mandatory drug testing at Universities. The panel also explored the possible long-term effects and side effects that could result from a dependency on smart drugs for academic achievement.

Finally, the growing unrest in the Sahara and Maghreb were put under the spotlight. In the wake of a hostage crisis at an Algerian gas works, and with French troops entering Mali to support the government there against Islamist rebels, the panel debated whether a new front had opened in the Global War on Terror, or whether Western intervention merely represented neo-imperial ambitions. The panel also discussed the economic situation in North Africa underlining the ongoing unrest.

Thanks to all who listened and texted into the studio.