EU UK elections: discussion with Philip Cowley & reporting in South East Asia
Last week, around 51 million people across the European Union went to vote for their representatives in the European Parliament. The elections are held every five years, and across most of Europe the turnout was the highest in two decades, at more than 50%. The results are being seen as an indicator of whether the far-right populist surge has abated. And the conclusions are mixed depending which countries you look at. Overall though, the centre-right and centre-left have come under attack as the Greens and the far-right have gained significant ground. In the UK, which had a lower election turnout at just under 37%, the results provided a short sharp shock for both the Conservative and Labour parties. With us is Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics of Queen Mary University of London to talk about the election results.
In Reporters Without Borders latest World Press Freedom Index, the Asia Pacific region is described as one of the world’s deadliest regions for journalists to work. It’s the region, says the report, with the biggest number of “Predators of Press Freedom”, as journalists try to work under some of the world’s worst dictatorships, authoritarian governments and military rulers. Conditions for journalists in the Philippines are acutely bad as a result increasing efforts by the government to control the media, using a compromised judiciary imposing which has shown itself willing to impose fines and prison sentences on journalists who do not toe the government line. The Philippines is also literally a life threating place for journalists. The situation in Malaysia is less acute but journalists are well aware of the knife edge on which they operate.