Saturday, 31 December 2016

TWENTY SIXTEEN

Source: Wizard Radio
The year 2016 will be remembered as the year of political earthquakes that shook the Establishment, provoked by the anger from those who feel left behind or forgotten. With the cataclysmic events of Trump and Brexit, it is difficult to forecast how 2017 will pan out. It is easy to fear the upcoming year but it is at such difficult times that unity shall prevail. Although 2017 will be an eventful year, we should remain optimistic and hopeful for a better year.

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Conservative party: the party that works for everyone. Am I missing something here?

Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference. Source: Mirror
The Tory party, notoriously known for protecting the interests of the rich and privileged in society, have somehow managed to re brand themselves as the party for the working family.
The emergence of a new populist right needs to be treated with suspicion and caution.

Theresa May's record as Home Secretary is no secret - she accepted the imposition of austerity in a period where people were already suffering financially. The argument for austerity has now almost completely diminished along with the Conservative Party's 2020 surplass target. The draconian cuts made to several welfare budgets has contributed to the general malaise felt across the country and, most likely, contributed to the revolt against the establishment with the Brexit vote - where May supposedly supported Remain. Such harmful cuts were the biggest made to government spending since WW2. The closures of A&E departments in NHS hospitals, the battle against the potentially dangerous Junior Dr's contracts and the privatisation of various sectors of the NHS were all results of the Cameron government. May, as one of the leading members of his cabinet, sat idle to such policies making her complicit in the NHS' demise. May also witnessed the rise of food banks. It is a shocking reality that thousands of British people are unable to afford the basic necessity of food. Furthermore, the decrease in benefits and the availability of benefits have also affected those who now feel 'left behind' in society. It is evident that the entire Cameron government created policies that would affect the working class and so, May's declaration that the Conservative party will be for the working family seems paradoxical.
Food Banks.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Can we remember the real meaning of the poppy?

Field of poppies.Source: Wallpapers
Remembrance Day is upon us. The time where we can quietly contemplate, remember and acknowledge the people who have lost their lives or have been impacted by war. The poppy has become symbolic of this sacrifice as it was the only sign of nature that emerged on the barren fields where soldiers fought. However, it is becoming apparent that the message of Remembrance Day has become increasingly conflicted with a nationalist rhetoric that is taking away from the meaning of the symbol.

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Why is Labour allowing for years of Tory misrule?

Source: telegraph.co.uk

The Conservative Party members were, once, viciously clawing at each other in the days following up to the EU Referendum – their party was visibly split on whether Britain should Leave or Remain. Of Tory MPs, 185 voted to Remain and 138 voted to Leave and among those 138 were 6 Cabinet Ministers (including high-profile names such as Michael Gove) and the former London Mayor, Boris Johnson. On the 23rd June the country voted against the advice of their Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron, leading to his resignation and the collapse of the entire Cameron government. It seemed like nothing could have been more detrimental to the status, popularity and legitimacy of the Tory government, until the imposition of the unelected Prime Minister Theresa May. I thought this would have been Labour’s dream come true (apart from Brexit, of course) to witness the self-destruction of the Party who they have tried to defeat since 2010. But it seems, instead, Labour also decided to self-destruct.
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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

EMPOWERING WOMEN #3: SAMPAT PAL

Sampat Pal's journey is one that is wholly unique and incredibly inspiring. After I finished reading the 'Pink Sari Revolution', written ever so beautifully by Amana Fontanella Khan, Sampat had to appear in my list of Empowering Women.
Sampat is the leader of the Pink Gang, or 'Gulaab Gang' as it is known in India; this is a gang that stands up against brutality towards women and those of a lower caste. The group encapsulates the need for women to unite and support each other and groups such as these are needed now more than ever in India.

Source:asiasociety.org
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Thursday, 14 July 2016

EMPOWERING WOMEN: BEYONCE

I am constantly looking toward other women for inspiration and strength, whether it be women I personally know or those in the public eye. With persisting inequalities for women in many aspects of life, it is even more inspiring to see one succeed and break through all that is inhibiting them.
I have decided to create a blogpost series labelled EMPOWERING WOMEN and it is exactly what it reads on the tin - a weekly post on strong females that inspire me and would also (hopefully) inspire you. 

BEYONCE

Source: brownsugarhairandbeauty.wordpress.com
I am sure it is not a surprise to anyone reading that Beyonce is the first woman to feature in this series. During an interview with Beyonce, Oprah quoted Maya Angelou and told her "You make me proud to spell my name W-O-M-A-N" and this encapsulates exactly how I feel about Queen B.
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Friday, 24 June 2016

23rd June: The day I felt ashamed to be British

Source: www.timeshighereducation.com
It feels surreal. Emotions are high. Britain is saturated with uncertainty.
I can truly say today I feel ashamed to be British.
The outcome of the EU referendum has left the world stunned as Britain embarks on the lengthy, unstable road to leaving the EU.
After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camps and witnessing the horrifying consequences of prejudice and discrimination, it is heartbreaking to watch the rejection of an institution that fights for freedom, unity and peace. An institution that is not perfect but is needed in the world, especially at a time where fascism is on the rise and an enormous humanitarian crisis of Migrants fleeing their terror-stricken countries is continuing to worsen. These problems, I feel, will only be exacerbated following the decision to leave the EU.
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Monday, 4 April 2016

Lessons from the Holocaust: Visiting Birkenau

DISCLAIMER: I have written two blog posts previously regarding the experience of visiting a Jewish Cemetery and Auschwitz. Please read these before reading this post. 

After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp, we drove and arrived at the biggest concentration camp that the Nazi's built - Birkenau.
The vast landscape of this torturous land was incredible. I could see miles of barren land and wooden shacks. I could also see the symbolic train tracks that lead into the camp - the victims had a one-way ticket to death and torture.


The bitterly cold wind rushed towards us and snow began to fall allowing us to imagine the brutality of Birkenau during the winter months. Workers would work, eat and sleep in freezing weather conditions and this led to a large number of deaths. As we walked parallel to the train tracks, we stopped at a train carriage that was used during the Holocaust to transport victims from across Europe - from countries as far away as France and Italy- to their deaths. Victims were forced to pay for full price one-way tickets and were stuffed into trains; they could experience journeys that lasted 9 days, with no place to excrete or sleep. They were truly treated like animals.



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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Lessons from the Holocaust: Visiting Auschwitz


Auschwitz is one of two concentration camps I was able to visit on my trip to Poland.
It allowed me to take a glimpse into what life was like in such torturous conditions. It did not only make the Holocaust feel raw and real, but it also taught me things that I had never known about the Holocaust. 
Once we had parked outside the camp, I was able to see rows of identical, red bricked buildings encompassed within tangled metal fences and barbed wire. There was an intense eeriness once we had entered the camp and a disbelief that I was about to enter a place where people wished they could escape.


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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Lessons from the Holocaust: Visiting a Jewish Cemetery

Through the Holocaust Educational Trust, I had the opportunity to visit Poland and the WW2 Concentration Camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau.
It was an experience like no other and one that has taught me lessons that I cannot forget.
I have separated my experience into three different blogposts - Visiting a Jewish Cemetery, Auschwitz and Birkenau. I wanted to do this so you can fully experience how I felt and what I learnt during the day without feeling overwhelmed with information. Each part of the trip was extremely important and I want to express this as best as I can.


We arrived in Poland and began our journey to Oswiecim, which was later renamed by the Nazis as Auschwitz. We were travelling to a Jewish cemetery however were not told of the significance of it until we stood among the gravestones.
Now that I have reflected upon my experience, I have recognized this to be an extremely important segment of the entire trip. This cemetery was for Jews who had lived, worked and died within this town, before the Nazis emerged into power. It symbolises the complete destruction of communities during the Nazi rule; by 1939, 58% of the population in Oswiecim was Jewish.
We discovered that during the war, many anti-Semitic individuals completely destroyed this cemetery- they ruthlessly dug up the dead bodies and wrecked most of the gravestones, using the granite for money. Following the war, the remaining gravestones that had survived were placed back in this cemetery as a symbol of the Jewish community that had lived before. Many people, including myself, immediately align the Holocaust with the death of Jews, but the cemetery allowed me to acknowledge that the Holocaust was so much more than the deaths of individuals. The Holocaust was the death and struggle of communities across the world and the impact of this is still evident today. 
As we continued to walk around the cemetery, we noticed a small hut housing a gravestone. This gravestone was for the last ever Jewish person to have lived in Oswiecim; his name was Shimson Kluger and he survived the Holocaust and died in 2000.


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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Meeting a Holocaust Survivor


The Holocaust is an event in history that has always astounded me. But it is an atrocity that I could never truly comprehend. The facts and figures have never really 'said' anything to me because I cannot believe that those statistics are real - How can eleven million people be killed during the Holocaust? That number is incomprehensible.
There are only 10 Holocaust survivors left and I had the honour of meeting one - Ziggy Shipper.
This was through the Holocaust Educational Trust, where I was able to meet a Holocaust Survivor. They organised the Seminar to be held in Canary Wharf in order to ensure every participant has a good knowledge of the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. All participants will eventually visit Poland and the Auschwitz Camp.


After some discussion of the Holocaust and the Nazi Regime during World War Two, Ziggy Shipper took to the stage and began to tell his story.
He emitted a warmth that immediately put everyone at ease as he began with a few funny remarks about his early childhood. But his story was one that was truly shocking and emotive; you could feel his pain and anguish through the words he spoke and this experience was completely different to reading a story out of a textbook. He spoke a story that was his. One that he lived and breathed through.

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Why Should You Be Involved in Politics?

Do you vote?

Voting is a human right. A right that we did not always have.
The story of the Suffragettes and Suffragists is one that truly symbolises the struggle and defiance of women who wholeheartedly believed they had a place in politics. Their relentless fight to allow women the freedom to vote truly showed their persistence, strength and integrity. But why were they indefatigable in their fight for the vote? Why did they risk their lives? 
It is simple.
If you do not vote, politicians and political parties will not represent you!
During the years where females were forbidden from voting, laws that aided to a woman's needs never became legislation as women were not a part of the electorate. In other words,  politicians did not need to gain votes from women and so disregarded the entire female species in political decisions that effected them. If you vote, politicians are more likely to introduce laws that you want as you have the power to predict their future as your local MP or Prime Minister.


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