Saturday, 23 January 2016

BlueInc-Gate pt 1

Before I start, I know that this is my first blog in a long long time and so for that I apologise, but there will be another blog explaining that soon.

So, anyone who has been in a 50km radius of me this week is aware that I was made redundant by the clothes company Blue Inc (run by A Levy and Sons). There's been outrage all over the country about the way employees have been treated (which I agree is awful, but again: another blog).

However, there has been quite a lot of confusion about the administrative side and what is actually going on. I've seen a lot of calls to boycott Blue Inc stores, which I initially agreed with, but only because I didn't understand.

So I've now got a brief idea of it all and want to share it to help others understand.

So firstly, Blue Inc WAS owned by A Levy and Sons until 14th January 2016 (according to government sources). It was then sold to another - completely separate company.

This is why Blue Inc is still trading as technically it is a completely different company. It's also why current employees have received their wages while redundant staff have not.

Redundant staff will not be getting paid because A Levy and Son can't afford to pay their wages.

SO the company everyone hates is A Levy and Son, not actually Blue Inc.

BUT I did come accross some certain information on the Compamies House website that makes this situation much more complicated.

I need to do a little more investigating before I divulge the rest of the information. I'll be back soon with a new blog to explain the FULL story and I'll hopefully talk to some people who have been affected.

The plot thickens...

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Crazy Manifestos

I know this might be hard to believe, but politics really isn't all doom and gloom. There's a lot of fun to be had in politics, and it can even be funny. The only issue is that the funny parties aren't normally that serious and probably won't make it in to power.

In the UK, there are three political parties that are commonly referred to as 'joke parties'. They are parties that don't ever expect to form a government, but create manifestos anyway, whether it genuinely is for a joke, or whether they are looking for ways to 'stick it to the man'. There are many people out there who believe that joke parties actually represent the views of the people who feel like none of the parties represent them, but that's something I'll save for another time. This is a simple, light-hearted blog.

These three parties are the Monster Raving Looney Party, the Fancy Dress Party and The Militant Church of Elvis Party, and here are some of their funniest (and in some cases, craziest) policy proposals:

1)      Make Unicorns a protected species (Monster Raving Looney Party)
2)     Save public lavatories from extinction (The Militant Church of Elvis Party)
3)     Building new schools using revolutionary inflatable classrooms, making it
easier for delinquent pupils to let the entire school down (Fancy Dress Party)
4)     Reduce the national debt by selling the castles back to the French (Monster Raving Looney Party)
5)     Use a smaller font size to automatically reduce unemployment statistics (Fancy Dress Party)
6)     Tax Payers to receive Nectar points from HMRC (Monster Raving Looney Party)
7)     Provide intelligent students with a dimmer switch, so they can stop being so bright (Monster Raving Looney Party)
8)    Abolish student top-up fees because students should be entitled to full pints the same as everyone else (Fancy Dress Party)
9)     Besides leap years, there needs to be hop, skip years (Monster Raving Looney Party)

Forget all the major parties with their practical manifestos, these ones are definitely a lot better, and no one can deny that it would be funny to see some of these become law.

I know who I'm voting for...


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Why do you not vote?

Photo: David J Dalley. Available from http://bit.ly/1GIUxB8

Politics is boring. I love politics, but I am aware it's still pretty boring.

There's no sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll in politics - just a bunch of old men in dodgy suits trying to think of the most interesting way to annoy everyone.

Young people, in particular, have become so disillusioned with politics in recent times, that many could scarcely name five of our Prime Ministers. It's probably because it's simply not cool, and talking about Big Dave or Big Ed won't exactly earn you the street cred you've always been dreaming of.

It is undeniable that the 2010 election was the best election for the Liberal Democrat Party, who then continued to form a coalition government with the Conservatives, much to much of the public's dissatisfaction. But when the Liberal Democrats failed to stop the Tories from raising the tuition fees to £9000, they lost the support of the students (who were responsible for their biggest vote share).

Politics here is nothing like America, where it really starts to get interesting, where published a book and gave out free copies, had intricate posters made and then turned into T-shirts that could be spotted over the entire globe.

It's no surprise that people in the UK can often name more US Presidents than Prime Ministers.

The Daily Telegraph ran a survey and found that 46% of people didn't know that there was an election this year, and 69% couldn't even name the Prime Minister!

Turnout for the last general election wasn't much better as only 65% of all those eligible to vote did...

If that doesn't show the public's lack of interest in politics, I'm not quite sure what does.
The fact of the matter is quite simple, people don't want to vote. It takes time out of their day once every five years - time that apparently is too important to them for them to make a difference to the society we live in.


It's something that the politicians REALLY need to start discussing, and trying to find ways to combat it, because democracy is never going to work if there is such a high percentage of people not voting.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Election campaigns or a slanging match?

Photo: Amortize. Available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/amortize/10684275/in/photostream/

As we are all aware (and if you're not, you seriously need to get out) there is a General Election on the horizon.

It that time when the politicians will literally climb over each other to get your votes, doing all they can to woo you and prove that they are worthy of that little cross next to their name on your ballot paper.

It is also a time when all forms of media are completely swamped with campaigns.
You turn on the TV and there's a party political broadcast. You turn on the radio and Nick Clegg is sprouting more promises that will probably be broken within the week. You go on to Facebook and there's people sharing UKIP posters.

It really is unavoidable, and the best thing to do, if you don't want to go mental, is to just embrace it.

I've got a serious problem with political campaigns though, and I find myself getting seriously frustrated every time I see one.

It seems as if it's virtually impossible to be successful in creating a political campaign unless you spend all your time and money slating the other politicians, rather than setting out what YOU are going to do.

Labour's party political broadcast in 2014 for the EU elections was a spoof of a cabinet meeting for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government, mainly focussing on Nick Clegg and cleverly titled The Un-credible Shrinking Man.


The spoof draws in on the decisions made by the Tory government and Clegg's reluctance to stop them and being swayed easily by what the Tories told him.

The somewhat comical sketch acts as a prime example of where the major political parties try to poke holes at the other parties, rather than show off what they want to do.

The exact same thing happens every week at Prime Minister's Questions, where Cameron and Miliband just fire shots at each other, rather than tackling actual problems that really need looking at.

Surely it would be better for everyone if the parties just focus on their own policies and spend their efforts proving to the public that they're worth voting for?

Instead, the unfortunate reality is that they're all as bad as each other and it seems they are all too immature to focus on themselves and instead need to point out everyone else's flaws.

We're one of the only countries that still does this.


It's kind of embarrassing, really. 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

How to become Prime Minister

Available from: http://bit.ly/1BHpUYv
Oh so you've read a few sites and know the basics of politics and now you want to take your knowledge further? Great. How about going the whole hog and just become Prime Minister of the UK. Here are some quick and easy steps to make your dream come true!

1) Don't worry about party lines. Yeah you're a Tory, but that doesn't matter when you're trying to win votes. Tell the people whatever they want to hear! It's not like you've actually got to carry out your promises.

2) Say whatever you want about your constituents. Gordon Brown showed how this works like a dream. So, you think some old woman is a bigot? Just say it to your driver. No one will ever need to know.

3) Make the most of your expenses. You're not going to be an MP forever. Might as well make the most of it! Why not go out and get a floating duck house? Might as well.

4) Go on a reality TV show. Recent surveys prove that going on a reality TV show will increase your chances of getting elected. Acting like a cat on national TV is a sure fire tactic. Just ask George Galloway.

5) Cut the welfare budget. The best thing to win votes is definitely to cut things that people vote for! It might sound bizarre but cutting the NHS will definitely help you win votes! People are selfish. They don't want to help each other and having an NHS system is definitely something people don't care about. You won't lose any votes, promise ya.

6) Avoid all questions ever. The trait of any successful politician is to be able to avoid any and all questions set to you. You get asked to go out for a drink? Don't give them a straight answer. Why would you want anyone to know what you're thinking?! Daft concept.

So they're my top tips on how to become Prime Minister. You can follow in the footsteps of our great leaders. You're now ready to be unleashed into the world of politics - off you go!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

How important is politics, really?

Photo: Catherine Bebbington/Parliamentary Copyright. Available from 
http://bit.ly/1wRF4Pz

You think the minimum wage should be increased? Politicians decide. You think more should be done against ISIS? Politicians decide. You want banks to be open on a Sunday? Heck, politicians even decide that too.

Anybody who knows me knows I am a tiny bit of a politics geek, which I think is totally fine and if anything is pretty useful for me , considering I want to explore a career in journalism.

Being the geek I am, when the time came round to choose my options for what I wanted to study at A-Level, Government and Politics was pretty high on my agenda. I went to a few open days, where I was repeatedly shown a video called 'If you don't do politics...' showing how politics pops up everywhere in everyday life and is completely unavoidable.

It was then that I realised that it really everywhere I looked. I was looking at things in a whole different light - every time I found myself moaning about what time the shops shut on a Sunday, or how much of my measly wage packet was being taken away by the tax man, I realised it was all politics.

Many students fall into the trap of thinking that politics doesn't affect them and it's just about old people getting their free bus passes, but they really could not be more wrong...
Politics dictates how much your tuition costs. Politics dictates how much you're going to pay for a loaf of bread. Politics will decide what jobs are available for you after you finally finish the dreaded dissertation. Politics decides whether we live in peace or war.

There is only one way to change the things that people moan about on a daily basis, and that is to realise the importance of politics and to get involved in it.

Whether you get involved in politics just by voting, or taking it a step further and joining a political party, maybe even standing to become an MP someday.


Politics gives you the power to change things, you'd be pretty stupid if you didn't grasp it with both hands. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Economy (according to students)

Photo: David Menldrey. Available from: http://bit.ly/17vuzpc


Anybody who knows anything about politics, knows that the economy is massively important. If the economy is rubbish, you aren't going to get votes. It really is as simple as that.

Something that many governments - including our own - forget is that young people care about the economy too.

If you did a survey asking people to describe a student, the term 'skint' would feature quite prominently.

Students are skint.

Over the Christmas break, I thought it would be a splendid idea to get myself a job and earn a bit more money for when I came back in the new year.

One major flaw in my (otherwise foolproof) plan was that I had to get a bus into work every day. Combining this with the fact I was on minimum wage meant that it was going to cost me more than I was set to make - at least it seemed that way.

I was mortified when I realised I was heading back to uni with £64 in my bank account. I had spend more than fifty quid getting into work, only to be terrorised by people desperate to find the best bargains in the boxing day sales.

Thinking about this made me realise that young people are completely neglected by politicians when determining economic issues, and we get no freebies and subsidies.

Old Student Finance isn't as helpful as they'd have you believe, either. My loan falls £500 short a year on my accommodation alone - apparently being in the 40p tax bracket isn't as great as it seems.

This lack of money is the exact reason why you'll see hoards of students invading pound shops and Primark stores nationwide, flashing their NUS cards at every given opportunity.

Many people out there will argue that students have no money because they go out and spend it all on alcohol. If only they knew the truth...

The vast majority of the time, us students get a bottle of Tesco value vodka (AKA paint stripper) before hurrying off to the cheapest club selling £1 drinks, which actually works out a lot cheaper than a middle age trip to the pub for 'a few'.

Students, believe it or not, are actually pretty good with the lack of money they have. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to listen to a few young people when figuring out economic policy.

Mr Osborne would never go for that though, obviously.


 

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