Democracy is a confusing thing.

The unexpected arrival of a postal vote for the South East Region Euro Elections raised the difficult question of where to cast my ballot. But even more confusing is the array of parties.

I’d like to vote Labour, but I have to choose between them and the Socialist Labour Party. But then what if I’m feeling a bit democratic; should I pick the Liberal Democrts, Pro Democracy:, or No2EU: Yes to Democracy? Then again I’m quite a fan of the Green movement; but then I have a choice of The Green Party or The Peace Party- Non-Violence, Justics, Environment. What if I’m feeling a bit nationalist? I have to navigate my way through the British National Party, the English Democrats, United Kingdom First and the United Kingdom Independant Party. It’s all very confusing!

Were I allowed a second preference, the child in me would like to pick the elusive and secretive Roman Party. Ave!


While Facebook informed me that yet another of my old classmates has a baby, I thought about teen pregnancy and the recession. More and more young people will be leaving school to go to no jobs, where’s the incentive not to start their family early? A number of girls I was at school with aspired to this anyway; I remember one telling the careers adviser that her plan for after school was to have babies. With falling job prospects I predict teen pregnancy is going to rise… Some people will ride out the recession by getting an education, some will do it by getting kids. Hmmm…

Just a little thing

I’ve been hiding in a revision bubble for the last month or so, and as such have missed most of the expenses row. Emerged briefly to gasp for air and buy a newspaper to celebrate a relative lull in the exam timetable, only to find it still dominating the front pages.

I’m not clued up on the ins and outs of the scandal or the resignation, but on reading about Michael Martin one interesting detail stuck out. Women MPs, particuarly those elected in 1997, apparently tend to hold him in great regard for the help and advice he gave them on arriving at Parliament for the first time. As someone not quite from the establishment himself it was suggested he empathised with them and understood what it was like to be a relative outsider. I found this really interesting…

Now out of the real world and back to my bubble, five exams down, two to go.

Where have all the women gone?

When Cameron came to power in the Conservative party he promised a 30% female cabinet should he become PM. As anyone who has seen today’s Times can see, this seems rather unlikely.

As their front page points out, the vast majority of the top team are male. Women aren’t getting promoted and the candidates not yet selected from the infamous A-List are disproportionately female.

Why? Well we know the party has different ideas to Labour of women’s promotion; they don’t do all-women shortlists (which I am personally against actually but at least they’re getting the women in) and they don’t do women’s officers (something I am completely for). Women make up 51% of the population, 39.5% of their members, 16% of their front bench team and 8.7% of their MPS. Only 21% of their PPCs are female and so it’s not going to change any time soon either.

Why aren’t women getting ahead? Dave himself went to an all-boys school and hung out with the all-boy Bullingdon club rather a lot, maybe he thinks the lack of women is normal. Maybe he just doesn’t notice their absence. Maybe he’s just not that bothered… or is it unfair to blame him, is there an underlying problem deeply rooted in the party that needs to be sorted out?


Dave buys a new pair of flip flops

So I missed the budget, but ate my lunch to the dulcet tones of Dave Cameron slamming Gordon Brown. Now I know I’m not the brightest of bunnies but I did get a bit confused when he

  • Slammed the government for making cuts, then
  • Slammed the government for spending too much
  • Slammed the government for taxing the “everyman” too much, through booze and fuel duty, then
  • Slammed the government for tax cuts to the “everyman” through VAT reduction, and
  • Slammed the government for taxing very rich people to relieve the burden on the “everyman”

… Can someone please explain to me his point with the above? If you average it all out it seemed to be a rather say-nothing speech.

Budget Build Up

My housemate and I have come to the conclusion that Alaistair Darling has the worst job in the world right now. Although as she commented, at least he has one.

So, everyone holds their breath… then in a few hours time the Tories can lambast him for getting us into debt, the Liberals can say they’d have done everything so much better without justifying how, and the Greens can moan about us not having enough spare cash to cut carbon emissions by 300%, and students can weep about how unfair it was that the Government decided to try to sort out the economy and the unemployed millions rather than cancel their student debt.

I can’t take the excitement, so I’m escaping to outer space to find out how galaxies get made. See you in my next revision break!

Sam Tarry becomes chair of Young Labour

While Young Labour members from across the country gather in Gillingham I am hunched up in a Birmingham terrace trying to learn how nuclear reactors work…. But news has just come through that Sam Tarry has become the new chair of Young Labour. This is a very exciting time for the Young Labour movement and BULS would like to wish him all the best!

Congratulations also to Steph Peacock, who was returned unapposed as for a second term as the youth rep on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee. Keep up the good work 🙂