Social Justice – a fundamental change in British Politics

I spoke recently about what I thought was a need to celebrate the UK’s new female Prime Minister, Theresa May. Last night Queen Elizabeth confirmed and coronated the countries second female leader in a traditional and historic fashion with the ‘kissing of hands’ and retuned from the palace as First Lady of the Treasury and Prime Minister.

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Continue reading Social Justice – a fundamental change in British Politics

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The Glass Ceiling; finally shattered?

Here in the UK I am proud to say that my generation (big up the 90s!) will finally see a female Prime Minister. Love her or hate her Mrs Thatcher was the first UK PM and until tomorrow was the last. Yesterday’s events saw the UK government announce another female PM after the leadership battle which saw a campaigns from 7 candidate (five men, two women) come down to just two ladies going head to head. Whatever your views on Leadsam vs. May,  the UK was on the brink of yet another female leader.TM4MP

Achieved without a mandatory gender quota or with an all-female short list, (arguably) the cream rose to the top. Does this mean then that the patronising men-hating academics who have forever argued women can only make it big is by sleeping with the boss or patronising women- shortlists are now out of work?

In British politics its great news for the ladies. First Minister of Scotland, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, the leader of the Scottish Labour party, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, leader of the Greens and the leader of Plaid Cymru are all women.

A3 female contender has challenged for leadership of the UK labour party, Angela Merkel is leading the germans, Marine Le Pen is giving France all she’s got and Hillary is waving the flag across the pond.

In 2016, women in the West have smashed that glass ceiling!

Let us not give up here. There are plenty of women out there across the world who could do amazing things but sadly they don’t have the opportunities because they haven’t been allowed. Easten Europe and many Arab countries still see far more oppression than we ever did here in Britain.

You  could argue that a girl born in Brittain today will have far more opportunities discarding her gender than one born in the champagne.jpg80’s or 90’s, which I think is just fantastic.

But please, for now, can we celebrate how far we have come in the UK and many other parts of the world in that women are now trickling through into positions of power and finally being recognised for their ability rather than their fertility.

Should English Language tests be more widely introduced to immigrants?

This week our Prime Minister announced that tighter control was being put on those who fail to learn English after coming to Britain. Mr. Cameron spoke specifically on Muslim women and spouse visas but I think the scheme should run out to every single person on any form of visa or at any stage in the immigration process. I can’t even comprehend the counter argument to this. I’ve talked about immigration before and the acceptance of the values and expectations of having a different home country in my post about Angela Merkel, so in many ways it’s the same argument. If you come to live in the UK you should have a basic understanding of our language and our customs. The national news showed a group of women who had been living in the UK as a British citizen for anything from 45-58 years. None of them spoke any English.

Continue reading Should English Language tests be more widely introduced to immigrants?

Sustainable Development Goals #GlobalGoals2015

This week 193 of the worlds leaders are meeting all in one room to agree on 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the world. This moves on from the Millennium Development goals which sets out aims and objectives for the next 15 years. It is an interesting time to be a part of these happenings right now and an interesting time to be a part of this kind of politics.  Sustainable Development goals are something we can’t over look, something that EVERYONE has an opinion on and something that needs talking about.

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Never talk about Religion or Politics…so who do I ask?

I don’t know.

A rule of etiquette –in business, at the dinner table, in the hairdressers etc—is “never talk about religion or politics.” These subjects are highly contentious and usually result in heated arguments and awkward silences. In England I work in British politics. I have done since I finished university. Its the only thing I have been trained as an adult to do so as you can imagine it tends to be the topic of conversation at most of my business meetings, dinners and general conversations upon telling someone what I do for a living. First dates pivot on the topic and from my experience if you date someone who does the same job theres no escaping it and if you date someone detached from it they never understand quite how demanding the job actually is. You do loose most Saturday mornings, there is always at least one late night meeting each week and a black tie dinner at least once a month. thingsnottotalkaboutonyourfirstdate-nevertalkaboutpoliticsandreligion

So my plea is to you. How does the Dutch Political System work? Nobody has ever explained it to me and I wouldn’t know who to ask, my Dutch friends aren’t really that actively involved to answer the questions I have. I’ve seen this booklet Politics in the Netherlands 2013 and had a flick through but its very complex and not all that an inspiring to read. Do you know any good blogs that explain it (in English obviously), or any idiot friendly websites? All I understand of Dutch politics is that it is complex, the Monarchy are actively involved, at least a little more than ours, they are more involved in the European Parliament than we are and there are lots of ‘Kamers’!

Can you help?