Wednesday, 25 May 2011

My Relationships with the American Presidents

I am so excited that President Barack Obama is in London as I write this post. Central London is so vibrant with cheering crowds urging him on as his motorcade drives by. There is a constant buzz of a helicopter hovering over the area where I live which is in central London.

I have been looking back to when I was 4 years old. George Bush came to London and my mother and I went to see him. I was still in a buggy and I held a placard with a very badly drawn poster which I did myself saying 'Bush Out'. This was about the war which America had started against Iraq. Unfortunately, George Bush did not see my poster as his 'Beast' limousine car drove by because I was very little. I used to stand on the sofa whenever Bush was on TV and yell 'Bush Out'. 

During the last presidential elections I supported Hillary Clinton's nomination  and was disappointed when she lost. I admire the way she has done motherhood and being a high flying career feminist woman.

When Obama came to London in 2009 I was standing outside Buckingham Palace waiting to see him. When his motorcade came by I caught a glimpse of him and Michelle Obama. It was an uplifting experience because he was the first Black president who had just been elected. The buzz and the excitement of the crowd was just amazing. People were cheering and clapping. It made me realise that I too could try and aspire to great things in life. Michelle Obama went to Oxford University today and demonstrated what a progressive woman she is. She encouraged some girls who come from ordinary backgrounds to aspire to go to Oxford.

Going back to that day when I first saw Bush, my mother and I went and had a hot chocolate afterwards. I was really tired out but excited. Aaaah memories!
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Monday, 16 May 2011

Why is Liberal Youth important?

I wrote this for http://libertinezine.blogspot.com/ which is the discussion forum site for Liberal Youth. Please show your support for the youth of our party by visiting this site.

 
Why does politics seem so far away from the youth’s problems of today? This is the question that I ask myself when I see young people hanging around in the park, on the streets and in shopping centres looking aimless.

Yet, last year we saw thousands of students demonstrating against the rise in tuition fees. There was fury in the air and they had an aim-to get the Government to leave the cap as it was. These demonstrations were a rare display of mass youth participation in politics and showed that youth do have the ability to give an opinion on political subjects. This is the paradox of youth politics.

So, how do we get the youth to participate in politics? Last year during the general election my house was used as a campaign base for our local candidate. There were dozens of youth who came from Goldsmiths University and other places to help out. For many of them this was the first connection they had made with politics. One of them who didn’t have a job or a college place even said that helping to campaign gave him a purpose to get up in the morning. I saw how these young people were really passionate about getting involved.

How do we sustain this interest so it doesn’t happen only once every five years? I can offer ideas about the under 16s because I am 11 years old. Holding political awareness days at schools would be a good start. Children get really excited when there is a day that takes them away from the normal routine of schoolwork so the children will be really happy to get involved in these political days. The problem will be that the interest will not continue beyond the day and the children will not keep in touch with politics. My suggestion is that we give the school little packs of information which the children can take away and look at. If we include a little key ring or a toy, that will increase their interest and motivation level. Children normally see politics as being boring so if we can do anything to make them more interested then that must be done. At conference I walk around the exhibition halls myself picking up freebies so I know what I am talking about.

For the over 16s we need to talk about how Liberal Youth needs to energise young people because after the bad AV and local elections defeat we need a progressive movement badly. This is where the youth can play a strong part in politics. A progressive movement is important to youth today because the economy has produced inequalities like fewer jobs for young people, unpaid internships and university option.



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Saturday, 7 May 2011

Rally Together-First Day of Fightback

'I am angry because you lied and got my vote and then delivered policies without mandate. Voted LibDem all my life-now have joined Labour.' -Quote taken from a Twitter post on 6 May.

This, basically, sums up why we were delivered a 'bitter blow' by the electorate. Fistly and foremostly, my heart goes out to the approximately 700 councillors who have lost their seats eventhough they have worked tirelessly for many, many years. Some of these councillors have been in their seats for decades. They paid the price for our Coalition policies despite the fact they are wonderful and hard working ordinary folk just like the electorate.

I think our party paid the price for the u-turn on tuition fees. Harriet Harman said: 'Young people don't want tuition fees'. It's not often that I agree with Labour but I do here. Much as I understand about the tuition fee rise most people don't get the argument about the debt problem and the link to university fees. Also, it may not have been just about money but that the trust between the Lib Dems and the people has been broken. How do we recover this trust? It could take a very long time.

I am worried that it seems that the Conservatives have escaped the punishment and brutal force of the public's opinion and Lib Dems have taken the knocks. Some have referred to our party as the 'protective shield' for the Conservatives. We aren't being seen as a strong force in the Coalition. Lib Dems are being seen as the party that goes along with everything. This is not true but the way people view it is important because it is the public/them who decide our fate in the end.

This is what the party should do to recover:
1. Increase gender participation immediately. Many councillors were women and we may have lost this base badly. Show the people that we are a party for everyone who wants equality, community and fairness.
2. Increase race participation. Even the Conservatives have more BMEs than us. I keep banging on about this point. In this way we reach out to a diverse community.
3. At party conferences, Nick Clegg -please say hello to the ordinary members who attend this conference time and time again and support you. This is the foundation base of our party and we have lost enough. Show support, raise spirits and make people feel a part of the party's recovery. A leader needs his troops and he needs strong troops.
4. Liberal Youth - please support them more. Give them a strong voice. The Labour party has the Young Fabians (which I am a member of) and the time and effort put in to them is tremendous. Next time we should have Liberal Youth explaining about tuition fees and how the party is important to young people.
5. Vince Cable and Chris Huhne have pushed the boundaries out far to point out that we are not acting as protectionists to the Conservatives. We are in government to do something. Let's run with them.

Nerves of steel - that's what we need to fight back. I was too depressed yesterday to blog but I realise today that we need to get on. Four more months to the Autumn Conference at which we really need to make a BIG impact and show people what we are about and why we are in power. Nick-get out there and start smiling and talking to grassroots people.




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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Osama mistreated women and children but will it stop now?

I was awake when the news of Osama Bin Laden's death came through. It was about 3.30am in the early hours of Sunday. The reason I was awake was because my mobile phone was beeping (low battery). My mother was wakened too and turned on the TV. We were stunned. My first thought was for the women and children who lived in fear of being harmed by Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda have been using women and children with learning difficulties or disabilities as suicide bombers. In January 2005 in Iraq Al Qaeda used a child with Downs Syndrome to carry out a suicide attack at a polling stations which left more than 40 people dead.

In March 2005 Al Qaeda placed a bomb in a car with two children in the back seat.  U.S. soldiers saw the children and became less suspicious so they let the car through a Baghdad checkpoint. When the car got through the checkpoint, the adult passengers parked the car and ran away, detonating the car with the children inside.


In November, 2005 a woman with learning difficulties was used by Al Qaeda in a bombing incident that killed herself and seven other Iraqis including a child.

Now that Osama Bin Laden is dead I hope the ideology of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, who are closely linked to Al Qaeda, will profoundly change the ways in which it treats women and children. I am hoping that Osama's followers were just carrying out his orders. Now that he is dead I hope that this type of command will be wiped out.
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