I Just Don’t Know – A

The words “No Deal” seem to be leading every news bulletin that I have seen in the past week and a half. Obviously that phrase is the concept that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union without a formally agreed withdrawal agreement. But what does No Deal actually mean? I just don’t know and that’s scary.

Boris Johnson, the most synonymous face with Vote Leave and later No Deal, is now the Prime Minister of this country, and leading the campaign that Brexit happens on the 31st October with or without a deal. This finality of this statement at first appears to give certainty – this will happen and we as a nation will prepare for it. However, a combination of parliament arithmetic, trade deals and the economy means that the opposite is true. Every step creates more uncertainty. For a nation tired of talking about the same political issue, it’s only going to get tougher to make progress.

Before we address the cost of No Deal, it’s important to discuss how it could be prevented and could it actually be allowed to happen? It is believed that there is no parliamentary majority for No Deal (or for any other resolution for Brexit, and definitely not for the Brexit Deal we have been offered, but that is a different issue), which means the only way to achieve a No Deal Brexit is for Johnson to bypass parliament and effectively make his own decision. The reaction to this is hardly likely to be universally positive; The Speaker of the House John Bercow has already stated his desire to fight to keep parliament running and open, and if successful this makes No Deal virtually impossible, and we are back into the familiar Brexit deadlock.

Those wanting to stop Brexit altogether have been forming their own plans to attempt to do this and end this issue via the opposite of No Deal – No Brexit. However, they can’t agree either. Jeremy Corbyn made the move this week to suggest he should be made Interim Prime Minister. It became clear quickly that it lacked sufficient support and he’d inherit the same problems. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson suggested that respected parliamentarians Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman should lead a national unity government and reduce the division blocking a solution either way. That lacked enough support too.

This puts us in the precarious position that No Deal seems the most likely outcome, even if parliament is forcibly shut down to achieve it. Strange times. If No Deal occurs, the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted borrowing could be up to £60 billion and that was just last month’s forecast. It’s a big increase in national debt.

Local council provisional planning for No Deal that were stepped up this week has some stating that schools and care homes would need to stockpile “non-perishable foodstuffs,” and other go as far to suggest that forms of rationing would be needed. So food shortages are supposedly an expected consequence of No Deal – can we call something that causes food shortages a positive thing? I personally can’t.

But it’s not only food, a leaked document from the government about No Deal Brexit entitled Operation Yellowhammer suggested that medicine and fuel could also be at a premium. Instead of trying to avert these fears, Boris Johnson has stated that these are just “bumps in the road.” Ironically we might not have the fuel to go on that road. Medicine is arguably the most worrying when lives could be at stake both here and in the EU if the medicine cannot be delivered to the right place when it is needed.

What will happen if it isn’t a No Deal Brexit? I don’t know. What will happen if there is a No Deal Brexit? I don’t know. Brexit is still symbolised by uncertainty and that is going to persist for at least the next few months. I know that shortages are bad, and I’d like to hope there is some sort of deal if Brexit does indeed happen, even if it’s mini deals under a No Deal banner. However as to how bad the impact will be and what will happen? I still don’t know.

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LGBTQ+ – My Meaning Behind the Letters – B

L.G.B.T.Q are not just letters. Each significant letter represents the minority of individuals who choose bravely to love who they love every single day. Times have changed and I’m about to tell you the story of how the world is evolving to gladly accept love in all its worth.

Historically, all over the world, there has been actions of torture, harm and even attempts of brainwashing. People go so far as gay conversion therapy inflicted on people who express feelings for the same gender. Whilst there are a multitude of reasons behind these atrocious actions, undoubtedly an underlying cause of unwillingness by individuals to attempt to understand and be empathetic towards the community. Instead people turned to pernicious displays of hate in aim to change the individuals’ sexual or romantic desires rather than having an empathetic understanding primarily. Therefore as a community, we will always unitedly remember every single human that has been wrongfully murdered, killed or have committed suicide just for their sexual orientation.

However, unfortunately even in the 21st century, globally people are still being harmed, arrested and wrongfully imprisoned just for displaying affection, factually 72 countries criminalise same-sex relationships (and in 45 the law is applied to women as well as men). The fact that LGBTQ+ members can still lose their life for loving the same sex is displayed in the shocking truth that the death penalty is either ‘allowed’, or evidence of its existence occurs in 8 countries. You may think that discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community has decreased over the years but in a 2016 Stonewall survey showed that a quarter of the world’s population believes that being LGBT should be a crime – I thought we had gotten over it. It is absolutely unfathomable that people are imprisoned for marrying the same gender as them when the love they share between one another, is the same love that any couple shares in the world. People are so oblivious to what’s in front of them – there is still a long way to go until every LGBTQ+ individual receives the same support and treatment as a heterosexual/ straight person. The shock statistic states that four out of five LGBT people who have experienced a hate crime or incident didn’t report it to the police – this isn’t fair at all! Would you want to undergo abuse just for declaring your feelings for your significant other? It’s sickening!

Locally, I believe that although there are minorities that inflict hate towards the community, a significant amount of people have become incredibly accepting and for me that gives me so much happiness. Pride events are taking place, even in Grimsby, with Wonderland LGBTQ+ holding safe events for all ages of individuals to celebrate who they are. Peach Flowers, Betty Swollacks and Krystal Beth are all local drag queens that inspired pride events amongst this coastal town. An organisation called BeaYourself have now introduced exclusive LGBTQ+ meetings to Grimsby so people can feel free to love who they choose and even take along their friends and family to the meetings.

Personally, I can’t even begin to express my thoughts upon the LGBTQ+ community and organisations such as Stonewall and the LGBT foundation which has helped me become fully confident and not hide who I am anymore. Over the years, I’ve experienced hate and been the target of crude comments which have admittedly made me feel self-conscious and at times, making me want to lock myself away from the world. I’ve even hated myself internally and want to change who I am. I’ve felt ashamed,embarassed and even afraid for loving the same sex. But one thing that I have always believed in is a simple motto – love is not a choice and nobody should ever have to apologise for loving who their heart chooses.

How Young People Engage With Politics – A

The way in which young people engage with politics is obviously different depending on the individual but yours truly has a theory in which most people can be placed into three wide ranging categories. This can tell us about the way in which young people may engage with politics in the future and what needs to change or could change to make it more accessible and engaging for not just young people but all of society.

So onto the groupings of people that I believe tend to exist, especially with regard to the current ongoing situation in the UK.

Group 1 are those not interested, and don’t want to be interested in politics. Despite the influence that those within the political system have undoubtedly on our lives, I personally think that this is a very understandable view. Politics in the UK is a mess currently and ignoring it is the safe and less stressful response – however these people have the potential to become zombie voters just following family voting history or gaining information from limited sources etc. What is most optimal here, because these are not bad or ignorant people, is that you need policies that apply to them and they understand this is from a policy, greater education on politics, and a human and modern touch from the people in power to reach out to these people so you have more of the later discussed groups 2 and 3.

Group 2 is what I’d class us two with this blog as and are people who understand politics but couldn’t currently say that they’d like to go in to it. We understand the importance of it but it’s too toxic of an atmosphere, too draining on mental health and too party focused. There seems to be trend with this group is where do politically interested people go that’s not parties to activism. This creates more problems for the politicians – these are the people interested in their work but focus on emotions and humans, rather than policies and parties, often appear to gain the high ground with the public; these are the people the general public want to see in power but these are the people that feel excluded or would be suppressed by the “establishment” which can be a key quality of group 3.

Group 3 is the group interested in politics and want to go into it, and not all but may have a tendency to speak in a combination of jargon that is less understandable to most people, believe they have the highest intellectual group because they are attached to an organisation with power. They then use this power they perceive to justify their own views rather than actual reasoning and thinking about an issue. The potential problem is that if these people are not challenged by the likes of Group 2 to become more accessible and put humans above numbers then the establishment doesn’t change it just gains a younger face and the perception of their generation is the same one we may have of the older generation now. The challenge and empathy (always goes back to this aspect) that needs to be there from group 2 can allow them to have an impact for group 3 to progress and can allow people in both to engage group 1 and slowly blend the groups together to progress the world

While the majority of young people fit into these three categories, we are all one part of a much larger group and that is the next generation of the world – the next politicians, the next teachers, the next scientists, and a bunch of jobs that don’t even exist yet. If we can start understanding all these people and blending the groups together, then the world becomes together and can improve and progress more easily.