Archive for: April 2013

Cameron’s advisor Norman defends Eton comments

Jesse Norman, Cameron’s advisor has defended comments made in an interview, where he claimed that Eton School’s ‘ethos’ of public service was the reason that many ex-pupils are in major government positions.

Mr Norman is a Conservative MP and ex-Eton boy. He told the Times that other schools simply lacked the commitment Eton has. Soon after the interview, Mr Norman clarified on his Twitter that he did not mean to attack other schools. Previously this week, he had been appointed to Mr Cameron’s parliamentary board. He told The Times that ‘other schools do not have the same commitment to public service. They do other things.’

Mr Norman explained that Eton was largely pupil run, and the result is that the students don’t defer in quite the same way. According to Norman ‘they do think there’s a possibility of making change through their own actions’.

‘Of course they are highly privileged’ he went on. ‘It would be absurd to deny that – but the whole point of what Michael Gove [education secretary] is trying to do is to recover that independent school ethos within the state system, so that people from whatever walk of life can feel that they can take a proper part to the maximum’.

David Cameron is the nineteenth former Etonian British prime minister and he has faced criticism over the number of fellow Eton boys who boast top government positions. To name a few, chief of staff Ed Llewellyn, chief whip Sir George Young, Cabinet Officer Minister Oliver Letwin and London Mayor Boris Johnson’s brother Jo. Both Boris and Jo Johnson were both educated at the Berkshire school.

Mr Norman also claimed that Eton’s ‘old fashioned’ principles were another reason its pupils succeed. “Things like rhetoric and poetry and public speaking and performance are incredibly important to young people succeeding in life,” said the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire.

He defended these comments by tweeting that his comments were in fact ‘defending one institution, not attacking others’.

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Circus – no animals beyond this point

We all have those lovely memories since we were little and our parents or grandparents would take us to the circus for the first time and we were buzzing with excitement or enthusiasm. Well it looks like we might not be able to do the same for our kids since the government has officially proposed in draft legislation to ban animals from traveling circuses across the UK. The initiative is supposedly created to be in the best interest of the wild animals but the new legislation does not apply to all wild animals and for those who do apply, only if they perform in traveling circus so therefore what is the point of this initiative?

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What animals are affected by this new legislation?

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has determined that animals such as elephants, lions or tigers no longer have a place in the UK traveling circus although these animal were headliners for many traveling circuses and as a result could significantly influence their future. On the other hand, animals such as snakes, camels or zebras could still partake in the usual circus acts. But from my point of view all of them are wild animals, I am curios to learn according to which criteria they classify one animal to be more “wilder” than the other.

Issues with the new legislation

One of the most ambiguous aspects of this initiative is that it applies only for travelling circuses. Therefore if by chance you happen to have an elephant or a tiger and want to perform an act on Britain’s got talent with your animal it would be perfectly legal.  The aim of this legislation is to prevent the abuse or mistreatment of such animals. Prior to this initiative the British government imposed a licensing scheme for all wild animals in order to keep a better control over the wellbeing of these animals.

MPs claim that this ban takes thing a little too far. However the new legislation is set to be implemented from December 2015, allowing traveling circus owners to adapt to the new conditions and make all the necessary modifications. Fines could reach the staggering amount of £ 5000 for those who disobey the law. This modification could mark the end of an era for circus aficionados, the end of circus tradition and could even mean the foreclosure for some circuses. Even so, I am certain that new acts will be invented to fill in for the missing animals which will help little children make beautiful memories as we once did.

Lending power to the people – EU referendum

Since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, UK citizens have grown discontented with the fact that their beloved country is a member of the Eurozone. Fast forward into the present and the discontent has reached hard to ignore proportions. As a result UK politicians have decided to ask the people for their opinion on the matter but this task will not be an easy one as it will face many hurdles until it will pass all the required bureaucracy.

The first step

James Wharton was the one who created the bill according to which by 2017 the British people will have to make their voices heard. The referendum bill already passed the first stage, known as the Commons stage with generous support from many members of parliament. However the hard part is yet to come as it will also have to pass through Parliament. Some voices claim that the referendum bill will face strong opposition in Parliament and that its future is uncertain. One thing that is certain though is that UK has grown rather fond of the referendums as they have had them for voting on the electoral system and the devolution for Scotland. This is a clear sign that UK trusts its citizens and is evidence that UK is a very democratic country.

EU Referendum

But why does the UK want to leave the Eurozone?

Leaving the Eurozone brings as many advantages as disadvantages; the problem is deciding which is more relevant for UK’s future. Among the reasons citizens of the UK want to leave the Eurozone we find that the most important reasons are related to spending and to get a grip on the country’s borders. More precisely, stop funding the EU budget and instead spend those vast amounts of money directly in the country and to limit immigrants from flooding into the UK. But there is also another reason which is often overlooked and which I consider to be the most important: regaining the national currency. If you would look closely at the EU member states which were affected be the financial crisis and analyse their recovery process you will realizes that the speediest recoveries belong to the countries with their own national currencies. Needless to say what series of advantages having your own currency has.

The people will have their say

It is hard to say for sure if the British citizens will take all the advantages and disadvantages into account when they will cast their vote but then again this is how referendums work. We can only hope that Parliament will state all the reasons why to stay in the EU and why not to remain in the EU and let the people decide for themselves what is best for them.