Some say petitions are not worth it, though one thing they’re great for is showing solidarity and support for issues and campaigns worldwide. Here are some of my faves currently on change.org:
A full and transparent investigation into the Grenfell tower collapse:
This was a tragic incident in which so many people lost their lives needlessly as a result of pure co-oporate greed and neglect, in one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. Profit was put before people’s lives. It is only fair that the victims are given justice through a transparent investigation which brings those responsible into disrepute:
A petition that follows on from this calls for sprinklers to be fit on all high rise buildings, as this was one of the many neglected steps on Grenfell tower that could’ve prevented such a tragic death toll: https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-sprinklers-to-be-fitted-in-to-all-high-rise-buildings
Prohibit the purchase of acid to those without a licence: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-prohibit-the-purchase-of-acid-to-those-without-a-licence This is one that I am especially vocal on, and have written to my local MP about. Check my full post on this issue: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/acid-attacks-in-britain-change-the-law/
Show governments that you stand with refugees: https://www.change.org/p/show-governments-you-stand-withrefugees
Many people stigmatise the intentions of refugees without looking at the inhabitable conditions in which they are leaving. ‘No-one truly wants to put their child on boat unless the water is safer than land’. Their status as a refugee should not be used to degrade them, and in actual fact it is not necessarily about taking as many as you can or even donating as much as you can, but about presenting a human face and demonstrating compassion. They are our fellow humans on one planet, not another species.
Make the cervical screening test (currently offered from the age of 25) available from the age of 18 to high risk groups: https://www.change.org/p/the-government-lower-the-age-of-cervical-cancer-screening-to-18-for-high-risk-groups
So last week I went on a baking craze and thought I’d share the recipe of this pink iced heart shaped cake with multi coloured sprinkles as it came out pretty well:
For the cake, you need:
250g self raising flour
120-175g caster sugar depending on your preference (I put around 150g)
A little bit of milk (1-3 tablespoons)
A teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Put the oven to 180 degrees, gas mark 4 and grease your baking tin with butter (you will need a heart shaped one to fit this recipe, but it will work well with any other baking tin)
- Using an electric or ordinary hand mixer, mix the sugar and butter together, and then crack the eggs in individually while continuously mixing.
- Sift the flour about 50-100g at a time, and mix thoroughly into the mixture each time. Add the vanilla extract, and a few tablespoons of milk if needed to make the mixture fall off a spoon, but make sure it isn’t too runny.
- Put the mixture into your baking tin, and bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake looks slightly golden, and a knife can come out clean when inserted.
While you leave the cake to cool on a wiring rack, you can make the light pink icing; you’ll simply need:
100g of butter
200g of icing sugar (I personally prefer to use slightly less)
Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence
One or two drops of red food colouring (the more you use, the stronger the pink will be)
Method: Simply melt the butter and add in all other ingredients, mixing until you form a smooth mixture.
Once the cake is fully cool (allow at least 15 minutes), spread the icing onto the cake, and add on multi coloured sprinkles (you could also use fully chocolate ones, according to your preferences), and voila!
Nothing calls summer relaxation like face masks. I bought quite a few from Boots, Superdrug and Lush but thought I’d share my thoughts on Superdrug’s own brand of face masks (Orange and black lava & sugar and spice) and Love Lettuce by Lush:
Superdrug’s own masks: I tried two of their masks – the orange and black lava mask and the sugar and spice self heating masks. Both left my skin feeling extremely soft even without moisturiser. The first one (orange and black lava) gave me an uncomfortable burning sensation for a few minutes and then stopped, and so I wouldn’t personally use that one again but it did have a great smell and I liked how it hardened into a clay consistency after a few minutes as when washing it off it felt very refreshing and my skin felt exfoliated. I definitely preferred and really loved the sugar and spice self heating mask. It was more of a sticky, jelly like texture with an amazing smell of caramel and Mediterranean clay as well as being of a mild caramel colour. I absolutely love the self heating element; it was one of those masks you could easily fall asleep in. I kept it on comfortably for 15 minutes and to be honest did not want to take it off! It left my skin extremely soft and smooth!
Lush: Love Lettuce – I can never decide which mask to buy from Lush so tried this one after a sales assistant recommended it. It has quite a rough texture with a very earthy smell which I really liked as a change from the more fruity/artificial smelling facial masks out there! I kept it on for 15 minutes without any discomfort and the whole way through it felt highly refreshing and I had that feeling of it really working on my face. After removing it the effects were amazing – it was a strong replacement for an exfoliator and left me with very radiant and healthy looking skin. Can’t go wrong with Lush!
Thanks for reading, don’t forget to like and follow 😉
Eid Mubarak to all Muslims across the globe, I hope your day is immersed in peace and happiness. This Ramadan definitely flew by as usual, but more so due to my exams all being during this month. It’s also been a difficult month for many around the world, and including at home in the UK where a number of tragic incidents and acts of terrorism took place, such as the attack on London Bridge, the burning down of Glenfall tower and the attack on peaceful worshippers leaving Finsbury mosque in London recently. It’s also been tough for the thousands who have died in the hands of warfare and terror all around the world, with many continuously perishing in poverty and famine. May we think of them and keep them in our thoughts and prayers and the focus of our humanity and compassion. Always. ❤
The past couple of years has changed the scene of politics. 2016 bought the Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA and the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron following the referendum result, leading to Theresa May as the new PM. A general election has been called which, while spontaneous, gives the general population a chance to change the course of politics, or continue with a Conservative government. This election is all the more significant, considering the changes of the past few years. So why vote?
- IT GIVES YOU A STAKE IN THE GOVERNMENT’S PLATFORM: Young people, for example are significantly underrepresented as many choose not to vote or engage with political issues that will directly affect us as we grow older. By voting in mass numbers, you can become a cohesive group that parties are forced to be responsive towards and include in their manifestos. Many people complain of feeling disengaged with politics and see no point in voting yet so few are willing to re-engage and challenge the status quo. Politicians are there to serve the people, and be held to account – one vote contributes to that. A higher turnout gives the government a larger mandate to govern which is true democracy.
- VOTING MUSTN’T BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED: In liberal democracies, it’s all too easy to be used to having the privilege of voting once you turn 18 and so . But you have to remember that marginalised and minority groups across the world have fought for this right, from the Suffragettes to the Civil Rights Movement, and so to vote is to carry their legacy forward of universal suffrage. In many countries in the world, including acclaimed democracies, the rigging and corruption of elections is not uncommon. Registering to vote and casting your ballot is so simple and easy yet so many don’t.
- YOU CAN VOTE IN DIFFERENT WAYS: A common reason people give for not voting is because they either don’t know who to vote for, they feel too disillusioned from the party’s manifestos or see the voting system as simply wasting their vote. You don’t have to cast a firm ballot – you can protest vote by simply handing in a spoilt ballot. That way, you haven’t voted for any of the candidate but will be counted in the statistics of spoilt ballots, rather than be counted in the percentage of those who simply didn’t vote. This can send a clear message of discontent to political parties on issues such as electoral reform. You can even vote tactically by forming part of a voting bloc to vote out your least favoured party/candidate by voting for the most popular opposition. You can also vote by post if you cannot make it to your polling station.
Be sure to register by the 22nd May here: htww.gov.uk/register-to-votetps://w, and use your political power.
So Theresa May has done a U-turn and called for a general election to apparently give stable leadership to the Brexit negotiations. While I personally favour a softer Brexit and welcome an opportunity for people to decide on the Brexit they want seeing as there is a divide between a soft or hard brexit, it can’t be forgotten that the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to allow the PM to go ahead with the negotiations and trigger article 50 and Theresa May has consistently stated that she wouldn’t call an election precisely for ‘stability’, so it does seem more motive driven.
Many MP’s believe it is a distraction from the Tories recent election scandal in which they have been fined £70,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to declare expenses used to re-elect MP’s in the 2015 elections. Some Conservative MP’s have decided not to contest their seats this time round. An election therefore seems appropriate for the Conservatives to act as not only a distraction, but also a means of confirming their mandate in light of the investigation, all acting under the guise of ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Let’s face it, while Brexit is the major factor being played out in regards to how many will be voting, it is not the only issue on the card. Domestic policy such as education, the health sector and the economy are causes of concern which people must not forget. Ironically, many who voted for a Tory government are now suffering in regards to
cuts to school funding, the NHS funding crisis, cuts to the disabled and increase in the use of foodbanks. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting continuously poorer.
There is more to Britain’s future than Brexit. While Labour more recently have appeared to dance around Theresa May’s hard brexit, with Corbyn allowing for a three line whip to ensure the triggering of article 50 without full scrutiny, the bigger picture must be looked at and a Labour government is the only realistic alternative. While it likely that the Conservative’s will retain their majority, a shift in voting behaviour would send a clear message of holding the government to account. By all means vote Tory but don’t forget the bigger issues at hand.
Young people especially – politically educate yourself. Use your vote. 18-25 year olds have a low voting turnout and therefore do not form a major stake in policy. We must over time become a mass voting bloc. We won’t all share the same views, but will all bear the weight and policies of the next government. Vote Labour in Labour strongholds, or Lib Dem in Lib Dem strongholds. Protest votes in discontent of both the Conservative and Labour party will maintain the status quo of your constituency. They would however be useful to show discontent for a particular candidate. For example, in the Leicester East constituency, Keith Vaz is increasingly unpopular as many constituents now feel disconnected and feel the seat has been taken advantage of, though do want to vote for the Labour party, hence the continuous majority. I’d vote Labour if there was a replacement of candidate but would instead vote Liberal Democrat here. However, this only works if there is a united voting bloc, as it is a Labour stronghold. So vote cautiously. Though if Brexit is your main concern, bear in mind that the Lib Dems are the only ones offering a softer approach to Brexit.
Stay politically aware and use your vote wisely. Think ahead as opposed to being swayed by a single issue.
Happy voting! DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER TO VOTE BY 22ND MAY if you haven’t already done so: (5 mins) – https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
As International Women’s comes around this year again, it’s important to remember who we are as woman. Friends, partners, sisters, wives, mothers, but most importantly, an inseparable part of society. We form approximately half of the world’s population and in an ideal world, should have half of the influence on the global agenda too.
Unfortunately, many woman around the world barely have the means to live a decent life, let alone be able to have the ability to discuss issues such as higher representation in institutions like parliament and equal pay. Woman’s literacy rates are shockingly low in parts of Asia and Africa, especially in Niger, South Sudan, Guinea, Afghanistan, Mali, Central African Republic and Burkina Fas0, where it remains under 30%. Education is often denied if a family cannot afford the costs or if she is to be married off due to poverty. This cycle must be intervened in as higher literacy and education for woman can drastically solve other issues too, such as escaping poverty with the chances of better job prospects which in turn can lead to a thriving national economy as well as a reduction in poverty which would reduce the chances of human trafficking, early marriages, and a reduction in the amount of children a woman has in her lifetime, especially if she is educated on and given access to contraceptive methods. Her increased participation in educational activities could on a whole lead to a larger voice of woman in representative institutions as her part in society would be just as fundamental to the fabric of society as that of a man.
Beyond this, there are a whole array of issues which affect woman worldwide from female genital mutilation, gender based violence, forced marriages/honour killings and human trafficking to sexual harassment, the pay gap, body shaming and legal mandates on dress codes. We must also remember the different social, economic and political factors which affect our advancement as different woman which is why I advocate intersectional feminism. There is a long way to go, but with mutual empowerment and respect between the sexes and woman of all kinds, we can.
Happy International Woman’s Day!