GENERAL ELECTION 2017… Conservative? Labour? Lib Dems?

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 appropr4-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8iate 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

Bushra 🙂

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

 

SYRIA IS OVER #SAVEAleppo

World leaders should be ashamed of the lack of diplomacy and co-operation, as well as the clear struggle to find common ground on defining who the opposition is in Syria which has translated to the current situation – Syria’s imminent destruction. The politics behind the war has become irrelevant when you see it for what it now is – an aimless battleground in main_900which civilians have become the number one victim. Over 4 million civilians have been killed, with hospitals and schools turned into bloodbaths due to the aggressive air strikes against loosely defined territory.

My heart truly goes out to the thousands who remain, with many filming their last goodbyes to truly demonstrate the ignorance of powerful world leaders who have failed to use their influence in forcing a solution in the name of humanity. Throughout the four years of this conflict, we have prayed/donated/viewed the situation from the comfort of our screens, expecting a forthcoming solution. Many have protested. Many have even volunteered to provide aid abroad. But here we are. The UN predicted that Aleppo would be inhabitable by Christmas and here we are. It’s unfortunate that as citizens, our appeals to those in power can be met with great ignorance and expectation that we apparently don’t understand conflict from a insider governmental perspective. I’ve always found that ironic as I’m pretty sure that the innocent Syrian civilians who have nothing to do with this proxy war of either side understand that IT IS CIVILIANS WHO TAKE THE LARGEST HIT OF THE CONFLICT. Their lives are casually being taken in the hundreds for the uncertainty that a couple of terrorists may live in ‘that area’. The ideology of barbaric terror groups such as Daesh must be fought, not with guns or bombs, but with education, reconstruction and through a greater understanding and engagement of Syrians who want to live and breathe the once pure air of a prosperous, thriving Syria.

Although many of us currently feel disillusioned and helpless, the most important thing right now is to hear their cries, petition governments and speak out. But whatever we do, we must never forget them….

SIGN these petitions to the British government, urging immediate aid drops, even if it’s the only thing you do:

Air-drop life saving aid into the starving cities in Syriahttps://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/173574

 

Bushra

The Rise of the Far Right: Brexit, Trump and Nationalism

2016 has so far been one crazy year. And revolutionary in the context of global politics. Britain chose to leave the European Union in June and Americans, this month, elected Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for President of the United States.

So much of the media focus has been on the events themselves, such as the implications faragetrump-640x400.pngof the vote, whether it will be a hard or soft Brexit as well as the effects of a divisive, outspoken President as leader of the ‘free world’. While Presidents can be restricted and the terms of the leaving of the EU negotiated, we can’t deny the shocking reality of the climate of politics that the campaign focuses have shown the world. Why are the words of Marine le Pen of the National Front in France and Donald Trump’s rhetoric gaining credibility with an overwhelming sector of society?

It can’t be denied that people have legitimate concerns such as the rise of terrorism and fear of the near future. But we fail to look at the bigger picture. We fail to realise that while we absolutely should be concerned about ensuring the prosperity and stability of the nation, we can’t deny the huge influence the US and the UK have collaboratively on the rest of the world. It doesn’t help to make sweeping statements such as calling for a ban/registry of Muslims (or whatever Trump has changed it to since) or blaming the influx of Syrian refugees as the whole cause of the collapse of society. Immigration is undoubtedly a vote swayer yet has been so viciously manipulated, that people are forgetting the deep rooted problems which have existed far beyond this. The shrewdness of  far right politicians, who fail to address the real reasons for the state of the economy instead blame it on the next person, yet are unable to come up with a potential solution.

It’s easy for people like Trump to want rid of Obamacare but not addressing what it will be replaced with. His sudden call for ‘unity’ is a very different nature to what got him elected, which attracted the likes of KKK members and far right supremacists. Many sincere voters voted for Brexit, though it was also manipulated by some to spout their twisted, fascist agendas of dislike of difference. This re-iterates the fact that many right wing politicians, who are gaining such a widespread platform are a symptom of the ingrained hatred that some are being manipulated to feel anger against minorities, immigrants, the LGBT community and even woman.

We have to look beyond what divides us because it’s simply wrong to make complex and genuine issues into black and white ones in which it’s ‘them’ vs ‘us’. Excluding whole sectors of society from discussion doesn’t help solve these problems. Nor does falling for the trap of the apparent ‘saviours’ from the establishment – two rich, older White males posing for a picture in a golden elevator. Many adore them because they have a false misconception that they are straight talking and apparently say it how it is. Okay, but in theory, what can they realistically do? Not much without violating basic principles of humanity. We are not going to get £350m extra for the NHS by leaving the EU. Many Europeans will already have the right to remain in the UK, and ironically, many work for sectors like the NHS and the educational sector. Donald Trump has already gone back on his claims that he will passionately build a wall on the Mexican border, instead now settling for a fence. Yet many voters voted on these grounds. So not only have many been played, but have been exposed for their hateful agenda which will destroy the foundations of the world if used by politicians to gain popularity.

We live in a globalised world where it is not about one country or the other, but about one people. We all have our own interests, but did we ever think about the greater good? The far right slam this conception by labelling you as a ‘liberal’, which is hardly an insult if that means you value the dignity and freedom of all to live in harmony and safety regardless of race, religion, beliefs, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any other artificial differences which have for far too long been used to divide people. Groups of people need to stop be being used as brownie points or bargaining chips by self-centred political extremists, disguised as a mainstream politician. Rant over. #SPREADLOVE

Thanks for reading,

Follow me on Twitterrr: @BushraSpeaks

Bushra x

 

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before NCS | National Citizen Service ADVICE!

Head onto the official NCS website: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/

My name is Bushra Jalil and recently I completed a whole month of adventure, challenges, new friendships and plenty of laughter with the National Citizen Service in Leicestershire.

I joined in the Summer of 2015 it was one of the best decisions I have made this year.Believe me – if you want YES to confidence, YES to meeting new people and YES to overcoming challenges and becoming the best person you can possibly be then YES to NCS is what you need!

It was genuinely more than I expected it to ever be and when I signed up less than a year ago, there were genuine fears and nerves I had, especially because I am quite an over thinker generally, and so it was quite a big step naturally for me to say YES. NCS may seem like a big challenge but now I look back I honestly don’t know what I was so worried about. In this post I will address some of the worries I had before NCS, and what I wish I knew back then.

1. You won’t be alone

The first two weeks are residential and an incredible experience. The first week involves staying at an outdoor pursuits centre, and the second is a university style experience in your home city. I was nervous, especially just before leaving but some of the major worries I had disappeared by the first day.

I felt worried and scared that I wouldn’t fit in. Would people accept me? Was I good enough? Could I spend the next four weeks with my group? But I completely forgot that these people are all on the same journey and experience as me, set to partake in the same activities and make a genuine difference.

Almost everyone felt the exact same way – even those with friends! It actually hits you as to how your mind controls you because as soon as I got onto the coach with my luggage to set off for the first week, the person behind me in the coach greeted me and, despite not being in the same group, we talked throughout NCS when we had the chance and became pretty close. I remember thinking ‘Wow, these people are too nice, it’s unbelievable’ – but it’s true! They are here for the same reasons as you are. You WILL have an amazing time, and meet people you never thought you’d speak to.

I’m not usually good at speaking to new people, but it came naturally at NCS. We are all on the same journey – embrace it! Be confident and comfortable with who you are and rock it! Be you and people will see that shine through, and making friends will be a piece of cake 😀

2. You won’t want to leave after the residential

This had not been my first residential, however it had been one of the longest. I feared beforehand that if I didn’t form friendships well (which most definitely wasn’t the case), I would be sharing rooms with people I didn’t bond with. But I honestly can’t explain how naturally friendships at NCS form, you have to see it to believe it! There is always someone who is willing to help you that you’ve never even met.

I shared a room on the first week residential with two girls from different groups and as soon as I entered the room, I felt like we’d been friends for years! You actually look forward to the nights, chatting away before bed. The vibes and spirit at NCS is just so warm and embracing, that you forget everything else and grasp it as a second home, and the people around you as family. You grow so close so quickly, that staying away from home isn’t really a major issue anymore and by the end I didn’t want to leave!

3. You can overcome anything

The first week residential away from home at an outdoor centre was definitely one of my favourite weeks, and a great way for your new team to bond though teamwork and group activities. There were things like indoor caving, abseiling, raft building, low ropes, archery and the leap of faith. This is definitely a week to face your fears and take on personal challenges!

If you’re afraid of heights for example, come to NCS with confidence and set yourself a target. For some it may be getting halfway up the rock climbing and for some it may be all the way to the top. Whatever it is, come to NCS with an open mind and don’t give up the chance to try something new, remember your whole group will support you to achieve the goals you’ve set, so you aren’t facing these things alone!

The feeling of carrying on despite the fear is something that will definitely have a lasting impression on you and will show you that you can overcome any barrier between you and your goals – something invaluable for the future.

4. Mud will wash off, but great memories will last you forever

Something I would also definitely suggest in order to really make the most of your NCS experience is DO NOT BE AFRAID OF GETTING MUDDY OR WET. This really applied to me in activities like raft building. Eventually, we all got stuck in and to my luck, I fell in the water up to my waist (not a pleasant feeling!) though now that I look back, I don’t necessarily remember the mud or the wet, but the laughter and memories made from those moments. I was clean and dry again after a quick shower, yet the memories are unforgettable.

Words of wisdom? Enjoy the moments as they come, and take it all in, because they will form the basis of your unique, once in a lifetime experience at NCS!

5. It’s a journey, not a competition

After the residential, you’ll move on to social action project fortnight, where you truly leave your mark and make a difference to the community you live in. As everyone picks their different charities from the countless ones available on the university experience week, everyone gets really excited, as you should be, to raise lots of money for their charity. However, despite everyone wanting to raise the most, it’s not a competition but an act of charity and will to give something back to your community, as well as a chance to really put into practice the skills you have learnt throughout the intense residential weeks.

You will learn valuable skills during NCS but the experience will always be unique to you, so learn from your mistakes but don’t forget to have fun with it and applaud yourself for all the incredible things you do!

These were the main worries I had before coming to NCS, it turned out I was worrying over nothing, so hopefully if you’re nervous about starting your own NCS journey this will help you. I’m so glad I didn’t let the nerves hold me back and said YES to NCS. 

Thanks for reading, hope you have the confidence to go ahead and take part in this unforgettable experience!

Don’t forget to share to potential NCSers and SUBSCRIBE 😀

Check out the official NCS blog: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/blog/

Bushra xx

HAPPY NEW YEAR! | bushrajalilblog

There is still a good six hours to go before the New Year truly begins in the UK, marked by the always spectacular yearly fireworks display in London. However, firework celebrations have already begun in many countries such as Australia and Taiwan, so I’d like to take this as my last blog post of 2014 and wish you all a happy, safe animagesd blessed new year. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This has been my first year of blogging, and as coincidental as this sounds, I first opened my blog on the 1st of January 2013! I guess I wanted to do it as a new start to the year, even though I only actually wrote on it regularly several months in. Who would’ve believed that I would make it to the end of the year? I doubt I kept any resolutions I made last year (as most of us do!) and so I thought I’d share not my resolutions for the year, but my wishes for the year, to the rest of the world. As much as the New Year is a time of celebration, the atrocities committed in the past year, and as recently as the last month or so were devastating. This leads me on to my biggest wish ever – to see peace on Earth!! It’s said again and again every year, but that simply highlights how important it is. The best way to defeat war is through love! So many people die and suffer at the hands of those who have justified their actions in the name of religion, politics and greed. Another dream is to see religions peacefully co-exist, like it should always be. The core of every religion is love, which is what connects them all. The foundations of their teachings are morals and love so the fact that people abuse this is heartbreaking and a real insult to those who are going through such hardships where religion may be all they have ❤

Becoming a better person in every way you can is truly beneficial to you and the world. A person of genuine peace and kindness is reflected like the sun’s rays through their personality, and this generates positivity to those who really need it.

Remember, peace starts with YOU. War and hatred starts and ends with US. Let’s not take it to 2015.

And, once again, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Make the most!

Peace, Bushra xxx

CREATING A BLOG! | Top Tips

I’ve had a blog for almost wordpress-tag-clouda year, and there are some things which I’ve picked up which should help if you want to create one! 🙂

1) Make the blog personal to you, and write content you can be proud of. Write about things that you have a passion for, and what interests YOU, not what you think people want to hear. I’ve noticed that the most popular blogs tend to stick to one theme and post updates and content based on that one theme. They also usually have a much more tight knit community of followers as they’re all interested in that specific topic. However, it’s down to personal preference and I personally don’t really stick to a single theme and write about whatever interests me.

2) Write regularly! This is what will attract people to your blog, and let them know that you are consistent in your posts, and therefore worth following. However regularly you wish to post is up to you; most people post a few times a week, some even post every day! Also, posting about topics that are hot in the news at that time, especially if you have a blog based on politics or activism, will mean your posts will be of interest to people who are curious, and will mean your blog will be in the midst when people search for that topic.

3) Share your posts on social media. Let people know about your blog! You may be exactly the blog someone is looking for! With hundreds of millions on social media, it doesn’t take long for someone to maybe check your blog out and subscribe!

4) Don’t expect to gain followers straightaway. Blogs, like other social networks have millions of people all aiming to gain lots of subscribers and followers. However, unlike other social media, blogs can be very personal and people will usually only subscribe to what interests them and what they’d like to read about. Content of your blog is key to whether someone chooses to follow your blog. This is exactly why it’s much harder to gain followers on a blog and even the most popular ones started with little to none followers, and yet it still takes months, and more likely even years to gain a good amount of followers. Followers can even be really inconsistent. For example, one post might gain you five new subscribers, and after that you might not get any for many posts to come. It’s all part of having a blog, and don’t let any of it take you away from blogging! This leads on to my next point…

5) Don’t give up! It can honestly feel like you’re writing for no – one for ages, but if you really enjoy blogging then continue! Give it time, and who knows where it can lead to?

Link your blog in the comments! 🙂 x

Bushra xxx

Money Dominates the World…

Money. It makes the world go mad. It dominates society. studyshowsmo

Did you know that 1% of the world owns about 50% of the total global wealth? Yet the bottom 50% own 1% of the world’s total global assets?

Total global wealth has more than doubled since the year 2000, to $263 trillion dollars, yet at the same time wealth inequality has risen in 23 countries…

These crazy statistics prove the Marxist theory that the poor are only getting poorer and the rich are only getting richer.

In a world dominated by capitalism, it isn’t a surprise that in order to expand business and trade, that countries resort to the poorest countries of them all to provide cheap labor as desperate third world countries hand over. But when you buy clothes or merchandise made from poor countries, do you realise that the conditions these workers work in is horrific? But they are left with no choice. It’s either that or nothing. I would much rather pay more knowing that the workers who work intense hours are being paid fairly and are working in safe, healthy and hygienic conditions. Several years ago a Primark factory in Bangladesh, with extremely harsh conditions and beatings from the manager, collapsed, killing hundreds of people. Ever wondered why clothing from Primark is so cheap? It’s almost a trap. People in developing countries are even trapped. As the working class receive unequal treatment in a capitalistic society, cheaper goods may be the only way to get about, slapping the worker’s right in the face, whilst companies gain their profit. You may think that profit made is profit earned, but in a world where opportunity can be granted from birth, is that really the case?

Poverty seems to be never ending, even with the world getting wealthier. The idea that there is not enough money in the world is simply not the case. If all the money were to be distributed to the 7 billion people of the Earth, we’d all have about 38K, There’s enough money, it’s just not distributed fairly to the people who deserve it most.

The truth is you can’t go anywhere without MONEY. You can’t eat anything without MONEY. You can’t live anywhere without MONEY. A stack of paper is so vital to this world. The answer to everything is always MONEY.

It’s hard to put forward the best solutions to inequality in wealth, when you are never given the opportunity to even have that voice…

Bushra xx

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