Archive for the ‘ ‘the project’ ’ Category

A Call to Arms: Spenders of the World, Unite!

First posted, here, on Canvas – an award winning student-run online journal at the University of Sheffield. I have been treasurer of Canvas since February 2012.

“This article explores how capitalism itself can be used to force banking reform and how the power of demand can create more ethical high street banking.”

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The Living Wage: Killing business?

Happy Living Wage week! How are you celebrating? You’re not? What a surprise. Whilst most people could probably have a guess at what the Living Wage Foundation is lobbying for, thanks to its largely self-explanatory title, let’s just take a moment to clear up what it actually means. The Living Wage is a minimum wage that aims to provide a level of income that accurately reflects the cost of living, currently £8.55 in London and £7.45 in the rest of the UK (why it is fair to have different wage rates in and out of London, but regional pay in public services is a no-go for the left is a baffling hypocrisy that will not be examined here). For the purpose of this blog, we will be using non-London figures for a 21 year old worker doing 35 hours a week in the current tax year.

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Mission Statement – The start of the start

I’ve been told a blank page is one of the most difficult hurdles for a blogger to jump. I still believe that actual hurdles would be more difficult, since I imagine most bloggers spend their days staring at the screen of their computer and wheezing from the effort of going to the toilet. I also still believe that the best way to tackle a blank page is a short antidote about blank pages, bloggers and hurdles.

I feel that before I put anything on this blog, it’s for the best that I clarify my position. I’m a member of the Conservative Party (and have been since 2010), I’ve been involved with a number of campaigns and hold a committee position. Yes, I’m a fully fledged member – but with a few vital differences. Firstly, I’m from Liverpool. Secondly, rigorous online political ideology tests consistently put me left-of-centre. Thirdly, the amount of times I’ve been called a contrarian is staggering. The amount of times I’ve been called a liability is even more staggering, but beside the point.

This constant questioning has lead me to ask – à la Carrie in Sex and the City – Am I just a Tory because it’s an unpopular position? And if so, what is my real political outlook?

The primary aim of this blog is to flesh out my political opinions via essays or ‘witty’ takes on the day’s events. Secondary to this I want to review interesting books (on any topic, because politics isn’t totally my life), albums or whatever catches my eye. Thirdly, I’ve got a very interesting, varied summer coming up (including work experience in the UK and European Parliaments) and I think if I’m writing about my experiences will help me gain more than I otherwise would have from it. Finally, I’m hoping for a good sense of debate to eventually take hold of the site, so my views can be challenged in a constructive, evidenced manner.

When this project is over I hope to have an organised collection of thoughts that represent what I think. Without sounding like a pretentious idiot (and probably failing), this is ultimately a journey of self-discovery, a project of self-realisation. And like all good projects of self-realisation, it’s hosted by WordPress.