I’ve been suffering from something of a digital drought. A combination of limited internet access and my phone’s quick demise has left me struggling to keep up to date online. For example, I have no access to Twitter at all. Can you imagine?
There’s been a few stories worth mention during the last few months, but I simply have been unable to blog about, so here is a quick roundup!
There is an empty space in our lives now that London 2012 has come to an end. The Paralympic closing ceremony saw the finish of an excellent summer of inspiring sport. While we may have missed out on second place, we did fantastically, every one of our athletes is a credit to us.
The economic boom resulting from the Olympics has failed to materialise, as Sunday Trading Laws are once again enforced, shops will bitterly count their takings, and they’re not likely to be good. Rather than increasing footfall in the streets of our capital, we saw an empty London as tourists and workers avoided the expected chaos.
One group however have done alright for themselves, official merchandise has done very well and sponsors are likely to have benefitted from winning contracts to sell it. Sponsors such as Adidas claim to have made back their investment before the games even began. This is another plus for sponsorship as a marketing campaign, and if anyone fancies sponsoring a university ultimate Frisbee club, I happen to know one…
The Palace of Westminster is in desperate need of a refurb. This would leave parliament without a home and one argument is that they should leave London. As a country we woefully lack the second city that most countries enjoy. While cities like Manchester and Birmingham try, they don’t quite match up to the likes of Barcelona or Frankfurt. Would moving parliament to a different city help move the power from our capital and spread it more evenly across the country? Should we be ruling the country from a city a significant journey from large parts of the UK when it could be in the middle? Or would moving our MPs and Lords really make a difference at all?
I declared the cabinet reshuffle my favourite day ever. My only defence for such a statement is that it was a slow week. It was however very interesting and does give one plenty to speculate upon. I was particularly interested in the demotion of health secretary Andrew Lansley, replaced by former culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Unfortunately I dare say he hasn’t been given an enviable job, handed the chart of an unpopular NHS reform. What he does next could be quite telling, turning his back on the reforms will send out a strong message that they were a wrong decision in the first place, but is it wise to support a decision with such condemnation?
It was also interesting to see my local MP, Anna Soubry, awarded a role in the Department for Health. While this is a positive promotion for her, although she’s already causing a storm with outspoken comments on the ‘right to die’, it is unlikely to win her much favour in her local constituency. Some say Anna’s 0.7% victory over the labour candidate is simply a result of tactical voting, and some may say its time she was moved to a less marginal constituency!
If you think this story will change the actions of our coalition government, think again, it is simply one of the first political stories since the parliament recess. After a summer of cheering on our sporting heroes we needed a dose of something to return us to our cynical routes.
You can’t get away from our young royals at the moment. They’re everywhere, spectating at the Olympics, going on royal tours, appearing naked in our publications…one could say we’ve seen too much of the trio. Both Harry and Kate were embarrassed by naked photographs and it leads us to ask, how much privacy do the royal family deserve? Should we allow them to lead anonymous lives, would they even want us to let them lead anonymous lives? Or should we snap them every time there’s a possibility of a nipple on show? I’d like to think there is a happy medium. One argument is that Kate signed away her right to privacy the moment she popped that ring on her finger, and that this is the downside to having exotic holidays with a personal hairdresser. Apply that same argument to her brother-in-law and the flaws are hard to avoid. Harry lost his right to privacy the moment he had the misfortune to be born to his parents. Doesn’t quite seem fair! There may be perks to being related to Queen Elizabeth, but that shouldn’t mean you run the risk of seeing your private parts on a magazine cover!
If GCSE results are to be believed our children are getting increasingly clever every year, until this year, but even this year’s lot have outperformed those from 2006 when I collected my results. This is brilliant news, it means that we are breeding a fantastically clever bunch of students. Somehow though, it doesn’t quite ring true. Call me a sceptic, but I do wonder if today’s students are actually no more brainy than those from past years. The real victims in this story are the teachers (and yes, I am the daughter of one of these teachers), this story will simply lead to them being hounded for having failed. Maybe it’s time to create a fair form of assessment, and maybe that concept is but a dream.