Friday, 26 May 2017

A Guide to June 8th - General election!

Hey guys,

I know this is a fashion blog but politics is a huge interest of mine and I feel it's very important to talk about. Twitter is the one place I am most vocal about my political views and had a few people asking me to do a blog post explaining this general election to you guys. I'm not going to be very good at keeping this unbiased I'm afraid.

First question is 'Why this general election is happening?'.

- Theresa May became our Prime minister last summer after David Cameron resigned from his role and the conservative party members voted for the new leader of of the party to also therefore become leader. Therefore are current prime minister is technically un-elected by the public. Therefore people criticise her word and don't trust her. I sat down with my family in April to find watch our prime minister Theresa May's announcement. My first reaction was not great because it was clear that she chose to have the election now as her party is doing so well in the polls and the main competing parties aren't so she is confident enough that'll she win and they get the public's trust.  The term 'snap election' simply means an election that is taking place earlier than due, we normally have one every 5 years (the last being 2015). It also means the campaign will be snap, the parties usually have months and months to plan and campaign prior to an election, now we've had roughly three months. Another issue I have is how many times in countless interviews May claimed she would never throw a snap election, showing evidence of how she often U turns on decisions.

When and who?

This general election is due to happen on Thursday June 8th (all UK elections take place on Thursday's). Polling stations will be open from 7am - 10pm. You will receive a polling card in the post telling you the venue you should go to vote, these are never normally more than 5 mins away from where you live.

In the UK the voting age currently stands at 18 and you must register (I'm afraid the registration date has already passed though) although there is still time to register for a postal or proxy vote (when some else votes on your behalf)

How your vote works?

In the UK it works by a 'first past the post' system. This means that voting takes place by constituencies rather than nationally. You vote for your constituencies new MP (there is 650 constituencies in the UK), which then means that party has a seat in parliament and the election will be won by which ever party wins the most seats in parliament.
When you go to vote you ballot paper lists the members running as your Mp, with either their party logo next to their name or if they don't belong to a party it will say independent, you then cross the box next to the member you want and place the paper in a box, it is all confidential.

Why you should vote?

As I said it is actually too late to register to vote. I just want to enforce that in the UK it is your choice to vote however it is a privileged right that we are lucky to have and should take advantage off. It is a valid point that if you don't vote you can't then moan about the results, your vote really does count.
Young people (18-24) are currently the worst offenders for not voting which really saddens me as it is our future we can change.

Now the big question, who to vote for?

Despite what some people would like to believe in the UK we have two main contenders, the conservative party and the labour party. I think its very unlikely that aside from another coalition (when more than one political party is joined in power)  government any other party will be in power this time. I'm going to talk through these two parties and touch on the values of the other main UK parties. However not every consistency will have someone running from each party. There are very traditional views that the 'torries are for the rich and labour for the working class' and to some extent this is no longer completely true, the party you vote for should no longer just be decided on by your class / where you live.


Image result for conservative logo

The conservative party are currently in government, with Theresa May as our Prime Minister, Phillip Hammond as Chancellor. They have been in power since 2010 (although first five years was in a coalition with the liberal democrat party). This is a centre right wing party. The traditional main focuses for the conservatives are support for free market capitalism, a strong national defence and regulation on trade unions. Some of the key policies that they have announced in the run up to this election include their ideals to continue bringing back grammar schools, getting rid of the current ban on fox hunting, lower immigration levels, increase funding for the NHS, the 'dementia tax' , the free school meals will be scrapped and replaced with free breakfasts. They also say the commitment to raise the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500 by 2020 will stay. 
Some other things to note is how May has refused to attend any live TV debates with the other party leaders, and her go to way for describing anything now is 'Strong and Stable' (even her childhood was described in this manner during her interview on The one show). Looking at Brexit, May has already triggered article 50 (which is basically the formal side of starting the process of leaving the EU) meaning we have two years to negotiate how we want to leave, the torries want to pursue a 'hard brexit' which would include giving up access to the single market and gaining full control over our immigration boarders. 


Image result for labour logo

The labour party are the main centre left party in the UK. The Labour Party has been described as a big tent, encompassing a diversity of ideological trends from strongly socialist to moderately social democratic. They were last in government between 1997 and 2010 under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown.  Currently under leadership from Jeremy Corbyn who has won landslide victories within his own party and receives crowds and crowds of support at the rallies however the mainstream media haven't always been a fan due to his nontraditional take for example in the 'scruffy' way he dresses. He has brought a huge amount of members to the labour party but at the same time lost some, a lot of people don't see him as "good leader", to the people unsure about Corbyn just remember you are not voting for you single person, you are voting for the policies, the whole government and leaders of ares such as education, environment Secretary etc so in all cases vote for the party not just the leader of that party. 
Now onto some of their key policies for this election. - Investing 500 billion into industry and connection such as transport (plans to re-nationalise the train lines) and broadband. 
- Ending any privatisation plans towards the NHS and keep funding the NHS (remember the NHS was founded by the Labour party so who else is better to support it) 
- Cutting tuition fees which we last trebled by the Conservative Lib dem government. 
- Aims to create a fairer society by increasing the tax slightly more for those earning over £80,000 making a society "For the many not the few" 
- Labour also plan to enforce human rights and supporting all minority groups further. 
On brexit, Labour were mostly campaigning for remain but accept the democratic vote of this country and hope to carry out a 'soft brexit' which secures the safety of current EU members living in this country, workers rights and our place in the single market. 

Some useful links on the labour party Labour webiste, BBC guide to the party, Voters support Corbyn's manifesto  and a guide to the manifesto

Here are a few visuals to compare the torries and labour. 

First looking at the national debt the parties can cause. 
Image result for corbyn vs may voting history

This second image takes a look at both party leaders voting records in parliament. 

Liberal democrats 
Their current leader is Tim Farron and they were previously in a coalition government between 2010-2015 with the conservatives. The ideologies of the liberal democrats is based liberal ideas such as changing our electoral system, decriminalising drugs and in favour of reforming traditional British institutions. 
They say they are the only party keeping Britain forward thinking, green and intend to fight injustice.They also plan on ending the expansion of grammar schools, investing in the NHS and also want to legalise cannabis.
They are pro European union and plan to hold a second referendum on the terms we want to leave on.
There has been a lot of talk around tactical voting to get the torries out so if you leave in a torry constituency but lib dem came second in the last election people suggest voting for the lib dems as a way to get the torries out however this might not necessarily work. 

The green party. 

Image result for green party

The green party is currently run by both Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley who run it together as  a job share. 
The greens aim to prioritise climate change, stop running schools as businesses (eg scrapping tuition fees) and also to protect the NHS. Like labour they also aim to re-balance to wealth and end austerity. Caroline Lucas has expressed desire for a second EU referendum. 
The green party website, Manifesto at a glance, and Lib dems wont stand in Brighton to help Caroline Lucas stay on as MP. 

There are three more parties who I have not mentioned yet that is the SNP (Scottish national party) currently run by Nicola Sturgeon and their main aim is to host a second referendum to leave the United kingdom and become independent from UK. Next we have Plaid cymru who is lead by Leanne Wood and is fighting to get Wales' voice heard. However if they got in to power in Wales (Wales is currently Labour) a lot of the decisions made would effect the whole country. Finally we have UKIP who are currently lead by Paul Nuttall who's policies are focusing on our security for example the banning of face coverings and they believes everyone should follow our law therefore sharia law would be banned.  

Finally I have a few more links on articles for further reading, some quizzes to help you find out which parties you agree with most and more. 
- Who shall I vote for? 

- 2017 election Quiz 

- Why young people should vote 

- GE 2017 policy tracker 

- The political compass  / a quiz not specific to UK parties or this election by is really useful as it tells you your political leaning. 

- I would also recommend following Owen Jones on social media / Youtube and Jonathan Pie. This is also a YouTube video I found very useful on the best ways to stay informed.

Thank you so much for reading this far and I hope you found it somewhat useful. In summary I'd recommend looking at the polices (not just the leaders) and doing a few quizzes, deciding which party you support then looking at your constituency and who is most likely to get in. If you have any questions please comment or find me on twitter @afashionoddity. 

Love Charlotte

Monday, 22 May 2017

Tropical Prints - Style post

Hey Guys,
I hope you enjoyed last weeks post as today's outfit post is from the same location, shot at Trebah Gardens. 

Shirt - Zara
Jeans - Gap
Jacket (round waist) - Gap
Backpack - Nica
Sandals - Next

For someone who as a kid hated flowers, "What's the point they just die, rubbish present" I am now obsessed with all the flowers. I adore this shirt for the summer, blue has always been one of my favourite colours to wear. It is so light weight it will be so nice as the weather keeps getting warmer (here's hoping eh?). The top button is very low so it can gape a be quite boob-y. Plus Trebah (tropical gardens) was a very fitting back drop for such a tropic print.
It is another one of my classic outfits that are supper comfy but because of the print it's a little more than just a t-shirt and jeans.
I'm still loving my new backpack, its perfect for adventures. Think its the only bag I have that I can fit my DSLR in.

Love Charlotte

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

My 19th Birthday at Trebah Gardens - Lifestyle post

Hey guys

So nearly two weeks ago now (4/5/17) was my 20th birthday. This is only my second birthday away from home so I'm still used to my mum going all out but this year my best gals put her to shame and came over in the morning, decorated my lounge and provides a danish pastry and mimosa or tow for breakfast whitest I opened all my cards and presents.

Then after going to vote in the local elections of course we headed to Trebah Gardens which is still technically in Falmouth but along the helford river and near one of my favourite beaches. Trebah is 26 acre's of sub tropical gardens including an amphitheatre and a private beach.  Of course we accidentally found the kids play park first and spent too long on the zip wire but after that its so easy to follow the gardens down to the beach while seeing everything on the way.


 Everywhere I looked there was so many different vibrant colours it was just so beautiful.

The view from the top lawns with a little view of the sea in.


The water gardens / the cheesiest photo of the whole day 

We had a change of plans with the meal out as my original plan was to go back to the Ferryboat inn near Trebah but just as we got there at 3pm lunch service had finished so we drove back into Falmouth to try the Little red rooster dinner which was so nice. We each got a burger then got fries, sweet potato fries with mac and cheese to share which was all great and amazing value. 

 We ended the day in typical style with a great pre drinks which included lots of gin, George Michael and a game that was basically 'beat the intro' but with kazoos before heading into town .

I tried to keep this not too photo heavy ( we got SO many pictures at trebah gardens). I hope you enjoyed this lil look at how I was spoilt this year (Thanks again to my best friends for treating me). I have done this kinda post for the last few years here is my 18th and 19th birthday posts. I also normally do a present haul post but it would be more of a haul anyway as most of my family just gave me money so I'm not sure about that this year.

Thanks ! P.S Head to my pinned tweet (@afashionoddity) for a quick giveaway to celebrate hitting 1K Instagram followers and then keep an eye out for another one in June on here.

Love Charlotte

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Stripes and polka dots - Style post

Hey Guys,

Shirt : TU at Sainsburys
Jeans: Gap
Belt : Primark
Shoes : Vans
Backpack : Nica

Yesterday my friends and I took a walk to Enys gardens as the bluebells are in full bloom at the moment, we knew this would be the perfect photo backdrop. It was just the cutest day walking around these beautiful gardens in the sun. It's my birthday later this week and so far my 'birthday week' has been full of baking, cinema trips (we saw 21st century women which I am in love with) and adventures with my friends.
The blue stripped shirt has been all over instagram of recent and I am loving all these ones with a little twist like the red panelling on this shirt which I still cant believe I got in Sainsburys. Now backpacks have been something I've not worn since I left high school but this one which I choose from Nica as part of a mothers day prize (mum and I each got to choose a bag in celebration of mothers day) I am obsessed with, its such a soft leather that its not at all stiff when its not full but there is so much room inside I've only had it a week or so now and have used it every day since. Plus I love wearing the polka dot print on the back clashing with other prints like these stripes.

Hope you are enjoying the spring bloom just as much as I am this season.

Love Charlotte

Monday, 24 April 2017

How to choose which university is right for you - Lifestyle

Hey guys,

A few years back now I made a post talking about my experiences doing my A levels and taking about whether to stay at your school or go to a sixth form college which I loved so I thought it was about the time I shared my thoughts on the process of choosing the right university for you although I think its too late in the year now as most people would have chosen their first and insurance choice through UCAS by now (that's how it works in the UK anyway).

The way I went about this process probably wasn't the best way, I had no idea what I wanted to study, where I wanted to go or anything. However I knew I wanted to go to university, perhaps for the wrong reasons (social life, because my parents went [they met each other at uni so when I was very young I had the idea of you go to uni, meet the person you end up with and it all just works out] and to get away from home). My parents however were kind of against me going they knew financially we couldn't afford it, the debt I'd have after wouldn't be worth it and the idea that especially in fashion I could get further with industry experience instead I totally ignored these points, the idea of the student loan is glamorised before uni and you really understand the catches. Anyway so you know you want to go?

So now first write down what you already know... the cities you like (for me going somewhere I'd never been before was daunting) you may know automatically what you want to study but most of us don't so look at what you enjoy studying at the moment and where they can take you, write down the industries you are interested in and start looking at the degrees out there (I was studying R.S, Sociology and photography loved all three but also knew I wanted to work in fashion so I was a mess looking into course from Sociology and philosophy to fashion design). If you are like me looking at courses so different there are a few questions to ask
- Which area is more employable?
- Which are you currently more qualified in?
- What are you most passionate about?
- Think how you will be studying this for at least three years including a dissertation so think through what you want to learn more about but also university course are just about learning its about your own research and own work so what courses will you enjoy enough to want to do well in.

Once you have brainstormed and started asking yourself these questions about what you want to study. I'd really recommend attending a UCAS fair if there is one near you. Its an amazing chance to grab as many prospectuses for all the uni's you can. I definitely went over board and it helped. It opened my eyes to just how many different unis are in the country and you can ask questions. (I went to mine before doing any of my own research so asked a lot of obvious questions.

For me by this point I had my 3 course categories
- Fashion marketing / business courses
- Sociology / philosophy and social sciences
- teaching related
Then I had a few cities I knew I wanted to look at mainly Bristol and Bath (was born there but only lived there for like a month, been desperate to move back ever since) but none of the courses were right. No matter how many lists I made I couldn't choose my course, therefore career path randomly.

Next you need to attend as many open days as you can I went to at least 6 but go to more if you can. Even if you know you'd rather move away also look at the uni's in your home city. Most of them work in a similar away allowing you to attend sort talks from a few different courses (which was perfect for me), explore campus, have an accommodation tour and talk to as many people as possible to get a feel for the place from lecturers and current students. I also tried to get a chance to go into the town or city because that was a big factor for me when committing to live somewhere new for three years.
The process of open days was what helped me decide on the course area I wanted to stick with (after many teaching course talks we knew it wasn't for me, it is different to when my mum did hers and she said it sounds ridiculous plus you can do any course then do the years PGC after to pursue teaching). The final thing the made me decide to go with fashion was the career possibilities (yes post-grad employability is looking impossible, probably a future post on this) I had no idea where my future would go after studying sociology.

Another tip I'd recommend is as annoying it may be every family member constantly asking you questions about 'Where have you applied?', 'What are you going to study?' etc make the most of this, ask them questions about their uni experiences but also your friends those who are applying to uni at the same time were amazing help for me. One of my best friends Jess was also undecided about where to apply so we all went round with a handful of laptops and traded ideas. Jess threw me the Falmouth prospectus and thank god she did, I'd honestly never even heard of the place (soz fal), I'd never even been to Cornwall and now I've lived here for nearly two years. So all I can say is keep talking about.

For me after that day with Jess it all kind of fell into place I fell in love with falmouth town, the course and campus. I applied to 4 other options I had been to and liked them all for different reasons. So I had my five choices that I applied to via UCAS but to then choose my first and insurance choices once again meant lots of lists. Pro and con lists this time you ask yourself to compare the uni's with questions such as
- distance from home, cost of public transport home etc
-  note details of the course (for example I was choosing between Manchester a heavily business theory based fashion course and Falmouth which is half creative and half business)
- cost of accommodation
- The town think about whats important to you for example clubs, all the high street shops, a beach etc and work out which town has what you need.
- The universities qualities, this is not related to the course but the uni in general from campus tours (for example the library and SU), how the uni is perceived (look at the league tables). For me this was a big factor I had been accepted into Manchester which is a top Russell group university so I thought it would be mad to turn that offer down but Falmouth is the number one Arts university so again thinking about what works best for you.
- The final question you need to be honest with yourself in regards to the entry grades for each uni. I knew what was realistic for me to achieve on my A level results day. So compare what they are all looking for and work out which you can most likely get in to.
However this list of pros and cons is all the practical things and part of this is just going with your heart, knowing where you will be happy for three years.

Finally the one website I'd recommend using throughout the whole process is WHICH university. To initially find course you may be interested in, to compare them and to access league tables.

I hope you find this post useful and best of luck with applying to uni (I didn't touch on the best way to apply to university because I'd only be able to talk about applying to fashion courses I guess). I didn't know what images to include so I just took some pretty pictures of the buildings around my university campus in the sun.

Love Charlotte
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