Friday, 23 October 2009


Here's a fashion feature that i did a while ago, thought it was relevant:

Who is your favourite style icon and why? 

There will always be the obvious, glamorous women who place the stakes high when it comes to the world of fashion. The ones that make our proud new Primark bargain feel inadequate compared to their perfectly polish exteriors . . . complete with statement handbag. 

But when asked the question ‘who is your favourite style icon?’ i thought long and hard about the people who i feel live, eat and breath style. Someone that oozes sophistication from their every pore and knows what looks good on them. Which is why i came to the conclusion that for me Ashley Olsen defines the words ‘style icon’.

From growing up in the 1990’s with the Olsen’s hit TV shows, such as ‘Two of a kind’ splashed across the television screen, it has been obvious from the beginning that style goes hand in hand with this fashionista. Although there may have been a few cringe worthy moments along the way, including Ashley’s taste for real fur clothing, the array of outfits that she displays gives style adoration a whole other meaning. After all what is fashion without a bit of debate? 

To be a style icon you have to be an individual. Someone always ahead of the trend with a finger on the pulse of the fashion industry. A person who’s not afraid to take risks by putting their own stamp on fashion. Ashley’s style is a great example of this. She manages to incorporate classic basic elements such as plain white t-shirts, and put a contemporary spin on them to create effortless outfits carried off with an air of confidence . . . along with statement sunglasses, a pair of killer heels and a cup of Starbucks coffee glued to her hand. 

Whether it’s front row seats at Chanel fashion shows, or heading her own fashion line ‘The Row’ with help from her equally stylish twin sister Mary Kate. Ashley has become a household name for all the right reasons, from designer to business woman the list of accomplishments goes on and on. There is nothing that this young entrepreneur cannot put her mind to. Not only is this stylish lady a divine couture hunter with an eye for statement pieces, but she has the brains behind the beauty to give back a little piece of that special fashion know how which people, such as myself, inspire to recreate.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Whitehall’s significance: 

Whitehall has always been characterized by secrecy. It is the place where the people that effectively ‘run the country’ are hidden away from the general public. Whitehall is known as the executive and includes top institutions like the M.O.D. These giant departments that were created provide governments and politicians the opportunity to remove controversies from the publics watchful gaze and resolve them away from all the fuse. Each of these departments have great historical significance as they stand at the centre of the UK government.  The modern service of Whitehall was developed in the mid nineteenth century when the bourgeoisie used their political and economic power to gain the control that they wanted. Other levels included are the legislature e.g the monarch in parliament, the house of commons and lords in Westminster, as well as the judiciary of  independent courts that determine common law and interprets the acts of parliament in the high court.

However because of the high level of secrecy surrounding Whitehall it has made the British government one of the most closed governments in the entire world. With factors such as the official secrets act helping to keep issues away from the medias hands. When it comes to civil servants they  are said to be permanent, politically neutral and anonymous, although this can be questioned when information is sometimes leaked from Whitehall to the newspapers. One of the main questions to ask is does the civil service match the needs of the modern state? this has been something i have taking into account when writing my politics essay, but if you want to comment just leave a message below. 

Anyone for tea? 

Just a quick blog on something in the news that made me laugh this week. 

The story that BNP leader, Nick Griffin would be attending the Queens garden party at Buckingham Palace. Just the thought of the surreal situation made me imagine tea and cake go flying at the questions that could be asked towards the queen. 

Nick Griffin’s thoughts about the situation turned to being pushed into a corner at the party and “talking to the corgies.” The fact that he wasn’t even genuinely invited by the royal family made peoples accusations over why he shouldn’t go even more prominent. With Boris Johnson suggesting that Mr Barnbrook should ‘invite another guest’ as there was ‘potential embarrassment to Her Majesty.’

What i don’t understand is why everything has to be so politically correct all the time, it’s political correctness that is draining this country of all that is normal and natural.  Anyway I am sure that the Queen could choose not to talk to Nick Griffin if she wanted to, and there is probably a slim chance anyway that she even would in the first place.

However, how typically English for a garden party to be the show grown for all this BNP palaver. 

MP’s and their expenses:

Would you do it? Be honest! 

If you were in an MP’s position would you claim for things that you knew you shouldn’t, knowing that you could get away with it?

Having that temptation at your finger tips would make anyone think twice about claiming for expensive duck houses or porno’s. But if MP’s were so loyal to their constituencies in the first place surely they wouldn’t put their position in jeopardy.  

Although the drag of the on going information thats being revealed daily in the telegraph is personal taking its toll on my patience. The freedom of information act and the journalist that uncovered probably the biggest news story of the year so far, did a fantastic job. Good old fourth estate!  

Anyway im going of track. What i really wanted to say was that there was an interesting article in the Sun last week showing Oliver Cromwell’s speech to the house of commons which highlighted how although 350 years have past, our government hasn’t changed a bit. It is still as useless and corrupt as ever.  


Here is the link if you want to have a look for yourselves:

What does ‘Vote’ mean to you? 

One thing that I’m looking forward to doing is voting in the european elections, i know most people these days can’t be bothered to vote or haven’t even registered yet. But my mum always says that if you vote then you have a right to freely complain about any political matters that you want to. I think it may be a feministic streak in me, being happy that my time to vote has finally come, i think I’m having a bit of a suffragette movement moment. 

The definition of voting is to express a choice or an opinion, and i feel that in our current economic climate and with the Daily Telegraph exposing ridiculous claims on MP’s expenses it should fuel us all to vote, whether it be now on in the general election to come. 

The next issue to come across is who to vote for? 

Each party seems as bad as each other at the moment, and it gives a clear indication as to why younger people aren’t voting in massive numbers. The political parties and their history make for good reading if your interested in that sort of thing, with the whigs becoming known as the liberal party and tories the conservatives. Labour has done enough damage as it is, but i may just think that way because of what my parents have bought me up to believe. Although i think Gordon Brown has swayed my decision dramatically. 

What i really wanted to say was that whoever you vote for, just vote. The cheesy line ‘every vote counts’  may sound petty but i think its true, if we really want a difference, no matter how big or small, change has got to happen sometime. America is a great example, just look at the fresh lease of life that Obama has had over American society. Britain may have problems but if you want to have a hope in fixing them, voting would be a good start, right? 

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Welshman and a Scotsman walk into a bar . . .

If only it was that easy! 

From Romans to Saxons to Normans to Vikings, England’s history has been quite intense. From the Dark ages where Roman Gods were lost, christianity took over and monasteries were highly fortified, to the 17th century English revolution, where Oliver Cromwell’s military dictatorship in Ireland could be compared by some to the holocaust. The United Kingdom, being made up out of former independent kingdoms (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) went through a lot of drama in order to achieve the union that is held today. 

The Glorious Revolution (sometimes called the bloodless revolution) in 1688 led to a constitutional monarchy in England. It could be argued that the revolution was more of an invasion, as Dutch forces landed large numbers of troops in England. With William 111, or William of Orange (who governed most provinces of the Dutch Republic) becoming king in England following the Revolution, although the constitution seemed to be the more important factor. But does England need a constitution? We already have the Magna Carta (issued in 1215) which was the first document forced onto an English King to limit his powers, and therefore protect the publics privileges. As well as the Bill of rights and common law.

However, the main point that The Glorious Revolution highlighted was that there would be no possibility of a catholic monarch, as well as restricting the monarchs powers. (For example the monarch could no longer suspend laws.) But has England’s constitutional monarchy been the best solution after all these years? As the royals power over the country becomes less and less, parliaments power rises. The corruption and greed within parliament will always be there and the monarch cannot help this factor. 

The Prime Minister can be classed as being chosen ‘by the public for the public,’ some could argue that the monarch should cast this vote. But should power rule? As far as I’m concerned this country is screwed up enough already, the government already changes and ignores the constitution as it is. I feel that this quote sums up my feelings in one: 

‘A constitution is the property of a nation, and not of those who exercise government’

 Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1795

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Politics . . . . ok, here goes nothing!

The one phrase that has stuck in my mind from tuesdays lecture is ‘A PRIORI,’ this Latin phrase stands for ‘independent of experience.' I know it sounds far fetched but when you break it down I guess it doesn’t seem that scary. An example of an a priori statement is ‘the grass is green,’ you don’t have to examine the point you just know it to be true, it is innate inside you as there isn’t a longing for you to find out the answers to how and why. You don't have to look to the outside world for advice, therefore showing that without prior experience you can know certain statements to be true or false. 

‘There are 60 seconds in a minute’ is an a priori statement. Therefore could you say that time is a priori? (It's one of those points that if you think about it to much in an empirical way your brain starts to hurt, so just think 'a priori' and you'll be fine)  

The philosopher Immanuel Kant once said that: 

 ‘Although all knowledge begins with experience, it does not all arise out of experience.’ 

I think this idea lies between a priori and empiricism perfectly as it takes into account empiricists inability to accept assumptions, while also stating how knowledge doesn’t need to be experience for it to be known. However, in general a priori principles oppose empiricism. An example of an empirical argument is ‘what came first the chicken or the egg?' Relating this to current news stories, one example is: 

'I revere this man (and his book on earthworms)... Andrew Marr on the real legacy of Darwin'

This is an example of an empirical argument because Darwinism challenges our beliefs and the meaning of what it is to be human. There is no straight forward answer as everyones views on the subject differ. This means that empiricists will question Darwin's theories and try to figure out the meaning behind them.  

On the other hand an example of an a priori argument is: 

'Can jumbo elephants really paint? intrigued by stories, naturalist Desmond Morris set out to find the truth.'

This article is an example of an a priori argument because we are brought up knowing that elephants can't paint, it is innate inside us as humans to know this and therefore we do not question this fact. As well as this the article doesn't actually answer the question as there is not yet any scientific knowledge to prove that elephants can paint. The answer given, as politicians are fond of saying, is 'yes and no.' A great example of how the mix of empiricism, a priori and politics cannot always be as straight forward as you expect.