What is this?

Hi! My name is Ulrik, and this is my student blog. My posts will be based on tasks and subjects given to the class by my English teacher Ann. I am currently in my third year at Sandvika High School, Norway.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Carthage-first impressions

I've only just started on the book, perhaps fifty pages in or so, but Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates has got my attention. Her writing style is good, and despite a heavy month ahead, I have no doubt I will finish it. Many questions are stuck in my head, and they can only be answered by reading the book- how did Cressida disappear? That's the main question, and in a months time you can read my full review. 

Gay Pride Comrades and the Miners' strike

In 1984, the UK government under Thatcher decided to shut down twenty coal mines, leading up to one of the biggest strikes in UK history; picket-lines fighting police daily, as the government used many unfine methods, such as cutting gas lines to the villages. In order to keep a strike ongoing for a long time, you need support- as you are not given salary when striking-, and the Welch mining-community received support from a somewhat unexpected group; the Gay Pride Comrades. After a year, the strike was over, and the government had it their way; Margaret Thatcher remains a controversial figure after this, still hated by the mining communities. 

So, why did the gay community show support to the mining community, a conservative and not really gay-friendly group of people? One man who pushed the cause in the gay community was the gay activist Mark Ashton, who saw that the coal-miners were struggling with police and media the same way as the gays did. Mark met resistance when suggesting to support them, but after a while they had a support organization up and running, showing huge support to the miners. Despite huge donations, many of the miners and their wives remained hostile and conservative, fearing AIDS and poor influence on the children(the usual anti-gay stuff). 

Homosexuality was illegal in GB, and the gay cause probably saw that if they managed to stand hand in hand with another group, they could achieve higher support and understanding- in fact, the Labour Party manifestoed gay rights one year after these events, and it's probably not a coincidence. In addition to this the miners joined the gay-pride march, something that astonished GB; solidarity before anything became the way of thought. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The old order

In Europe the last years, we have seen the growth of nationalism; in both the good and the bad term. We have the Scottish nationalism- the wish for independence and the need for self-government, and we have the British, French, Greek etc nationalism- the anti-EU attitude, hate towards immigrants, and what most non-nationalists describes as people who does not know any better, and will bring upon their own destruction (like Germany in the 30s). In GB, which is this articles concern, UKIP (UK Independence party) creates a headache for the Labour and Conservatives. These two parties, who since the Depression days (the period which created Nazi Germany), has had up to 90% percent of the votes and thereby had the opportunity to form a one-party government without much trouble (because for example Labour could get 60%), now has to include the liberals- and even perhaps UKIP after this election- in their government.

GB has, as we know, a really old out-dated voting system (some would say), and each voting district only has one representant. Thereby will 51% liberal votes only give one liberal representant, and the 49% other votes will be ignored. When parties like UKIP suddenly receives lots of votes in certain districts, and they get people in the Parliament- never heard of in UK history before-, big parts of the UK system suddenly has to realize that the Labour or Conservative days are over.

Why do many people vote for UKIP? They are against the EU (they don't like non-brits in Brussel governing them), and against immigration.  The English system is in many ways stuck in the medieval age. The lords and the old conservatives are terrified because the UKIP wants to throw away the old system, where Hereditary lords, heirs to medieval warriors, can still vote on legislation in a 21st century democracy; they want do replace the House of Lords with a proportional representative senate. Is this bad? I do not think so. That does not mean UKIP is the solution (because they are nationalist scumbags- my personal opinion). However, old UK may be falling down- and a new reality is upon them. With possible Scottish independence within a century, and a nationalist party growing in old England, the old order is threatened.