New Year, New role

I hope everyone has had a Merry Christmas and a Happy start to the New Year.

In November, I began a role with Citizens Advice Broxbourne as a Researcher and Campaigner. Whilst not directly advising clients or being able to see the impact I am having directly. My work is helping to change and fix problems in the community and will hopefully in the long run make it a better place to live, work and play.

I have been really excited to get going. Research has always been a big interest of mine. More so the international level during my studies, however, over the last few years I have become more interested in the local and national. The local has come ever more important as the issues that people face, particularly those without power (the marginalised) have increased greatly in recent times.

In addition, being able to campaign is something new to me but it is an incredibly powerful tool to force change. I look forward to honing that particular skill and using my skillset to benefit the residents of Broxbourne.

I will update my blog as much as I can with the social policy issues and campaigns that I am undertaking with Citizens Advice. In that role, I am politically neutral. Here of course I will be representing myself.

I understand some viewers may think I have disappeared completely, particularly judging from when I last posted! I apologise. I really have to keep this updated.

Hope everyone is well during these unsettling times. The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone. Keep safe all, look after your mental health. Get out and get lots of fresh air πŸ™‚

IAPSS Brussels Study trip “The EU under threat?”

Five weeks (and a bit) ago I decided that I’d do something I wouldn’t normally do. I applied to go on a study trip to Brussels with the IAPSS. Throughout the whole process, I had in my head that it wouldn’t be offered to me. However, it was worth a shot anyway, to gain experience applying for programmes and jobs. So, I submitted my application before the deadline on January 30th.

The form required a few personal details. As well as my academic background, and why I would like to go on the study trip. I explained my eagerness to learn about EU institutions and the threats the EU faces from multiple angles. As well as including my interest in environmental/climate policy and the dangers a state leaving the EU would have on the potential for cooperation at National/European/International level. My Economics project that I worked on in my last module was submitted for their viewing..

Along came the 6th February and the email I totally wasn’t expecting.

Study trip acceptance email

Study trip acceptance email

I got on the programme! The European Union is of deep interest to me.

The IAPSS itself is a great international network for students of political science and international relations. It’s student led and works with key institutions. I can’t believe I missed out on being a member of this network for so long, then finding out about it just as I’m finishing my degree.

The range of talks next week take place in the European Commission, Council and the Parliament (if I’m on TV, I’ll give a wave).

I have an idea of a few issues that I’d like to get more clarification on as I participate.

A couple of questions, I’ve had pointed to me by others:

    1.) Is there a democratic deficit in the EU or is it a scare tactic touted by those who don’t know the difference between direct and indirect democracy?
    2.) Is there a potential for member states not to stick to free movement of people over the refugee crisis (although I think it’s a more schengen issue)

If anyone can think of more questions they would like me to answer or clarify please comment below or navigate to the contact area.

Apart from waiting with much anticipation for this study trip. I’ve been busy writing TMA 4 towards my module (DD313 – International Relations). Concerned with governance in the international system and whether it is a bottom-up or top-down process in a chose case study. I chose to specialise in international environment and climate governance, specifically the EU emissions trading scheme (yes, again! πŸ˜‰ ).

In conclusion, Through analysis it was shown that there is more prospect of bottom-up governance in the international system in liberal societies then in illiberal societies. As the 28 states in the EU are liberal (more or less) they all allow for bottom-up governance in regards to ETS governance. However, using states like Belarus as an example itself a signatory to the Kyoto protocol, would allow for less or no bottom-up governance in the name of networks. Belarus is a dictatorship and is more absolute in terms of international legal sovereignty and is more centrally controlled meaning governance is generally top-down.

I tried to (shorten) summarise my essay in 4 lines, in a readable format. Didn’t really think that was possible.

Below you’ll find some images I’ve taken over the past month. As I’ve been so incredibly busy and broke, I’ve not been able to go anywhere. Oh and don’t judge regarding the wine, every student needs a vice to pull through right? πŸ˜›

Images from the past month

Right now, I’m listening to Light It Up (feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG) – Remix on Spotify.
Have a peaceful end of the week readers.

I’ll try and blog post before I leave for Brussels on Tuesday.
If I don’t, you can follow my progress on Twitter (displayed on the top right) –>

Here just about!

I’m still here all. Just got smelly dissertation/projecty thingy πŸ™

I got some new posts planned soon. On me and politics. Gotta stay tuned..

Solidworks… Yay

Following up from this.

I’ve finally got a copy of solidworks that well.. works! Soon I’ll be designing my own winning race car step aside Adrian Newey! πŸ™‚