What really happened at the general elections, this year?
Labour’s recent defeat in the general elections has to be one of the most shocking episodes in British political history. This party is regarded to be centre-left politically and is founded on social democratic and democratic socialist ideals, stemming from a trade union (labour) movement that began in Europe, during the industrial revolution. Keir Hardie, the first Labour Member of Parliament, was one of those important local figures, who is today considered to be one of the founding fathers of the party.
The party has spurned out many great Prime Ministers, from Ramsay MacDonald to Clement Attlee, but can we really see the party stand high beneath these greats’ shadows, despite what by now should be a regular understanding – political highs and lows. The biggest challenge facing the party isn’t divisive behaviours or difficult political strategies, it is how to make sure it can break apart the Conservative government.
The party sometimes feels disenfranchised from the working-class, from centre-left voters and this must change for them to win back their political standing. Whenever there is an improvement in the previously-sluggish economy, the welcome change is attributed to the Conservatives, instead of sharing it as a cross-party effort, in the least. This isn’t entirely because the financial collapse was all about banks and important global finance organizations, and Labour’s inability to do something about the recession.
Labour did a great deal to suggest that it could stand to gain plenty from the former general elections fiasco in 2010, that saw the Liberal Democrats joining hands with the Conservative Party, in power. A lot of Liberal Democrat voters saw this as a treacherous move because they felt that if a coalition was to be formed, then it should be with the party that they have most in common with: the Labour Party.
Many voters who had suggested they would vote for the Labour Party in the elections, in the end, surprisingly refrained from participating in the elections. There is still some confusion over what the voters who shifted towards the Labour Party, in the end, achieved for the values they identified with, within the party. But what we do know is that earlier on voters had defected to the Tory Party because the Conservative Party embodied a sense of responsibility towards the economy recovering, because they believed that the bankers are not at-large really contributing to the recession.
Finally, in Scotland there is a great deal of sentiment about unity of the Kingdom. Plenty of voters have been defecting here and there since the positive end to the referendum but it has left so many voters reluctant to be considered Scottish Labour supporters, instead of SNP voters. I personally like the idea of Scottish voters approving off the SNP more than the Labour Party in government because they are after all the single biggest party here but I do not quite understand where their dissatisfaction levels with the whole democratic equation in the Kingdom is coming from because political disagreements are after all a part of the whole picture of Westminster.
Was your former lover, really something more than a bad romantic choice?
Divorce or separation from your loved one can be one of the biggest challenges that women face today. It is tough for young women to let go off their romantic entanglements. As a sex, they prioritize the idea of marriages, of children so when they find the ideal guy because of whatever sensible reason, separation hits them harder than it does many men because they can see that some of their longstanding dreams will never come true.
But as an individual, it is a good idea to absorb these ‘new realities’ in your life. Except, just how exactly? Divorce rates are significantly falling from the national average (USA!) of slightly higher than 45percent but this doesn’t mean that the challenges to making a relationship work has faded away into nothingness in the 21st Century – the change isn’t that much from the ‘90s.
When you are divorced, one of your first tasks should be to give less of a damn about your former man. It is so easy to say you will never get over him, will still be curious about him but why should you put in that much effort for a has-been? If you have children then focus on those positives in your life because that is one dream you have accomplished and it is also someone you can always count on, unlike a man.
If your children are driving you crazy, then spend time away from them, like on a closeby spa visit and indulge in some fine-luxury treatment for yourself, such as a Swedish massage. When healed, look for another partner – someone you have more in common with, than your previous lover. Don’t be scared! This time you are better prepared!
If during the healing period you have bad thoughts for your former boyfriend, it’s best not to dwell in them because who knows how affected he is or is not by the breakup? The easiest solution is to wallow in self-pity…or watch How To Make An American Quilt, with dark chocolates.
Ossie Clark is one of those rare fashion designers, who is still remembered for his fashion contribution to the “Swinging Sixties”. His largest share of fashion concepts came from that era’s presence in London. Often viewed as a rival of the well known fashion boutique from the ‘60s, Biba, he has influenced fashion icons of the likes of Anna Sui.
In Clark’s perspective, the swinging sixties was about moving your body magically and producing an attractive image.
Fashion textile designer Celia Birtwell recently hosted an auction of the British designer’s clothes that were in her collection at Kerry Taylor Auctions. Sixty pieces having an approximate worth of £200 to £6,000 per piece is inclusive of pop-art minidresses Clark designed right after graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1965 and the black leather biker jacket designed right before his sad demise in 1996.
The most captivating image of the sixties from the collection is a billowing white dress (my personal favourite!). It captures the effervescent spirit of the decades, the subtle seduction very accurately and beautifully.
When I hear of weddings, I want to think of two quintessential British individuals tying the knot. I want to imagine a happy day filled with good food, laughter, champagne and the people important to the couple there at the wedding. Sometimes I do. Many other times I’m faced with a City Hall ceremony, that to me seems lifeless and dull. When couples get married at Vegas, when they elope, naysayers always say it won’t last. I have actually heard of practically no positive comments on that one. City Hall marriages are similarly, viewed as fast and convenient opportunities to appetite infatuation.
There is a lot of prejudice that comes towards a couple, when they separate. It is so hard to find them see things differently and in a mature way. Most women get prejudice from a system that cultivates a patriarch as a protector, as the provider, as the confidant. You might have had this as a rarity in the past and only something that works for strong, sporty, cerebral kids but now even average, arts-inclined (as a hobby), bright kids seem to be going in that direction. They often have to divide their attention inbetween ‘the man’ and ‘the woman’ in their lives and I bet, that gets tiring.
I think it is hard for women to be close to their kids in this climate. Some women, naturally exploit this system that looks upon the mother as the nurturer and the father as the provider. But every case isn’t the same and how will we really know what is the right decision when a couple chooses to separate
What I hate about weddings is when the bride or the bridegroom happens to be a Versace wearing, Oreo-loving, Valentino gowns-worshipping blonde-haired, blue-eyed airhead. Don’t get me wrong! I don’t mind when they take them out for coffee and buttery biscuits, like some secret admirer or some nosey, jealous observer. I just stick up my strong and long “Westminster” nose at the little scene and roll my eyes yet again! I just think the knot is something sacred that a couple should honour. They should try as much as they can to keep their vows. I am all good with most kinds of weddings, except those where a honeymoon in Venice, is replaced by a trip to park to see a friend’s theatre production because she has worked more “hard” at it than “the wedding planner”. But does a kind of wedding really determine, whether or not your marriage will last?
When you prepare to go on a holiday, how much thought do you put into your luggage?
I am an Over-Packer
A packer who does not know how to sort their items in a
luggage is a confused packer. Their minds are filled with questions over what
to pack and what to not. But it need not be this way because travelling to
Valencia in Spain should be looked as a fun experience, and packing for it
needs to double up as something of that sort too.
An over-packer however is
always busy pondering over the latest questions about a trip: where to go for
fancy-dress parties? Should I pack a raincoat and an umbrella? What if I have a
lot of social events to attend and not enough outfit changes for me through
them? Over-packers like to think that they have thought of it all when it came
to packing “the essentials”, aside from maybe how to close that luggage now
before taking it with them to the airport.
I only have LV Carry-Ons
A carry-on packer can also be termed as a light packer. They
like to plan ahead and organize all of their items. As minimalist travelers,
they can be practical and versatile with their clothing choices. They are
effortless in the concept of mix-and-match with all of their essentials. They
dislike having to lug around a lot of Louis Vuitton cases and check them into
the baggage compartment and then maybe even think of all of the extra fees they
have to now pay for not having thought through packing before arriving at the airport.
Most travellers worry about packing – it is almost a
universal worry. When you are a smart packer, as a traveler you will have all
of the hacks to packing. You will know how to fold your socks into your shoes
to save space, you will Sellotape your shampoo and conditioner bottles, just so
they are not everywhere inside your luggage, and all over your beloved Dartmouth
green jumper, when you have finally arrived at your favourite hotel at the
Trafalgar, and you will have your jewellery items untangled and strung through
straws – ready to wear to the first tourist spot you want to visit.
The Last-minute Packer
Life with a last-minute packer must be the most hectic idea
imaginable – they always avoid packing for a holiday. They have no organized lists
or list of items to go through so when it is time to pack they are running all
over the house trying to finish the task and also avoid missing their flight.
Just like a tornado, the packer is busy throwing anything he can think off into
his suitcase at the last minute – depending on how much practice he has got he
can have everything done right or he might just remember on the plane that he
has forgotten to bring polos or any ties.
Singapore is celebrating independence from the British Empire, this month.
Singapore is turning 50 years this month – a birthday that also marks independence from the British Empire. It’s a tiny state that is an island, and was thrown out of an union with Malaysia in 1965 for which there was no survival technique that seemed in sight for Singapore. But today it is one of the most affluent nations in the world, praised for it’s environmentally-clean government, love for being ordered, and efficient. Taxes are low in the country, it has good public services, and is globally ranked, all the time, highly, over ease-of-business.
Singapore was once upon a time very poor – it had no water, no hinterland and a population of Chinese, Indian and Malays, who never got along. It faced competition from the bigger-in-size Indonesia, and the relatively more populated with similar people, Malaysia, who could overrun it, without a moment’s notice. The founding father of Singapore, Lee, once called the tiny state an absurd thing, but I grossly disagree because lands don’t come built, they have to be build and that is a mighty lot of hard work.
Many leaders in Singapore, have this insecurity about how it’s national finances don’t have enough transparency – they prefer to use the word mysterious, even though it sounds a whole lot like there is something wrong there with the mysteriousness, that there is a requirement that all men serve in the armed forces for two years (I doubt holidays count much but it sill gives many insecurities!), and the government’s sordid support for manufacturing, and it’s ability to control how speech flows in the country, without making it look like a Communist state, at all.
Not that there is nothing wrong with being a Communist state because we do not have an unspoken Cold War with China or something, like China and Japan, officially does, but it is a matter of pride for us that we can ensure so much control politically in a state, that is democratic, not socialist. Singapore is more secure today than it has ever been, unknown to the leaders of the land today. Relationships with Malaysia are blossoming, as are ASEAN trade ties and territorial integrity is not under attack at all.
There is no opposition here, but the government survives just fine in policymaking without it, earning accolades along the way. Many consider Lee to also be responsible for all of this success in policymaking because for him Singapore operates a clean, slick and pragmatic rule. The People’s Action Party is the only party to have never been out of power in the industrialized world, but some critics suggest that people here will need more options and more rigorous, clear and new checking because even though it has been running so great all this time, it cannot sustain itself in the long run. I don’t know what to say to those absurd insinuations but this: the way forward is to craft good policies, that know how to address an evolving and positively growing Singapore, absolutely nothing else.
Alice Archer likes to work with embroidery. Having worked backstage for Dries van Noten in the past, she then went on to launch her own namesake label, that is also available exclusively at Brown’s. Archer’s crafty ways to get design to translate into patternmaking is exquisite, to say the least.
Hailing from the Gulf, Azzedine Alaia comes from a family of wheat farmers, and got inspired to work in fashion after looking through copies of Vogue. Alaia studied sculpture first and then went to work as an assistant to a dressmaker, before moving to Paris, and working as a tailor to Christian Dior. His fashion line has been largely sophisticated and structured, much like his early love for sculpture.
Sophie Webster designs the most delicious shoes you will ever see – she has even captured the attention of many editors, around the world, for it. Webster has trained at Cordwainers College, much like Jimmy Choo, himself, and this season is all about colourful and eye-catching statements.
Osman is all about the Native American movement for Pre-Fall 2015. Offering a mix of ethnic and British influences, the fashion label aims to bring iconic stories, such as Pocahontas come alive with the help of luxury labels and precision-cut tailoring.
Evolution, generally speaking is a very broad term in science, and it is a concept most scientists believe in. The number of scientific believers in creationism is very low and I am not one of them because I am a firm believer in religious texts prescribed to us by the Church of England. But evolution, as Charles Darwin sees it is very different from evolution in general because his theory revolves around natural selection and not really only about genetic descent throughout the ages from an ancestor that was similar to us.
In this retrospect, evolution doesn’t sound so much different from creationism because religious texts believe that after God created Adam and Eve, and the serpent tricked it so that they got banished from Heaven and fell to Earth (the serpent, meanwhile, grew deadly), the whole human race soon began to grow. But the similarities end there – at the thought of the origins because evolution prescribes to the idea that human beings evolved from our nearest mammal: extinct humanoids.
Darwinism believes that new species only came about through repeated sets of change in biological structures as life on Earth progressed through the ages. If you wanted to get into the whole argument over which is more profound: religious texts that date centuries or scientific theories, don’t even go there – you are fighting a losing battle.
It’s because both arguments are starkly opposite from each other and neither can just be crossed out to help simplify your thoughts. You have to understand how theology is related to evolution, because as Richard Dawkins has stated in his book The Selfish Gene (1976): genes mutate and grow, not one particular organism.
I do identify with this thought pattern, because it satisfies both ends of the spectrum of this debate: natural selection can help explain many fundamental theories if you can connect it to the age old learnings religious texts have taught generations. It has taught us that the universe came into existence on a particular date, that humans are products of creationism but then as science grew and with it brought new questions to the front, somewhere along the line, history and science became two opposing sides.
This is, however inaccurate I strongly believe, because they are in fact two sides of the same coin: Darwinism predicts that human beings evolved from humanoids that can be presumed to be genetically close to us. Nevermind, that unlike dinosaurs who no longer exist but their shrunken evolved form still does as flying birds, apes still walk the Earth, alongside humans (their cousins, from extinct humanoids), it also raises some probing questions over this less-well-liked-by-the-public theory: are you arguing for genetic change, that sometimes remains stationary and sometimes doesn’t or are you talking about the relation biological diversity has with each other?
Consumer concerns in India are already being addressed over the noodles brand, but can a scare really scare people off Maggi?
Nestlé is a prime food maker in the world and their presence in the Indian market for basic snacks, such as noodles, helps the country to expand it’s horizons in the easy meals department. However, recently a scare there over the controversy that their products contain high levels of lead, which can pose as a serious and dangerous health risk, means that more than just consumption confidence has been damaged.
Following the allegations, the noodles went through numerous further tests and it was revealed that the snack was in fact safe to eat. This food test was carried out on over 1000 packs of Maggi’s 2-Minute Noodles, by internal examiners, but another separate test was also conducted independently, which received positive results, as well.
Maggi noodles became an after-school meal for numerous school children across India, during the ‘80s. Enjoyed by mostly the middle-class, somewhere around a fifth of the revenue of
India is accrued from the sell of noodles. Although, this fact has been cast in doubt over the recent controversies as shelves of the noodles have been cleared to quench food fears, there is no denying the importance of the food product in India.
Colleges, in and around, India carry stalls stocked with Maggi noodles, and even roadside vendors, shops in rural areas, can be seen peddling around with this ubiquitous snack. This decline in consumer trust comes at a time when there has been a global shift towards preference over healthier and fresh food choices.
This trend is a stark contrast to the growing culture of relying on fast food that had sprung up in India in the ’80s. Maggi’s noodles could be cooked in just two-minutes and many in the population there found that idea both fascinating and simplistic. Maggi actually has it’s roots in
Nestlé, since 1947, when India became independent from the British Raj.
At the time, Maggi was a separate entity but it was bought in by
at home first, before proceeding to set up a local branch of the company in Punjab in 1961.
played an important role in growing the milk economy of the state of Punjab, in co-operation with politicians, such as Jawaharlal Nehru, who was a firm believer in the policy choice.
Maggi was grown across India, with this policy in mind and for the first few years it dominated the instant noodles market before Nissin’s Top Ramen noodles hit the shelves in the ’90s, at which point the company began to lose out it’s revenues to it’s formidable rival. But no matter how you look at it, the Maggi noodles brand from Nestlé seems set on retaining it’s crown as “the favourite noodles of India”, irrespective of controversies – that is a welcoming thought, to think about for one of the most trusted food brands in India.