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  • The Shocking Sussexs; the tell-all interview that has divided the nation

    This week the UK erupted into a civil war of words. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with superstar American host Oprah Winfrey and gave a tell-all interview that has divided the nation. Debates started before the Sussexs even sat down to tell, what has since been widely referred to as ‘their truth’. People have been debating whether this couple, who had escaped to America and left their royal duties supposedly to live a more private life, were hypocrites for emerging from their Hollywood house to chat to Oprah. Since, the debates have not ended. Good Morning Britain seems to have adopted its position as the microcosm of the nation in response to the Meghan and Prince Harry drama. Piers Morgan stormed off the set after having a fiery argument with the weatherman Alex Bereford. The pair had disagreed over Meghan’s bombshell statements such as her suicidal thoughts, fights with the Duchess of Cambridge and the accusations of racism. Which side are you on? Meghan or Kate? Who asked about the colour of the baby? Is she telling the truth? These questions have been circling the British press and private conversations since the UK was able to watch the interview on Monday 8th March. These debates are set to continue, despite the Queen’s response, the papers are still filled with discussions of the interview alongside competing opinions of the Royal Family and the outspoken couple. Polls have shown that opinions have shifted and people feel passionately about the accusations and the people involved in what started as an interview but has become a scandal. Within the young population over 50% of 18-24-year-olds like both Meghan and Harry. This is in stark contrast to the older members of the UK. It was revealed that over 83% of over 65s dislike Meghan and 69% have negative opinions of Prince Harry. Prince Charles has suffered in terms of public opinion after the interview, presumably after discussions of strained relationships with his son Harry. His positive ratings have dropped almost 10% and his negative ones have risen by 8%. These big changes in public opinion show just how salient this family is in the UK. What can be seen is a big generational divide. It is apparent that younger people are more willing to battle on the side of the Sussex’s in this dispute and the older generation is supportive of the Queen, Prince William and Prince Charles. Not only is this a war of opinion but a war of the generations. The much unwavering support for the Royals after the shocking revelations seems to show that despite the shocking accusations against the family they will continue to be an important part of the nation. However, this civil war of words is far from over. It appears that the press and public will continue to battle, more shouts for republicanism may be heard, further accusations about both sides surely will make their way into the fight, it is still not clear who will win and how this war will end. Image: Unsplash

  • Snubbed Students: why are they being ignored?

    Boris Johnson seems to have forgotten someone! The Prime Minister can not even bear to say the dreaded word...university. As GCSE and A-levels have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis and a new lockdown is preventing all from returning to face-to-face teaching university students have been left in the dark. Why? I think that here and now we are seeing the flawed electoral cyclings and failings of democracy in action. Students have been shown firstly to be less likely to turn out to vote and secondly less likely to vote Tory. These statistics mean that the Prime Minister knows that he will not be punished too greatly for ignoring over 2 million students and their calls for a reaction to recent lockdown measures. Johnson (or any predecessor) wasn’t counting on their votes in the next election in the first place! So, while exam formats and situations for secondary school students have rightly been changed, this is the only explanation that might say why not higher education too. Maybe he must leave it up to universities to decide how they change assessment, but all students need to hear is that the universities have been advised by the government or some policy that shows support and accepts that they too are struggling. What does university life look like? There has been debate as to whether students are missing out from much as they are still receiving online teaching, however, it is indisputable that they are. Science subjects that need labs clearly are only able to deliver below-par education however, zoom seminars are what no degree course’s students signed up for. I can only imagine that if the Prime Minister thinks that online seminars are not too different from in-person and the uploaded lectures suffice as a replacement for the environment of the lecture hall, he is delusional. Debates are stifled, experiments are left unconducted and connections are poor. On top of that routines have been destroyed, lectures are released during the week for many students for them to do within a couple of days before their next seminar, there is no time spent in between tutorials in the library. There is no normality. This isn’t what they are paying £9,250 per year for so money needs to be refunded and assessment needs to be adjusted. Students can not be expected to pay this much or perform to normal standards in the current climate. Not only are students incurring the loss of their money on tuition, houses for students in non-university accommodation need to be paid in full to their landlords with no special arrangements made. Students are not allowed to move back to their accommodations they’re renting under government guidelines but there have been no ideas or support offered to them from the government. Thankfully universities across the country are acting to give first-year students and others in the university halls their money back but more needs to be done to support the remaining students renting independently at this time. I’m sure many would be happy to pay all the rent if they were getting their rightful refund on their £9,250, but I’m sad to say I can’t hold out much hope for that. There was no reimbursement for the summer term last year, yes that was predominantly an exam term but this major block of teaching can not be changed so dramatically with no financial change. Students have shown that this abandonment has had severe impacts not only on their pockets and their education but most importantly, their health. Student suicides have been painfully common in recent months, why can’t the government see this dire situation and why won’t they act on it? It is unacceptable. They have been abandoned. I think the Prime Minister needs to admit that this group of his country is deserving of support, or at this rate, just a mention! When he was questioned on students' situations in one of his daily conferences he stumbled over his words and thanked them for their sacrifice. They’re not martyrs. They don’t want to make this ‘sacrifice’. They want support. They want answers. They want what they’re not getting. Image: Flickr