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Why Humanity is Becoming a Lost Cause Nina Luckmann and Alice MacBain

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The Science Behind Stereotyping Nicholas Graham 6 How Safe Are We? Charlie Albuery Modern-Day Child Slavery Lottie Perry-Evans Is Torture Ever Acceptable – And Who Gets to Decide? Will Hall Can Any Jury Be Impartial in the Age of Social Media? Oliver Clark Why Human Rights Need Legal Protection Sophie Parekh Honour Killings Ellen Latham

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Magna Carta: Separating Myth from Reality Dan Frampton

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Why We Must Change the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Alexander McKirgan

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How Many Is Too Many? Jadon Buckeridge

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“Being cut is an event I will never forget.” Dodo Charles

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unPopulists William Dry

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The Finest Twelve Minutes of Electric Guitar Music Ever Mark Richardson 46 Equal Pay for Equal Work Marley Andrews

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Work and Play: How Art Reveals Our Changing Attitudes Isabel Stark 50 How Busy Are We? Georgina Buckle

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Are the Days Numbered for Traditional Marriage? Dominic Baker

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Communism versus Capitalism Henry Ling

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Show and Tell Pete Rapp

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Sociopaths and Psychopaths Sian Latham

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A Generation of Narcissists Frederike Rademacher

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William Butler Yeats and Maud Gonne Tom McCarthy

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Interview with Professor Marcus du Sautoy Jack Dry 56

Why the UK Needs Its Own Bill of Rights Ethan Creamer 64

Editorial Team (Magazine and Blog) * Charlie Albuery * Julia Alsop * Marley Andrews * Dominic Baker * Rosie Bell * Ilana Berney * Jadon Buckeridge * Dodo Charles * Nathaniel Charles * Reetobrata Chatterjee * Oliver Clark * Ethan Creamer * David Danso-Amoako * Loren Dean * Ciara Dossett * Jack Dry * William Dry * Zoe Dukoff-Gordon * Catriona Ellis * Filippa Furniss * Holly Govey * Nicholas Graham * Katie Green * Ayesha Gyening * Hattie Hammans * Siena Hocking * Hope Hopkinson * Fenella Johnson * Lottie Kent * Ellen Latham * Sian Latham * Henry Ling * Sophie Locke-Cooper * Nina Luckmann * Alice MacBain * Alexander McKirgan * Robert Merriam * Sophie Parekh * Eloise Peabody-Rolf * Will Pearson * Charlotte Perry-Evans * Charlotte Povey * Frederike Rademacher * Charlotte Randall * Pete Rapp * Lauren Robson-Skeete * Jack Ross *Anna Sykes * Kelvin Shiu * Alexander Sligo-Young * Tanya Thekkekkara * Emily Tandy * Phoebe Warren * Isabelle Welch * Sophie Whitehead Photography Editor: Will Hall Video Editor: Caleb Barron Cover image by Jason Baker Magazine Designer: Clara Feltham (The Graphic Design House) Editor: James Burkinshaw

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ast month was the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, seen by many as the foundation of our modern understanding of human rights. In this issue of Portsmouth Point, Dan Frampton explores the myths that have grown up around Magna Carta but reminds us why it still remains significant today; meanwhile, Ethan Creamer cites Magna Carta as he argues that the UK should have its own Bill of Rights. Each of the 25 articles in this issue has been inspired in some way by one of the 30 human rights defined by the United Nations. For example, Human Right #1 (that we deserve dignity because we are endowed with reason and conscience) has prompted a reflection by Nina Luckmann and Alice MacBain on why morality doesn’t really exist. Ellen Latham explores Human Right #10 (entitlement to a fair and public hearing) by investigating the continuing prevalence of “honour killings”. Dominic Baker asks whether marriage (Human Right #16) is becoming outmoded as an institution. William Dry tackles Human Right #21 (the right to take part in the government of the country through freely chosen representatives) by celebrating “unPopulists” – politicians ready to challenge conventional wisdom. Georgina Buckle suggests that, because we are all becoming far too busy in the early 21st century, we are putting Human Right #25 (the right to a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing) at risk. Jack Dry illustrates Human Right 26 (the right to education) with an exclusive interview with leading mathematician (and Arsenal fan) Professor Marcus de Sautoy. As a Portsmouth Point reader, you have the right to expect stimulating and thought-provoking articles covering a breath-taking range of subjects. As editors, we feel confident that we have carried out our responsibility in that regard and very much hope that you enjoy this Human Rights issue of the magazine. Our particular thanks to Sian Latham for coming up with the idea, to all 25 of the contributors, to Jason Baker, Dodo Charles, Sian Latham, Sophie Parekh and Oliver Stone for the striking cover image and, as ever, to our gifted magazine designer, Clara Feltham. Thank you, also, to all of our blog editors, who have continued to post articles on every conceivable topic almost every day over the past year (visit www.portsmouthpoint.blogspot.com to read over 1,500 pieces). And a final thank you, and sad farewell, to our founder, Julian ElphickSmith (right), who moves on to an exciting new future at the end of this term but who leaves the enduring legacy of Portsmouth Point, which he first published in Spring 2009 with the stated aim of offering a “lasting record of what we think, celebrating stimulating ideas and craft... a place for the expression of intelligence in the form of observation, opinion, debate and creativity in all spheres and across all disciplines.” As Portsmouth Point editors, we intend to live up to Mr Elphick-Smith’s “Coffee House Principle”, inspiring discussion, debate, intellectual and cultural curiosity and enthusiasm for many years to come.

Editorial TEAM

Julian Elphick-Smith, Portsmouth Point's Founding Father

The Editors July 2015

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1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Why Humanity is becoming a

lost cause ...and why morality doesn't really exist. Nina Luckmann and Alice MacBain YEAR 12

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ook back over your life. It is unlikely that you will be able to recall them all, but try to pick up on every lie, every insult, and every damaging choice that you have made. Through the culmination of these, you will likely find that you are not as upstanding as you believed. Of course, we are not suggesting that you have victimised millions of people or terrorised entire populations into submission; nor do we believe that your paranoia tore international relations to shreds. Yet, if ‘humans are endowed with reason and conscience and should thus act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood’ are we not all as guilty as, for example, Stalin? By definition, humanity is ‘the quality of being humane; benevolence.’ This idea of compassion and 'brotherly love' is argued to be an essential part of the self, a belief fostered through religious teachings where a deity’s goodness was bestowed upon the human race (Saint Augustine said that we were created imago dei) alongside autonomy. Indeed, humans are capable of utilising their sense of reason and their emotions in the decision-making process in order to bring about the best possible outcome. This 'human nature' was advocated for many millennia, with people believing that those qualities, seemingly absent in animals, magnified human importance. The ability to access both reason and emotion is increasingly becoming an ideal that we appear to be unable to achieve. Throughout the world, the choices being made by people seem to be a misuse of reason and emotion. And yet, the ambiguity within reason and emotion uncovers a frustrating issue. How can we say that both are universal when it is clear that there are different opinions on what the most rational thing is? Reason, that is the ability to think, to understand, and to form

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judgements logically, is a part of the self that is independent of sentiment. Philosophers such as Immanuel Kant have argued in favour of the sole use of reason: actions should be detached from emotions because they cloud judgement and thus prevent moral decision making. For example, as humans we have a duty to preserve human life and so should not kill under any circumstance; euthanasia (a concept allowed out of sympathy for those who do not wish to live) should not permitted. His stance on an objective, universal concept of morality overcomes many of the issues that plague the human conscience today, for example the practice of atrocities, such as FGM, arranged marriages and poor treatment of asylum seekers. Yet, when asking the majority of people what their aim in life is, the typical answer is: ‘happiness’. People’s emotions determine whether they feel that they have lived a fulfilled life; thus, in attempting to overcome our emotions, we become nonsensical. A second issue also manifests itself in the concept of reason: is it universal? The spectrum of ‘rational’ behaviour - ranging from Kanye West’s self-assurance, to extensive use of alcohol and drugs to beheadings in the name of Allah - appears so infinite that to claim that every human was ‘endowed with reason’ is too much of a simplistic approach to the issue. If, as Kant argues, accessing one’s reason provides a means to moral behaviour, then everyone should be acting in a mutually moral way. For obvious reasons, this is not the case - the kidnapping of two hundred school girls conflicts with our own sense of reason, and therefore morality, too starkly – and so we can conclude that reason does not induce ‘brotherly love’. And so our search for true moral decision-making continues… Emotion is arguably the counterpart of reason. The strong feelings derived from one's circumstances, mood, or


for a cause, but the act induces fear in the surrounding civilians relationships with others are believed to be instinctive and and they flee in terror, is either really ‘wrong’? The emotions distinguishable from reasoning in their entirety. They account of both parties drive them to act in a clashing manner. So, in for the frustration of split teabags, the joy of receiving an infant’s the manner of reason, emotion does not automatically result in smile, the satisfaction of finding money in a coat pocket. As benevolence amongst humans. argued by David Hume, emotions motivate the smallest of So why is humanity becoming a lost cause? actions, with our passion motivating morality through respect and That humankind is endowed with emotional capacity and consideration. Hume argues that without sympathy we would the ability to reason is indisputable. Everywhere around us lack humanity, and that sympathy is an emotion which forms we see people deliberating responses the fundamental basis of morality. If to messages rather than replying with the foundation, therefore, is emotion, their first idea and see people beeping then it is not the inferior part of the self, horns in futile frustration. Yet we rely but the very essence of human social on actions being ‘moral’ (or brimming existence and morality. It ought to be with ‘brotherly love’) for self-protection, celebrated alongside reason, rather assuming that immoral behaviour will than marginalised in subordination to not be pursued: if it is, we live with the it. premise that it will be condemned and Plato formed a theory of a ‘tripartite cut short by like-minded forces. This soul' to demonstrate that reason and clash of behaviour that is justified as both desire combine to form the spiritual moral and immoral by opposing parties self and used the analogy of a horse dismisses the notion of a universal, and charioteer to demonstrate this: objective morality. There is simply too the charioteer is our reason; the white much variation in belief both locally and horse our reasonable desires; the black globally for such a thing to be possible. horse our dark desires. Indeed, when In Britain, it is believed that killing is considering Plato’s theory, the necessity wrong; however, honour killings are of interaction between reason and praised and pursued in other countries. emotion becomes obvious. Humans But how then, should we explain murder undoubtedly have emotions of some even within Britain? Why did the Moors sort, for everyone experiences a range murderers kidnap and slaughter innocent of fear, contempt or joy (whether adolescents? Why was James Bulger they are acted upon or suppressed murdered by children who were believed is another matter). It is the task of to be otherwise upstanding? Why can reason to control these emotions and to euthanasia and abortion be considered ensure that emotion does not act alone. acceptable in some circumstances, and Reason manages sentiment, muting an not others? The conflict of ‘morality’ in otherwise intense reaction. individuals is so great, that the only way The importance of emotion is, Top: Immanuel Kant Bottom: Plato's horses and charioteer it can exist is on personal terms. But if therefore, irrefutable: it drives how we morality is something that varies from act and feel at given moments in our person to person, it cannot be used to justify, excuse or motivate lives: without the correct motivation to do something, it will not actions; it may as well not exist at all. be done, or at least not to the highest standard. If I feel like doing Morality, and therefore humanity, in short, is an ideal something, I will do it well. If I feel like I must do something for concept that humankind strives for in conflicting terms. the sake of doing it because it is ‘right’, I will not have the same Most cannot even define it beyond ‘good behaviour’, with motivation and thus will not do it as well, if at all. Yet issues the spectrum of ‘good’ ranging too far and wide to reach a arise when questioning how much emotion should be restricted; utilisable consensus. Does that mean it can’t exist? In our Hume almost appears to advocate reckless, impulsive behaviour. opinion, yes. For morality to be truly moral, it must exist More pressingly, the conflict of emotions at a given circumstance in objective terms, must be a universal concept. Otherwise, results in the failure of a universal response. If my mother decides humans will always remain mutually moral and immoral. to make spaghetti for dinner, and I am happy but my brother is Therefore, being endowed with the ability to reason and the disappointed, then is either of us really right or wrong? This may capacity of emotion does not incontrovertibly evoke a sense of seem like a matter of no significance, but apply it to acts of terror: ‘brotherly love’ between humans. if a suicide bomber is driven to self-destruction out of conviction

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2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

the science behind

Stereotyping Nicholas Graham

YEAR 12

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stereotype can be defined as a simplified cognitive generalisation or categorisation about a group. Stereotyping exists around the world, across many different cultures, because it is a part of human nature. Stereotypes have been made for hundreds of years and in some cases have had a huge impact on history and culture. While the basic concept of stereotypes is fairly simple, the actual details of how and why stereotyping occurs have been the subject of scientific investigation for quite a few years now. A lot of work has been done on the concepts of social groups and the reasons as to why people want to be a part of them and how their behaviour may change when they become part of a specific group. One of the most important pieces of work done in this area was carried out by Henry Tajfel. The outcome of this work was Social Identity Theory. It says that when we see ourselves as belonging to a certain group, this can change our behaviour towards the people who are in this group and towards the people who do not belong in this group. One of the main conclusions of this theory is that members of the same group are likely to be treated more favourably, whereas members of a different group are likely to be treated less favourably, and

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individuals may react with hostility, fear, suspicion or contempt to people not in their group, simply because they are not in the group. An individual will also automatically create stereotypes about other people. They will create positive stereotypes about people in their own group, because they believe that the successes of these people are based on their personality and abilities rather than factors such as chance or the situation. They will also create negative stereotypes about people who are outside of their group, because they believe that those people’s successes are merely due to chance or other similar factors, and that their failures are because of their abilities. Because we see these people in different ways based on what group they are in and the subsequent stereotypes that we have created, we have a predisposition to treat people differently based on which group they belong to. This is discrimination, and is the most serious effect of stereotyping due to its consequences. Discrimination has two major consequences. One of these is that it may cause people who are in a different group, i.e. the out-group, to be denied access to certain possibilities, such as getting a job or securing a place on a team for a competition. In some cases, it can even lead to the actual suppression or dehumanisation of a particular group, sometimes with


disastrous consequences for that group. This by itself is a highly serious issue, but it is not the only consequence. The other main consequence is known as stereotype threat. This is defined as a self-confirming belief that one may be evaluated based on a negative stereotype. The negative stereotype has an impact on the individual who has been labelled with that stereotype, and it causes their behaviour to change so that it resembles the stereotype. Stereotype threat usually occurs when the reason for the stereotype, such as gender, race, background, or occupation, is emphasised during or just before an activity which this stereotype affects. For example there is a stereotype that women are bad drivers. If someone said or did something that reminded the individual that she was a woman, straight before her driving test, this may well cause her to perform worse than if no-one reminded her of her gender. There have been many studies carried out on this subject, and they have proven that stereotype threat has an effect on the performance of: women in negotiation, white men in sports, racial differences in academic ability and homosexual men’s childcare provision performance. In summary, stereotype threat causes people to conform with the stereotypical behaviour assigned to their group. This means that the more the stereotype is propagated within society and in particular towards the group it affects, the more likely it is that this stereotype will eventually be true for the majority of the group. Stereotyping is not always a conscious process. If you ask someone whether they believe that every member of a stereotyped group will possess the stereotypical traits, then they will almost definitely say “no”. However if you ask someone to describe or answer a question about a person purely based upon one piece of evidence, then they will often use the stereotype that is associated with that piece of evidence. They may not actually realise that they are doing it, but it will often happen. The same thing happens in everyday life. If you see someone, you may change your

Masterpiece by Roy Lichtenstein

behaviour because of the things that you associate with that person purely based upon their appearance. In doing so you have recognised the group that they belong to, and assigned the stereotypical behaviour to them, before you know anything else about them. To an extent, this is a survival instinct, as if someone looks a lot bigger or tougher than you, then by staying out of their way and avoiding a confrontation with them, you are more likely to come out of the situation unscathed. The fact that this behaviour is so deeply engrained in us, means that it is extremely difficult to stop it from happening in these everyday instantaneous scenarios. However due to the seriousness of its impacts in larger situations, it is important to remember that you have probably attributed specific behaviours to someone based merely upon a characteristic that they have, which is usually part of their appearance, although their occupation, nationality and religion are also common characteristics on which stereotypes are based. It is also important to try and limit how much this will affect your actions towards them, so that you avoid discriminating against people from a different group to you, and don’t show prejudice for people in your own group.

individuals may react with hostility to people not in their group simply because they are not in their group.

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3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

How Safe Charlie Albuery YEAR 13

are we?

those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Or do they? Or perhaps more pertinently, should they..? We live in a world in which our level of personal safety is in a bizarre state of flux. To begin with, we live on the right side of history. The 20th and 21st centuries to all intents and purposes invented the concept of security of person (and certainly defined it). Look not too long before this and there is essentially no well-constructed rule of law and certainly no reasonably sound morality ingrained in society. It’s easy to say that as time goes on we are becoming safer and safer as individuals. On the other hand, however, many people will argue that our security is becoming less stable and relevant by the day. Civil and political unrest in Syria, Russia’s quasi-invasion of the Ukraine, the ongoing ‘War on Terror’ post-9/11 and increasing numbers of nuclear weapons floating around certainly don’t seem particularly safe. The fundamental issue with ensuring personal security is that this can only be done by removing, on some level, the liberties of yourself or of somebody else. The issue is that this human right, which is supposedly possible to universally provide, is fundamentally self-contradictory. Security and freedom, although not mutually exclusive, are very much conflicting alternatives. Having either severely damages the possibility for the other. To pursue one too fully is forego the other. American founding father Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as having said ‘Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither’. This is usually seen as an argument grounded in a classically American sense of rugged liberalism, that personal freedoms should be preserved even if the world has to be a dangerous place to accomplish this. Furthermore, the suggestion here is that it is liberty, in fact, which ensures safety and that by sacrificing freedom we lose all security as we become trapped and helpless. What it certainly does is highlight the inherent conflict within the ‘right to life, liberty and security of person’. Brookings Institute’s Benjamin Wittes observes, ‘Very few people who quote these words, however, have any idea where

they come from or what Franklin was really saying when he wrote them’ and further argues that Franklin can be more accurately quoted as having used the words ‘Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety’. Wittes holds that these words appear in a letter written by Franklin in 1755 on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly. This letter wasn’t truly about sweeping concepts such as liberty but rather a far more concrete discussion of taxes and the ability to ‘raise money for defence against French and Indian attacks’. There aren’t any thoughts on liberty, as we would understand it, in the entire letter. Instead it’s mentioned only in passing to make an argument for a specific funding venture. Despite this, however, Franklin’s words have become the rallying cry of those who prioritize liberty over security around the world. These are an ideologically-led movement of people who argue that giving into greater security and state-control is not an acceptable price to pay for their safety; some even go so far as to theorize that increased security at the cost of liberty is a slippery slope toward totalitarian regimes, police-states and the like. Debate.org hosted a large-scale poll on the question ‘Is freedom more important than security?’; with tens of thousands of respondents 68% of whom voted yes, freedom was more important than security. Arguments used to defend this stance include ‘Danger is exaggerated to encourage submission. Believe it or not, we are being tricked into giving up our freedom. We are safer now than we have ever been but our perception is of a dangerous world, manufactured by those who would like to relieve us of our rights. Don't fall for it! It is all a ruse.’ ‘A golden cage is still a cage To the people that would give their government control of their lives for security; do you realize you're not the only one who's going to have to live in that diseased future? Think about the future generations; I doubt they're going to be happy with this golden cage you've built for them.’ And ‘Danger is a constant, we will never live in a world in which some someone or something isn't out to get the proverbial "us". Freedom, however, is something that was and continues to be fought for; it is an exceptional and unique gift that must be preserved at all costs.’ Certainly, these arguments are emotive. As humans we greatly value our independence, self-determination and freedom. This is why the right to life, liberty and security is viewed as such a fundamental one and why freedom of speech and action are so highly valued in political systems around the world (these are present in the first amendment of the US constitution for example). So, yes, we do live in a world where personal safety can never be entirely guaranteed - and this is terrifying. However, whether he meant to or not, Benjamin Franklin made a hugely salient point in favour of liberty before security. Ultimately, yes, of course freedom is hugely important but we have to consider what is security really worth if we don’t have freedom to protect?

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4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Modern-Day

Child Slavery Lottie Perry-Evans YEAR 12

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hat do you imagine when someone says the words ‘child slavery’? Do you picture young children cramped in a sweatshop in Bangladesh, working for long, unreasonable hours to provide for their families? Or do you think of children here in this very country working under poor conditions, and neglectful and exploitative circumstances? For whilst we are wringing our hands and cringing at the very thought of all those clothes being stitched together by young, overworked fingers in the heat of a sweatshop, we are failing to recognise the child labour going on underneath our noses. It’s hard for us to understand that children could be working in our neighbourhoods, picking crops, as was discovered in 2010 when spring onions were found to have been harvested by freezing, terrified children, some as young as nine, on a farm in Worcester. British nationals are being exploited mainly for personal and commercial gain and this is all happening without our knowledge. Modern day slaves are often poor, lacking in education and have no family to protect them. This leaves them very vulnerable – none more so than children.

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In September 2014, the National Crime Agency (NCA) published its annual report on human trafficking. The statistics were clear: 2,744 people were identified by the United Kingdom Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) as having been possible victims of trafficking for exploitation, with more than 600 of these being children; this represents a 22% increase since 2012. They came from the UK, Eastern European countries such as Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Albania and Lithuania, as well as from Nigeria and south-east Asia. The number of British children who are being trafficked for exploitation has risen significantly in the last couple of years. In 2012, the number of potential victims was just 38, which then increased to 128 in 2013 and up to 600 in 2014. However, in reality it is almost impossible to know the exact number of children being trafficked into exploitative circumstances. It has been estimated that roughly 10 children are trafficked into, or inside, the UK every week. British children have now been placed at the top of the list for potential UK trafficking victims. Girls, who make up 65% of trafficked children in the NCA report, are mostly used for sex, while boys are usually forced into hard, physical labour. Besides sexual exploitation, children can be trafficked in


various other ways. Many are employed in illegal activities such as street crime and farming cannabis. Occasionally, children are victims of organ harvesting. Last year, a girl from Somalia was brought to Britain with the specific intention of removing her organs to sell to those desperate for a transplant. The trade of organs is worth a lot of money and so is valuable for traffickers. However, the hardest form of exploitation to identify is domestic servitude. Any seemingly middle-class house in any UK town or city could be hiding a child slave. The facts about child slavery in Britain are appalling. A quarter of all slaves are children and 20% of all people who suffer sexual exploitation are children. One in five of all victims of labour exploitation is a child. Cannabis cultivation, the second most common form of criminal exploitation, is mainly done by children. These young people are exploited, kept under lock and key and have no voice; they are coerced and manipulated into situations which they can’t do anything about on their own. Due to the young age of these children, they have become scared of any adults. So when the authorities find them, they are too afraid to speak out against their captors. Some children are so young that they don’t know any different and can’t find the words to describe what has happened to them. However,

there is still hope. We are at least becoming more aware of the problem. Incidents such as the one discovered in Rotherham, where it was found that there were 1,400 victims of child sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013, have led to increased press coverage. The Home Office is encouraging more young victims to speak out and police, councils and health workers are ready to give them the specific help and support they need, when they need it. The Modern Slavery Bill, which was introduced in 2014, is the first legislation of its type in the world. Under it, no one who is likely to commit a crime after being released from slavery will necessarily be criminalised. If victims of slavery can come forward without being afraid of prosecution for non-serious crimes linked to slavery, they are more likely to speak out against their captors — who can be made to pay reparations to their victims. Meanwhile, the maximum sentence for modernday slave drivers will be increased to life imprisonment. Although child slavery is becoming more and more apparent, there is still a significant amount which goes on behind closed doors and we need to work together to force those doors open. Child slavery is not something to which we can turn a blind eye.

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5: No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Torture Ever Acceptable – and who gets to decide? William Hall

YEAR 11

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he fifth UN human right states that ‘no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. This is a fundamental, but also controversial human right; depending on how you define torture, many of the world’s most developed and wealthiest countries are breaking this international law. A brief history of torture (and a few grisly examples): Torture methods have been used since records began and have been used for centuries. Unfortunately this cruel form of punishment is still in wide use today. Torture has been mainly used in ancient and medieval history as a method of slowly, and painfully executing someone or for making an example of criminals, rather than the more modern uses for: interrogation, the amusement of the perpetrators, and to assert power of a regime over society. Torture machines often involve stretching or moving of parts of the body in ways they aren’t supposed to go, and range from being put in an upright coffin filled with spikes known as an ‘Iron Maiden’ to being thrown down a hill strapped to a ball of spikes (a form of execution). Guy Fawkes was put on ‘the rack’, a machine that stretched all four limbs away from the vital organs, and resulted in the limbs being ripped from the body if the torture was not stopped. Another gruesome method was the ‘brazen bull’ where the

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Treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo has received international condemnation

person would be shut inside an iron bull, and the bull would be placed over a fire, gradually heating up and cooking the person alive. A tube system was made in the head of the bull so that any screams made from inside came out the mouth of the bull sounding like an ox. In short there are thousands of methods of physically torturing someone that have widely been used throughout history, although there are also some horrible ways of psychologically torturing someone. A method called ‘white torture’ is when a person is locked inside a white room, with no windows but, instead, bright lights. They are fed on white plates and are dressed in white. It causes sensory deprivation and is a long term form of isolation, as prisoners are


not allowed to speak to anyone. There are rooms in the world that are made to absorb as many sound waves as possible. One of these rooms measures -9 decibels of sound! There is only so much quiet that the brain can take before you become subject to hallucinations and are eventually driven to insanity. These are the quietest places on the planet, and are so quiet that the prisoner can hear their own blood flowing through their body, and the contraction of their lungs as they breathe. In today’s society, a basic technique used by police forces and special forces teams world-wide is interrogation. There is a fine line between interrogation and torture, and sometimes this line isn’t clear at all. Places such as Guantanamo Bay Military Detention Centre in the USA are often spoken about regarding the breaking of this human right. Both Amnesty International and the United Nations have called for Guantanamo Prison to be permanently shut down after various reports from exprisoners regarding abuse and torture, but these were sharply denied by the government. In mid 2013, there was a widespread hunger strike amongst the prisoners, which was rebranded as a ‘long term non-religious fasting’ by the Obama administration. The whole law preventing torture and mistreatment of people is supposedly often broken when dealing with criminals, and especially those enforced with strong censorship and lack of freedom of the press. Despite the frequency of these reports in the global media, few things are ever done about it.

Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, had his own uncle executed, over what was most likely a ‘threat to power’. Reports from the Chinese state that the supreme leader had his uncle thrown naked into a room filled with ravenous dogs who had been starved for days, and was eaten alive. I don’t know about you but to me that seems like a breach of ‘subjection to torture or cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment’. When the US captured a high ranking member of Al Qaeda, there were prolonged debates about whether or not he should be tortured during the interrogation. Due to the international threat currently posed by terrorists, many thought it was morally viable to torture this person, and that in certain cases there can be an exception to the law that should be applicable to everyone in all circumstances. In the aftermath of 9/11, the US widely accepted the torture of terrorists, but when President Obama came into office he signed an executive order banning all uses of torture, which was accepted as a good decision by the majority of the US’s population. The United Nations state that torture is unacceptable in all situations and that if it is ever used then it is a direct violation of the Declaration of Human Rights. You should ask yourself this: should torture or degrading punishment be accepted in society, under any circumstances, or should there be exceptions to the rule that can be made? And if you think the rule should be broken in some cases, who should decide what would warrant torture being acceptable?

president Obama signed an executive order banning all uses of torture

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juries and

social Media

7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Can any jury be impartial in the age of

Social Media? Oliver Clark YEAR 11

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ow although this human right seems like the perfect opportunity to investigate the actions of Nigel Farage and UKIP in an election year, I thought I would go on a slightly different tangent and avoid the topic of politics, as by the time this article is printed (I am writing it in April 2015), a new government will have been formed, very few will be happy with it (even hearing the music for Question Time will induce some to tears). With the rapid growth of social media over the last two decades, the law, legal system and trials are becoming increasingly public to the common person. This naturally means that scrutiny of the system and its findings is becoming a common practice in the modern world. At the click of a button, people can instantly voice their opinion to the world, whether they are a high profile celebrity or not. My question: is the combination of the growth in the publicity of trials and the growth of social media affecting the impartiality of every single person in the world, and will this eventually change law as we know it? First of all, let's go back in history, say, 1,000 years ago: 1015. The world was plagued by wars, new countries were being formed left, right and centre; yet people did not know anything about what was happening anywhere else is the world. Why was this? Because the

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Oscar Pistorious reacts to the verdict

most advanced communications technology at the time were letters and carrier pigeons, which were relatively fast at travelling between neighbouring towns and cities, but not as effective if the King of England wished to get in contact with men on the other side of the world. The fact of the matter at the time was that unless something happened on your doorstep it was of no concern to you, whether it be a murder trial in Australia or the invasion of England by King Cnut of Denmark. As there was no concern for these events, people had near to no opinion on anything other than the events that affected themselves. Let's fast forward to 1915, 100 years ago. The First World War is now in full swing, and communications technology has seen some extreme advances. Radio was introduced a little over 20 years prior and the previous year had seen the first-ever trans-continental telephone call. Although people now had the big stories of the world transmitted to them, they were not able to read into the finer details by any means. Intercontinental commercial telephone service, television and Internet are things of the future, and so, although people now had the access to events happening around the world, their opinions on these matters would not reach any further than local friends, acquaintances and colleagues. And now to the present, where everything is a few taps of a keyboard away. Not only can people research current affairs into near infinite detail but they can delve into past events and find out just as much. This rapid growth of accessible knowledge has naturally led to a rapid growth of public opinion. Whether it be the form of a local football team, the latest political 'promises' made by our UK politicians, events in Ukraine or the increasingly worrying actions of Islamic State, you can research and make a judgement. 11 years ago saw the emergence of Facebook, 9 years ago was Twitter’s turn to be the brand-new site on everyone's favourite list. These websites, coupled with the Internet and national news programmes, have become a continuously growing melting pot for public opinion. I believe that the melting pot is beginning to overflow. There have been numerous examples of these over the last few years; a prime example of this has been the trial of Oscar Pistorius that occurred last year. The trial was partially shown on national TV in South Africa and, day by day, updates were being shown by every news team around the news. The world was interested, and the trial brought light onto the evidently troubled life of Pistorius

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and his girlfriend, the late Reeva Steenkampf. When Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide, I was far from surprised. What I, just about everyone on my Facebook friends list, Twitter Feed and the BBC Comments section shared was the shock about the sentence given to him. Pistorius was told that he must serve five years, but had the opportunity of house arrest after ten months and this decision was met with outcry. The prosecution team has stated that they will appeal to increase the charges to murder (thus drastically increasing the sentence Pistorius could potentially serve) later in the year. My question is: how can someone not be swayed by the opinion of such a wave of people, and be expected to produce an impartial and just verdict, if the appeal were to succeed? Anyone called to jury duty on a retrial would have had friends, family, colleges that had an opinion in the trial. Whereas in the past, with a murder/ manslaughter trial, where the news and details of a death would not have been so public, it would have been relatively easy to find an impartial jury with no real ties to either the victim or the accused. Yes, Pistorius was a famous sports star and a national hero, but before the early 90s people would not have been able to read into the trial anywhere near to the level of depth that you can today. We are naturally inclined to form an opinion on everything we see, whether it is a school subject, a picture or a person. The more information you have on a matter, the clearer and more set your opinion becomes, and so, as more information becomes available to us, impartiality is a very difficult thing to find. This was shown once again by a trial that would have been relatively small scale, had it not been for Hollywood blockbuster American Sniper. For those of you who have not seen the film, it detailed the life of Chris Kyle, a U.S. military marksman who had 255 confirmed kills across four tours of Iraq, but whose life and that of his friend Chad Littlefield, was brought to an end by Eddie Ray Routh at a shooting range, where Kyle was attempting to help fellow ex-military men who were suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition Kyle suffered from himself for many years. Although Kyle's death was not shown in the film, for a few seconds the camera focused on Routh, with the film abruptly ending, cutting to a black screen which was followed by a video package detailing the many tributes to Kyle. Shortly before the trial of Routh began,


juries and

social Media

Media response to Ched Evans' signing

I read an article detailing the difficulty of finding an impartial jury for the trial. Jurors are picked on their impartiality, and the hope that they know nothing about the case so as to deliver a fair verdict. In 2013, a judge issued the gag order preventing attorneys and family members and others from talking to the media, predicting widespread media coverage. 'Mr. Kyle is a hero in many people's eyes,' George Parnham, a Houston criminal defence attorney not associated with the case, told People magazine. 'Due to the fact that this movie has gained intense public attention, it's doubtful that a fair jury can be selected anywhere.' Having seen the film and enjoyed the narrative, the portrayal and the tribute, the way that Kyle, a man who fought and nearly died on numerous occasions for his country, a man who battled serious mental health and struggled to cope with family life alongside his wife and two young children, was portrayed by Bradley Cooper, made it impossible not to have a surge of anger towards the man who ended the life of another man who gave so much in a life that will surely go down in military history. Routh was found guilty in less than two hours despite pleading insanity, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. One juror claimed in relation to the film, “You just put that to the side, and take in the facts and make your own judgment. I put [movie details] out of my mind, and looked at Chris as a person, looked at Chad as a person, looked at Eddie as a person.� Although the evidence against Routh was compounding, he was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol at the time of the murders; if this had not been the case, would the verdict have been any different? The film (although this was not its purpose, in my opinion), American Sniper served about as much evidence as any once-impartial person needed to come to a verdict. If films are made in similar circumstances, based on true-life events that have not been resolved in court, we should not be surprised if the jury's verdict follows that given by the message of the film. My final example may cause some controversy, but what I would like to clarify is that I am not by any means condoning the attitude or actions of the convicted man, nor do I dispute the courts findings. However, the way that the British media handled the release of Ched Evans (convicted in April 2012 of raping a 19 year old woman in a Premier Inn hotel) was wrong. Evans was not the only man to stand trial; Clayton MacDonald was also accused, but was found not guilty. On the Friday of the third week of the trial,

the jury, after a four-hour discussion, sent a message to the judge, saying that they could not reach a unanimous verdict. They were told that they must make one soon, otherwise they would have to return on the following Monday, causing the trial to enter a fourth week. One hour later, the jury reached a conclusion that Evans was guilty and MacDonald was not. Evans eventually went on to serve three years before being released, with his former club Sheffield United coming under intense scrutiny for stating that he would be allowed to train with the club. A petition asking for United to cut ties with the player reached 150,000 signatures and numerous sponsors withdrew from the club. Evans was rumoured to be joining both Oldham and Hartlepool, with both clubs expressing interest in the player, but both being met with hostile reception from fans, with Oldham staff and their families receiving death threats. Evans has always maintained his innocence and is fighting to have his sentence overturned, a choice which shall take 14 months at a minimum, meaning that if he wins, he will have been out of football for four years. The whole purpose of punishment, whether it be a fine, ban, or imprisonment, is that someone pays for the crime that they have committed. Although that crime will stay with them for the rest of their life, they will have served their punishment and should not be held back in later life. This has not been the case for Evans, who, even if successful in his appeal, will have lost four years of his career, a huge cost for a player who had a large amount of promise from a young age. I read a large number of articles about the player during his release and further publicity, all of them labelling him as 'Rapist Evans'. There was rarely any mention of the acquitted MacDonald. After researching the events of the night and the trial, it is of my opinion that the jury made a rushed and inconsistent verdict. Social media demonstrated after the trial that there was a massive wave of people who were quite happy to rant and rave about how horrendous a person Evans was, and that he thought being a footballer 'was an excuse' to behave as he did. I have the opposite view to that last statement, as being a footballer in a world where public light is shone upon the rich, famous and talented like it never has been before, the reception Evans received upon release has gone completely against the point made at the start of this paragraph. Evans, guilty or not, has lost any remote chances at a future job due to the publicity of the trial, and I believe that in a world where privacy is a thing of the past, trials like this will become more and more common. Although the advance of available knowledge and social media has resulted in numerous benefits to our world, it has also resulted in an extremely tough environment for the legal system. How long will it be before we forget the process of being 'impartial' and realise that everyone believes that they know best, are open to expressing that belief, and succumb to the human nature that is within every one of us: Our opinion is right, and that is final.

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9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

why

Human Rights need legal protection Sophie Parekh YEAR 12

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or those of you who are a little unsure of the exact connotations of the word ‘arbitrary’ (as I was), it depends very much on the context. Helpful, I know. But, in this context, ‘arbitrary’ means ‘unmotivated’ or ‘unjustifiable’ and some other words that you should look up in a thesaurus if you really want to know. Anyway, the right is essentially saying that no one should be arrested, exiled or detained without justifiable reason or motivation, which seems perfectly reasonable and, to be quite honest, why would you arrest, detain or exile anyone if they didn’t do anything wrong? It’s completely unnecessary. But, some significantly less reasonable people and governments seem to think arresting, torturing, detaining and exiling people is perfectly fine, even though there is no reason whatsoever for them to do so because the person is not withholding any information that would be detrimental to the nation or government. In short, it’s a waste of time and resources for the instigating party, and an unforgivable amount of suffering and mental hardship for the victim. Let me illustrate the full reality of what happens when this right is breached, with some examples that are more recent than anyone would like to admit. The oldest is from 2014. In Venezuela, protesters who were campaigning to stop horrific breaches of human rights are being tortured and denied justice; in Saudi Arabia, people are being arrested and detained in pretrial detention for six months or more, completely out of touch and without access to lawyer; and in India, a school teacher who dared to speak out against the abuse of human rights in the coal mines was arrested on false charges, tortured and sexually abused in such a way that she was unable to walk. And all this wouldn’t happen if no one were subject to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. I know this interlinks with a few other human rights, but that’s the point, I suppose. All the human rights working together to create a fairer society. If I’m honest, I did get quite angry when I was writing this, and plots may or may not have been hatched to overthrow the Saudi Arabian government - so I composed this poem to channel the anger.

why Why did they come to my house at midnight, And break down the resilient door? Why did they smash up all his possessions, And lease the ruptured shards on the floor? Why did they plough into my bedroom, Then hold a knife to my neck? Why did they drag me out by the back of my shirt And shove me into the back of a truck? Why did they bind me in ropes and cables, And hush my mouth with a cloth? Why did they mottle my skin with purple and green In a Dalmatian expression of wrath? Why did they drive me for an hour, To a crumbling detention centre? Crouched like a scorpion in the dunes, Daring the convicted to enter. For eighteen months I was trapped in the ruins, Without lawyer, trial or conviction, I became hollow, in my body and mind At the fist of the brutalisation. When finally they kicked me out (For they had become bored), Why did they not just kill me, After all I had endured? Why did they chain me up, As punch bag for the guards, For speaking to someone, In what are now ill-chosen words?

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10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him

Honour Killings

Ellen Latham YEAR 11

H

onour killings. I was familiar with the term and understood what it meant, but I never understood what it meant to women who lived and died in its shadow. Not until I came across a small book on a bottom shelf in the library, neatly lined up alongside a collection of Tolstoy. The cover read ‘ SOUAD, Burned Alive’. To begin with I though this was a work of fiction, a story made up in someone’s head, until I came to the end of the blurb and it loudly announced itself as a memoir of a lady known as Souad. So, although these books were side by side as declared by the alphabet, their contents were world apart. This book was what finally opened my eyes to the true meaning of ‘honour killing’ and what it means to certain women. Honour killings date back to the Ancient World, however presently they are a part of life in patriarchal societies of the Middle East, Chad, and even parts of Latin America. Surprisingly, honour killings are not written in any laws, nor do they have a link with religion. They have evolved and become a part of society and a way of life in these communities. An honour killing can be committed if there is anything that casts even a shadow of a doubt on a girl or young woman and their honour. The most common reason for an honour killing to occur is if there is a query over a girl’s virginity. This skepticism could stem from anything from sexual relations with consent, to rape, to simple rumour and gossip. If a girl or woman’s actions come in to question, then the family honour is in jeopardy. The simple solution, then, would be to remove the disgrace and the

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honour can be restored. In a society dictated by men, women can pose no opposition to the accusations, whether they are true or not. Women are killed every day because they have been accused of ‘crimes’ pinned on them by a cruel and corrupt society. According to Jordan’s National Institute of Forensic Medicine, 80% of the girls murdered were in fact innocent. In these societies, women have no rights. The book from the library explores the memoirs of a woman who remembers a father who treated her, her sisters and her mother, worse than the animals, because ‘the animals are worth something’. Terrifying accounts from the book mirror this woman’s experiences, as Souad recalls moments where her mother has given birth to another baby girl, and, rather than cuddling and caring for it, the father smothers it and says nothing. Another moment she describes is when she sees her brother strangle her young sister with a telephone cord for misbehaving. For us these events are unimaginable, but for these women this is everyday life. I already knew that equality was a huge issue in countries where culture decrees men to be of a higher status, but in these extreme societies a woman’s opinion accounts for nothing, that is if she’s even lucky enough to voice it. in these communities, women may as well not be able to speak because the men are deaf to their pleas. They are at the mercy of the man who owns them, and hold no sway over his verdict of her fate. This book highlights perhaps one of the most gruesome and inhumane ways that any human could be killed. As indicated by the title ‘Burned Alive’, the memoir belongs to a woman who had gasoline poured over her and was set alight by the husband of her sister. The most common methods include poisoning, shooting, stabbing, being strangled, and being burned. Shockingly, these acts are not usually executed by a father or husband. The man who the girl belongs to will pick a suitable and capable man from his family to carry out the deed. These acts will often be performed by minors, as they get away with lighter sentences. A man could face from six months up to two years in prison, as this would only be regarded as a minor crime, but many are released after a few months. Furthermore, it comes as no

surprise that most men are not convicted at all, because in the eyes of society ‘they had no choice’ as the woman was a disgrace and honour must be restored. This just reinforces how corrupt society is that these women can disappear and no one even blinks. But this terrible treatment doesn’t stop with the families. If a girl survives an attack and gets to a hospital, then it is not uncommon for a doctor to refuse to treat her or to give her so little care that it verges on neglect. Even female nurses will avoid the girl because they know she will bring bad luck and they don’t want to be near someone who has been shunned by society. Many of the girls who did manage to get to hospital will also die because of this terrible treatment. On a slightly less depressing note, Souad’s story continues. She is found by a lady working for an organisation called ‘ The Sister Arab Foundation for Human Rights in Yemen’ (SAF). The organisation helps women who have been abandoned by their families and tries to get them to a safer place where they can live a full life. This organisation helped Souad and her baby son (who she had to deliver alone in the hospital whilst suffering from lifethreatening burns) to Switzerland, where she was able to rebuild her life. However, because of the extremity of the high horse that family honour rides for these families, these women who escape must change their names and cover their faces in public because, if their families discover they are still alive, the women are at risk of being hunted down by a family member, and killed. It goes without saying that women cannot go on living in countries where the number of honour killings is in fact increasing. To us, who can learn about their lives by reading it in a book from the library, a book that we can close and put back on the shelf, these murders and acts of violence against women are barbaric. But to the women who live in those pages and cannot close the book, these acts are a terrifying reality they cannot escape. It is vital for their future, and their children’s future that those who have can speak out, speak out for those who cannot.

if a girl survives an attack, it is not uncommon for a doctor to refuse to treat her

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Magna

Carta

separating myth from reality

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11: (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Mr Dan Frampton

HISTORY DEPARTMENT

M

agna Carta is a remarkably unremarkable document. A single sheet of parchment, granted by King John in a field, and repealed ten weeks later, has nevertheless gone down in history as the beginning of our modern democracy- the first step along the way to limiting the arbitrary power of our rulers. Or so the story goes. The ‘Great Charter’ was sealed (not signed, as is often believed) by King John when faced with the rebellion of his barons. John’s rule had been spectacularly unsuccessful, at least in the eyes of his most prominent subjects. He had murdered his nephew, Prince Arthur, dared to collect taxes, tried to marry a woman who had already been betrothed, been excommunicated by the Pope, and, most spectacularly, had lost most of his land in France. Faced with armed revolt, King John had little choice but to give his assent to a series of restrictions on his power. Magna Carta was never intended to be permanent. John, hoping that he had placated the nobility, then declared the Pope his feudal overlord and refused to obey his barons, whom Pope Innocent soon excommunicated. Prince Louis of France pledged his support for the nobility and the country was plunged into civil war. War was soon over, Magna Carta repealed and John dead from dysentery. Why then, did the Great Charter endure? It was just one of thousands of similar charters granted across the medieval Europe and not copied into the King’s own collection of statutes until 1297. A final and definitive issue of Magna Carta was not sent out to the counties until 1300 and it was subsequently ignored by later monarchs. Shakespeare failed to mention it in his play about the era, King John, and Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell referred to it as ‘Magna Farta’. Furthermore, most of the original sixty or so clauses, many of which sought to rectify specific grievances against John, now seem of completely out of date. Few, for instance, would raise an eyebrow if the Charter’s prohibition on the fishing of weirs on the River Thames was again enforced.

It is, perhaps, just two clauses, 39 and 40, that have cemented Magna Carta’s place in our national story: “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned or stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. To no one will we see, to no one shall we deny or delay right or justice.” This is not, it should be clear, liberty as we understand it today. The concept of democracy would have been anathema to most in the 13th century and Magna Carta applied only to the ‘free men’ of England- 10% of medieval society. Yet the meaning is clear to see. No man, not even the King, was to be above the law. It is an idea that has echoed down the ages. It is in the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights, the American Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the United Nations Charter. It is been appealed to by everyone from the oppressed subjects of the British Raj, to Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley when protesting against his detention. It is there in outrage against the suspension of habeas corpus (which was erroneously believed to have originated in Magna Carta) during the economic crisis that followed the Napoleonic Wars. It is there in the radical defence of Queen Caroline against the tyrannical George IV. It is there in the mass petitions of the Chartists. ‘I am prepared to die,’ spoke Nelson Mandela, in fighting to bring the rights he believed enshrined in Magna Carta to Apartheid South Africa. Magna Carta has therefore, been revered not so much for what King John originally granted, but for what it has subsequently come to symbolise. And surely in world where protestors are shot dead by military snipers, where corrupt governments remain untouched, where minorities are persecuted, where war is still a daily occurrence, where women are second class citizens, and where wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, the embryonic freedoms written in Magna Carta remain more important than ever. The fight against oppression in all its forms continues, thanks not least to King John and his Great Charter of 1215.

The embryonic freedoms written in magna carta remain more important than ever

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12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

why

we must change the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights Alexander McKirgan

YEAR 12

A

rticle 12 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks." Despite every country in the UN signing up to these protections, the revelations of Edward Snowden and others prove that many countries (including the U.S. And the UK) have routinely ignored this article of the treaty to collect comprehensive and unprecedented amounts of information about private communications. How did we get here? Much of this activity stems from the Patriot Act. The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Its title is a ten-letter acronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001". In 2011, President Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of the Act. The date of the signing being 6 weeks after the 9/11 attacks shows that this was a knee-jerk reaction.

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The U.S. government was determined that the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 would not be repeated. They decided to apply huge resources to monitoring potential terrorist communications to reduce the chances of further attacks. It was supposed to be limited to surveillance of non-US citizens but could also include international communications of US citizens. There were controls put on the ability of the government to target US citizens, but these special FISA courts often gave blanket approvals and rarely turned down any government requests. The New York Times later revealed that, after the Sept 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorised the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency had monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda. Much of this has been confirmed by the Snowden revelations. Modern technology allows for almost limitless amounts of data to be stored and analysed and we now know this happens with few controls and virtually no oversight.


of the people under their control and an embargo of the Gaza I have two problems with this approach. Firstly, I reject the Strip. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to achieve a 'absolutist' position of many conservatives. I reject the notion settlement that the whole world sees as fair, a negotiated Twothat the government should be able to take whatever measures State solution. As both sides ended up realising in Northern they deem necessary to fight terrorism. I believe that departing Ireland, there can be no security solution to an essentially political from our basic principles will destroy us in the long run. Strange problem. Coming back to our country, we need to abandon the that support for this absolutist line usually comes from people current approach to who are normally, in other matters, suspicious of government’s fighting terrorism. overreach. It's hard to disagree with Benjamin Franklin who We are not only said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase building a National a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety". Security State The most important things that distinguish developed beyond supervision democracies from the rest of the world are the rule of law, individual rights and limits on the power of governments. I understand the temptation to sacrifice some of these when countries feel under threat, but this is a mistake. Let me give you another example. People die in car crashes. The most direct route to stopping these people dying is to ban cars. This would, at a stroke, reduce the number of people dying in car accidents to zero. But at what cost? Yes, that particular statistic would have been addressed but and accountability; we are being drawn what about the other costs to society in down a dead end. Killing and capturing terms of efficiency, citizen happiness and "the enemy" is a counterproductive effort. economic performance. After 14 years or the War on Terror, do we We have to accept that, while unlimited feel safer? When will we be brave enough government surveillance powers may stop to recognise this? some terrorist attacks, those powers will We were one of the colonial powers that destroy the basis of our free societies. I'm imposed an unstable Arab Settlement after willing to accept that the staff at GCHQ the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. So, and the NSA have the highest motives and Edward Snowden, who revealed while we are partly responsible for the are endeavouring to keep us safe, but the the extent of NSA surveillance current situation in the Middle East, we National Security State they are building have learned from Iraq and Afghanistan is not in our best long-term interests. If that sending in troops on a nation-building mission can cause governments were convinced people would support these more problems than it solves. This is as much a war between actions, why were they kept secret? Whatever your views two branches of Islam as it is an attack on Western Civilisation. about Edward Snowden, it is clear that he performed a Let us stand back and focus on tasks here at home. We need to public service. Before his revelations, government officials embark on the hard work of properly integrating the Muslim routinely denied the type of surveillance activities that he population in our revealed. Without him, I doubt that we would now be having country. Why is radicalisation much less of a problem in the discussion we are having in both the US and Europe about Muslim communities in the U.S.? Because America has done redressing the balance. This proves that government have to be a much better job of integrating its immigrant communities. constrained and not given free rein to do whatever they deem We should start by abolishing all faith schools (yes, including necessary to address threats. Think this is not really a problem? CofE ones). Isolated cultural/religious communities are much Go back and read the book 1984 by George Orwell. less likely to develop if schooling is mixed and free of religious The second reason I reject this approach is that it encourages us indoctrination. This is not a quick fix but (as Mrs Thatcher to view terrorism as a Law and Order problem. This view holds once said) there is no alternative. that all we have to do is catch and/or kill all the "bad guys", or The proposal at the start of this article was that the UN invade their countries, and the problem will be solved. This then Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be amended to validates more and more invasive and lethal measures to identify make it clear that all citizens should be free from unregulated the targets but ignores the lessons of history. Whether we think government surveillance. This will not only defend the democratic it is justified or not, terrorists are motivated by a cause. For every nature of our societies but prevent governments from seeking to one we kill or capture there will be ten to take their place. solve political problems using solely security or military means. The most developed example of this is Israel. The current Terrorism is not just caused by a few immoral zealots and government (recently re-elected) refuses to consider a Two-State maniacs. Let's keep our countries free and spend our time on the solution until the security situation is normalised. They believe hard work of building links between communities and finding they can achieve this by more weapons, more walls and fences, sustainable solutions to the political problems we face. more roadblocks, more checkpoints, denying citizenship to all

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13: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

how many is

too many? Jadon Buckeridge YEAR 12

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n American president once stated: 'A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation'. Perhaps then, Nigel Farage, the demonised, radical racist of the right is not alone in his opinion that the UK is rapidly becoming a piece in someone else's puzzle. However, the UKIP leader suffers from tact-deficiency when it comes to the touchy topic of foreigners and immigration: when he announced that an abundance of Eastern Europeans in his train carriage had made him feel 'uncomfortable', the perpetrators were not depicted as integrated members of society as they should've been, but more like unfortunate cultural pollutants whose Soviet-sprung accents touched one of Nigel's many nationalist nerves. Immigration, however, is not some UKIP exclusive; it's politically universal. In recent years, it has consistently been ranked in the top three most important issues by the electorate - much to the disgust of the other parties, who have hurriedly tried to brush it under the carpet. The challenge that faces other parties is clear: for such an important area of policy, they


how many is

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have very little room to hide and even less room to tactically manoeuvre. 75% of the population would like to see levels of immigration curbed, and, when push comes to shove, UKIP are by far the most convincing in their desire to quench the thirst of the electorate. The warriors of the left - the Greens, and the Welsh non-contenders - are stranded in a straitjacket of morality, trying in vain to wriggle their way out of answering the million-dollar question; Labour, who opened the flood gates as far as immigration is concerned, are apologetic about the past but complacent about the future; the Lib Dems (not that many people care any longer) are tongue-tied by their love affair with the EU. The Tories, whose promises on immigration are taken with a heavy pinch of salt after their woefully optimistic targets for the last Parliament, are mastering the art of sitting on the fence - the public want controls to limit the level of immigration, but all Cameron's troops are willing to offer are measures designed to make the lives of immigrants slightly less comfortable after they arrive. When Cameron finally plucked up the courage to present his highly anticipated speech on immigration, before the

Election, he did so somewhat apologetically in a JCB factory, conveniently set off the fire alarm and didn't say anything very exciting; unfortunately for the Tories, however, word got out anyway. For someone who opened boldly by saying 'It boils down to one word: control', he had no solution the biggest problem of the lot - free movement. His speech was more a list of confessions than a revelation of promises. What Cameron might've pointed out to those who bothered to listen is the basic approach we should take to judging immigration; it's very much a game of two halves, as far as politicking is concerned, and - to be fair to the Tories - perhaps this is the very reason they've been quite so indecisive. Immigration can be viewed as a point of positive economic theory - the financial benefits the recipient country receives can be weighed up against the strains felt by the welfare budget and various other public services, and a net economic outcome can be calculated. However, there are significant social factors - how immigration affects communities, wages and cultures - to be balanced on the same set of scales. As far as the raw economics are concerned, immigration not only should be but

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manifests itself as a positive phenomenon. Immigrants tend to be of working age, and because of their willingness to work hard for low wages, their services are attractive to domestic firms. This in itself supports the supply side of our economy and represents potential economic growth - something economies worldwide live in envy of after a financial crisis and sustained periods of negative growth. In the period from 2001-2011, European migrants alone contributed 65% more in taxes than they received as benefits; these same migrants are less likely to require social housing than the native British and they are 43% less likely to fall back on the welfare state for income support. Immigrants, then, are not sinking the British economy - the truth is, they're doing more than their fair share to keep it afloat. The hype surrounding public services, particularly with regard to our ever failing NHS, is also grossly intertwined with the issue of immigration. Nigel Farage chuckles while counting heads in his local social housing queue and shouts about the number of foreign AIDS patients on our NHS like it’s the UKIP campaign slogan, but ultimately the digits don't stack up. If immigrants are more likely to contribute their fair share in taxation than the British public as a whole, to blame them for the lack of public funding seems somewhat nonsensical. Unfortunately, however, it's not only the fringe parties who are shamefully turning to these ill-conceived, vote-luring rhetorical tricks. Cameron himself stated, with regard to people who have

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no problem with high immigration, 'they have never waited on a social housing list'. In light of the economic statistics above, the relevance of this statement is difficult to grasp: either the PM is blaming immigrants for scrounging off the same public services which they themselves have funded to a greater extent than the average British citizen, or (and perhaps more likely) the stereotypical Tory Etonian was showing off his immense levels of understanding for the average working class family in desperate need of a council house. Whatever Mr Cameron was trying to say, or trying to pull off, what he should have done was left public services and public finances as two eggs from the same basket; it is implausible to recognise the superior contribution immigrants make in general taxation, before criticising immigrants for consuming the public services those same taxes are spent on. For those of us without a left-wing ideological blindfold covering our eyes, it is relatively obvious that credibility for economic decision-making is a golden ticket associated with the Tories above all others: the election result in May certainly confirmed this. However, it is also true that statistics and numbers - the raw data of economics - are of little concern to the electorate and it's for this reason that immigration has become so heavily stigmatised by the public. The majority of the public, according to Lord Ashcroft, think immigration has done more harm than good, but this is just an overview: attitudes change amid


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political desire to remain within the EU is the main culprit for the stigmatisation of immigration in this country

different demographics. Amongst the lowest paid, for example, the political hype UKIP have managed to create surrounding ideas of wage depression and housing shortages has clearly had an effect: this social group is one of the most opposed to immigration - any immigration at all, in many instances. However, statistics relating to the negativity surrounding the topic should surely be used as a means to solve the problem: the vast majority of British citizens object to the mass migration of unskilled labourers to the UK, for fear of unemployment, crime, and wage depression; but very few object to high levels of student or professional migration - the NHS, for example, being a grateful recipient of migrant medics. Whether or not you hate UKIP, detest Nigel Farage, or lean strongly to the left of the political spectrum, finding fault with the concept of a points-based immigration system is a tough task. Whether the end game is to reduce levels of net migration or not, the idea of discriminating on a skills-led basis is infinitely more logical than the current system we operate. Whatever it may be, there is a practical numerical limit to the number of migrants the UK can accept at any given time: the opportunity cost of allowing one immigrant in is showing the door to another. We have the EU to thank for our ethnocentric, isolationist immigration policy as it stands. Cleaners, cooks, painters and plumbers from all over Europe have the birth right to live anywhere in the UK, but an engineer from China spends months

acquiring a visa just to visit. The poorly-skilled, poorly-educated, high-school dropout from the EU has free right of passage into our country, where the Indian doctor does not. The argument against free movement from the EU is not racist or immorally discriminating: fairness is the underlying issue, and quite clearly, the European approach does not suffice. Political desire to remain within the EU is the main culprit for the stigmatisation of immigration in this country: despite the pressure of public opinion bearing down on the mainstream parties, diplomatic relations with trading partners in the EU bloc have kept any changes long at bay. But the price for ignoring public opinion has become horribly apparent: anti-immigration sentiment and dangerous levels of support for Farage and his band of merry men closed in on the integrity of the recent election. True, the Tories and Labour have united in a collective effort to stop the anti-immigration, populist bandwagon in its tracks, but as far as the electorate are concerned, the cat's now out the bag. Neither Cameron nor any other British political leader is a magician; no vanishing act will work on this issue. The only way out is negotiation with the EU or, if that fails, leaving them behind altogether.

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14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

being cut is an event I will never forget Dodo Charles YEAR 12

F

emale Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (FGM/C) has become a taboo topic within many schools, despite being something that many girls across the world are being subjected to every day. This is something that needs to be addressed. FG M /C is the surgical altering of a female’s genitals for non-medical reasons, often for tradition. “Cutting season” is when girls of the age of fifteen (or younger if they have begun puberty) are subjected to the alteration of their genitalia by their family or by their particular surroundings. Whilst there are some countries, such as Sierra Leone, that have made it illegal until a girl is eighteen and is capable of consent, this is having some adverse effects, because people are being cut before they turn eighteen, so as their parents don’t break the law. This is forcing young girls into positions of submission and removing their primary human rights. Yet, cutting is not just limited to children, with women being “re-cut” before marriage or after childbirth to re-align the labia.

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The procedure itself is often part of a week of rituals that prepare the girl for adulthood and their role as a housewife. Part of the ritual also involves a vow not to speak of their ritual for the rest of their lives - hence the lack of education that is received. Many believe the purpose of the ritual is to make a girl chaste and faithful to her husband, but, in reality, it is fundamental to allowing a girl to be married. This is usually the main reason that parents subject their children to such a treatment. The actual cutting procedure is unlikely to have any anaesthetic because an integral part of the ritual is for the female to endure the pain. Although the appointed woman who does the cutting is likely to have some training, it is by no means considered to be of a high standard- no antiseptic is used, and therefore the procedure can be incredibly damaging, not just mentally but also physically. The instruments that girls are subjected to can vary from a knife to a razor blade or another sharp object. Other procedures include pricking, piercing, cutting, pulling, scraping and burning the area. Yet, despite this, there is a growing rate of countries that are electing to have the procedure carried


out in a medical environment- in some countries this is up to 18% of the cases- and Britain is not exempt. There are four main types of FGM/C: 1. Clitoridectomy- Removing part or all of the clitoris and/or prepuce. 2. Excision- Removing part or all of the clitoris and inner labia (lips surrounding the vagina) with or without removing the labia majora (larger outer lips). 3. Infibulation (pharaonic)- Narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal, formed by cutting and repositioning the labia. 4. Unclassified- Any other harmful procedures to the female genitals, including pricking and burning. The health risks involved with FGM/C may include haemorrhage, trauma to adjacent organs, infection, shock from blood loss, urinary retention, cysts, abscesses, psychological problems, difficulty during childbirth and even death. In particular, infibulated women often have problems with obstructed labour, which threatens the lives of both mother and child. FGM/C is now illegal in many countries including the UK, but this is not stopping it from occurring, as there is not necessarily state protection available. The issue arises

with attempting to uphold such laws within individual areas of a country where there may be “power houses” that can withstand rebuttal from others. However, the main issue is the lack of desire on the part of governments to get involved with such a pressing concern. The solutions to this problem, for those who are soon to be forced to partake in such rituals, are internal and external flight. However, internal flight is often not a viable option because if one area of the country is allowing it so, often, is another- there is no escaping. This is where problems occur because external flight (seeking asylum) is expensive and there is no guaranteed safety at the other end. However, whilst we may think that this isn’t happening in the Western world and we are exempt from it, this is not the case. Recent estimates have suggested that 137,000 women in the UK have undergone the procedure, either in this country or in their native country. Police are stationed at airports in school holidays for what it known as “Cutting season”, whilst young girls are taken off on holiday unaware of what is going to happen to them. There is yet to have been a single successful prosecution in the UK of someone carrying out any one of the FGM/C procedures, despite the knowledge that this is occurring. The first trial in the UK was held earlier this year in January, involving two men - one a doctor, who had carried out a further FGM/C treatment on a woman who had just given birth. Within half an hour, both men had been acquitted. How is it that such a marginal case was chosen for the first attempt at prosecution and why did the jury fail to convict? The answer is that there was both a lack of evidence and a lack of education into what FGM/C is. This brings me to the point of this article. Education is key if we are ever going to bring to a stop such rituals. We need to educate ourselves about what we can do to help prevent these situations from occurring. People need to know that this is taking place within the UK. Schools need to provide education to those who could be potential sufferers and those who could potentially prevent it from taking place. The resources are there for us all to learn, but schools are ignoring it so as not to anger parents or so as to shelter pupils. However, girls, who could potentially have to go through something like this, have the right to know. We need to stop this gender persecution. We need to educate.

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are the days

numbered for traditional Dominic Baker YEAR 13

marriage?

T

he 16th Human Right states that: ‘Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution’ This seems fundamental to the wellbeing of society, as families are crucial nuclei that provide support and a sense of community to almost everyone that operates within each family unit. However, I often struggle to see why marriage, in its traditional sense, is deemed so necessary in family building and in wider society. I’m not for one moment questioning anyone’s desire to celebrate their love for another or to make commitments in the form of vows, but in some sense I’d like to see a ‘reform’ of marriage. Weddings are, almost by default, religious – over a third of the marriages that take place in the UK every year are Church of England alone – and it seems like the celebration still drags obsolete traditions and outdated ideals along with it. Furthermore, the religious implications of marriage, especially in the Western world, have caused unnecessary problems; in many cases, the institution as a whole can appear to discriminate against and stigmatise exactly what it should celebrate – love. But with ever-decreasing numbers of religious services and an increase of the secular variety, it seems like people are finding new ways to celebrate and further their relationships. Across all cultures there appears to be a very significant religious tie to marriage, and in each case it is not difficult to identify the traditions and values that are certainly not as compatible with modern society as they once were. It’s no

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16: Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

surprise that the Christian church, whilst wiping away many pagan practices across Europe, was a strong advocate of a marriage which promoted patriarchal values and contained a handful of other misogynistic elements. Of course, now a woman has equal rights, in both a societal and legal sense, but to my mind the sentiments definitely seem to linger and subtly suggest that marriage ought to be a male-dominated institution. This goes right down to the irrational desire for a woman to take a man’s name once they enter wedlock. Now, whilst most Islamic countries do operate under a totally different culture to the Western one that I will most often reference, there is little doubt that marriage in Islam can include oppressive and misogynistic practice. Arranged marriages, polygamy in the male’s favour and the inheritance law would all heavily contradict the Human Rights Act, were the law to be in place. The scriptures of each religion also state that a non-believer is not to be taken as one’s spouse; whilst, at least in the Western world, the biblical imperatives are not taken word for word, I’d argue that the conditions that the religions place on qualifying love and defining it in the nuptial sense are certainly reasons for the decline in religious-based marriage. When looking at our modern society, in contrast to the era in which these aforementioned traditions and ideals were taken almost as gospel, it is not difficult to explain the recent decline in traditional religious marriage. In fact, religious ceremonies have fallen quite significantly over the past few decades – making up 80% of all marital services in the 1960s, but only around 35% nowadays. It would appear that in today’s society, people have a different take on religion that leads them to have a secular marriage instead. One view is that a religious ceremony and its connotations exert additional external pressures onto a marriage, making it less about simply the love shared between two and their commitment to each other; interestingly, there are now higher rates of divorce among those who have had religious marriages.

An important aspect to consider when looking at declining rates of religious marriage is that of gay marriage. After an obscenely long battle that finally granted what should already have been inalienable rights to the gay community, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act was passed in 2013. What followed in the subsequent 3 months was a total of 1,400 same sex weddings. This, when coupled with the results of a recent study showing Britain to be one of the world’s least religious nations, definitely seems to depict a country moving away from traditional religious services. Whilst reading around the topic, I came across an interesting article in the Guardian concerning the marriage situation in Australia - their marriage equality act was recently reversed by the Abbot government. The columnist, Julie Novak, suggested that gay couples ignore government’s ruling and instead make their own private arrangements – making it none of the government’s business who is married, when and under what conditions. It is no surprise the ‘civil partnerships’ or unions are seem as a ‘consolation’ prize, and people may actually be much happier in arranging the standards of their own marriage. This argument also has a lot of support, spanning the political spectrum. Right-wing government sceptics, such as Wendy McElroy, would argue that marriage has become a ‘three-way contract between two people and the government’. It is easy to see why marriage privatisation is attractive to the liberal-minded, as the question of gay marriage would never become a problem. Before long, this may be common practice, and, whilst the religious sector of society would still engage in a traditional ceremony, I wouldn’t argue against secular and private marriage becoming the norm. In short, I would argue that our modern society is not a best fit for religious marriage; there are quite clear fissures between the important values of today and those of 50 years ago. People of today appear to be more disposed to opting for a secular marriage and the exciting freedoms that private marriages would offer couples seem to be a simple solution to the problems seen within both the gay community and a generally less religious society.

Marriage promoted patriarchal values and other misogynistic elements

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Communism versus Capitalism

Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936)

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Communism

versus capitalism

17: (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Henry Ling YEAR 12

T

he seventeenth human right looks at how people are entitled to their own property and how they should maintain all which they own. When I first saw this, the idea of communism popped into mind: does that not breach this Human Right by default? “All property is to be owned by the state”. Well, for starters, that statement in itself is wrong: the true idea of communism is a sense of social order and the aim is to create a world without money, class or state; socialism is where we see state ownership at work. However, I would say when addressing this human right, that communism does seem to breach it, for the whole idea is to have property as a collective not as an individual. But is this really a problem? When the social prospects are fantastic and equality is its top aim, the people are not losing all property; it’s owned by everyone, not just one man. Communism has got some very bad press through single party state rulers such as Stalin and Mao, and at the same time a Capitalist set of values has “thrived”. Capitalism is the key ideology which goes hand in hand with the seventeenth human right, for it is based around private ownership, wage labour and competitive markets. The people are entitled to own and maintain their own property, although in the central nervous system of the Capitalism there is some state ownership. In the rest of this article, I will look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two systems, taking into account their historical implications and their true aims. Communism may not be as bad a regime as most people think, but the initiation of this regime will be almost impossible in the world’s current social and economic situation. Capitalism has been the dominant economic system in the Western World since the downfall of feudalism over 400 years ago. This is because it is seen to provide both economic stability

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and economic freedom. The idea behind capitalism is to start a business within a free market and work to gain capital, whereby the growth of this business is done without restrictions from the government and with minimum taxes. This leads to a society with much economic freedom, which comes hand in hand with political freedom; if you take the counter argument and the government owns all means of production, then this leads invariably to a powerful bureaucratic state brimming with corruption. There is also great economic growth through a capitalist society. With growth and incentives come a plethora of innovation, which opens the world up to increased wealth and improved living standards. This surely lends a positive impact on the society and state. Moreover, one of the great advantages of a capitalist society is that there is great efficiency, for the people have high incentives to perform well and increase production rates. Through innovative ideas being brought forward, companies can try to cut costs and avoid waste to improve the world around them. Is this not a prosperous and effective way of living? Capitalism however is not perfect and has many flaws in its methods and means. The capitalist way of running things leads to monopoly power, whereby the larger companies consume the smaller businesses and can then exploit their position by charging higher prices to the general populace. Higher prices always mean trouble, and this can eventually lead to economic crashes as seen in the US in 1929. Another problem which arises is monopsony power, whereby the company with monopoly power can pay lower wages to the employees, leading to inequality between owners

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of capital and those who work for the company. Sounds like a revolution is in order - an uprising of the working class perhaps? The problems with a capitalist society do not stop here, however; there is also a distinct lack of focus on social needs. Despite protests and political opinion in recent years, a profit- maximising company would tend to ignore the negative consequences of its work, such as pollution, and further put focus on producing goods rather than offering services such as education, healthcare and public transport. Of course, in a real-life situation you will have to include these factors and thus you wouldn’t really have a truly capitalist society. One of the major drawbacks that I personally find with a capitalist society though, is wealth inequality. At times, it appears the rich get richer while the poor get poorer – borne out by recent statistics. Although it is argued as ‘fair’ that you gain rewards for your hard work, a lot of rich individuals, have often inherited wealth from birth and become part of a ‘privileged class’. When a society gets this wealth inequality, it forms social divide and resentment. This is where Karl Marx comes into play. Karl Marx formulated much of the communist ideology and predicted the ways in which the world would develop economically and politically as a result of the rise of Capitalism. Communism provides a strong basis, forming an ultimately hard-working and integrated society. The theory behind the system is to have common property shared throughout the whole of society and everyone gets everything provided. A true communist society has no ruler, it is ruled by the people and for the people, bringing about an end to rulers dictating how things are done and an ultimate rise in equality. The main benefits behind a communist state reside in the freedom for everyone to get healthcare and education. Citizens can get as much medical attention as required and not have the rich people at the top taking it all. This would improve living standards and make a healthier society. Also, education is important in raising the people of tomorrow; those without education tend to be left out of society and get placed in lower-paid jobs in a capitalist society. In a communist society, however, everyone is entitled to get a higher form of education and spark new ideas for the future; if more people get good education, there is a higher chance of innovation and new, forward-thinking ideas to revolutionise the future. Unemployment rates would further plummet, for every member of society will be involved in working to boost production rates, to make a sustainable living environment and make sure everyone is cared for. A drastic decrease in crime will also occur because there would be less crime


Communism

versus capitalism

based around jealousy and inequality, coupled with the fact that everyone around you is likely to be helping you in some way, shape or form. Another interesting aspect of communism is a lack of money. A society where everyone is working for the greater good of the people rather than themselves makes a more harmonised society; money is not needed because food and welfare are provided. And who’s the provider? Well, everyone - people who can work the land can help provide food, builders can build houses, intellectuals can go into teaching or research, etc. A communist society is, on the whole, free of corruption, inequality and power bases. Is this perfect? Is this utopia? Potentially yes, but the biggest and most fundamental problem with communism is implementation. The reason why communism is so hard to put into practice is because of the society we have today. Humans, on the whole, are quite selfish people. Those who are at the top now don't want to give up all they have to benefit all those beneath them. George Orwell argued a similar point in the novel Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” However, human nature is not predetermined but rather it is manipulated and affected by nurture. Thus, after years of capitalism and its materialistic mentality, we have become selfish, forcing communism to only be a utopian concept not a party line to be taken up by revolutionaries around the world. Moreover, no one can properly input a communist state; if we look through history, for example, we see constant attempts and failures at building a communist society. Lenin and Stalin, for example, pushed Russia into becoming a communist state; yet Stalin was a dictator, which goes against the main aim communism. We also saw a collapse in Russia’s economy; the peasants weren't working together to produce crops and were in fact burning their crops, while, in producing large industrial plants, many Russians lost their lives. The same problems were seen in Mao’s China during the ‘Great Leap Forward’, in which 73% of the steel produced was impure and had to be disposed of. Moreover, in these states mass killings and state censorship were not unheard of. May I note, however, that both Russia and China were seen as superpowers in the 20th century?

However, one reason for the flaws I have cited in the previous paragraph is that Stalin and Mao weren’t implementing true communism, and these country were economically poor and not fully developed industrially when these leaders came to power. This made it hard for these economies to compete against the wealthier, more industrially developed countries of Europe and North America, especially in a global economy dominated by the dollar. So the main point here is that if the whole world was communist, whereby all resources are shared, then communism would be perfect; however, if you introduce it in one country then it will have to make producer goods and make money on the worldwide economy in order to buy the necessary resources for the society to work, thus making it a none-communist country - and so the cycle begins again. As with all things there are flaws, whichever of the two systems – capitalism or communism - you try to run a country or world in today’s society. Human right number 17 suggests that capitalism is the way forward, for it strongly agrees with this right, whereas the issuance of this human right doesn't really comply with communist ideology. However, communism does result in so much more social equality than capitalism does, as well as still supplying the people with the necessities needed in dayto-day life. Furthermore, private property is derived from the mindset capitalism fosters; the social cohesion inherent in a truly communist state removes this necessity, and would warrant this right useless. If you have not guessed it already, however, my main argument in this article is that a true communist society as portrayed by Karl Marx, will result in the best type of world with the most happiness. However, there are so many problems in making a communist society like this that I believe it will take many years and much nurturing of the human race to reach that level. I, therefore, think, in the intermediate period, we should use a system which has a mix of social and capitalist values – a social democracy or social market. This will hopefully be free of corruption and inequality, while still giving people their own slice of glory. The ultimate aim of the human race in my eyes is to make a utopian world, but to reach this stage we will have much work to do with the human mind, editing it till it is in a state of acceptance and concerned with all of society, not just personal material desires.

after years of capitalism and its materialistic mentality, we have become selfish

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18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Sociopaths & Psychopaths: a lack of conscience and its implications Sian Latham

YEAR 12

W

hen we are young, everything seems so effortlessly black and white: wrong or right. Simple. Yet, as we grow, developing into different people and experiencing many varying ideas, we learn that what was once clean cut is now ragged and tends to snag on multiple clauses and contradictions that enrich life. Though this may lead us to great arguments and disputed opinions, such emotive reactions to this diverse expression of morality and ethics should be found comforting to us all. For, as they should be, these points of conflict are evidence that those who engage have a sense of morality, that they are ethically active in their lives and decisions. Even if one may argue that euthanasia is right and another that it is wrong, these views are supported by reason and ethics, as different as that may be: it is present. In truth, it is

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the individuals of this planet who fail to engage or trip over these debates who should cause concern to blossom in our minds. For there are those out there who lack this sense of morality that so many people assume is an inherent part of our human nature. People who do not view the world in any spectrum of right or wrong, simply seeing it in terms of what they wish to do what is made possible by logic and reason. These people can be split into two groups: sociopaths and psychopaths. Most will have heard of these two groups, though what the titles actually allude to and how they differ may not be as apparent to everyone. Sociopaths and psychopaths both suffer from a lack of morality and from antisocial behaviour that reveals itself in a lack of remorse or guilt, impulsive behaviour, deceit, lack of responsibility, disregard of the law and often a tendency to be violent. However, one crucial factor separates one from the other. Psychopaths, it is believed, have a genetic


almost one man in Every hundred is born a 'clinical psychopath'

disposition to exist in this way, while sociopaths are made this way through their environment while growing up. In both cases, the symptoms start to develop before, and around, 15 years of age and continue to develop into adulthood. The real question, therefore, is what does this mean? In recent years, the film and television industry has introduced a ‘cool’ or ‘sexy’ concept to these labels in characters such as Sherlock Holmes or Paul Spector in The Fall. By doing so, the labels and people who wear them have become less of an alien thought to society, while also being misconceived by many as someone to idolize or merely as an interesting, exotic personality. Yet, if someone truly lacks the ability to feel remorse and morality in their lives, the reality is far darker than an eclectic detective who helps the London police force. Morals are what provide strength to our laws; we all recognise that they are the principles to live our lives by; thus we do not break them and by doing so, we protect and respect others. Therefore, if I were a sociopath, lacking morality and respect for others, what prevents me from breaking any of the laws as I see fit? Why would I even care what laws exist, if I am unable to feel remorse or guilt for breaking them? Thus, what would stop me from doing anything I wanted, be it murder or theft? Regardless of this, many people who suffer with this lack of morality and remorse, often try to live very normal lives with this condition. Just because they may have a disorder does not mean that their disorder defines them and thus causes them to become mass murders or remorseless lunatics: not at all. Psychopaths tend to have a higher success in leading a normal life as they are less erratic than sociopaths and gravitate towards being more manipulative, and, as such, can be viewed as quite charming. Sociopaths tend to be more impulsive and rageprone hence making it harder for them to live normal lives. This said, most people who are identified as having this mental disorder are found in forensic settings (e.g. prisons) or with alcohol and substance abuse. Perhaps some of you are reading this with the thought that, yes, though these people do exist and how they perceive the world is slightly worrying, there are, in reality, very few people who are like this. If that is you at this minute, I’m afraid to say you are entirely wrong. For it is estimated that almost one man in every hundred is born a ‘clinical psychopath’; it is the same for every one in three hundred women.

Though so many people do have this trait, it is not always present in a way that is noticeable to the person themselves or the others around them; thus many people can live their whole lives fairly oblivious to any lack of morality or empathy they may suffer. What is interesting, however, is the scientific reaction to what is a fairly recent mental diagnostic. Psychologists have multiple ways of viewing psychopathy but two are very interesting: the concept of ‘a different kind of human’ and that it is no mistake but an evolutionary gain. In terms of psychopaths and sociopaths being a different kind of human, it is a development of an idea that arises from the fact that the workings and logic of a psychopath’s mind are highly incomprehensible and confusing for someone to follow who is not a fellow-psychopath. Then there is the fundamental gap that arises between one who has a conscience and one who does not; they become almost alien to one another. The concept of psychopathic tendencies being an evolutionary gain is an interesting one in that it is defined as a gain in terms of their ability to abuse the rigid lawful society in which we all live. Psychologists who have looked at the small social gap that exists for such people to exploit have theorised that that is the cause for the development of the mental disorder. Both theories, though different in approach, identify one crucial feature: that this mental disorder creates a clear and defined distinction between the ‘normal’, or ‘traditional’, human and the psychopath. Still, what does this all actually mean? In reality, very little. We have continued to prosper as a society in which this disorder has existed, for many years with very little of the population truly realising the numbers in which the disorder existed, if at all. That said, we are not completely unaware of their presence on the planet as they often appear in the news but as a ‘normal’ criminal with no mention of a disorder. Like most things in life, this piece is just another snag that we all must face and take into account when forming our opinions and decisions later in life. Very little, if anything, in your lives will change as a result, only that you are now aware of the truth of the disorder and thus have to take such people’s existence into factor when considering the diversity of opinion and morality that exists. Just remember: disorder does not define us, it is our actions that express who we are.

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19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

“THE TROUBLING OF MY LIFE”: William Butler Yeats and Maud Gonne “...all the while I know that she made me and I her...” (diary 1909-1910)

Tom McCarthy

“I was twenty-three years old when the troubling of my life began”: this is how Yeats begins his description of Maud Gonne on first meeting her in 1889. His Autobiography continues: “I had never thought to see in a living woman so great beauty. It belonged to famous pictures, to poetry, to some legendary past. A complexion like the blossom of apples, and yet face and body had the beauty of lineaments which Blake calls the highest beauty...she seemed of a divine race”. What did she see in this young Irish writer whose first poems had been published in 1885? Kathleen Tynan, his friend and a poet herself, said that he was “beautiful to look at, with his dark face, its touch of vivid colouring, the night-black hair, the eager dark eyes”. She became for Yeats his inspiration, the great love and yet the troubling of all his life. Howth head: early days The Hill of Howth or Howth Head guards Dublin Bay from the north. It was a place of special importance to Maud Gonne where she lived as a child. Later in life she wrote: “No place has ever seemed to me quite as lovely as Howth was then. ... The heather grew so high and strong that we could make cubby houses and be entirely hidden and entirely warm and sheltered from the high wind”.

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Yeats, too, loved Howth where he lived for a short time when he was young. In 1890 he spent a day there with Maud Gonne and remembering that day he wrote his first poem about her. It is an early Yeats when he was still under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and it has all the lazy beauty of Pre-Raphaelite rhythms. Of this period of his life he later wrote: “We were the last Romantics”. The poem is called “The White Birds”: “I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea! We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee; And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the sky, Has awaked in our hearts, my beloved, a sadness that may not die. A weariness comes from those dreamers, dew-dabbled, the lily and rose; Ah dream not of them, my beloved, the flame of the meteor that goes, Or the flame of the blue star that lingers hung low in the fall of the dew: For I would we were changed to white birds on the wandering foam: I and you! I am haunted by numberless islands, and many a Danaan shore, Where Time would surely forget us, and Sorrow comes near us no more; Soon far from the rose and the lily and fret of the flames would we be, Were we only white birds, my beloved, buoyed up on the foam of the sea!

Who, then was Maud Gonne, “the beautiful Irish nationalist” about whom Yeats wrote “ some of the most original and poignant love poems of all time”? (Robert Mighall). For our modern age, she would be regarded as unusual; for her own time (1866-1953) she was extraordinary.


the troubling

of my life

Maud Gonne and Ireland, hurling “the little streets upon the great” In her early years she moved with her family between England, Ireland and occasionally France. At the age of 18, she was presented at Court and was escorted onto the royal dais by the Prince of Wales. At the age of 21, after the death of her father, she began living an independent life in Paris where she became involved with a right-wing group intent on destroying the Third Republic; among that group she met Lucien Millevoye, a journalist/politician. On the group’s behalf she travelled to Russia on a secret mission to persuade the Tsar to finance a right-wing plot against the Third Republic; in 1890, she returned to Ireland and met the great leader of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, John O’Leary, who had been exiled from Ireland for fifteen years for his part in the Fenian Rising of 1865 ( see Yeats’s “September, 1913”). O’Leary converted her to Irish nationalism, just as earlier he had converted Yeats who remained always moderate. Her first Irish campaign in 1890 was against the mass eviction of tenants in the most poverty-stricken areas of Donegal; Yeats’s poem “Her Praise”, more than twenty years later. remembers this: “I will talk no more of books or the long war But walk by the dry thorn until I have found Some beggar sheltering from the wind, and there Manage the talk until her name comes round. If there be rags enough he will know her name And be well pleased remembering it, for in the old days, Though she had young men’s praise and old men’s blame, Among the poor both old and young gave her praise”.

In Donegal, a warrant was issued for her arrest but later cancelled. In Paris, she founded a newspaper called L’Irlande Libre. On a fund-raising tour of America in support of Home Rule for Ireland, a newspaper called her “Ireland’s Joan of Arc”. She was one of the leaders of two massive demonstrations in Dublin, first against the celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897 and a few years later against the visit to Ireland of King Edward VII, her former escort. On that occasion, she hung a black petticoat outside her house in Dublin in a street festooned with Union Jacks. When a Unionist mob invaded her house, she fought back. In “No Second Troy” Yeats tells us: “Why should I blame her that she filled my days With misery, or that she would of late Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways, Or hurled the little streets upon the great, Had they but courage equal to desire?”

During the Boer War she spoke out in Paris in favour of the Boers against “British Imperialism”; here she met Captain John MacBride, an Irish nationalist who fought with the Boers in South Africa. In Dublin a pro-Boer march was banned but Gonne and a few other Irish leaders ignored the ban. Around that time she became the first president of Inghinidhe na hEireann, (Daughters of Ireland), a group of women dedicated to promote Irish culture and Home Rule for Ireland. She was one of the leaders in a campaign to extend free school meals for

Maud Gonne, about whom yeats wrote "some of the most original and poignant love poems of all time" Irish schoolchildren, a campaign that succeeded in 1912. In late 1914, Maud Gonne began working as a Red Cross nurse in a French military hospital where she became aware for the first time of the reality of war: “...in my heart is growing up a wild hatred of the war machine”. The Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 began and failed with the executions of all but two of its leaders (see “Sixteen Dead Men”). Stranded in France, she was desperate to go to Ireland, but as soon as she arrived in London she was served with a notice under the Defence of the Realm Act, exiling her from Ireland. Nevertheless, eventually she travelled to Dublin in disguise; she was arrested in 1918 and sent to Holloway Prison

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where her companions included Constance Markiewicz, (nee Gore-Booth), one of the two reprieved leaders of the Easter Rising, and Kathleen Clarke, the widow of one of the executed men, Tom Clarke. This is how Yeats remembers Constance in his “In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz”: “The light of evening, Lissadell, Great windows open to the south, Two girls in silk kimonos, both Beautiful, one a gazelle

A later poem “On a Political Prisoner” is more sombre. In 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty divided Ireland into North and South. A government which accepted the Treaty’s division of Ireland was formed; tragically a bitter and shameful civil war began between former nationalist fighters, between those in favour of the Treaty and those against ( see “Meditations in Time of Civil War”). A group of women in Dublin, including Maud Gonne, set up a Peace Committee to reconcile the two sides, but the Government was pitiless in its violence against former comrades. With her Peace Committee she led huge and noisy demonstrations against the Irish Government that was imprisoning and executing anti-Treaty campaigners. She wrote in her Memoirs: “We claimed, as women, on whom the misery of civil war would fall, that we had a right to be heard”. Her home was ransacked by a pro-Treaty crowd...as it had been under British rule years earlier. She was arrested twice by the new Irish Government and on the second occasion she was released after going on hunger strike. She went to Northern Ireland to see for herself the distressed conditions of Catholics driven from their homes: she was arrested and deported back to Dublin. With her Peace Committee a Women’s Prisoners’ Defence League was set up to support the families’ of imprisoned anti-Treaty men and women. It was eventually banned by the Irish Government but continued to meet and campaign under a different name. She spent the rest of her life as a fervent campaigner for refugees and for prisoners’ rights. Maud Gonne; Millevoye; MacBride; Yeats: “Love fled... and his head among a crowd of stars” The most astonishing fact about this “beautiful Irish nationalist” was that she was English, born in Tongham in Surrey in 1866. Her father, Tommy, was an English army captain and later colonel, sent to Ireland with his wife and two daughters when she was two years old. Yet she was a very private person and her own private life had its deal of troubles and its secrets. After the death of her father, it was John O’Leary, almost a

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father-figure, who converted her to Home Rule for Ireland. She moved equally between Dublin and Paris, having ample means to lead an independent life. In Paris in 1887, she began a tenyear relationship with a married right-wing French politician, Lucien Millevoye; it was on his behalf that she went on that secret mission to Russia. By the time she met Yeats in 1889, she already had a son named George who had died when he was one. By the time Yeats had proposed to her twice, she had a daughter named Iseult whom she passed off as her niece. No one, least of all Yeats, in Ireland knew any of this. Yeats and Gonne were opposites in many ways. A contemporary wrote of Yeats that “He wanders in the realms of the mind”; Gonne says of her life at the time she met Yeats: “...it was one of ceaseless activity and travelling. I rarely spent a month in one place”. Over a period of twelve years he proposed to her on five different occasions. In her Memoirs she recalls that on one occasion she told him: “You make beautiful poetry out of what you call your unhappiness and you are happy in that...Poets should never marry. The world should thank me for not marrying you”. Yeats’s poem “Words” recalls this unwelcome advice: “That had she done so, who can say What would have been shaken from the sieve? I might have thrown poor words away And been content to live”.

In November 1898 in Dublin she finally confessed to Yeats the details of her relationship with Millevoye; he wrote no poems for a year. In Paris Maud Gonne was active in pro-Boer propaganda. There she had met and admired John MacBride in 1900, an Irish hero to Irish nationalists. In 1903, she converted to Catholicism and suddenly and unexpectedly married MacBride in Paris in February, she so unconventional, he as an Irish man of his time, so full of conventions about a woman’s place, always second. It was she, not the best man, who gave the final toast at their wedding reception; she insisted on keeping her own name, too. A few days later in Dublin, as he was about to give an evening lecture on the future of Irish drama, Yeats received a telegram, informing him of her marriage. Afterwards he remembered nothing of the lecture as he walked alone the streets of Dublin, devastated by what he saw as betrayal. “Reconciliation”, written in 1908, recalls that night:


the troubling

of my life

“Some may have blamed you that you took away The verses that could move them on the day When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind With lightning, you went from me, and I could find Nothing to make a song about but kings, Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things That were like memories of you – but now We’ll out, for the world lives as long ago; And while we’re in our laughing, weeping fit, Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit. But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone, My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone

Her sudden decision to marry MacBride was followed a year later after the birth of their son, Sean, by a decision to divorce him, citing drunkenness and cruelty. For Catholics divorce was not possible, so in the end there was a judicial separation in 1906. The Irish nationalists now turned against her, blaming her. O’Leary, her mentor and the godfather of her son, took MacBride’s part. Lady Gregory, Yeats’s partner in setting up the Abbey Theatre, wrote that “I think that her work in Ireland is over for her”. Yeats was the only person who stood by her. He wrote to Lady Gregory that “The trouble with these men (Irish nationalists) is that in their eyes a woman has no rights”. On her return to Dublin after the separation, she went to the Abbey Theatre, escorted by Yeats for a performance of Lady Gregory’s “The Gaol Gate”. This great campaigner for Irish independence was hissed at by this Irish audience. She turned, smiling, to face her attackers; Yeats was enraged, (see the words of “my phoenix” in his poem “The People”: “The drunkards, pilferers of public funds, All the dishonest crowd I had driven away, When my luck changed and they dared meet my face, Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me

Those I had served and some that I had fed; Yet never have I, now nor any time, Complained of the people.” For ten years Maud Gonne was cold-shouldered by the nationalists, yet she continued working on Irish causes. Yeats proposed again for the sixth time; she offered him a “spiritual marriage” which he accepted but privately was utterly frustrated, (see his bitter poem “Presences”). The final stanza of “Adam’s Curse”, which he had written much earlier, now seemed prescient: “I had a thought for no one’s but your ears: That you were beautiful, and that I strove To love you in the old high ways of love; That it had all seemed happy, and yet we’d grown As weary-hearted as that hollow moon”.

The culmination of centuries of struggle for Irish independence took place in the Easter Rising of 1916. Within a week the rebellion was crushed and its leaders executed, John MacBride among them. “Easter 1916” was Yeats’s response. Maud Gonne returned to Ireland as soon as she could as Maud Gonne MacBride, thus joining that highly respected group, that of the nationalist widows of 1916 and she was accepted once again. In 1917 Yeats at the age of 51 married Georgie Hyde-Lees in London. Gonne MacBride was quite happy at this. Indeed while she was in prison in Holloway she offered her Dublin home to the married couple. They had two children, a daughter, Anne, and a son, Michael. Last Years: “There is grey in your hair” Once Ireland won its independence in 1921, her friendship with Yeats cooled over political differences. She was opposed to the pro-Treaty Irish Government and he served as a Senator from 1922-1928. He himself, as a Protestant, had always been opposed to her Catholicism. When he resigned from the Senate, they resumed their friendship, though never as ardently as before. She is never named in all the poems about her. However in “Beautiful Lofty Things”, written in 1937, two years before he died – not a love poem – Yeats names her among all the people and experiences that made life meaningful for him and that made him: “Beautiful lofty things, O’Leary’s noble head, My father upon the Abbey stage, before him a raging crowd: ‘The land of Saints’, and then as the applause died out, ‘Of plaster Saints’; his beautiful, mischievous head thrown back. Standish O’Grady supporting himself between the tables Speaking to a drunken audience high nonsensical words; Augusta Gregory seated at her great ormolu table, Her eightieth winter approaching: ‘Yesterday he threatened my life. I told him that nightly from six to seven I sat at this table, The blinds drawn up’; Maud Gonne at Howth station waiting a train, Pallas Athene in that straight back and arrogant head: All the Olympians; a thing never known again”.

So there she is, at the end of his life, as she was at the beginning: in pride of place at the end of his own Panathenaea, Maud Gonne, “of divine race”, Pallas Athena herself, the last of the Olympians.

Bibliography: Yeats by Richard Ellmann; W.B. Yeats Alasdair Macrae; A preface to yeats by Edward Malins and John Purkiss; Collected poems of W.B. Yeats by Robert Mighall; Maud Gonne by Maragaret Ward.

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21: (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

unPopulists William Dry

YEAR 12

Nick Cleg

T

Natalie Bennett

he defining movement in British politics over the last five years has been the rise of populist parties - the rise of the Nigel 'It's the immigrants who are giving us all HIV, clogging up our motorways, and stealing our jobs' Farages and the Nicola 'Millions of children will be in poverty if we don’t spend trillions of pounds more, scrap Trident and allow Scotland to drift away to Iceland' Sturgeons. This raises the question: whatever happened to the good old British unpopulist - there was once a great joy in popping the demagogic-fuelled bubbles of others with a healthy injection of facts. Now those who attempt these incisions are chastised as 'talking Scotland down', threatened with a 'Glaswegian Kiss', or dubbed as the pessimist depressive 'glass half empty' type. There must not have been a morning in the last few years when Nick Clegg hasn't felt a shiver down his spine as he wakes up realising the nightmare he just suffered was actually an accurate depiction of the last 5 years. From the euphoric state of Cleggmania in 2010 - when he was the populist face of change - to the low lights of attempting to rejuvenate his campaign by visiting a hedgehog sanctuary (yes, that was not a joke) to the humiliating Lib Dem performance on May 8th.

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David Willetts His skin has been beaten down to a feeble, creased, pale plasticine by the repeated demonic glares it has faced from the 'betrayed' mobs of angry students. It is impossible to deny: he said he was going to scrap tuition fees, and ended up tripling them. Then he lost a referendum on voting reform, before proceeding to give up his House of Lords Reform Bill. However, the unpopulist within me believes that the only part of Clegg's performance that I vehemently disagree with is his apology for tuition fees. Yes, it was a manifesto pledge - but the Liberal Democrats had a mere 8% of MPs in government. Nick Clegg was not Prime Minister, and he obviously could not enact all of his pledges especially one as costly as tuition fees. Instead of a subsidy to the middle classes, Clegg prioritised pledges such as raising the personal tax allowance - and in doing so took millions of low and part time earners out of income tax all together. He also chose to help the poorest children with the Pupil Premium project to ensure that a child's destiny is not determined by their parents’ acreage. Cutting tuition fees, well I won't bother explaining it I'll just leave it to Labour's largest party donor, John Mills, who lambasted his own party's pledge to decrease the fees: "There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that it’s a redistributive measure at the end of the day. On the whole what it’s doing is helping middle class children rather than working class children."


Around 45% of current pupils leaving secondary education go to university; is it right that Labour, promising to balance the budget before the end of the current Parliament, were willing to invest £2.7bn in what is likely to be those who will go on to earn the most money anyway? What about the majority who will not go to university? Where is the hope for them? When Natalie Bennett - the Green party 'leader', who also promised to scrap them - was recently challenged on tuition fees by a somewhat articulate and thoughtful caller, she used the example of someone who had obtained a degree in social work, and got a job at a social community garden for £25,000 a year a modest sum. She said that this person would be taxed a rate of 9% on that £25,000 to pay off their university debt for the next 30 years of their life - a prospect she said could not physically stomach. While some gullible listeners were fooled by her talk of 'social garden community', others managed to wade through the socialist claptrap she defensively employed and, knowing that her comments were characteristically wrong, reached for their mental calculators. Bennett assumed that the 9% tax would apply to the whole of the £25,000 - this was either another sudden dose of amnesia or a plain lie. Anyone who earns less than £21,000, is not required to pay anything at all, and anything above £21,000 is taxed at the 9% rate. So the social worker/ gardener for whom Natalie Bennett’s stomach turns, will only be paying 9% on £4,000 pa - which comes to the meagre sum of £360 per year - no more than a yearly Sky subscription or, in Bennett's case, no more than a plane ticket back home to Australia (interestingly, this figure would not cover the price of a return ticket...). It is not just the theory of the system which stands up to scrutiny, so do its results. Last year, 592,000 people applied to university - the highest-ever number. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the supposed people who the Karl Marx of PGS, Mr Rees, and Ms 'Varoufakis' Worley predicted would stop applying, are now applying at record highs - 22% of deprived children applied last year. In Scotland, where it costs £0 to attend university, that figure is only 16%. The beauty of the system devised by former Conservative government minister David Willetts is that it allows for properly funded universities that can continue to offer both the highest quality of education in the world and the financial support needed for those who are bright and willing to go but who cannot face the living costs. 1/3 of the funding of English universities is designed to be used to directly support those who need it - in the form of summer schools (building connections with schools who historically haven't gotten any pupils into the top universities) or simply through bursaries (1/4 of Oxford's students are to some extent on a bursary). In Scotland, the universities do not have this luxury, so there is less opportunity for the disadvantaged. As the universities are financially poorer, they are socially poorer. The results speak for themselves - it's just a shame nobody is listening.

We hard-working people who make up hard-working families, who work hard all day to give our hard-working loved ones good opportunities so they can work hard in the future, consistently pay our fair share of taxes. So why don't the rich? The suit-wearing, latte-sipping, super-class-top-1% just do not pay enough tax in our country. This is populist myth number 2 - pandered to mainly by the Left and their ideological soul mates in the Economics department. Not a Question Time has gone by probably since the dawn of the new millennium when someone, probably young, with long hair and a horribly ragged beard, will say "Well, David, I just think.. .if the rich paid their taxes, then we wouldn't even be discussing the funding of the NHS right now would we?" before signing off their moral message with an unintelligible grunt, "yeurh!" The truth is that the 1% richest in our country pay 25% of the total income tax - the 0.1% richest pay as much as the bottom 50% do in tax; I believe that deserves a 'yeurh!' Admittedly, these figures do point to some dispiriting inequality. That is problematic and could potentially be solved by greater income taxes but then we have to choose whether we're on an ideological, Milibandine mission or if we just simply want the most tax revenue possible? On this equally unpopulist note, if the duty of government is to squeeze as much revenue out of the rich as possible, then it might actually make sense to give them a tax cut. In 1979, when the top rate of income tax was an unimaginable Sturgeonite 83%, the share the top 1% contributed of total tax revenue was just 11%. However, when Lawson lowered the top rate of tax to just 40%, the share the rich contributed nearly doubled within 3 years to 21%. When Osborne cut the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%, he did so with noble redistributive ambitions - he wanted the rich to pay more. And they did. The real threat of immigration to society has come from an influx of people spouting popular fallacies. All the politicians are guilty of it, from Cameron's "We'll get immigration down to the tens of thousands" to Miliband's "the richest pay zero tax" to Nigel's "HIV/motorways/pregnant women/Romanians on trains/Romanians next door/equality laws..(take your pick)". Unpopulists are the real heroes; they have to say boring, correct, mean things and make boring, correct, mean decisions which don't win many votes. As an electorate, we don't reward the unpopulists - if anything, we punish them for telling us things we don't want to hear. When Osborne talks of cuts we groan and his opinion polls sink. When Osborne dons a hard hat and a fluorescent jacket and tells us about future tax cuts despite a sovereign debt of £148,124,863,667,094, his personal approval rating soars. God forbid the day when we are told we might not even be a part of hardworking family.

Unpopulists are the real heroes; they have to say boring, correct things which don't win many votes

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the finest 12 minutes of

electric guitar music ever

Mr Mark Richardson

English Department

“T

he Fillmore is proud to welcome back some old friends with a brand new name: A Band of Gypsys!” (Concert MC) The Fillmore East venue in New York City had been open for less than two years. By the end of the 60s, rock music was fastmoving big business, and promoter Bill Graham opened two venues, one on the West coast (Fillmore West) and this one on the East coast. There was money to be made here: get it right and you could get the crowds and the money. Records were crucial, while the concerts were often loss-making exercises to promote albums (unlike today, where concerts can make serious money, while the music seems to be free). Indeed, money was what this particular concert on New Year’s Eve 1969 and New Year’s Day 1970 was about. One of the key figures in the pop scene of the latter stages of the 60s was about to embark on an increasingly familiar route. Need to fulfil a record contract? Easy: record a live show. No need for new material, all done in a flash, release it quickly, cash in and move on! The performer was Jimi Hendrix, and he was stepping from the 60s into a new era of the 1970s, consciously aware that what

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had been done before was ripe for change, struggling to realise that change but desperate to make something happen. His old band, the Experience, had been broken up, and Jimi had been practising hard with two very different musicians for a set of concerts that would see him fulfilling a contract with his record company and thus free to pursue his own future. He was also moving from playing with white Englishmen to being supported by black Americans, and thus from a jazz-inflected progressive pop backing to a solid straight-ahead soul/funk beat. The first two shows, both on New Year’s Eve, were more like rehearsals than the real thing: the tapes were rolling, but the performances were loose, somewhat tentative, almost polite. New Year’s Day, though, was different. Everything was tighter, more purposeful. You can hear it: on recordings of the first shows, ‘Changes’ is opened in a rather apologetic, almost hesitant manner, whereas by the final show it is tight, dynamic and compelling. You could see it on stage: Jimi stopped his flashy movements and playing to the crowd: this time he stood still, occasionally moving closer to the loudspeaker stacks for extra feedback to surf on and shape for his music, but mostly focusing on the guitar itself. This had to work, so the record would be OK and he could begin a new life with a new music, only as


22: 1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

yet dimly glimpsed by him, but which would surely come once he had finished here. Ironically, this would prove to be his last record released in his lifetime, and it would also feature a piece that has often been cited, arguably hyperbolically, as the finest 12 minutes of electric guitar music ever: ‘Machine Gun’. “Happy new year first of all. I hope we'll have million or two million more of them... if we can get over this summer.” (Jimi) The album was called Band of Gypsys, and all of the tracks on it were drawn from the two shows played on New Year’s Day. The second track was prefaced by a few words by Jimi, and in fact he used some of the lines on several occasions when this song was played. The versions that have been recorded are very revealing: they have the same basic elements such as the DGCFAD tuning that allowed him to play around the twelfth fret whilst using the D string as a drone to accompany the D minor progression that was the root of the piece, and the combination of various effects produced by the use of tech such as a wah-wah pedal, an Arbiter Fuzz Face, a Univibe pedal, and an Octavia pedal. However, introductory comments would vary, depending presumably on the mood of the guitarist, and sometimes there would be none, while at other times there would be a list of references to fighting both in the US itself (often on university campuses, involving students on one side and the heavily armed National Guard (deployed in a depressingly familiar manner in recent times in places such as Ferguson, Missouri) on the other) and in Vietnam. Like the other tracks on the album, it was not one that had featured on any of Hendrix’s albums to date, but it had been around for a few months, and this version was the third from the shows so far at the venue. But there was no recognition from the audience: what would become a distinctive opening was, for this audience, fresh unknown territory. “Right, I'd like to dedicate this one to the dragging scene that's going on, all the soldiers that are fighting in Chicago, Milwaukee and New York... Oh yeah, and all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam.” (Jimi) The song itself is beyond description: but it is in many ways the culmination of Hendrix’s style of playing. Rooted in blues, it is also drenched in effects and feedback and string bends. Civil unrest in the United States focusing on civil rights, and the increasingly hubristic and doomed fighting in Vietnam was the backdrop to this protest song: it is structured around the

noise of warfare, and uses the noises he could create to mimic helicopters, machine guns, ricochets and explosions, employing John Coltrane-like sheets of sound to envelop an audience. Buddy Miles and Billy Cox were very much back in the mix: unfussy and simple support. The descending riff holds it together for 12 minutes until the containment can hold no longer, and, in a sustained burst of chaotic firepower that somehow echoes the destruction of a forest by napalm in the closing credits of the film Apocalypse Now, the song shatters and shudders to a halt and into a momentary silence, the audience still trying to comprehend what they’ve just heard. “That’s what we don’t want.” (Jimi) “No bullets.” (Buddy Miles) With no audience reaction, the final moments were those comments. Perhaps aware of the need to underline the message of the song with sub-titles, they seemed nervous of it, unsure if anyone was out there and was getting it. Perhaps an audience expecting to hear ‘Voodoo Child’ or ‘Hey Joe’ or ‘Purple Haze’ were just not getting it. (They didn’t get any of those either: if they had gone to the late night show they would have done, but this was a briefer set, with none of the usual crowd pleasers and old favourites, so one wonders if they were left disappointed at the end.) Lots of people continued not to get it: the album was successful, but had very mixed reviews from, again, an audience expecting more of the old stuff, please. Band of Gypsys broke up soon after, to reform with Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell instead of Buddy Miles, the band still playing together at the end of August when Hendrix headlined at our own dear Isle of Wight Festival (which also turned out to be the last on the island for over 30 years). By then, many recordings had taken place, but no new album, and, while there were plans for projects to come, the set lists still had familiar material, and one of the last numbers the group played was ‘Machine Gun’, now recognised and cheered, even though the National Guard and the US Army had clearly not been influenced by its message and had wilfully continued to break protestors’ heads and shoot foreigners. And then, three weeks later, there was the change that no-one had seen coming: Hendrix was dead, choking in his sleep. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut wrote. Go indeed, but go back instead to track 2, side one of Band of Gypsys: you can’t BE more alive than he was in that moment.

Po r t s m o u t h

Po i n t

www.pgs.org.uk

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equal pay for equal work. Marley Andrews

YEAR 13

S

ince records began, the ‘gender pay gap’ between males and females in the UK has largely decreased from the 27.5% it peaked at in 1997. Despite this, as of this year women still receive 19.1% less pay than males for the same jobs comparatively. With any less favourable treatment of men or women with regards to pay prohibited by the Equal Pay Act of 1970, it is worrying that even in today’s working climate for every £1 earned by a male a reported 81p is earned by a female. Arguably, there is a social stigma attached to women in certain industries or just the remains of an age-old patriarchal system that has not quite dissipated from the working world. Surely, 40 years after the endeavours of the Ford sewing machine workers to enforce the Equal Pay Act, some more meaningful progress should have been made in ensuring that gender, sexuality, religion or ethnicity are to an extent irrelevant when it comes to how much someone is paid for the work that they do. A new regulation put in place in recent months states that any company that employs over 250 workers must publish in its annual report the difference between the average pay of males and females. With failure to comply meaning a potential £5,000 fine for a firm, the future for female workers is looking positive. It is encouraging to see that something is at least being done about this issue, however somewhat worrying that financial threats seem to be the final resort to try and tackle an issue that really should not exist in the first place within the working environment. Essentially, wages, salaries and any promotions should be allocated and decided based on a person’s ability to do their job alone. Whether someone is male or female, if

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they carry out their job to a high standard then surely they should be paid accordingly, regardless of gender. However, the dominance of males in highlypaid jobs in the UK should not be presented in a wholly bad light. It is granted, yes, that only 31% of the top 10% of earners in the UK are women, but it would be wrong to suggest that a fair few of those men don’t deserve to be where they are. While this has been done within a system that does operate with a gender pay gap, it is reasonable to suggest that the men who got the more senior jobs did so because of their merit and accolade and not solely because of their gender. Therefore, they should not be penalised or looked down upon for being good at their field of work. Nonetheless, it is clear that more opportunities and acceptance must be provided for women in order to break the unnecessary stigma still faced by working women in today’s society. Focus needs to be placed on closing the still-remaining inter-gender pay gap for good so that we can advance into a fairer system sought after in 1970, where workers are not judged by their gender, sexual orientation or race - only their ability to carry out their job successfully.


23: (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

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24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay

How art reveals our changing attitudes Isabel Stark

YEAR 13

A

rt depicts our lifestyles and to some extent it only illustrates our lifestyles. Art is the physical product of human activity therefore the physical result of the artist’s experiences and consciousness. Their conscious state is an outcome of nature (their genetic disposition) but primarily nurture. Nurture is the environment the artist is subjected to, therefore their lifestyle. Lifestyle can be defined as ‘a set of circumstances a human faces’. Even the supposedly ‘abstract expressionistic’ work of Mark Rothko is a depiction of lifestyle. The term coined was to describe Rothko’s late 1940s coloured rectangular block oil paintings; the term connoted an aimless simplicity to work. However this was not so; the highly personal expression was defended as the artist rebuffed the term stating he was "only interested in expressing basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on". If lifestyle is, as previously stated, ‘a set of circumstances and human faces’ then the emotions which are portrayed by Rothko were a consequence of his own environment. Lifestyles are, for most, constantly and precariously split between work and leisure. The ‘work-life’ balance is constantly seen when studying the history of art, none more than in the Eurocentric Renaissance. In Renaissance art, iconography is fundamental and integral to most pieces produced; the coded symbolism aids the examination of society’s attitude to work. Perhaps the most

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White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) Mark Rothko 1950 205.8 cm × 141 cm


work and play

changing attitudes

Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) by Hans Holbein the younger. 1533, oil on oak, 207 x 209.5 cm

celebrated of all iconographic portraits is ‘Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’)1’ by Hans Holbein the Younger, painted in 1533. This portrait is richly packed with symbolism. The two men portrayed retain a quasi- scientific air from that of the various instruments strewn on the desk. The various scientific objects are segregated. The top shelf holds the celestial globe and the sun dial- heavenly objects - whilst Holbein’s placed the terrestrial global, lute and hymn book- the more earthly goods - below on the bottom shelf. It is quasiscientific as these men are not scientists; the instruments are not instruments of use but for the mere symbolism of intellect and hard work. They are also representative of Vanitas2. This was omnipresent in 16th and 17th century art mainly of the Netherlands. Vanitas was more than the reminder of certain death. It had evolved over time, from the morbid and obsessive 14th century to the end of the 17th century, in which pleasures in life were seen but as a reminder of their futility, along with the certainty of death. All the objects were there to represent the ephemeral pleasure life can bring. The overriding painting style had moved to more implicit visual clues such as decaying fruit (ageing) and smoke. Smoke was representative of melancholia and brevity of life. Melancholia was later added but still went hand in hand with memento mori and vanitas. The smoke of melancholia rising up can be spotted in the first portrait of a young John Donne by an unknown artist. Melancholia was made famous by the scholar Robert Burton when The Anatomy of Melancholy was published nearly 100 years after The Ambassadors was painted. He wrote “I have lived silent, sedentary, solitary, private life I never travelled but in map or cart I have no wife or children to provide for, I have little, I want

nothing- all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower."3 Burton here explains that his treasure is with the immortal Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva, and not in material possessions. The lute and hymn book within Holbein’s painting connote initial pleasure; however, if so, these two objects are subject to superficial examination and have alluded to the true ideologies of the two subjects. It is in fact showing discord. The clarity with which Holbein paints allows us, the viewer, to become aware of the snapped lute string. The hymn open in the book is from Martin Luther’s Lutheran Psalm book, played on the broken lute as a symbol of discontent within the world. Also the floor which is painted with such clarity by Holbein is actually a replica of the floor in front of the High Altar, Westminster Abbey. It is a Cosmati Pavement. It is in reference and an honour to the high cosmic order; there is an overriding tension between material earthly possession and the wider cosmos through careful detail. The finer details are, however, eclipsed somewhat by the confused object in the foreground of the painting covering part of the Cosmati Pavement. It is perhaps one of the most famous examples of anamorphosis and classic memento mori 4. Being anamorphic, the initial object is distorted; however, the distressed area of tiles in the bottom right of the painting directs us to the correct vantage point in which we can see the full 3-dimensional skull. This is a symbol of mortality, a reminder of death. If from that same vantage point your eye looks up and follows the exact trajectory of the horizon line of the globe, then one can see in the top left-hand corner a crucifix. Holbein with his clarity allows one to make out the sundial on the upper table showing a translated date of 11th April 1533. Theologically Holbein is therefore stating two points: to look downward and realise our own mortality or the only salvation for these men is in looking heavenward to God for refuge. There has been resurgence in memento mori within contemporary art. “For the love of God” is a contemporary sculpture by Damien Hirst. Hirst acquired his fascination with death not via religion but whilst studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths University during which he had a job in a Mortuary. The Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) by Hans Holbein the younger. 1533, oil on oak, 207 x 209.5 cm. http:// www.nationalgallery.org.uk/ 2 Vanitas - (emptiness) A still life in which the viewer is reminded of mortality and the shortness of life through symbolism (skulls, rotten fruit and extinguished candles) and objects such as (instruments and jewellery) which represent the vanity (worthlessness) of material possessions. 3 Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy 1621 4 Memento Mori (Latin) - Remember that you have to die. This reflection of mortality, it is in close link with Vanitas. Most common in Medieval works. 1

Po r t s m o u t h

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The Avenue at Middelharnis by Meindert Hobbema, oil on canvas, 104 × 141 cm. 1689

sculpture was displayed at the Tate modern amongst his retrospective collection. It is a platinum-plated and diamondencrusted skull. Hirst himself described his piece having “Quietness”, being “Transcendent”, “Surprisingly optimistic” and the “Ultimate perfection”. Does Hirst mean the skull signifying mortal human life is representative of the ultimate perfection? The critic Rudi Fuchs stated that, for him, “The skull is out of this world, celestial almost.” Yet again we see mortality being placed alongside the immortal universe and us questioning what does actually matter within our own lives? This contemporary version harks back to the end of the Renaissance; the skull Hirst used was that of an 18th century man. We are so to speak entering a Neo-Renaissance world. The Renaissance was a highly innovative era; one could even state it was the true beginning of globalisation. There was a fast-paced sharing of ideologies, connectivity and creativity; work was key to this society. It all, however, abruptly ended; it was unsustainable. The endperiod was plagued by bigotry, fundamentalism and slavery; this is much like the physicist Carl Sagan hypothesised: “that no civilisation will ever become advanced enough to communicate to other civilisations before they self-destroy”. The future is and will continue to be characterised by rapid innovation but is it sustainable? Even Hirst the master of innovative art has come under fire by his contemporary John Lekay who accused Damien Hirst of plagiarising his piece ‘Spiritus Callidus #2’; it is a crystal skull remarkably similar to that of Hirst. However, the skull used by Hirst was that of a man who was present in the time just after the Renaissance. The paintings towards the end of the Renaissance and 17th century were depicting a more globalised world. The Avenue at Middelharnis by Meindert Hobbema is a landscape with has

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been controlled and changed by humans. The artificial avenue of trees in the bottom right corner shows a man pruning perfectly rounded, ornamental and formal topiary – a demonstration of the more highly developed Renaissance. However, there is a chaotic area to the bottom left. This could show the inability to totally tame the world and put the controlled environment in a more sterile light. This, along with the central man painted with beautiful perspective strolling down the linear, wide landscape with his dog, connotes, however, a less posed and more relaxed environment than that of The Ambassadors; painting has shifted to a more earthly and less spiritual level. Work is hand in hand with leisure. However within a short period of half a century (to bring us up to date with the period of the skull that was used in “For the love of God”), the Renaissance has ended and work is now illustrated alongside pleasure as we move into the Romantic Era. As time has evolved, pleasure is no longer a vanity but an integral part of Victorian life; work is at its most earthly but also most spiritual, as one can see the pastoral good shepherd within Utopia. There was a movement toward introspection- whereas in the past ‘the self’ was a selfish, wasted vanity of a thought, it was now redefined: intellect and work had previously stood boldly within the value system of the Renaissance, now there was a strong focus on emotions and sense and there was a return to the natural world. William Blake, one of the most celebrated English poets and artists of the Romantic era, influenced another key figure - Samuel Palmer. The rich Autumnal colours return us to Earth. The soft undulating patchwork quilt of Kent illustrated by Palmer connotes a romantic ideal of the countryside. Unlike Hobbema’s painting, it is not linear. The perspective is wrong, the tree which holds the branch that arches Palmer’s painting and the hollow is too short. The expressionist application of watercolour on this tiny, envelope-sized painting evokes a balance within the seasons: an organic, cyclical force. This is idiosyncratic to Palmer. His painting of A Cornfield by Moonlight

A Cornfield by Moonlight with the Evening Star c.1830 Samuel Palmer Watercolour with bodycolour and pen and ink.


work and play

changing attitudes

The Weald of Kent Samuel Palmer, Watercolour and Ink

with the Evening Star c.1830 is one of my favourite illustrations of all time. A crescent moon glows against a clouded ink black sky with a solitary star radiating through. The Gabriel Oak figure (who would appear in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd 17 years later), wearing that classic wide brimmed hat and the hay bales, create an idealised realism. The farmer is a palpable figure in a perfect world. One which focuses on the hard work involved harvesting the goods of the natural world but also one which allows a connection to the heavens despite being separated by the blanket of cloud. Pleasure is taken from work. “Surprisingly optimistic” describes not only Hirst’s sculpture perfectly but the period his Skull was taken from. However, as previously stated, we are said to be entering a NeoRenaissance; we can be analysed as taking pleasure from work, but not in the romantic ways of Palmer. Susan Sontag discussed the theory within ‘On Photography’. Sontag deconstructs the process of photography; the poignant outcome is this hobby stems as a result of a cult of productivity the working generation has created. “The very activity of taking pictures is soothing, and assuages general feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel. Most tourists feel compelled to put the camera between themselves and whatever is remarkable that they encounter. Unsure of other responses, they take a picture. This gives shape to experience: stop, take a photograph, and move on. The method especially appeals to people handicapped by a ruthless work ethic — Germans, Japanese, and Americans. Using a camera appeases the anxiety which the work-driven feel about not working when they are on vacation and supposed to be having fun. They have something to do that is like a friendly imitation of work: they can take pictures. “We are harking back to the Renaissance and photography is

a desperate way to cement our mortality: “All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt. Sontag’s theory is a polemic; it is not that of academic research and is still high critiqued by many in her field; however, to most there is a terrifying proportion of truth in her essay about our modern age. There are many parallels today with the end of the Renaissance - not only through art. The world being more interconnected, we are more vulnerable to not only the physical threats like pandemics and financial attacks but to ideological threats, all the time, increasingly so, we are under the constant personal worries of financial security in a country where we have unemployment at a high, zero-hour contracts and a less than liveable minimum wage; this is causing the work place to take a prominent place within all our lives nearly 24/7. Whilst Vanitas serves as a warning that our material goods are worthless and work is the only way to stand in God’s eyes, our religion has evolved and we have been, are and will be, nonetheless, always depicted with items of pleasure and luxury. In either light pleasure or leisure is a fundamental and intrinsic part of the human consciousness. Work and pleasure go hand in hand – a marital bond - and are inseparable and sometimes indistinguishable. The mere existence of Vanitas and Memento Mori surely serves as a reminder not to indulge in too much pleasure yet the existentialism also serves to show that life is short and we should live with a joie de vivre.

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25: 1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

How busy are we?

W

ith the return of the popular television series ‘Bear Grylls: The Island’ you could find me on the sofa on Thursday evenings watching average, everyday people attempt to survive on a remote tropical island with nothing but their own common sense. Bear’s reasoning behind this televised experiment was to find out whether the typical modern man (and now woman) would still be able to call upon their huntergatherer origins in order to survive in a place without the comforts and cushioning of the modern world. This made me turn my thoughts to all of the technological advancements that we benefit from and whether we would be able to survive without them. As I evaluated all of the ‘comforts’ which Bear constantly talks of, I realised that the majority of them had one thing in common, and this was their purpose: to make things easier. When I posed this theory to my father, his reply was ‘Well, we are just all so busy’ and I think this state of mind might be beginning to affect the quality of our lives. I can guarantee that at least once we have all felt the frustration of there not being enough hours in the day to complete everything that needs doing. But the truth is, this goal is almost impossible to achieve. We will never tick all the boxes on our to-do list, and even when we do we will have tomorrow’s tasks to complete. But this paradox is something we have yet to come to terms with, so instead of finding a solution to this bottomless sense of incompletion (which would take up far too much of our precious time) we just put our heads down and get to work. But where was this need for completion created? Why are we all so desperate to fulfil everything? This is partly due to the changing nature of work in this century. In the time when it was more common to work on a farm or down a mine, everyone seemed to just have that little bit more time. Since there are only so many fields you can fertilise or lumps of rock ore you can physically remove in a day, the availability of resources and a restricted physical tolerance

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meant that it was possible to finish work for the day, with a sense of satisfaction that you had done your best with the time you had. However, in the current era nearly every profession requires the handling of data, to which the only limit to how much work you can do is your laptop’s battery life, making it impossible for these jobs to ever be fully complete, for there is always some more data. But in order to earn that sense of satisfaction that comes with ticking a job off your to-do list, people fill up their plates with more and more work in the hope that they will have less to do later; but when it gets to later there is always more work to do. However, work is no longer confined to the hours spent in the office or at school. We expect this whilst at school, since we are issued with various piles of homework to do over the weekends and over the holidays, but at work we would expect it to be slightly different, alas. For example my dad says he gets 20 days off a year, however, it is not made specific whether these days are to be spent still doing work, just in another location, or are they intended to be used as lazy days? It’s just not specified. This makes it easier for people to spend as much time as possible just doing work, sending you further down into the chasm of chores. There are some people who enjoy complaining about their full schedule, so much so that it’s almost like a brag. Being constantly engaged makes you seem important, independent and indemand, but have we ever thought about what it actually means to be busy? When asked the question “How have you been?” and the reply is “Oh I’ve been so busy!” What does that actually mean? Have you been spending hours learning key dates and historical figures for your history exam? Or have you been spending six or more hours binge-watching Game of Thrones? It has different meanings for different people, depending on what they value. Being busy is subjective. Although organising a summer BBQ might seem like the peak of their productivity to one person, to another this could be child’s play. Another one of our preferred solutions is to transfer time you would have spent on something meaningless onto something more meaningful. This is achieved through the use of time-


Georgina Buckle YEAR 12

saving devices. It makes more sense to cut down the time you spend cooking dinner by using something like microwave meals, which we as a country use more than the rest of Europe combined (according to research shown on the BBC Two Programme Britain’s Favourite Foods - Are They Good for You?). With the recent technological advancement it is now a higher priority that the piece of technology operates quickly. When buying a laptop for example, a common question asked is, ‘How fast is it?’. This, along with changes to multiple other industries, has combined in an attempt to save time and give us the impression that if we spend twenty minutes heating up a microwave meal instead of forty making one from scratch, that this will have a direct effect on how much time we will have to work. Another astonishing reaction is revealed when things don't happen precisely on time. For example, apparently 57% of internet users will stop using a page and look somewhere else for answers if said page doesn't load in three seconds. But is this fashion of being almost constantly frustrated something which has taken hold world-wide? And is it leading to increased stress? Apparently not. The western society seems to be one of few which have become buzzing hives of workers who crave the sweet nectar of completion. My mum often retells stories of her trips to Uganda and the impression she gives of their communities is one of laid back attitudes and (for lack of a better word) chill. In Uganda the travel network works on a much more sensible basis in that the bus does not go until it is full. It saves petrol, and technically no one ever misses the bus. You only have to stand and observe the commuters waiting for the delayed 7:33 train to London Waterloo to know that this would not go down well in the UK. Materially, Ugandans simply have less than those in western civilisations, and therefore less to maintain. They therefore have more time to focus on what is important such as food, shelter, work and caring for their families. And who do you think is happier? So maybe we need to dial back on unnecessary

clutter and focus on what is more important. But what is it all worth? Surely this society of doers must feel a great sense of achievement and satisfaction when they finally stop work. Unfortunately, not. According to the Guardian one of the top five deathbed regrets is the wish to have spent less time at work. Many people felt they had missed out on the more important things in life, such as their partner’s companionship or watching their children grow up, while they were at work earning just that little bit more money. And even though the average UK life expectancy is 81.5 years of age, the fact that we work for approximately 64.7 of those, means there isn't much time left after work has ceased. It sounds depressing, doesn't it. However there are efficient cures to this feeling of unfulfillment. The book Overwhelmed by Brigid Shulte recommends a two-step solution to this feeling of being submerged in duties. Firstly, you pick what is important to you, whether that might be spending time with family or learning Spanish vocab - whatever is most valuable to you. The second step is to schedule in time for those things. There is no third step. That’s it. Everything else is allowed to just fall by the wayside, because if it doesn't get done, it doesn't really matter to you since you achieved what was valuable to you, therefore strengthening your sense of achievement and productivity. However, it is vital that you ensure that your time is spent intentionally, and not spent procrastinating. For example, if you set aside forty minutes for reading, that forty minutes must be spent purely on your book. Put your phone away and read. If you begin to check Instagram or make a cup of tea, then your reading time will spill over into work time, and that is when you start to feel unproductive. Because, in theory, we do have enough time to achieve what we want; it just depends on how we use it. Right, that’s it. I couldn't possibly write any more. I’m far too busy.

one of the top five death bed regrets is the wish to have spent less time at work

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26: 1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Interview with Professor

Marcus du Sautoy Jack Dry YEAR 12

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Professor

Marcus du sautoy

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everal weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to meet, and interview, Professor Marcus du Sautoy, the Simonyi Professor for the public understanding of science at Oxford University. As well as being a professor at the university, he has produced several television shows, popularising mathematics, and is the author of numerous books including The Music of the Primes, Finding Moonshine and The Numb8er My5steries. In addition, he makes frequent appearances on the radio. In jest, he often cites his biggest achievement as managing to get the mathematics of Arsenal’s football, his local club, talked about on talkSPORT radio. He was awarded the Berwick Prize in 2001 for the publication of outstanding mathematical research and the Michael Faraday prize in 2009 from the Royal Society of London. For these reasons, and many others, he is undoubtedly one of the most recognised, and acclaimed, mathematicians in the country. I will start with my most important question, are you Wenger-in or Wenger-out? I am absolutely pro-Wenger. He has brought an almost mathematical approach to football. This is something which is missing in football at the moment- there is so much data available which is not being used. For example, Wenger bought Mathieu Flamini because he did the research to see that Mathieu Flamini ran the most out of any midfielder in Europe during the year before he bought him, which is worth a lot on a football pitch. If you have watched the film Moneyball, it is clear how powerful statistics are in baseball, and I think football can learn from this.

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Interview 58

Surely you think that statistics are more useful in baseball, which is a relatively ‘static’ sport, than in football, such a fluid, dynamic, sport? Yes, there’s definitely truth in that. Football is a dynamic problem-geometry in motion. If you are a player on the ball, what you need is a network of players providing as many outlets as possible. As players are frequently moving and creating triangles, connections are frequently being created and destroyedmaking it a dynamic network. This contrasts to the internet, for example, which is relatively static. I think Wenger knows about this. Is Arsenal’s mathematical approach to the game partly why you decided to support them? Well, it is mainly because I live in London, next to Highbury, but I am certainly glad that they play like they do. Arsenal are a team which play with their brain- they play it like a game of chess. Sometimes too much, sometimes you just wished they would shoot! In addition to football, do you think that the public are oblivious to so much mathematics which underpins their day to day lives? Certainly. I do lots of talk in which I talk about how powerful mathematical algorithms are behind lots of music which people love, for example. I think that the IB is much better at creating these connections between subjects than many other courses. Very often curriculums are isolated, you have mathematics, sciences, English and sport, but people do not realise that there is so much fluidity between these. For instance, ‘‘Theory of Knowledge’ encourages students to make these connections. Interestingly, I know that the guy that created the course was inspired

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by a lot of the things which I had written about - these connections between subjects. The new book which I am writing, called ‘What we cannot know’ is all about limitations of knowledge. Are there problems in science which, by their nature, we will never know the answer to? For example, if the universe is infinite, could we ever know that? Well, we already know that information can only travel at the speed of light which means that we are basically living in a bubble of knowledge and we cannot ever have access to anything outside this boundary. A powerful example of the mathematics behind our day-to-day lives can be found by looking at the internet. Whenever somebody makes a credit card transaction online, RSA cryptography is used to ensure that your credit card details do not get into the wrong hands. Exactly. RSA relies on the fact that multiplying two numbers together is very easy but finding their factors is extremely difficult, especially for 100-digit numbers. For example, if I told you to find the factors of 97507, a 5-digit number, it would probably take at least half an hour. If I told you to multiply 281 by 347, it would probably take you a couple of minutes. If the Riemann Hypothesis is proved does that make RSA vulnerable? The statement of the Riemann hypothesis will not directly allow us to factorise numbers more quickly. However, it is likely that lots and lots of new mathematics about the primes will be created in proving it and some of this may be useful for factorising. For example, when Fermat’s Last Theorem was proved, we learnt so much more about equations than that x^n+y^n=z^ndoesn’t


Professor

Marcus du sautoy

have any solutions where n>2. However, my feeling is that proving the Riemann Hypothesis will not make RSA vulnerable. I know that you have done a lot of work on Mersenne primes (a prime number of the form 2P – 1, where p is also prime). Do you think that there are infinitely many of them? Well my hunch is, at the moment, that there are only finitely many. I actually discovered that there is a connection between group theory, the study of symmetry, and the Mersenne primes. I know that if I can prove something about symmetrical objects then I could prove that there are infinitely many. I didn’t expect to prove anything about Mersenne primes but one day I realised that my study of symmetry had implications for prime numbers. Mathematics is all about connections. Similarly, Riemann didn’t expect to prove anything about primes, he was just interested in plugging complex numbers into the zeta function, but then he made a connection between the zeroes on the Zeta landscape and the distribution of the primes. I understand that your research primarily involves group theory. In schools we are often taught of the applications of calculus or probability for instance, but never symmetry. I was wandering whether you tell me some of the applications of symmetry? Of course. The solutions to differential equations, for example, can be hugely simplified if you understand the symmetry at work behind them. A great example actually comes from physics. In the 50s and 60s, physicists discovered lots and lots of new particles but they didn’t really understand what they were. They may as well have been biologists discovering species of butterfly! It was not until somebody discovered that a huge symmetrical object seemed to make sense of all of these smaller particles- it gave them structure. It is actually how we discovered quarks.

To conclude, I asked Professor du Sautoy some ‘quick-fire’ questions… The Emirates or The Alhambra? (The Alhambra is an ancient palace in Granada. The tiles on the walls make up all of the seventeen mathematically possible wallpaper groups) The Alhambra Good Will Hunting or A Beautiful Mind? Good Will Hunting Degrees or Radians? Radians Galois or Gauss? Galois Fermat’s Last Theorem or the Riemann Hypothesis? The Riemann Hypothesis What is your favourite number? 17. As well as being my football shirt number, it is a Fermat Prime, 2P + 1. We only know 5 of these! They have a very interesting property. Gauss proved that a regular polygon of n sides is constructible by ruler and compass if and only if n = 2mp1p2 . . . pr where m E N and p1, p2, . . . , pr are distinct Fermat primes. He managed to construct the 17-sided polygon as a kid. Coincidentally, Masons also had to use the ruler and compass method which is why in church windows you often see octagons and pentagons but never heptagons, for instance. What is your favourite quotation? ‘God made the integers, all else is the work of man’- Leopold Kronecker. It captures the universality of maths as well as the idea that maths is a human-created subject.

Do you think that there are faults in the public’s understanding of mathematics? Certainly. Too often you hear people calling multiplication or addition mathematics. It is not really about this. Mathematics is about finding patterns and stories. Remembering π to x amount of decimal places is nothing to do with mathematics. I get depressed when it is billed as a maths story when somebody has remembered π to thousands of decimal places. Who cares?

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27: 1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Pete Rapp

YEAR 13

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I

heard a phrase somewhere once; whether it was in a play, a novel, a song or just from a conversation, I no longer remember, but I think about it so often that its origin doesn’t bother me too much any more. In short, the notion is this: To me, the gaps between words are far more interesting than what one actually says. Like I say, that has stuck with me throughout my 18 years of life so far. It influences my actions, my thoughts about myself and others, but also, and perhaps most markedly, the things I create - my art. Now, I am by no means a creative genius in any field. In between (and often, admittedly, in place of doing) schoolwork, I find myself writing out ideas for music, poetry and play ideas. Does that mean I am anywhere near as talented as Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon? As insightful or emotive as Sylvia Plath or Arthur Miller? Absolutely not. However, everyone has to start somewhere. Even Ernest Hemingway, one of the most celebrated authors of all time, was once a kid in a bedroom. Anyway, back to those gaps I was talking about. We are all intelligent creatures, all capable of expressing how we feel. How to speak is one of the earliest things we learn as human beings; it is only natural that we should want to share our thoughts with other people. What happens when those words aren’t enough? Speaking from personal experience, all the words in the universe can’t always entirely explain what’s in one’s head. Sometimes, we just can’t fit everything into simple speech. Sometimes, we will say all that we can, and yet there is almost always more brewing beneath the surface. Those spaces between our words can serve as a deep well of inspiration, driving us to make art. I have always believed that art is born out of someone having something to say. They have a message to communicate to someone else - to anybody else who’s listening! When we run out of words, or when they aren’t enough to get a point across, we turn to the arts, to creating something. Granted, some art can be more explicit in what it’s trying to say - deeper meaning found within one piece could be clearer than another - but all of it has some message, somewhere. Perhaps that message is just “I WANT TO ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT // AND PARTY EVERY DAY!”, but it is a message all the same. So, what do people actually want to say when they create something? Well, it could be any number of things. Popular music often covers matters of the heart (or how easily they can break); there is a whole genre of poetry and prose dedicated

to the natural, pastoral world around us; these are just two examples that spring to mind. Personally, I have found that artists often want to say something about the world around them (such as in political satires on stage); how they are currently feeling (Keaton Henson’s song ‘Charon’ charts the musician’s recent depressive feelings; alternatively, ‘Help!’ by The Beatles has a simple, effective title); or the human condition in general (Twenty-one Pilots’ ‘Screen’ is a call-to-arms for those having a hard time in life). Of course, the original intentions and feelings that an artist pours into their work might not necessarily come across to every audience member in the same way; for me, finding different interpretations of art is hugely satisfying. How we interact with what we see, how it makes us feel, can differ hugely from person to person. While you might see rage and escapism in a painting, for example, I might see serenity. Art is, put simply, a conversation, between creator and observer: the former will feel something when they put their work on show, and the latter will likewise feel something when they view it. Whether that feeling is the same for both doesn’t matter too much. What matters is that it makes one feel something at all - if art is effective, it will get a reaction from its audience, good or bad. Hating something is far better than just shrugging at it. There is no such thing as a ‘bad reaction’ in my opinion; the only true bad reaction is apathy. The creator feels one thing - how they are sad, how they are happy, how they think that the world around them should be parodied - and they are trying to connect, on some level, with others. ‘I am feeling this thing; do you feel this thing too? Have you seen people feeling this?’ Thus, a dialogue is opened, regarding the feelings stirred by the art we view. Art is something we can turn to in times of dire need. It can say what we can’t. When we speak, it only says so much - the gaps between our words are where we can find art. The things we feel, think and fear can be expressed by other means, if we wish to. Not only that, but we can find other people in the world who are feeling what we do, who have similar thoughts on what’s in those gaps. So not only can those gaps be a source of creativity - they can ‘fill’ our work with a message, if you will - those gaps can also be filled by others’ creations if their work speaks to us. Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights speaks of our “right to enjoy the arts”. I think art also serves a similar purpose to the very first article: it helps us speak more freely, despite not using our words. You have more than just your voice. So say something.

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A generation narcissists - the effect of social media Frederike Rademacher

YEAR 11

N

arcissist”: a personality type with excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one's physical appearance, often manifesting extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration. We consider our ability to show empathy and sympathy as an innate part of being human, something that separates us from and raises us above other animals. So why is it that our levels of displaying empathy have decreased significantly over the last three decades and how does this affect society? Research by the University of Michigan has shown that university students are showing less empathy over the decades, most significantly during the last 17 year as the rate of narcissism has increased drastically, currently at its peak. We can link this increase in immodesty to the increasing rate of selfies and boost in social media usage. Personal social media pages, be they Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, are basically digital monuments to the self. The page is all about you: pictures of you, information about you, your own thoughts and feelings. We are all under the impression that people want to know all about us and so we give them page after page of the best photos of us, highlighting only our best characteristics. This assumption that everyone wants to know about us highlights the increasing rate of our generation’s vainglorious nature. As our levels of narcissism only continue to increase, our level of self-involvement also continues to rise. As we become more and more self-involved, we begin to lose our sense of responsibility to society as our world revolves around ‘me, myself and I’. As society continues to increase in size, we continue to lose our innate sense of responsibility. Tribes were small forms of society, but everyone had a part to play, no matter how big or how small. These early primitive forms of society were extremely efficient; our modern-day social efficiency is nothing compared to that of our forebears. Not once in a tribe would you have individuals who did

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29: (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone is the free and full development to his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by the law solely for the purpose of securing due to recognition and respect for the wriggles and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare on a democratic society. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purpose and principles of the United Nations.

nothing to contribute to the general welfare; everyone knew the responsibility they had to their tribe and saw it as something to be a proud of as an individual not as a hindrance to their lives. This is not an idea that has continued to be carried on to modern-day society; people no longer want to help others or take on responsibility, as we believe we no longer need to. Society has become too big for efficiency. Studies completed by universities over the past 47 years, such as the work of Dr Peter Gray, have shown that students are more likely than ever to call themselves gifted and driven to succeed, even though their test scores and time spent studying are decreasing. The toxic psychological impact of media and technology on children and young adults, particularly in regard to turning them into faux celebrities, is on the increase. Social media allows people to fool themselves into thinking that they have hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’. We are able to delete any unflattering comments on our picture or posts and block anyone who dares to disagree with our view point. Parents can also be linked to the rise of this characteristic, as they become convinced that it is necessary to tell their child that they are the best of the best whether or not they have had any real achievements. Many parents are of the belief that they must shower their child with compliments and no criticism (seen as damaging to the child), but the lack of criticism is causing our generation to be unable to take on any constructive criticism as we have grown up with parents telling us that we are perfect. As we become more and more self-centred we lose touch with other people and, with that, our ability to feel empathy for others. We no longer care as much for others because if we help other people it may not benefit us directly. The media supports this idea with TV programmes designed as competitions, where the winner is given a chance at fame and fortune. Contestants grapple with each other as they try to get to the top and secure their win. With more of these TV programmes airing, they promote the idea that fame is important in order to be successful. This trait will of course be passed on to our own children who

in turn shall pass it on to their children, in a never-ending cycle. With increasing competition to get the best jobs available, we feel we can’t afford to care about others and believe that we have to step on others to climb the ladder. We will do whatever it takes to better ourselves. Students are now less likely than ever to want a job that is helpful to others or worthwhile to society. Although volunteering rates have increased, this is seen to be likely due to the requirement of participating in a volunteering service in order to finish school. Our generation is viewing the idea of helping others as a task and chore, allowing it to be seen as a negative part of life. Our rising narcissism means that we show a lack of responsibility to our society, feeling as though it is society that should show responsibility to us. This is probably most significant in the abuse of our society’s welfare system. Sadly, there are even a few individuals who have abused say ‘The right to marry and start a family’; taking on the selfish view that it is acceptable to have as many children as you like and feeling no responsibility to provide for the family yourself, but that it is the society in which you live in to provide for you instead. This often leads to the individual choosing not to work but deciding that society should be providing them with the means to live even though they contribute nothing in return. Human Rights have been abused by the lack of balance to responsibility from the individual to society. On the whole, our generation seems doomed to pass on its narcissistic nature to the next and so on. With the inability to reduce the effect that social media has on us we can only help by becoming more aware of its psychological destructiveness. Hopefully by becoming more aware of the issues with social media and the behaviour that we display because of it, we will know how important it is for the upcoming generations to see the flaws there are in being ‘perfect’.

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30: Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Why The UK needs its own bill of rights Ethan Creamer

YEAR 12

T

he 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta has been both a political and historical highlight of 2015 and the contents of Magna Carta have had a significant impact upon current political thought, with the theme of ‘rights’ and of the relationship between the government and the governed. The fact that in the UK we currently have an un-codified constitution – there is no single authoritative document as guide to the workings of Government - and in light of such knowledge, documents such as Magna Carta and the 1689 Bill of Rights, when combined with statutes, conventions, Common Law and works of authority, form the basis of the UK’s constitution. Whilst it may therefore be said that the UK can never fully uphold Human Rights, given that they can never be fully enshrined, it is apparent that the UK’s protection of Human Rights has always been grounded in real circumstance rather than clinging onto threads of paper. The UK, exemplified by the documents such as Magna Carta, has a comparatively strong record of upholding democracy and freedom worldwide – and only scaremongers would suggest that the result of Scrapping the Human Rights Act (HRA) would result in some sort of authoritarian rise and a reduction in civil liberties, with people suffering torture and other such atrocities; this, quite frankly, will not be the case in a modern, forward-thinking Britain in which I am proud to be a citizen. Moreover, the HRA has often been seen as a ‘charter for abuse by terrorists and criminals’, and in some cases, does live up to such stylised names, especially when considering appeals

Tory rebel, David Davis

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UK needs a

bill of rights

launched by the likes of Abu Hamza. The Human Rights Act is in need of real reform and indeed scrapping all together if necessary, and the new Conservative Government is positioned to do so. If you have already forgotten this year’s election, I will remind you that a Conservative majority Government is in power, after spectacularly winning 331 seats in May. It was part of the victorious Conservative Party’s manifesto to scrap the Human Rights Act 1998 (which came into force in 2000) and to replace it with a new ‘British Bill of Rights’. Under the current HRA, passed by Tony Blair’s Labour Government, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was incorporated into British Domestic Law, thus removing the need to appeal on the ground of human rights infringement to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg. The Human Rights Act applies to all public bodies within the UK, including central government, local authorities and bodies exercising public functions – all except Parliament to which it can nonetheless order a ‘declaration of incompatibility’ regarding legislation, due to the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty. It is my understanding that it would be in the interests of the UK, and of her people, to abolish the HRA, as the Conservative party has argued, and thus the Conservative party is seeking to fulfil the needs of our nation with a multitude of policy objectives, not only through our long-term economic plan but also through the strengthening of the UK, especially with regard to the much-needed reforms to our political relationships with Europe. Since the introduction of the HRA, it has become increasingly apparent that it can lead to abuses by those who should, by any reasonable estimate, not have any grounds upon which to appeal. In 2011, Keno Forbes, a Jamaican national, was found guilty of 11 counts of dealing Class A drugs, including crack cocaine, in London. The Home Office rightly attempted to deport Forbes, as is procedure with any Foreign Criminal sentenced to a crime

for a term longer than one year, and in response his lawyers filed an appeal under Article 8 of the ECHR – which sets out the right to a ‘private and family life’, arguing deportation would damage his family, given he had a wife and children. The drug dealer won his case at the immigration and asylum tribunal and the Home Office lodged an appeal, claiming the court had failed to give adequate reasons why it ruled Forbes was in a “subsisting relationship” with his wife. The court claimed that ‘it is in the public interest’ that he remained in Britain due to the potential effects on his family. The case had been styled as ‘borderline’. Of course, there is an evident lack of common sense when it is ruled that a drug dealer remaining in the country is ‘in the public interest’, and of course the Home Office claimed the court was wrong to make such a claim. The Home Secretary sufficiently toughened immigration rules, allowing foreign criminals not to be deported in only exceptional circumstances, although it seems her commonsense approach has not been adopted by the courts. Forbes remains in the UK, serving his sentence at the expense of the British taxpayer. The most infamous case was that of terrorist Abu Hamza – who disgustingly spoke out in support of Bin Laden’s 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001. In 2003, police raided Finsbury Park mosque (where Hamza was a preacher) where they found chemical warfare protection suits, pistols, a stun gun, knives and more than 100 forged or stolen passports - all the suspected paraphernalia of jihadi training camps. Hamza was, in 2004, charged with 15 offences under the Terrorism Act and was later jailed for seven years after being found guilty of 11 of 15 charges in 2006. Westminster-based judges ruled that he lost all his legal appeals against extradition to the US in 2007 and thus the Home Secretary at the time, Labour’s Jacqui Smith, signed the extradition order in 2008 only for the ECtHR to rule against the extradition – an ironic decision. Hamza was finally extradited to the US in 2012, after years of legal wrangling and eye-watering costs at the hand of the Strasbourg Court.

it would be in the interests of the uk to abolish the human rights act

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Furthermore, the ECtHR has at times displayed hypocrisy. When the British national Michael Turner was thrown into an Ex-KGB Prison in Hungary, there was no action by the ECtHR. Hungary's criminal justice system is tough, bureaucratic and notoriously slow and under the penal code, you could be held for up to two years without being charged; need I even point out at this point that it was Magna Carta, with its English origins, which set out the principle of habeas corpus - the right not to be incarcerated without due suspicion and the right to appear before a judge. Although the Court was more than willing to complain that deporting the terrorist Hamza to the US would ‘breach his rights if there was a potential for him to receive a sentence of life without parole’, it would seemingly appear the incarceration of Turner in Hungary was of no concern, despite the ability to have him returned to the UK. Perhaps the most threatening aspect of the Human Rights act is the resultant erosion of Parliamentary sovereignty – a cornerstone of our Constitution. Whilst sovereignty is affirmed under the Act, the HRA undermines Parliamentary sovereignty in practice through Section 3(1), which gives provisions to UK courts to read and to give effect to legislation so as to make it compatible with the Convention rights. These results in a situation whereby UK courts have gone to great lengths to change the meaning of legislation, so that it complies with their interpretation of Convention rights – very often meaning the interpretation of Strasbourg’s Court – even if this results in legislation which is inconsistent with the initial intention of Parliament. Laws are effectively being re-written through interpretation. This must cease so that UK courts follow the clear intention of Parliament, not having to comply with Strasbourg case-law. Furthermore, the 1998 Act is in itself flawed, as it goes far beyond what the UK’s obligations would otherwise be under the convention alone. The convention, for example, requires states to secure the outlined rights and freedoms of citizens contained within the convention, however it does not provide any particular legal mechanism to facilitate this. It does not require the direct incorporation as is given effect by the Act, nor does it require the jurisprudence of Strasbourg’s Courts to be in any way directly binding on domestic courts in the UK.

This is apparent in Germany, where the Constitutional Court ruled that any conflict between German Basic Law and ECHR basic law prevails over the Convention. Labour failed to provide any such domestic protection for the UK in their HRA. In this sense, Blair’s legislation is clearly flawed, as it should be that UK law is the only law operational in the UK or at the very least his administration should have had safeguards similar to those found in nations such as Germany. There has been an ongoing dispute between the ECtHR and officials in the UK regarding the right of prisoners to vote. The UK Government has even been challenged by Europe on this – when by choosing to commit a crime they choose to give up equal treatment (which is why they can be legally incarcerated) – as opposed to ordinary law-abiding members of society. Political participation should be a right for those who accept that they live within a society and recognize the rule of law that allows that society to function: there is no justification for prisoners participating in elections, in that same way there is no justification (or practical scope) for the same prisoners to actively

the human rights act undermines parliamentary sovereignty

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p o r t s m o u t h p o i n t . b l o g s p o t . co m


UK needs a

bill of rights

Justice Secretary Michael Gove

campaign for a party or to stand for election. Enfranchisement of criminals is an insult to the political system. It is a noticeable fact that Strasbourg has been conducting a ‘mission creep’ – the ECtHR has used its ‘living instrument doctrine’ to expand convention rights into new areas, and most certainly beyond what had been initially proposed in the document in the wake of the horrors of World War Two, with ridiculous rulings (for example in 2007) that prisoners should be able to go through artificial insemination with their partners so as to uphold their rights under article 8. This is not what the originators of the convention had in mind when they framed this article. Of course, such a change will require sufficient time and rushing such a bill would be in the interests of no party; a clear period of consolidation and negotiation is required. A British Bill of Rights will protect fundamental human rights but also prevent their abuse and restore some common sense to the system, rightly curtailing interventions by European powers. In a democracy, Locke’s concept of the social-contract theory should be upheld: a government for the people, elected by the people, is sovereign, not the courts (which should remain neutral and independent), and especially not any European Court, or for that matter any bureaucrat across the Channel. It is time to fully repatriate all legal authority to the UK

and its institutions. Hopefully, in the future, reform of other such undemocratic branches of Europe will be successful, or my wish would be that the UK votes to leave the EU by 2017, if it transpires that such fair and legitimate reforms proposed by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, are not accepted by our European counterparts. A British Bill of rights will be considerably stronger than any HRA which attempts to incorporate the ECHR – it will be a direct piece of legislation and Statute Law and will go some way in helping to set out a more codified UK Constitution, which is even more protective of civil liberties and rights. The Bill of Rights will be a direct legislative parliamentary act and not one where a foreign entity, regardless of the UK-Europe relationship, can have real sway over matters concerning British citizens and the administering of British justice both home and abroad. This nation, guided by documents such as Magna Carta and our proud traditions and conventions rooted in Common Law, has been the guiding path for the civil rights all enjoy today in modern Britain unmatched by any other sovereign nation. This is the aspiration of those, myself included, who support the Conservatives’ rightful planned reforms (including the potential scrapping of the HRA). It is the notion that we believe in the people of this country to uphold liberties from which they benefit, as the philosopher John Locke argued in the 17th century, that has contributed to the unparalleled stability of our country - not the pessimistic scaremongering of those on the Left who would have an overseas court seek to challenge any domestic public body in this country. These fundamental liberties and rights have already been rooted in British law for centuries through the customs and conventions of Common Law developed by British courts and the pioneering Magna Carta, ensuring that the rights of the people shall not be infringed. The role of the court in Strasbourg should be merely advisory, ending all formal links.

The author is Chairman of Portsmouth North Conservative Future

Po r t s m o u t h

Po i n t

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Portsmouth Point, Human Rights - Summer 2015  
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