For years, a social divide has been illustrated through the affordability of tuition fees in the UK. The education of an individual acts as a backbone for their employability and the invaluable knowledge possessed. Traditionally, university was directed towards middle and upper class students, who could afford the price of a degree, in order to keep the family title consistent through the generations. However, lower class students, commonly avoided university, enrolling straight into labourers jobs, to maintain a sustainable living standard for their household.
The permutation in the education system, has allowed a wider audience of students from any background and social class, to attend university. In fact, students whose parents did not attend university or endure benefits from the government are entitled to privileges, such as lower entrance requirements or grants. Furthermore, employers are seeking out high achievers from state schools and offering school leavers programmes, which offer a fully paid degree at a top university and permanent job afterwards.
Nevertheless, you may be wondering where it leaves everyone else. Perhaps left in debt, as tuition fees are expected to rise to a staggering £9,250 a year, even though agreements had enclosed that £9,000 a year would be the capped amount, it seems to have still been suppressed. Jo Johnson, the university minister, has supported the inflation in prices, through the hope of better quality teaching, amongst many students views this is a questionable proposition. A poll conducted by ‘isidewith’, concluded that overall 59% of people favoured scraping university tuition fees and 41% surprisingly, feel they should remain the same. The 59% believe that those from low income families should pay a reduced rate, especially if they are the first in the family to attend university. Arguably, the remaining 41% do have a fair stance, as university costs go up in accordance to a higher numbers of students each year, which correlates to a sustainably high number of resources needed.
Even though fees are seen to be a downfall, students are not required to pay any money back until they are earning over £21,000 a year, which provides students extra time to become more financially stable, before any money is taken as a repayment from their loan. Additionally, universities will have to present informative feedback on what improvements have been put forward from an increase in tuition fee. This can convey a positive side effect for employability, as this may increase due to universities challenging their rates, against other institutions, to show which one will provide the best outcome for students.
Whilst the UK struggles to control tuition fees, many other countries throughout Europe such as: Germany, Denmark, Iceland and Norway are free, with the acceptation of a small administrative fee. This leaves the UK to question, what holds them back from completely eradicating tuition fees and perhaps to cut expense on other areas of the government, such as foreign aid or military spending, if necessary.
Alternatively, apprenticeship schemes have been on the rise by 63.5%, with students discovering the benefits of earning a salary and learning at the same time. Certain youngsters may see this as an opportunity to avoid the debt of university and instead suppress themselves to a different type of education. This ironically presents the recycle of labourer’s jobs, which had similarly been the case for those who could not afford the cost of attending university in previous decades.
Located within Northern India, around the Himalayan Mountains, lies the fairly populated state of Jammu and Kashmir. Housing over 12 million people, throughout the vast landscape, it stretches to 222 Km (2) and borders the surrounding states; Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, projecting south of the region. Conjointly, there are additional provinces within the state, in which Pakistan has conquered 70 years prior to the partition of India, compiling of: Baltistan, Skarduh and Gilgit. Consequently, China acquired various other regions within the state; nevertheless Jammu and Kashmir remain the largest and most agriculturally matured, in-comparison to other regions within the Indian sub-continent.
Alike other countries, each state consists of an elected official, also known as a chief minister, who ran the country. In Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed was the chosen representative, who has been serving since 4th April 2016. The dominant religion throughout was Islam, many believed it was stupendous to be part of Pakistan, whilst others also preferred the independence of inhabiting a separate state.
Formerly, the state had been run by a (Hindu) Maharajah (Harry Singh), who signed fair agreements to be independent but peaceful with India and Pakistan, India were happy with this, whereas Pakistan were less accepting and preferred Jammu and Kashmir to be under the control of Pakistan. Agreeing with the Maharajah was Sheikh Abdullah, who believed uniting with India was the best option. As a result, Pakistan endeavoured and trifled a plan to rule Jammu and Kashmir through the mobilization of military force. In order to protect the state and community, the Maharajah fled to India, pleading for help from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The damage done by Pakistan was extensive, hundred’s had been killed and buildings were left wrecked. After careful consideration, Nehru sent Indian troops into Kashmir Valley, after an agreement that the state would not be part of India. Although Pakistan managed to prevail a fair proportion of the state, it was insignificant compared to the whole of Jammu and Kashmir. After resenting the continuation of conflict, India reached support from the United Nations and Pakistan was told to withdraw their troops. Due to conflicting interests, the UN inquired whether or not the people of Jammu and Kashmir wanted to be part of India, as part of their rights. To follow through, a system was brought about consisting of referendum or plebiscite, everyone in the state was entitled, but since Pakistan failed to leave, plebiscite was not an option. Superpowers such as the US and Britain remained passive towards the conflict, moronically labelling the state, ‘Disputed Territory’ and leaving the problem alone with India and Pakistan.
The imbalanced uncertainty of Pakistan continuing the conflict is still present, even though by law, Jammu and Kashmir is annexed to India. The land Pakistan currently occupies within the state provides no democratic rights or freedom to the citizens under control, with the on-going risk of persecution and death. Terrorism has risen within the Kashmir Valley, as leaders of extremist groups are demanding a reunion with Pakistan, which is against Indian law, causing imprisonment. Furthermore, in order to protect the local area, soldiers have been placed around the premises; however terrorists have even killed them in spite of anger, causing a blood bath in the valley.
A startling proposition coincided with Trump’s recommendation insisting, Nigel Farage as Britain’s, US ambassador, following through to Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy (prime minister's joint chief of state), travelling to New York and Washington in December, with a desideratum of meeting Trump’s advisers. 10 Downing Street, instated a confirmation that May will be meeting Trump during the spring, through a spokesman commenting by conjecturing, “This was part of a process leading towards the PM’s first visit with President-elect Trump next year”. Subsequent to further negotiations No 10 proclaimed, “During the second phone call with President-elect Trump, the prime minister suggested it would be a good idea for key staff from both teams to meet. “President-elect Trump agreed this will be useful. We are pleased to have been able to make that happen and the Prime minister looks forward to visiting the new president in the spring”. It seems as though Mr Farage has been evicted out of the picture, this is supposedly due to the fact May had been forbidden by ministers, from using Farage as a middle man to her advantage for the sole purpose of improving relations. Downing Street cemented this claim by stating that the government is already prepared and has “well established” connections with the United States. Nevertheless, Trump did affirm that “Many people would like to see Nigel Farage represent Great Britain as their ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” In response to this comment Nigel acknowledged how he was “very flattered”, by Trump’s compelling feedback.
In Interest to espouse the current ambassador, Mr Kim, Downing Street liberated a statement, promulgating “you have an ambassador who only took up his post earlier this year. He is doing a great job”. Without hesitation Mr Kim kept lights away and met with Ms May to consolidate that his job was indeed safe with him, having no intentions of replacing him with Farage. Mr Kim wrote to the Washington Post that, “Brexit and the election of president-elect Trump captured the mood and will of the electorate. Now is the time move forward together and embrace the opportunities ahead”. Later on addressing Brexit and president-elect Trump both being “fundamentally different issues”, being reinforced from the expression by voters.
A tenacious consanguinity is anticipated to be fabricated between Trump and May, as number 10 said, “They will work together closely, building on a legacy of previous leaders such as President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher”. Similar relations were hoped by Mr Kim, who said Britain and the United states would clasp “ever more closely on trade and security”, to justify the fact, Britain “remains America’s closest partner on defense”. In addition he quoted, “There is much the United States and Britain should, and will, tackle together as they have for 200 years. For decades, our partnership has been the cornerstone of the world order. So we, as an alliance, will continue to be strong”.
Withal, Farage has confirmed that he will be attending Trump’s inauguration later this month, claiming that “he can’t wait” to attend, unsurprising, as they have been close acquaintance’s with the most important time for Trump arriving, the marking of his presidency on the 20th January.
Chilling footage emerged on Sunday night featuring Shai Masot, a senior political officer in the Israeli Embassy and officer in the Israel defence force, who was filmed saying “can I give you some names of MP’s that I would suggest you take down?” The scene took place at a London restaurant and alongside him was Maria Strizzolo, who acts as an aide to the education minister and Robert Halfon, a former political director of the conservative friends of Israel. An alleged victim was reported to have been Sir Alan Duncan, who had close ties with the Palestine state, working as the foreign office minister. Previously Duncan has criticised Israel and was viewed as a wider problem than his boss Boris Johnson, remarked as “basically good” also “idiot without any kind of responsibilities”. As of recently, Duncan has declined to comment on the current circumstances of the situation.
Almost immediately, an apology was made by Mark Regev, the former Israeli ambassador, expressing his views towards Duncan regarding the situation, “the embassy considered the remarks completely unacceptable” and is currently in the process of passing Masot off as a junior staffer. During the conversation Masot revealed numerous details about his biography, which suggest he played an important role within the Embassy and was a well experienced politician. “About me: Interested in international relations and politics, working in the field for the last ten years and intend to continue developing in that section [in] the future. I am spontaneous, philosophical, open views and appreciate good people and aim to do good to the world. Philosophy: we all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more. Books: Niccolo Machiavelli is my god”. In context Masot, seems like a down to earth and well evoked man, but behind the scenes a questionable persona seems to revoke people's mind on what his real intentions are, especially with the state of Israel.
In Conjunction with Duncan, Crispin Blunt, chair of the commons foreign affairs select committee was also mentioned by Masot. Blunt responded with, “Whilst this apparent activity of a diplomat of a foreign state in the politics of the United Kingdom is formally outrageous and deserving of investigation, the real questions should be for the state of Israel itself. Israel’s future peace and security is not being served by ignoring the substantial peace lobby in both Israel and the world wide Jewish community and working to undermine those foreign politicians who share that perceptive”.
In a historical context, there have been on-going conflicts between Israel and Palestine, over the occupation of Gaza, it is thought that Palestine has a more fair right to the land, but this issue remains controversial to this day. As previously mentioned, Shai Masot (Israeli), versed his hatred towards MP’s who were Palestine supporters, showing the effects of the conflict, even in the UK.
The Scottish National Party believes Shai should be immediately removed from the Israeli Embassy regarding his comment to “take down”, the senior government minister. SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman Alex Salmond responded with, “It is completely unacceptable for the UK government to declare the matter closed- Shai Masot must go and go immediately before the end of his tenure at the Israeli Embassy”.
Condescendingly, critics have penalised there attention towards Boris Johnson and believe alongside the government, he is also not doing enough in his power to foresee this investigation. “Boris Johnson must right now revoke Mr Masot’s diplomatic status and remove him from the country as would most certainly have happened had the circumstances been reversed. Perhaps then the Israeli Government representatives will regard the foreign secretary as less of a fool”. It was later remarked, “I would expect the UK government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by Embassy Officials who do not agree with their views”.