Obama’s EU Opinions

During an interview last year in the UK, Barack Obama gave his opinion that the UK would be better off staying in the European Referendum.

The reasons being that he believed that the UK’s membership with the EU “gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union”, and it is believed that during his upcoming visit to the UK, which most likely be his last visit as President of the United States, he will pass further comment on the Referendum.

However, the Major of London, Boris Johnson, has criticised  the President’s opinion in his daily column and has claimed it to be “outrageous hypocrisy” for him to intervene the EU referendum debate.

He wrote; “We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration…(the Americans are) urging us down a course they would never dream of going themselves”.

10 Downing Street think the opposite of Johnson’s viewed and believe it to be worth listening the opinions of international leaders and allies.

A spokesperson said “”These are people who wish Britain well and they are worth listening to.” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also commented that it was important the public knew how global powers such as the US and China felt.

I asked Olivia Sharp, from Leeds Trinity University Student Union, her opinions on Obama getting involved with the Referendum:

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Do you want to see Adele live? That’ll be £24,000 please

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How much are you willing to pay to see your favourite artist live? Some would refuse to buy tickets if they were higher than face value but other people seem to be willing to spend more in desperation to see the artists that they adore.

Molly Russ, 19, a psychology and child development student at Leeds Trinity University admitted to once spending a small fortune on concert tickets but remains shocked at the price; “I got ripped off…I spent over £400 for One Direction when it should have been £100.”

The second-hand ticket industry has been going for many years with touts being infamously known for buying large quantities of tickets as soon as they go on sale with some sites having partnerships with official ticket websites, such as with Getmein and Ticketmaster, making it a nightmare for fans to buy tickets.

Emma Perry, 18, a psychology student from Leeds Trinity University said; “It’s wrong for ticket touts to sell things at inflated prices.” Tattooist Lewis Brown, 25, from Horsforth also agreed and said that he would avoid using second-hand websites as he fears of being ripped off.

This comes with the news of a ticket to see Adele live on Getmein had reached the price of £24,000. But even if you do decide to buy this ticket you risk the chance of being denied entry into the event. Her official website released this statement; “Resale of tickets through any channel other than Twickets will not be accepted; you risk having them cancelled and being denied entry to the show. This applies to all UK shows.”

But it’s not only fans of major artists having to spend a fortune on tickets. On the 22nd February indie rock band, Catfish and the Bottlemen, announced their UK tour with a pre-sale for their dedicated fanbase. However during the pre-sale and general sale fans of the band discover the shows to be instantly sold out but yet a large quantity of tickets were then immediately found to be on sale on second-hand websites like Viagogo with prices being as high as £328.90 when the original price had only been £27.

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Catfish and the Bottlemen

The band’s management commented in an article by The Guardian, “We watched the presale and the general sale for the Catfish and the Bottlemen April tour dates very closely. The demand for tickets was truly exceptional, however we were really disturbed to see a very large proportion of the total tickets available in the pre-sale appearing for sale within minutes on secondary ticket sites priced at up to five times their face value…Artists’ pre-sales are intended to reward a band’s most loyal fans with an early opportunity to buy tickets, not for professional touts to profit.”

At the same time there seems to be some hope for music fans as several ticket sites are now beginning to tackle the problem of ticket touts and automatic bots from buying large quantities of tickets by putting in place “fill in the blank” and “tick this box” questions, along with some artists creating systems that will make it difficult for touts to resell tickets. For example, Kate Bush created a name system where the person who bought the tickets had to put down their name, or the person who would be ‘leading’ the group, on the ticket and had to present ID on the day of the show in order to enter the venue.

But it still remains unknown as to whether over inflated ticket prices will soon come to an end, or if we still have some work to do.

 

 

 

EU Referendum

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So it’s official, the date for the UK to vote on whether we should stay or leave the European Union has been set. (23rd of June for those of you who don’t know.)

For many this has been a vote that they have been waiting for, but for others this is something that they feel to have little knowledge on for they remain unsure on as to whether it would be wiser to stay or leave the EU.

So why is the referendum happening? Originally there had previously been a vote to leave or stay in the European Union in 1975 shortly after the UK joined it 1973 with the result being to stay in. But, according to the BBC, there have been calls for another vote from both MPs and citizens after claims that the EU has changed over the years and is now controlling the aspects of daily lives as more countries join.

Why should we leave the EU? Some people are extremely critical in how the EU is run by a Brussels elite that runs on the idea of Europe running on the idea from a “blue print”. Those who wish to Brexit believe that the UK will be able to organise economic and social affairs spontaneously, not from a “deliberate design from the top down”, should be able to make its own decisions on immigration, are unhappy of the UK paying direct membership of £17.4 billion and believe membership to be undemocratic. In simple terms they believe that the UK is being held back by the EU.

Why should we stay in the EU? Some people believe that the UK is unable to work independently outside of the EU, in economic terms, and are concerned that the UK’s status in the world could be damaged and therefore it better to stay in the union. Being a part of the EU means that trade is easier, the flow of immigrants help to benefit the economy and helps to pay for public services.

Is it better to leave or to stay? That is up to your perspective, but regardless of the result of the referendum it is difficult to know of the official outcome of whether it will do bad or good for the UK. But the only thing I will say to those who will be voting; think and choose carefully.

 

Cold Temperatures despite the Sunshine in Horsforth, Leeds

Despite the on and off snow it seems that Spring is on its way.

In contrast with the frost on the ground and the leafless trees, there is blue skies and growing flowers.

But despite the sunny spells there is a chilly northwesterly wind with temperatures expected to go as low as -1 degrees in the night and more frost to be expected.

Not only that but there is expected to be more snow and rain over the next couple of days, with some weather warnings in the north of England.

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Blossom starts to grow

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Clear skies and leafless trees

Junior Doctor’s Strike

The second twenty-four-hour junior doctor’s strike started today which, in the build-up, has led to a mixed reaction from the British public. Some people argue that they are making a stand on changes to their contracts and the NHS as a whole, while others say that they are simply being greedy with money and are doing more damage to the NHS rather than aiding it.

So what are they protesting against? The uproar started when Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, claimed that junior doctors do not work at weekends and was going to introduce a contract which, while offering a pay rise, was going to cut pay for ‘unsociable’ hours by a quarter, would hire more doctors at weekends for lower pay and, according to the BBC, have “guaranteed pay increases linked to time in the job are also to be scrapped and replaced with a system linked to progression through set training stages.” This led to protests that this contract was unfair on junior doctors, would affect the NHS and would cause more risks to patients.

To get a viewpoint from someone who worked as a junior doctor I asked the opinion of Andrea Lascelles, 51, who, during the 1980s, trained and worked as a radiographer for the Royal London Hospital. When asked about her experiences working for the NHS, she said the students who she worked with “were all on low pay but made the NHS” due to their enthusiasm and that the on call system was where they “made the most money.”

Her opinion of the situation was that “nobody would strike if it wasn’t necessary” and added, “hours are too long. Training is a lengthy progress, young doctors need to be valued… (There are) little doctors and radiographers as nobody wants to do a job for little money.”

She also believes that the strikes will help to change the NHS for the better as it points out the problems in the system. “They’ve lost apprenticeship in the NHS, that’s what makes me sad…everyone’s training to be a manager rather than a person of care…that’s what’s ruining the NHS. They’ve been squeezing and squeezing and there’s nothing left to give.”