Backlash and Resignation Over Brexit Deal

Opposition from MPs and the resignations of Dominic Raab and Esther McVey are putting pressure on Theresa May, as she’s fighting to defend the Brexit deal reached with the EU.

The Prime Minister faced opposition and backlash from a number of MPs during the Prime Minister’s Question session on Wednesday, 14 November, as many members from all political parties are sceptical or hostile to the 585-pages draft.

The resignation of Brexit Secretary, Dominic Raab, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, in protest of the deal arranged by the Prime Minister and the EU, further emphasised the instability of the UK current political environment.

Even pro-Brexit Cabinet members, such as Andrea Leadsom, argued there’s still room for improvement in terms of the deal.

Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, who wrote Article 50 which was used to trigger the UK’s exit from the European Union, said it is wrong to think leaving would result in a richer country.

“It is working against the British Government now and the reason for that is because the British Government did not decide, when it started the process, where it wanted to end,” Kerr said. “The Prime Minister has managed to keep her cabinet by not declaring what is the final relation that we are going to have with EU in her views.”

With all the criticism Mrs May has been dealing with, many believe her position as PM is under threat, as MPs, such as Steve Baker, sent letters of no confidence in Theresa May to the 1922 Committee.

If 15% of the party’s MPs hand in letters, this could trigger a formal confidence vote against the Prime Minister and her post as leader of the Conservative party. Currently, only 25 letter announcements have been made public.

Theresa May is set to visit Brussels this week to finalise her Brexit plan with the EU leaders.

Christmas in Kingston: Fun Events on a Budget

It’s almost that special time of the year! Christmas season is for magic, celebrations, gifts and festive events. Here’s a list of fun and affordable activities around Kingston University to get you in the Christmas spirit without breaking the bank.

  1. Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market

Kingston’s Christmas Lights Switch On event is coming up this Thursday (15 November). The lights will be turning on at 6pm in Clarence Street, but you can enjoy live music and entertainment all around town throughout the day. The Christmas market will also open on the same day, so make sure to check that out–and don’t forget to visit Frangos to get a free portion of churros with any platter purchased.

  1. Frozen sing-along at Rose Theatre

Are you a Disney fan? Head to Rose Theatre on 17 December to watch Frozen in their main auditorium and sing along to all the songs! The event is only £8 and it’s probably aimed at kids, but aren’t students basically kids anyway?

The price of your ticket will help raise funds to support the Rose Theatre’s programme of drama, cultural and learning opportunities. This means you’ll get to sing along to a fun Disney film and do charity at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.

  1. University Christmas Carol Service

Looking for a more traditional event? A free Christian service will be happening at St. John the Evangelist Church on 5 December from 5:30pm. The service will include Bible readings, as well as music and free refreshments at the end of it, and will be open to everyone – Christian or not. This is actually a Kingston Uni event too, so you may spot some familiar faces there.

  1. Christmas at Kew

Although this event isn’t in Kingston, it’s easily accessible to students and definitely worth the short journey. Christmas at Kew will be happening at Kew Gardens from Thursday, 22 November to Saturday, 5 January 2019, and it’s bound to be a truly magical experience. For £16.50 (off-peak price) you can enjoy Christmas lights, 300 origami boats on a lake, and so much more!

Will you be attending any of these events, or are you going to any other fun Christmas events happening around Kingston? Let us know in the comments and share the festive fun!

 

Was Corbyn’s Blue Remembrance Day Jacket Offensive?

The leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, was criticised by a well-known blogger and journalist on Twitter for his choice of clothing at the 2018 Remembrance Day ceremony.

The political party leader, who attended the National Service of Remembrance on Sunday together with other politicians and royals and laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, wore a navy blue anorak instead of a traditional, black coat.

Sali Hughes, beauty columnist for The Guardian and The Pool, went on Twitter on the same day to express her disapproval of the coat, saying the choice to wear navy blue as opposed to black was a “arrogant, wilful, stupid disrespect” and that he had a duty, as a leader of a political party, to adhere to the dress code.

“Everyone wears black to remembrance unless in uniform. This is a basic fact known by everyone,” she added in a reply to another Tweet related to the issue. Hughes, a Labour supporter, argued that his choice of clothing was most likely intentional.

While some Twitter users had the same opinion as Hughes, many people commented on the journalist’s post to disagree with her view, saying that criticising Corbyn’s choice of attire is simply pointless and irrelevant.

Do you agree with Sali Hughes’ opinion or do you think the act of attending the Remembrance Sunday ceremony is more important than the colour of a coat? Leave a comment down below and let us know what your views on this topic are!

 

London Celebrates Great Women of Colour at Charity Event

The UK charity Black Heroes Foundation shone a spotlight on the lives and achievements of women of colour in a charity event on 30 October.

The London’s Greatest Women of Colour event highlighted those women who had a significant impact on black culture. Ground-breakers, such as Connie Mark, Claudia Jones and Mary Seacole, were lauded and applauded for their achievements.

Guests from around the world—including the High Commissioner of Jamaica—enjoyed an evening filled with traditional soul food, live music from artists like reggae artist Lloyd Brown, and diverse talks about London’s black women.

The event was organised to raise funds in order to bring back the Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame inspired show at the Hackney Empire Theatre in October 2019.

“This show was about celebrating our history and actually talking about and giving people information about our great historians, scientists, about our great entertainers and sportsmen,” said Joyce Fraser, founder of the Black Heroes Foundation.

The Black Heroes show, created in 1987 as a community project, became very popular and was even taken abroad to Jamaica and United States, where it won many awards including the Spirit of Detroit.

“It went into the penitentiary in Chicago and the in-mates cried because they didn’t know their history,” added Fraser.

The BHF was created in the memory of Peter Randolph Fraser, known as “Flip Fraser,” who was the creator of the Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame show. Fraser was also the first editor of The Voice, the only British national black weekly newspaper still operating in the United Kingdom.

The charity’s main focus is to develop awareness regarding black culture, as well as provide cultural and artistic initiatives in the community.

BHF is encouraging anyone who is interested in learning more about significant people of colour and black culture to contact them or attend one of their Soul Food Cafe events, which take place on the last Thursday of every month at Leilani Restaurant & Ashanti Restaurant in London.

#YouTubeBlack: A Review

Last week in Washington D.C., the black community on YouTube were left overshadowed beyond algorithms, as the second year of the annual fan fest, #YouTubeBlack, took place.

Supporters of the event and YouTubers alike took to Twitter and their channels to display their excitement—but those who disagreed with the event used social media to prompt a debate on the intentions of #YouTubeBlack.

They accused the event of inciting inequality. However, the event was created to address the racial inequalities that currently exist on the platform. Despite the backlash, #YouTubeBlack is being positively recognised by the majority as a space for celebration of black contributions to the globally recognised platform—and there’s nothing wrong with that!

When individuals claim that #YouTubeBlack is exclusory, it takes away from what the event is trying to do–create visibility for black content-makers.

One Twitter user stated, “It’s segregating content specifically by black people for the enjoyment of black people. That is the opposite of equality.” This was just one of the accusations that divided Twitter users on the issue.

But what’s more is that for years now, black content creators have been battling to be heard amongst YouTube algorithms who don’t display their content as frequently as other well-known creators. This means that many black YouTubers’ content is being lost within their own platform.

Attendees of #YouTubeBlack, such as Kingsley (who has 2.9m million subscribers), De’arra & Ken (5m subscribers) and LaToya Forever (1.4m subscribers) are just some of the well-known black content creators who you are unlikely to see on the trending or recommended pages of YouTube, despite their large following.

This is just evidence of how creators of colour have fallen victim to platforms that use algorithms to promote video-makers, but have lacked in promoting the black community as equally as other races.

The majority of entertainers of colour we see in our trending pages are generally globally known and Grammy award-winning musicians, who don’t reflect all genres that black creators represent within the social platform.

By allowing events like #YouTubeBlack to exist, these voices can be heard. The annual fest not only gives fans the chance to meet their favourite black YouTubers, but also unites the voices of the new and existing generation of black YouTubers.

This allows more creators who believe they couldn’t make it because of their ethnicity to be inspired and grow. It’s significant to see more black people celebrating these front-facing roles as they support and encourage others within the community, spreading a message that their opportunities are just as tangible and equal as any other race.

With a demographic of 50 million creators on YouTube, many agree that #YouTubeBlack is about uplifting an overlooked community amongst the mass shared platform.

By allowing black creatives to thrive by celebrating, supporting and mentoring fellow black creators, they can gain recognition within and beyond their community.

As one Twitter user defends, “#YouTubeBlack was created to acknowledge black creators who are often stuffed under the algorithm. Black YouTubers do not get nearly as much visibility/opportunities as other races, yet are consistently the forefront of every trend. The initiative was created to help balance that.”