What makes Americans attracted to Presidents from Mars rather than Venus and what will it take for a woman to break through America’s most exclusive glass ceiling?

Every year in Luton Sixth Form College the Politics department holds the Politics Prize competition. Last year Adam Deacon won the prize with his article on North Korea. This year Sophy Lelliot won with her excellent piece on the glass women that American females face on the quest for political power which you can read below.

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ABOVE: Sophy Lelliot receiving her Politics Prize from the principal, Chris Nicholls.

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What’s Happening in Egypt?

That is a very stupid title to have, as I’m guessing most of you know what’s happening in Egypt and are following the news, but I couldn’t think of anything better- really not in that imaginative of a mood.

To begin with I just want to inform the reader of who Mohamed Morsi actually is. Morsi is/was the fifth and first democratically elected President in Egypt. He is considered by most to be the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history, although his predecessors also held elections, which were generally marred by irregularities and allegations of rigging. He was, however, the first President to have first assumed his duty after an election, as opposed to his predecessors who came into power as revolutionaries e.g. Nasser and as appointed successors, Sadat, Mubarak.

On 30 June 2013, protests erupted across Egypt calling for the President’s resignation, following severe fuel shortages and electricity outages which evidence shows were orchestrated by Mubarak-era Egyptian elites with the intention of causing a coup. This was followed by a threat of the military force which later resulted in a coup on the 3rd July 2013. Now some ignorant individuals, such as John Kerry, believe that this coup will “bring back democracy to Egypt.” Since when has an army coup been democratic? This comment coming from the US Secretary of State is made somewhat more awkward by the fact that the US is apparently the most democratic country, HA. He seemed to backpedal after commenting that “Egypt needs to return back to normal” but hey, we’ll see.

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Putin: Defender of ‘Traditionalist Values’ or Homo-Erotic Hypocrite?

So what IS happening in Russia?

Persecution of Russians due to their sexuality is not new. I, myself have been on an emailing list that signs petitions to attempt to end the persecution of hundreds in Russia for a few years now. However, this year Vladimir Putin signed a law which stated that gay couples in ANY country could not adopt children who had been born in Russia. This was followed by Putin signing a law which said tourists who the police believed were homosexual could be arrested and then detained for 14 days. Not exactly great publicity for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, seeing as any athlete, coach, team member, or spectator could be threatened with arrest. Recently, perhaps the most public of all of Putin’s anti-gay reforms was his decision to outlaw what he describes as ‘homosexual propaganda’ – essentially if you tell anybody that being gay is okay, you can face fines, or even worse can be arrested. According to the New York Times, it is even rumoured that he wants to pass a law which would remove children from their families if the parents are even suspected of being gay.

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Eleven Years On: Freedom in a Post 9/11 America

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson began the Declaration of Independence; ‘We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal’. America then went on to discriminate against women, African-Americans and Hispanics for over two hundred years. Hypocrisy is arguably synonymous with the American constitution. The First Amendment states;

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment essentially outlines freedom. Freedom from government intervention. The Freedom of speech, press and assembly that America consistently criticises totalitarian regimes of not upholding.  Most recently, criticisms against the North Korean regime but also in the past America has heavily criticised the USSR and China for the lack of political freedoms in their country. Of course, on no level is the USA an equivalent to these dictatorial regimes but it begs to question how much the America people, and indeed we in Britain, know how much we’re being lied to. A cynical joke from the Cold War can be applied to this question:

‘What’s the difference between East Germany and West Germany?’
‘The People of East Germany know they’re being lied to.’

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Jong-Un’s a wrong’un.

“The Korea People’s Army top command declares that all artillery troops including strategic rocket units and long-range artillery units are to be placed under class-A combat readiness,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said. North Korea has ordered its military to be ready to strike US bases in Guam, Hawaii and mainland America state TV warned, as images were released showing a new round of military exercises by the isolated state. The still photographs show what appears to be a sea-borne assault using hovercraft and an artillery drill using multiple rocket launchers – none of which would have the capacity to reach more than a dozen or so miles. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is pictured visiting troops and watching the exercise from a vantage point above the unidentified beach on the country’s east coast. The photographs, released by KCNA, are accompanied by language which matches weeks of rhetoric. According to the news agency, Mr Kim “stressed the need to destroy and wipe away any enemy who lands on their coast through strong firepower and ordered the soldiers of the heroic Korean People’s Army to display their mettle in the great war against the enemies”. “Crazy like wild wolves threatened with fire, send all of them to the bottom of the sea,” he is quoted as saying.

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