Your country needs you: Why you MUST vote on Thursday

The European Parliament elections this Thursday are nothing like next year’s Election. Russell Brand’s well-known call for people not to vote will make some sense in relation to next year’s vote – I’ll vote because I’m an opinionated hothead, not because I actually believe it’ll make any difference in my home constituency of Wantage – but Thursday is different.

Rightly or wrongly, us Cambridge students bang on about how stressed we are and how little time we have. European elections may thus seem like a waste of our time; the EU might seem a far-off place, where heavy-handed bureaucratic decisions are made that cost a lot and don’t seem to affect most of us most of the time. That’s simply not true: Continue reading

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Should we sanctify the famous once they’re dead?

In recent years, the death of the latest international celebrity has increasingly made headlines in newspapers, been trending on Twitter, and led the broadcast news to an extent that would previously have been unusual. The passing of all calibres, types, and varieties of well-known figures have been news items in themselves, and coverage of and reaction to these deaths has become much more commonplace. When this is combined with our open-forum techno-world, in which everybody’s opinion is rendered relevant by a hashtag and news comment is plucked from the lower echelons of the internet, it’s easy to see how discussing the legacies of the departed has become one of daily life’s standard media frenzies.

What I’ve often found interesting to witness, however, is the way in which these legacies often become stripped of all their colour and intrigue by this frenzy. Celebrities who are the butt of everyone’s jokes can suddenly become temporary saints overnight by a newspaper headline, and we shouldn’t take it as read. Is it right for us to completely change the way we understand, think and talk about these famous individuals in an instant, because of the seemingly simple fact of their death? Continue reading