Could England boycott the World Cup?

Cold War echoes were felt in The Commons yesterday as Theresa May expelled the most Russian diplomats in thirty years.
Mrs. May’s hard line stance however left one question lingering: will England still play in the 2018 World Cup?
As it stands, there will be no appearance from Harry, Meghan or any members of the royal family, as well as British ministers, but no official word on whether we’ll be playing in Moscow in the June cup.
We asked football fans whether they’d support this boycott, and whether sports should be used as a bargaining chip in times of diplomatic strain.
Another student, who we interviewed on Facebook, said; “A boycott from a single team usually fails and can end up back firing on a team. The appropriate approach would be a diplomatic boycott. Ministers and Royal family. Its a symbolic move more than anything.”

MEP to Anglian Water: “Don’t water down your staff’s pensions!”

Alex Mayer
Alex Mayer, MEP for East of England

East of England MEP Alex Mayer is set to issue a warning to bosses at Anglian Water on Monday, criticising the planned closures to staff pension schemes.

The firm has announced the closure of their “Defined Benefits” pension scheme and further changes to their “Defined Contributions” scheme, which will affect 5,000 employees at Anglian Water.

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Home ownership and the myth of millennial spending habits

img_20180217_112808.jpgIt is popular belief that Millennials will never own their own homes. Of course we won’t. We spend too much money on triple caramel iced macchiatos to was down our avocado toast. In all seriousness, much has been made of the supposed link between Millennial spending habits and us being unable to buy a house. Whether or not such a link exists or not is another matter. It’s safe to say that it doesn’t.

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University Lecturers Strikes

University lecturers up and down the country are taking strike action today, in protest to University changes to the USS, University Superannuation Scheme, which affects the pensions of the lecturers.

Many lecturers would end up facing a cut to their pensions, hence why 80% of the members of the UCU voted to take strike action, which could last up to two weeks.

It is thought that around 1 million University students are going to be affected by the strikes. We had a word with two of them.

We also had a chance to speak with Ed Walker, the VP for Education, who gave his view on the Strikes and the official view of the Student’s Union.

Essex SU Leadership Race in full swing

Candidate’s banners in the University Squares. Photo: HK Norman

The University of Essex Student’s Union leadership race is in full swing, with mental health as the main issue.

All leadership positions are up for election, including the Presidency and VP positions, with many vying for the jobs of VP Welfare and VP Services.

There are two candidates running for SU President. Tancrede Chartier, the incumbent VP Services & Communications, and Lewis Brown, a self-described “joke candidate”, and two for VP Education, the incumbent Ed Walker and LL.M student Ruari Hipkin. VP Welfare & Communities is a hotly contested position, with LGBQ+ officer Taran Baragwanath touted as the frontrunner.

We conducted interviews with various candidates, which can be listened to below;

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Students perform best at Lunchtime, says Times Study

A study conducted by the Times has concluded that University students perform best, in that they learn well and are more active and lively, at Lunchtime, and don’t perform well beforehand.

This has raised some questions about the logic of having lectures at 9AM, given how students, many of which go out drinking and go to bed late as a result, do not function properly before lunchtime.

We interviewed some students to get their views on this.

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University News: Rail and bus fares hike leaves students late for lectures and strapped for cash

A First Essex bus. Photo: David McKay

Several student commuters to the University have been voicing their dissatisfaction with the price of rail and bus tickets, and the quality of the services, as it has left a lot of them out of pocket, with many surmising that they’re not getting value for money, and some even late for lectures.

At the start of 2018, Greater Anglia instituted a price hike of 3.4%, their biggest rise in fares since 2013 saw a price hike of 3.9%.

First Essex also instituted a price hike, but the percentage of the price hike has not been included on their website. It is clear, however, that prices have risen, as a student’s season pass (three months) now costs £160.

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University News: Essex Health Centre faces backlash over poor treatment

The Health Centre at the University of Essex. Photo: HK Norman

Complaints and criticism of the University Health Centre has led to questions being raised as to whether the Health Centre is doing its job, and whether the University its getting value for money.

The University of Essex pays Rowhedge Medical Practice for the provision of Health Centre Services on campus, including appointments, emergency nurse meetings, and psychiatric help. While we have contacted both the University and the Medical Practice to ask how much the University pays the Practice on multiple occasions, they have not responded.

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Corbyn’s response to the budget

Here is a summary of the key points Jeremy Corbyn made in his response to the budget. The full speech can be found here, or you can watch the embedded video above.

On the budget generally

It’s a record of failure with a forecast of more to come …

The test of a budget is how it affects the reality of people’s lives all around this country. I believe as the days go ahead and this budget unravels, the reality will be a lot of people will be no better off and the misery many are in will be continuing.

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As it happened: Prime Minister’s Questions & Budget Day

13:41 – And that’s it. I will publish Corbyn’s response in full later, along with my analysis of the budget.