Third-year student of French and Spanish at Oxford University, currently in Paris on a Year Abroad
I’d always enjoyed writing, but never felt that I had enough time or enough interesting things to say to justify subjecting other people to what I’d written. Spending over two months in rural France working on organic farms and living with a series of very interesting, very international and often quite eccentric people led to me writing longer and longer emails, and my diary entries getting longer and longer, whilst I could engage just about anyone in a long conversation about 'current affairs' (a very loose term, in my case!) So when I finally arrived in Paris, I took the plunge and started a blog! (It’s here, in case you’re interested.)
Part travel-log, part recipe collection and food review, it basically includes thoughts on anything and everything that interests me. I don’t profess to be an expert on Anglo-French relations, Parisian politics or the best place to buy a baguette in the 4th arrondissement, but I can certainly express my opinion on all of these things. After all, what good is an opinion if it isn’t expressed? If nothing else, this blogging stuff is a good way of remembering how to write more than a three-line email for when I go back to Oxford and am faced with my final year and a mountain of essays…
If we're honest, we in Britain are still obsessed by our class system, and haunted by the idea that there are certain 'privileges' to which we are either born 'entitled' or not. But what we don't seem to realise is how self-defeating this is.
I'm not saying that I know the answers to the questions of multiculturalism, and whether the niqab has a place in modern British society... But I also think that we need to have a proper, open discussion about the state of our society and its values, and to outline exactly what the effect of this kind of legislation would be.
It is this failure to equate the group with the individual which has allowed for the rise of far-right political parties, and it is this which stops us from using our common sense and our compassion to openly debate and reform immigration policy across the world...
18/10/2013 16:05 BST
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