Tell me a little about you…
Hello! My name is Sophie, I’m a second-year History and Japanese student at Anglia Ruskin University. I live in the county of Hertfordshire and have been running my travel blog for over a year now. I blog at sophieannetaylor.com but upload more frequently on my Instagram @sophieannetaylor.
Did you vote at the last election? And why?
Yes I did! It was also my first time, so I was buzzing to be able to do it. Since actively viewing the debates on the Scottish Referendum on independence, I was dying to get engaged with an election I could actually vote in. Although, I had always been interested in politics for years, I find this comes naturally being interested in modern history. Not only was I interested, but I knew how crucial it was, because as Voting Counts states, there are so many ways that we can influence our country’s governance.
What would you say to those who don’t vote?
That I wish that they would consider voting. I would also ask what they are proud of in the UK but also what they are ashamed of. If they were passionate about either of those, then they should vote for a party which supports their beliefs. Then they can be even more proud of the country we call home.
What issues at election time are most important to you and why?
It depends on the time I guess, I was really interested in the tuition fees debate in 2010, but now my focus is in regards to the EU and freedom of movement. Being a travel blogger and someone who wishes to work abroad come 2018, I really want to know if my life in this regard will be more easy or more difficult. Also, what will certain parties do in response to this?
Have you ever been involved in politics beyond elections?
I am quite active on social media and talking to peers and I tend to focus my efforts on certain issues rather than specific parties. With my blog, university studies and my part time job, I don’t think I would have as much time to fully dedicate myself either. However, it is a pleasure to contribute to politics on your site, and to start blogging about politics more!
Are there any causes/interests you’re particularly passionate about? And how does politics impact on these interests?
I’m very passionate about politics, mainly the aspect of getting people out there to vote much like yourself. In regards to my personal life, I am armoured with travelling and the country of Japan. I’ve always loved travelling and have travelled frequently, but it is only within the last year that I have started blogging about it.
As I’ve aforementioned, it is very likely that Brexit will affect my travels, and my aim to work in Japan. Will I need visas I didn’t need before to travel? How much will it cost if so? Will the rules regarding an instructor visa in Japan change if the UK is no longer part of the EU? If so will they still admit UK citizens? What will happen to the exchange rate? Will the pound weaken to the point that I cannot afford to travel, but will make my Japanese salary worth more? Or will it strengthen again and make travelling a bargain but my salary worth nothing? I would love to know the answers as soon as possible and know what the different parties would offer in regards to that.
Does politics have an effect on your work or study?
In regards to my work, by leaving the EU the UK will be allowed to create its own employment laws. Meaning things such as my working hours and my holiday entitlement might change. Plus being a student who may want to do a masters, the loan system for post-Graduate courses could change depending what party is in power or what the political climate is.
Do you discuss politics with your friends?
Some yes some no. It depends who I am talking to! Some of my friends are very open and happy to healthily debate without any resentment if we have different views. Other friends share the exact same views and we like to discuss the issues currently occurring. But, with others, I would feel uncomfortable bringing it up as I would be worried they would judge me or not be interested at all. In a perfect world I wish it could be talked about openly without any resentment, debate and listening to other peoples’ views is healthy!
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