Politics Personal Statement
Politics is a subject that manifests itself in everything we do; it is an integral part of society. Yet as recent events show, it is also one of the most divisive issues around. What interests me, in particular, is the growing diversity of opinion evident in mainstream politics, as shown by the development of UKIP, the Greens and the emergent situation regarding Labour including the formation of Momentum. My first political memory is that of the 2010 general election and the influence of tactical voting, as some Labour supporters, including my parents, switched vote to the Liberal Democrats to prevent the election of the local Conservative candidate. As a student now I am intrigued by the role of partisanship and recency factors, such as opinion polls that played a pivotal role in this election. I look forward to studying this influence at degree level
I have been volunteering at my local Assembly Member’s constituency office for 3 years as well as at the headquarters of Welsh Labour. During this time I have gained insight into the diverse roles that politicians play, dealing with both international and national issues as well as the individual casework of their constituents. Through arranging surgeries, attending a constituency meeting with the First Minister and going to talks by Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn, I became increasingly aware of the diversity of opinion and roles within politics. On one occasion, my colleague was concerned that the First Minister had failed to turn up to a local meeting. She later found out that he had been called to an emergency international meeting following the November 13th Paris attacks. This, I believe, encapsulates the miscellany of a career in this field and this is what drives me to study politics at university.
Whilst completing a project on the question of the success of devolution in Wales against the backdrop of the European referendum, I became conscious of the simultaneous growth in sub-national and international government structures over recent decades, especially how these levels interact. Specifically, I am interested in the popularity of these organisations, as there are consistently low turnout levels for the Assembly and European elections. This is in contrast to the 72.2% turnout in the EU referendum. Writing this project also gave me the opportunity to develop my extended writing and time-management skills.
I was given the opportunity to further engage with the subject through attending the 2016 GCE Government and Politics conference at the Senedd, participating in a series of presentations and workshops. We heard lectures from representatives from universities including Roger Scully, and I participated in a debate hosted by Adrian Masters, discussing issues of great importance to the future of politics which included ‘positive discrimination’ for women such as the Labour party’s all-female shortlist. I enjoyed deliberating the benefits and downfalls of such policy and the effect this had on female representation in parliament.
Studying politics at ‘A’ level I am captivated by the history of politics and how this has shaped the modern subject. Through my study of History I have honed my ability to debate issues, a skill I developed in English Literature through the need to consider opposing views and criticisms. Equally important is how I am capable of understanding these subjects in an academic manner. Moreover, being elected by my peers, as a form representative illustrates my aptitude to put myself forward and to take on responsibility. Outside of politics and school, I enjoy an active social life and am a member of my local rowing club. This has taught me discipline and determination, as well as the teamwork skills necessary for a degree. I have also completed my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh award. I cannot wait for the opportunity to study full time a subject about which I am so curious and eager to expand my knowledge.
Offers - King's College London, University of Bristol, Queen Mary UofL, Cardiff University Rejections - LSE