Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Personal Statement
My pre-existing interest in politics became a fascination during a holiday to Mexico in the aftermath of the 2006 Presidential elections. I saw mass demonstrations in Mexico City, the barricades of a teachers strike involving shootouts between police and teachers and the way in which Commandante Marcos' zapatistas were in de facto control of the countryside in resistance to central government.
From this I became interested in Latin America as a whole and particularly American imperialism in the region and developed this interest through reading books such as “What Uncle Sam Really Wants” and watching films such as “War on Democracy”.
I have also read Machiavelli's “The Prince” and recognise Machiavellian amorality in the way in which the US appears to support democracy and international law but in fact ignore these concerns when they contravene self-interest and I have attended demonstrations and wrote to my MP to protest against US foreign policy.
During my gap year I plan to visit Latin America to discover first-hand what influence the US has had and whether new socialist leaders are effectively improving living conditions for their people as socialism's potential for improving society interests me.
I became interested in socialism through artists such as George Orwell, Billy Bragg and Ken Loach and have learnt more by reading books by Tony Benn and Ken Livingstone as well as Peter Fuller's attack on left-wing posturing, “Left High and Dry”.
Ken Livingstone's arguments convinced me so much that I spent many hours handing out leaflets for his campaign during the 2008 London Mayoral campaign and I enjoyed persuading unconvinced voters of his merits.
I'm interested in diverse other aspects of politics including speech-making, democracy, zionism, civil liberties, current affairs and Westminster's machinations.
To pursue these interests I've joined Amnesty, bought a subscription to the New Statesman, watch BBC News at Ten, listen to podcasts such as: Great Speeches of the 21st Century, Week in Westminster, Thinking Allowed, John Pieenars political review.
I enjoy attending political debates and discussions and have recently seen Tony Benn and David Davis discuss the future of democracy and Robert Fisk and LADY discuss the Iraq War.
As well as being extremely enthusiastic I believe I'm ideally suited to this course. I am an excellent problem solver and would have pursued AS maths if my other subjects weren't so interesting.
My 287/300 AS mark in English Literature shows that essay writing and structuring is a strength of mine and this and my 120/120 mark in my History Document paper show my analytical skills especially at evaulating factual sources.
I prefer independent learning and am highly self-motivated so will suit University level learning and I am used to adapting quickly to new environments as I started a new college at A2 level.
I am mature, hard-working and conscientious and hope to return more so after a stimulating gap year.
My hobbies include playing tennis weekly for my club and reading literature and my work experience includes an unpaid week at a solicitors firm and 2 months as a paperboy.
My ideal job at this point would be as a Fergal Keane, Robert Frisk style journalist and I hope this course will give me the necessary skills for this as well as testing my existing political views and providing me with a more rational, though-out basis for them.
not enough philosophy or economics in it as only just decided to apply for it would like to know what peopleh think though?