Politics & Social Policy Personal Statement
The ever-changing nature and diversity of politics is fascinating. The rapid social and political development in Russia in the early 2000s, still surrounded by the left-overs, if not quite the toppled statues of the previous socialist regime, kindled my interest in politics. I wanted to know why the totem of ‘big government’ had failed, and what reforms were needed for a 21st century Russia to work. I agree with Trotsky that Soviet bureaucracy inevitably led to the exploitation of workers, rather than the freedom and democracy for which millions were sacrificed. I am aware that effective social policy can mitigate unrest and violent change. This fact remains in many modern states.
‘The Economist’, ‘The Spectator’ and broadsheets keep me up to date with political and economic developments. I also watch Andrew Marr’s show and ‘Question Time’. In my History A level course I was intrigued by the Beveridge Report and post-war welfare improvement in the UK. On examining ‘internal markets’ at Economics A level, I then read more on the mechanisms of the internal market in the NHS, which saw a reduction in waiting times and increase in marginal productivity. However, how will the UK public sector provide fully for the needs of an ageing population? Could a mutual funding system (replacing direct funding) of public facilities such as libraries, parks and of course, healthcare really work, as operated successfully in France and Belgium?
Stimulated by Huntington’s ‘clash of civilisations’ in A2 Global Politics, and its current relevance to the Middle East, I read Eriksen’s “Small places, large issues’ which introduced me to social and cultural anthropology. I came to better understand how “Islamic State” can mobilise support through the use of identity politics, cultural revival and globalisation. At a recent (Oct 2014) Spectator debate on Iraq & Syria which focused on western intervention, I agreed with John Redwood that a diplomatic solution is required. I disagreed with Douglas Murray’s rhetoric calling for retaliation as emotion and foreign policy are uneasy bedfellows. At the 2014 International London MUN I represented Albania’s position on foreign military bases, but also co-operated with other delegates in considering the economic and social implications of the resolution.
This summer at Etton Ltd, an IT firm, I assisted the senior lawyer by researching and obtaining documents and licenses which showed me many of the bureaucratic obstacles for a small private enterprise. I felt a real team member engaged in ‘sharp end’ negotiations with other companies. The ‘red tape’ encountered by modern Russian SMEs is reminiscent of that previously adorned with hammer and sickle.
I have always put myself forward for ‘public office’ in the two UK schools I have attended: I was a Prefect, representing the interests of GCSE students; and was recently elected as Head Boy: a mediator and ambassador but also a talisman for any meaningful change desired by the student body. I have become a more able communicator through necessity, practice and experience. My awareness of others’ needs has been heightened by chairing the charities committee, organising fund-raising events for a local children’s cancer charity and volunteering in Folkestone’s public library. Doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award (Silver) has undoubtedly contributed to my growth in self-confidence and effectiveness as a team leader. Debating in the English Speaking Union and Oxford Union national competitions is an exciting, stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable activity.
I intend to make the most of any place awarded to me at a top UK university by developing and augmenting my current skill-set and interests in a constructive and meaningful manner for the benefit of those around me. Key to my future success will be the real application of all I learn in the next few years when I intend to work for the greater good of the politeia, preferably in the UK or Europe to begin with.
Submitted my application a couple of weeks ago, any comments regarding my statement will be appreciated:)