March was an interesting old month. It made a lot of waves in politics, religion, current affairs, football, music, media etc etc etc. Here is my review of it.
Let’s get ready to rhumble – Legendary presenting duo Ant and Dec reached Number One in the chart in tail end of March with their song, ‘Let’s get ready to rhumble’. It reaches number one 19 years after it was first released by the pair. Popularity for a great song. Talking about songs, what did you make of the song released by a band featuring Transport Minister, Norman Baker MP?
Good bye Mr Miliband – From one duo to another – David and Ed Miliband. The duo who went into a leadership election in 2010 are now going to be a few thousand miles apart rather than a few benches, as Mr Miliband (David that is) has agreed to take a job in New York as CEO of a charity, hence resigning his seat in Parliament. Could this be a good or bad thing for Mr Miliband (Ed that is)?
Order, Order! – It has been a problem in the chamber of the House of Commons for many years when the House becomes incredibly loud with cheering and jeering, but perhaps even more so when the Budget was given in mid-March by the Chancellor George Osborne who is continually pursuing with cuts and investment in infrastructure. Deputy Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle MP got a rapid ‘hear, hear’ by commentators with his handling of the debate, most notably when he ordered quiet from the Shadow Chancellor. Could we have Bercow’s successor?
New man in the Vatican – It seems David Miliband isn’t the only one who has got a new job. The Catholic Church elected the successor to Pope Benedict who resigned abruptly in February. His successor was elected by the papal conclave and although not the favourite to take the job by commentators, Pope Francis has already started to touch the hearts of millions. Pope Francis I took his name from Francis of Assisi who helped the poor, and many say that Francis will be the pope of the poor, as demonstrated by his lifestyle as an Argentinean Cardinal when he renounced his fancy car and house and settled for bus journeys and a flat instead. He is also the pope of the people, as seen with him wandering off into the crowds to meet followers – much to the surprise of his security unit.
Conclave – Part 2 – The 115 cardinals were not the only ones convening for a conclave. There had been a conclave going on for much longer than the papal one. Oh yes. The one about media regulation. And in mid-march, the three main leaders agreed to agree (rather than agree to disagree) on a Royal Charter to sign papers up so mistakes aren’t repeated. It took a lot of time to get the white smoke but it is done now.
From Rome to Canterbury – In religious news closer to home, in a lovely part of South England, we had our own enthroning. In this case of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Right Reverend Justin Welby. The new archbishop takes over from Rowan Williams and he has already been impersonated by the Right Funny Rowan Atkinson. Both the pope and the archbishop have got problems in their churches to deal with but they will make excellent future articles I am sure.
‘I think we will do it’ – Sacked – If you are not a football fan, I’m sorry but this had to be included. On Saturday, Sunderland lost to Manchester United. Their manager was optimistic that they would survive the looming relegation battle. But late on the last day of March, their manager of 16 months, Martin O’ Neil, lost his job. Even though this is April, the story took another unexpected twist. The club announces the appointment of Paulo Di Canio to take the top spot, and suddenly lots of stories regarding his political views are made public. Then, former Foreign Secretary David Miliband decides to resign as Vice Chairman of the club, citing the new manager’s political views as the reason. Di Canio’s appointment is certainly a controversial one –perhaps even as controversial as Chuck Hagel as Defence Secretary in the US.
Lockdown in Korea – It is clear that the two parts of Korea dislike each other with a passion. Recently, troubles have been frustrated even more with the North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong Un. The border is now blocked and missiles are being prepared for combat, with the US paying very close attention to the nuclear weapons of the North aimed at several of America’s key bases. This could indeed be problematic and is very much going to be a rapidly developing situation throughout April.
Law and “Order, Order!” – He was one of the top people in his party. He was tipped for the leadership when Clegg leaves the perch. He made his mark on Energy and Climate Change taking over from a certain Mr E Miliband, but unfortunately for Mr Chris Huhne, Her Majesty’s Government lifestyle has been replaced with Her Majesty’s pleasure, as Huhne and his ex-wife were sentenced to 8 months in jail for perverting the course of justice. The case was a very sensitive one which has left a huge effect on the Huhne family not least Huhne himself who, according to a newspaper, was teased by a prison guard when breakfast orders were given with the line “Order, order!”
Before: Lib Dem After: Lib Dem – I have written too much on Eastleigh so I will keep this short and sweet, I promise! Huhne’s former seat went up for election on 28th February and on the morning of the first day of March, we woke up to the news that Mike Thornton kept the seat with a reduced majority. A big kick in the teeth for the Tories and Labour as they were pushed back to 3rd and 4th with UKIP now 2nd in the seat.
Boris – Boris, Boris, Boris ... This month was one interesting one for the London Mayor. To begin, he was questioned deeply by Eddie Mair on the Andrew Marr show on a recently made documentary. It was not the most pleasant interview for Boris but one that he just knocked back and moved on. Then the day later, the documentary aired. We saw revelations about Boris, including the current attitude he takes to the dramas that filled his early political career. It was very interesting to see what the real mayor is like and what kind of character we have learnt to love.
New MYP’s elected – New Members of Youth Parliament have been elected to the UK Youth Parliament, which is dedicated to working with young people to voice their views and to engage with the people who can do something about it. Elections have gone on all over the country and great turnouts have been recorded, a fantastic example being the elections in Northern Ireland. This is brilliant for democracy and a credit to UKYP, British Youth Council and workers for the running the elections so well.
So, that was March, will April be as action-packed? I doubt it, but we can only hope it will.
By Sam Kenward