After a bit of stressing with the collection of the tickets all has gone well and I am now on the train travelling to the BBC at Pacific Quay. It’s been a while since I’ve been there as a member of the Generation 2014 project which focussed around young people providing media content on the lead up to, and directly after, the Scottish Independence referendum. I played a role in some radio and TV coverage which created some great days out. I remember visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for the White paper release well. It was my first visit and I explored it with a few others in the project. We had a great time posing for photos in front of floating heads and a spitfire not to mention viewing the awe inspiring painting “Christ of Saint John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali.

I also remember with great amusement working on “Being 16 in 2014”. It is a documentary following the very different lives and opinions of young people in Scotland today, or more accurately in 2014. Working with producer Natalie Moss and Director Matt Pinder was an honour and a fantastic experience that I will always remember fondly. The 2 part documentary was well received and won a Celtic Media Award and a Scottish BAFTA.

The project climaxed with the coverage on referendum night itself. There was radio and TV as well as good food and some lovely sing songs. We were there until 1 or 2 in the morning when we were sent packing off to our hotel rooms. Today I won’t be getting that because I am pulling an all nighter with a group of others at the BBC for the Scottish election night coverage. This election is very significant to young people in particular as it is the first Scottish election in which 16 and 17 year olds have been allowed to vote; an ability that I hope will soon be extended to 16 and 17 year olds in the national elections.

In terms of the election this year the key parties seemed to cohere on most points with the exception of the conservatives prescription fees and graduation fees stance and of course the differing approaches to income taken; with the SNP and the Conservatives making the least general changes; the SNP freezing it as it is and the Conservatives keeping it in line with UK income tax. There are of course other differences but all parties agree that more needs to be done to enhance the standard of the NHS and mental health provision. They also agree that something needs to be done about our primary and secondary teaching provision with more money going directly to the school. The Conservatives even highlighted in their manifesto that a section of this money would go towards ASN in schools; it was suggested at in the Liberal manifesto with their child premium, and I feel will probably be included in the wider plans of the other parties in relevance to their attainment fund, prominently the SNP. All parties have put fiber-optic broadband amongst their priorities at varying levels between 95% and 100% of Scotland.

All parties have also made a half-hearted attempt at some form of reform to justice, with the labour manifesto sticking in my mind as promising the most of something?… but not detailing how they are going to do it or even really what they are going to do. One of their main areas was in tackling the awareness of consent, which they gave no indication how they were going to do it. Another seemed to be plans to eradicate prostitution by banning the purchasing of sex while at the same time decriminalising those involved in the industry. Who they mean by “involved in the industry” I’m not quite sure as prostitution is legal in the UK so it can’t be referring to the prostitutes themselves, unless whoever writes the labour party manifesto has a very poor understanding of the law. The only thing that seems to perhaps be within their reason is the decriminalisation of brothel owners or assistants, maybe pimps. In addition to this seemingly confusing statement it raises the debate over should prostitution be banned? Many people will automatically say yes so long a measures are put in place to help support those in prostitution. This response can come from a knowledge that prostitution leads to a lot abuse and people trafficking and over all a lot of women are forced into it out of circumstance. Other people may decide that it should be banned on a moral ground. A few that really contemplate it may come to the conclusion of no as despite the great issues with the industry some people do it out of their own free will because they would prefer it to working in a shop or as a secretary. By banning it we would be depriving those women to a right to exercise their chosen trade which can provide substantial incomes. I found a documentary by Billie JD Porter, “Prostitution what’s the harm.”, incredibly informative on the matter providing views from all sides. If it can be found on the internet anywhere I would thoroughly recommend viewing it before formulating an automatic opinion.

Now that I’ve suitably deviated into 4 lines in combined 200 pages of manifestos I looked into I think I will conclude there.

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