Voting is an important part of every democracy, and very rare is it we get to participate in what is known as 'direct democracy', whereby we as citizens of the United Kingdom get a direct say in policy. Almost all decisions are made by what is known as 'representative democracy', which is when we elect members of Parliament to make decisions on our behalf.
In both circumstances, it is crucial we participate in these votes, to ensure our opinions are heard, and our interests represented.
On June 23rd we have a referendum on whether or not we stay in the EU. A referendum is a form of direct democracy, where we as citizens get to decide together what happens.
As a news reporter it is not my job to tell you how to vote. It is my job to present the facts, and provide unbiased coverage. I could argue that this is a column, and as such I am free to push a particular agenda, or go down the legal route of there not being any requirement for print/digital journalism to be unbiased. But I won't. I imagine my views are pretty obvious anyway.
Instead, I'm writing this as a piece as a Politics graduate, and a citizen on the United Kingdom.
Political participation in this country is low. Undemocratically low in fact, especially among young people. My whole dissertation was based on this fact, and discussing how technology could be used to try and engage young people more. Well I am going to practice what I preach and use my column this week to urge every single one of you to spend even just 10-15 minutes to look at the arguments for and against staying in the EU, and register to vote.
Unlike General elections, which are still super important, this is not a decision we can simply reverse in five years when another vote comes around. This will be a vote that defines our nation for a generation. And whether you vote to stay in or out, you owe it to yourself, your future children and everyone else in this country and outside it, to give your opinion.
Too often are decisions made in this country without legitimate majority consent, and referendums are one of the few instances where numbers really do make a difference.
In the upcoming weeks I will write more detailed examinations to both sides of the argument, providing unbiased arguments for and against.
The freedom to vote is an unappreciated virtue. Exercise your freedom and register to vote for the EU referendum.
Arts Award Portfolio Videos now live!
We've just launched an exciting new page on Arts Award Voice where you can find videos of Arts Award achievers talking about their Arts Award portfolios.Some of our past achievers have created videos of their portfolios highlighting the way they've evidenced their work and the formats they've used. Check them out! We'd love for you to get involved and submit your own portfolio video. Find out more and get shooting.
Latest budget announced by the Chancellor
George Osborne's eighth budget includes, namely, raising the amount of money an individual earns before they pay 40% of their earnings in tax, cuts to the Personal Independence Payment for the incapacitated of £30 a week, and a tax on sugary drinks to come in in 2018 to pay for sport provision in primary schools. Not to mention a promise to eliminate the national deficit by 2019 - before the end of the current Government. Additionally, all schools are to become academies by 2022, beer duty will be frozen for this year, and more flooding protection investments. All of this and more, but some media were too busy focused on the bust of our Home Secretary...
Paul Daniels dies aged 77
Magician, Paul Daniels, has died aged 77 following a battle with a brain tumour. He learnt that his tumour was inoperable earlier this year. The north-eastern entertainer became a household name in the eighties and nineties as a pioneer of television magic shows with BBC One's Paul Daniels Magic Show alongside his wife, Debbie McGee as his assistant. Outside the show, he did a great deal for charity and much more television presenting. His gifts became apparent after appearing on seventies talent show, Opportunity Knocks. It was in a statement by the world magic act's body, The Magic Circle, that, at its height, Magic Show pulled in over 20 million viewers on a Saturday night; representing a third of the nation's population.
New series of Daredevil released
You can read our review of season one of Daredevil over on our archive site, but essentially, it was one of the greatest Netflix productions of last year, easily blowing what was a lacklustre season of House of Cards out of the water. In fact, it also put all of DC's TV offerings to shame, and now it's back for a second season, where Matt "Daredevil" Murdock will be facing up against The Punisher. It promises to be dark, and rest assured we will get a review up the moment we finish watching it!
Controversial London "Night Tube" service to start in July
Very London centric, but the exciting prospects of certain tube lines running 24 hours from Friday to Sunday is great news, especially if it saves you from the dreaded night bus!
Disagreements between TfL and trade unions over pay and working conditions held the plans up for nearly a year, but finally both parties have reached an accord, and are ready to get the service going. No train to Uxbridge though (YES, Zone 6 is London!!) so I'll still be on the night bus...
Domino's to deliver pizza with robots...
...If you live in New Zealand. Sorry to tease you there, and I'm not going to lie, I'm also a little bit heartbroken. But, if the location of LOTR's Shire can have "the world's first autonomous pizza delivery vehicle" based on technology from the military, it cannot be too long before we do too, right? I do question whether or not such a scheme will work in the UK, as I envisage the robots getting mugged for their goods. Or stolen to become house servants. Or is that just me…?
Indiana Jones 5 announced; Spielberg and Ford on board
The fifth film in the Indiana Jones franchise has been announced. With the negative reception of the fourth film, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull starring Ford with Shia LeBeouf, folk aren't too excited about this one. Knowing that Spielberg and Ford were responsible for the fourth cataclysm doesn't fill most with joy. But be reminded of what else the pair are responsible for, and how few glaring mistakes they have made in their careers. This represents the latest effort by Hollywood to cash in on reboots of legendary franchises after the successes of Jurassic World and Star Wars VII. While Spielberg, producers, and Ford are on board, George Lucas will not be returning to the franchise. No title and no other actors yet.
The trailer for Tim Burton's latest released; Beetlejuice 2 rumours quashed
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is Burton's latest film and its trailer has been released with the standard haze of attention over it that comes with being a Tim Burton film. This represents the latest of Burton's films which doesn't star his previous collaborators. No Depp, no Bonham Carter, no Ryder. We do have Asa Butterfield, Eva Green, and Samuel L. Jackson. In other Burton news, Showbiz Spy recently reported on Tim Burton's confirmation that Beetlejuice 2 is a-go. Then, Burton's rep contacted them telling them Beetlejuice 2 isn't in development and all the media outlets who ran with the story were forced to post retractions. But Showbiz Spy says they never said it was in development, just that it was happening.
Better Call Saul's third season announced - *contains Season 2 spoilers*
Hot off the trail of the frightfully high ratings from only half of Better Call Saul's second season, US network, AMC, has ordered a third. Creators, Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan, are both back on board and continue to successfully expand on the Breaking Bad universe. It's been a pretty big week for BCS altogether as this week's fourth episode brought back the first character we also saw in a major role in Breaking Bad. Do not read on if you don't wish to know. It's crime mogul, Hector Salamanca played by Mark Margolis. Bob Odenkirk's titular Saul Goodman doesn't meet him in the reveal but it's a strong indication that, knowing Salamanca's past from Breaking Bad, the stuff's going to hit the fan for everyone involved. Carrying on the theme of thirds...
Happy Valley's third series announced
It's a good week for two-year old, quality dramas. Following Monday's powerful finale of the second series, which has had viewing figures of well over 8 million per episode, the third series has been green lit by the BBC. With this series reaching far more viewings than its BAFTA-winning first series and its finale expected to hit the 9 million mark, the third series comes as no surprise. This series comes with extra clout as more household names come into the foray. A number of Emmerdale and Coronation Street alumni have joined the series which marks a large-scale migration into quality drama for Northern actors. Creator, Sally Wainwright, has said while a third series will happen, that she is very busy with other projects and wouldn't want to diminish the output in order to push this out. So even though it's happening, we may have a wait on our hands.
Radiohead tour sells out in twenty minutes
In non-film and TV news, Radiohead's recently announced tour - for which standing tickets were selling, second hand, at upwards of £1,200 - sold out twenty minutes after tickets went on sale. These impressive numbers come as a result of the tour being diminutive in comparison to their Olympic tour in 2012. Their London venue has gone from the 20,000 seat o2 Arena to the ~3,000 seat Roundhouse. And they're only playing in fifteen cities worldwide, too. Frontman, Thom Yorke, tweeted his own NSFW frustration at the lack of tickets.
Nike brings Back to the Future to the present with self-lacing shoes
Technically, Nike are calling it "adaptive-lacing" but either way, it's a shoe you don't have to tie up yourself! When you step into the shoe, your heel will trigger a motor that automatically tightens the shoe, and there are two buttons on the side that allow minor adjustments. Although not looking like the shoe featured in the excellent Back to the Future II, the shoes still look very futuristic, with LED lighting, and more importantly - very expensive! No price has been announced yet, but rest assured they are almost certainly going to be priced exclusively. I do feel like they could have had a sleeker name though. "Nike HyperAdapt 1.0" doesn't really haven't a great ring to it...
Register to vote
I'm afraid this week's Do This is exclusively for the over 18's - don't blame me, it's the Government's fault.
As I was writing at the beginning of this piece, voting is a civic duty. Even if the vote does not go our way, it's important we still participate.
That is why I'm dedicating this space to provide you all with the link to sign-up and register. It takes just a few minutes to do, and it ensures that your voice is heard when votes come around.
You will need your National Insurance number and, if you are a British citizen living abroad, your passport.
I cannot stress enough the importance of voting. Remember, in this referendum you aren't voting for a party who may or may not represent your views. You are voting on the future of this country's international diplomacy.
Bhavesh Jadva contributed to this report
Header image by altogetherfool