Government and Politics Personal Statement
Submitted by Aqil
Watching 9/11 and the aftermath of the London bombings unfold live on television is what initially stimulated my desire to know more about the world around me. As I grew up I wanted to know about different political viewpoints, so that I could understand how and why events in the news played out the way that they did.
Through my A level study of history, I have seen how minor political changes make huge impacts on the world. The story of political evolution over the past 200 years fascinates me, as it explains how and why we ended up where we are today. I have come to understand the deep rooted connection between politics and everyday life. This is particularly evident in countries which have gained independence from Britain, as governments attempt to find their feet. The histories of relatively new nations such as Zimbabwe and Pakistan are important to look back on, in order to help us understand how and why they operate as they do today. In the UK, I find the story of devolution in Wales an interesting one, especially as so much of the population remains ambivalent about it.
Having been a keen linguist from a young age, I studied Welsh, French and English to AS level. In English, I have examined speeches by leading politicians such as Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher and discussed why they are effective. In French we looked at the political system of France when compared to the UK, however I have found that the political system which interests me the most is perhaps that of the USA. The system of checks and balances is an interesting model, and the role of the American president as "Leader of the Free World' is one which continues to develop and affect the fabric of global society. I also find the British system very interesting, and hope to fully understand all its complexity and intricacies.
I have been an elected form representative for the past 6 years and a sixth form prefect, and have also taken the role of Student Ambassador. Through these positions I have learned how to deal with requests from my peers and present them to staff. This in turn has taught me that there cannot always be a compromise, and sometimes sacrifices must be made. I took part in the Young Interviewer competition and represented the school at a national debating tournament at Durham University. This introduced me to the world of political debate, and we made great progress over the course of the weekend. It was a challenge to work as an effective team in such a strict time limit, and it involved a lot of quick thinking, but I coped well under the pressure. This year I have reached the national final of the Welsh Schools' Debating Championship. Debating has helped me understand different points of view on a variety of challenging political, social and moral issues and has taught me how to present my views and arguments clearly, a skill which I have transferred to my written work.
I participated in the election campaign of my local Conservative candidate. I was involved with the Young Conservatives and I attended David Cameron's final rally in Bristol. Canvassing and leafleting as a team gave me an insight into the vital work that is done in the grassroots of politics. I follow British and international current affairs avidly. I am interested in the present dynamic of the coalition government, its issues and compromises, and ultimately its success or failure. I read the Guardian and have read several political memoirs. Those of Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell interest me most, as they tell the story of the politics which has been most dominant in my life so far.
I hope to fully immerse myself in the various political activities and societies which form such a large part of university life. Through my studies at university I look forward to further understanding how politics works around the world. After completing my degree, I look forward to being active in politics, either through a governmental career or potentially as a parliamentarian.