The Wave Review

I recently watched a German film called ‘The Wave’. It is based on a real life experiment that happened. The concept fascinated me so I did a bit of research on the actual experiment!
The story is based on a real experiment that took place at Cubbereley High school in ‘Palo Alto’ California, on the first week of April 1967.

The experiment was undertaken by Ron Jones, a history teacher. Jones wanted to show his sophomore students how powerful the pressure to belong could be, and explain fascism to his class. Fascism is when a government tries to lead you and dictate the way you live, think and so on. A common example is the Nazis. Nazis were fascists and led by Hitler up to and during the WWII.

In the experiment Jones wanted the students to realise why people would see individuality as a drawback of Democracy. Jones articulated this main point by instilling the motto: “strength through discipline, strength through community, strength through action, strength through pride.” He felt that this would practically show them how susceptible people are to such ideologies.

Jones applied the fundamentals of autocratic government (Unity, Discipline, Equality, Community) and applied them in his class, he was glued to the fact that this would show his students how prone, or at risk people are to ideologies such as this one.
Jones started the first day of the experiment with simple exercises, such as good posture, proper seating, and he also had an arranged seating plan for the students. He made the students stand to ask or answer question and they were required to address Ron as ‘Mr Jones’ He thought this would make them a little more engaged in the experiment and feel the vibe of an orderly and disciplined community.

By the third day Jones had given the group a name, and had made up a salute which he ordered class members to use and salute each other even outside of the class.
The experiment attracted lots of students and there were over two hundred participants at the end of it. The ‘third wave’ members even showed dramatic improvements in their academic areas of work! Each of the students felt as if they belonged to the movement and Jones assigned them roles such as designing third wave banners, stopping non members from entering the class etc.

However by the fourth day of the experiment, Jones brought the movement to an end as it spiralled out of control.

Does this go to show how susceptible we are to autocratic ideas? Do we really need them? Or do we just think we do? Is the feeling to belong and fit in really that powerful? Are we that close to extremism that we don’t even know it? Is it really that easy to be susceptible? To get carried away?

Why were the students so engaged with the ideas? What might it tell us about people today? About our society?

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Hustings

Yesterday I attended a debate arguing whether Bradford should have an elected mayor or not. These are some highlights and pictures from the event. It was my first political hustings I have attended, and I didn’t really know what to expect. A ‘hustings’ basically means a place where political campaign speeches are made.

 

Jeanette Sunderland, who is with the Liberal Democrats, was against having an elected mayor, because she thought such a person would have too much power, and if there was an elected mayor it would be more likely to be a man who was quite wealthy – even though our current mayor is a woman?
Another incident during Sunderland’s speech was at a point when she asked the crowd “who actually voted in the last local election?” she assumed hardly anybody had, therefore, they probably would not vote for an elected mayor. But she was slightly taken aback when at least 75% of the crowd sitting there put their hand up. But people who attend hustings are normally very political, so therefore are more likely to vote.


The only people who were in support of an elected mayor were Alyas Karmani from the Respect party and Simon Cooke from the Conservative party. I noticed when Alyas Karmani was delivering his speech, David Green from the Labour party (who was against an elected mayor) was blatantly on his phone.


Alyas Karmani gave quite a good speech; first he criticised the current councils for their consistent failings. He then stated what a Mayor’s role should be and explained they are a “voice for the entire city and a champion”. He also questioned why Ian Greenwood had not attended the debate and it was as if the “council was being run by Laurel and Hardy!”


There was some heckling during the debate, especially when it was time to ask questions because the Chair, Ratna Latchman, gave everyone the chance to air their thoughts, despite the fast pace of the discussion, and managed to tie things together quite neatly!

Overall, there wasn’t a huge turnout, and I expected some drama and possibly a fight. But it was quite a good experience and I would probably go again because you sort of get a feel for the process and if I hadn’t gone I probably wouldn’t know how the process works. 

National Government and Local Council ‘Two cheeks of the same Backside?’

There is a forthcoming local election, this involves nominating a candidate to be you local councillor for the area you live in. If you have any concerns or complaints you normally hand them over to your local councillor to deal with.
One particular candidate, whom I met, is Dawud Islam; he is with the Respect party. I spoke to him briefly a couple of days ago and he told me the difference between National Government and Local Council. Basically, councillors are different to MPs and only deal with problems locally that are within their area e.g. bins, litter, building permission.

Problems in my community that affect me personally:

The “Wastefield” Bradford has not been finished yet, or even built; therefore there is no proper shopping centre in Bradford.  Where am I supposed to get my “Vans” from? Bradford kids have suffered fashionably!
I cannot swim due to the closure of local pools; yet Bradford Council are drowning in a £5.7 million surplus.
 
In the education league tables, tragically Bradford remains near the bottom.
I sometimes feel as if I’m being deprived of opportunities that other kids have.
We have given Labour too many chances which they have consistently failed in fulfilling. But are the Respect party going to make a change? Somehow I am inclined to doubt it.

George Galloway by-election

By George, what is happening in Bradford!
 
I have recently been thinking about the problems in Bradford, particulary Bradford West.
Facts:
  • The Westfield Bradford was supposed to start work round about the year 2006, but we still see a pile of rubble almost 6 years on.
  • The British Soldiers are still in Afghanistan
  • Bradford has a very large population of young people and youths, who are politically very disengaged.
So it must have come as quite a surprise when famous politician George Galloway anounced he was running for the role of Bradford West’s new MP (Marsha Singh had resigned due to health issues).
I have attended two of Galloway’s Rallies now, and the way he persuades and gets people to listen with his tone of voice and the words he uses, is exeptional. But people were not very critical and were just accepting what George Galloway had to offer.
The Respect party were against the Labour, Conservative, and the Liberal Democrats. George Galloway won by over 10,000 votes, followed by Imran Hussain who came second and got 8,201 votes, which leads me to an incident that happened yesterday when I was on my way to the George Galloway party in town.
We went by taxi (due to most petrol stations being closed) and my dad asked the taxi driver if he voted for Imran Hussain or George Galloway. The taxi driver replied that he voted for George Galloway, because a couple of days ago Imran Hussain knocked on his door, introduced himself, and then added “Are you going to look after us BRO?”. 
“Are you going to look after us BRO?” rather than discussing how Labour could help him and his family is not the way to win an election.
The only time we might catch George Galloway using any sort of slang word is when he is drunk-but then again George has never touched a drink in his life.