‘More stability likely’ after next general election, says De Montfort University politics expert

By April Pollard

A more stable political scene in the United Kingdom is on its way, according to a politics expert at De Montfort University.

Mr Chris Goldsmith sitting at a desk in De Montfort Business School
Looking to the future: Chris Goldsmith

At a time of such political unrest, the reassuring sentiment came from politics lecturer Chris Goldsmith, Associate Dean Academic for business and law at De Montfort University, who believes that regardless of the result of the next general election, a more stable Prime Ministership is on its way.

Mr Goldsmith said: “We’re likely to see more stability, because if the Conservatives win, Rishi Sunak will have delivered an election victory, it’ll be a miracle recovery and that will give him a great deal of personal authority over the party.

“If Starmer manages to deliver a Labour government, even in coalition, people will think he’ll have a certain amount of authority over his party. We’ll be looking to have more stable Prime Ministerships, because in the end it’s all about party unity.”

This stability in Number 10, however, may be met with unrest elsewhere in the country.

If a coalition forms, Mr Goldsmith said any deal between Labour, the likely winners of the next general election, depends on how well the Liberal Democrats do.

He said: “If the Lib Dems take seats from the Conservatives, that’ll be good for Labour, they’ll have to look at working with them.”

However, the national parties of Scotland and Wales must be taken into consideration. Mr Goldsmith believes a coalition deal with Scottish nationalists may result in the cost of their support being an independence referendum.

Mr Goldsmith said: “This unrest certainly has been in recent times. If we go back to the 20th Century, this is the most prime ministers we’ve had in such a short period.

“We’ve seen more volatility in the last 12 to 13 years, we’ve had a coalition and we’ve had Brexit, and that’s been a big driver behind some of these things.”

“I’m trans, not gay”

By Sonay Ibrahim

A TRANS MAN who identifies as a straight male has shared how others often mistakenly just assume he is gay.

The man in his thirties, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared his experience after visiting a sex shop this week, where he said he had an awkward encounter with a member of staff and two other customers due to being mistaken as a gay man.

He said that he had to clarify that he was buying certain products not because he is gay, but because he is trans. 

He had experienced similar uncomfortable instances at Pride events, adding that after his transition, some people seem to not understand the meaning behind what he was explaining to them.

“People need to understand the difference between sexuality and gender,” he said.

“There have been times where a man has flirted with me but has then got offended when I explained that I identify as a straight male. No means no.” 

He said that public judgement and presumptions also disrupt his basic human right to use public toilets.

“I can’t stand to pee yet,” he joked as he explained that he feels obliged to go into disabled toilets when out because of public judgement of his appearance.

He feels obligated to make others more comfortable at the risk of his own comfortability – which is something that he did as a homosexual woman who never truly identified as a female.

When asked of his opinion on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plans on reviewing where transgender rights stand in The Equal Rights Act 2010, he responded: “He should focus on other laws; people are dying out here.”

He hopes that the UK is encouraged to become more aware of transgender rights so that the people in his community do not feel pressurised to validate their identity to others.

A fire safety advocate is protecting the community and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights

By Jess Bourne

A fire safety advocate conducted a talk at St Nicholas Church in Leicester where she explained how to prevent fires from occurring in her hopes to keep more people safe.

Nicole Marvin is also trying to make the community more aware of the assistance the fire service offers such as free fire safety checks to ensure that more people are kept safe and reducing the chance of fires starting.

Hannah Needham, a student who attended the event, said: “The fire safety talk was surprisingly interesting and very educational. I now know how and where to get a fire safety check from. I was also surprised about how easily a fire can start.”

Hannah Needham reading more about fire safety.

Anna Bland, who also went to the safety talk, added: “I learnt some first aid which I haven’t done before and what to do in an emergency situation.”

During the educational fire safety talk, Nicole demonstrated how to conduct CPR on an adult, a child and a baby. She also showed the procedure on how to help someone when they are choking.

Nicole is enabling more safety for the LGBTQ+ community as she highlighted how they are much less likely to reach out for help and she is focused on making them feel included.

Anna said: “It is great what Nicole is doing, it is showing those who feel limited what is possible.”

She is also aiming to diversify the workforce to include more women and people from ethnic minorities.

Nicole explained how the service has been setting up support groups to help those who are struggling in the workforce.

Assistance dog charity visits De Montfort University to raise awareness of its work

By Michal Okonski

A Leicester-based charity visited De Montfort University on Tuesday(NOV15) to raise awareness of mental health assistance dogs.

RAD Assistance Dogs specialises in training dogs in mental health assistance with specialised
commands that help people struggling with a range of mental and physical disabilities.

“I like to call them lifesavers with fur,” Rachael Harris, operations manager at RAD, said.

“Some of our members wouldn’t leave the house without their dog,” she added.

RAD was founded ten years ago but gained extra popularity during the Covid lockdown
period and now has service users across the UK, training its dogs with them through
online Zoom call.

The charity is extremely proud of the work it does with owners’ own canines, who can be
any size or breed.

One of the dogs that students got to meet at the Students’ Union visit was Daisy-Mae, who is the
only known assistance Japanese Chin in the UK.

“Daisy-Mae’s size doesn’t stop her from being one of the most amazing assistance dogs we
have!,” said Rachel.

“She recently received a commendation from the PDSA after saving her owner from taking
her own life. Only 150 animals in the country have received that.”

Each dog’s training regime can be highly personalised to its owners needs, such as helping
them take their clothes off or performing deep pressure therapy to reduce the impact of a
panic attack.

“Daisy-Mae recently sensed that her owner’s oxygen levels got too low and tapped her in
the middle of the night to get her oxygen mask on. That saved her life. She’s incredible,”
Rachael Harris noted.

RAD’s details, and how to get involved, can be found at www.radassistancedogs.org.uk and
training your own dog through its sessions costs just £2 a month.

DMU’s African & Caribbean Society offers a serious message as well as its social activities

By Beni Azakaye

One of the most established societies at De Montfort University in Leicester is aiming to show it has serious aims this year as well as being a hub of social activities.

With the first semester coming to an end, the DMU African and Caribbean Society, known as ACS, has quickly got activities up and running, as has its similar branches across all universities in the UK.

The society represents students from African and Caribbean background at DMU, bringing them together whilst also welcoming people from other races and cultures to educate and involve themselves during their time at the institution.

Malachi Robinson, president of the DMU branch, said: “Our aim for the year aim is to have serious talks about mental health in the black community, its effects and how it is being handled.

“We aim to show freshers that it is not all about the social event but also more educative events with unis like BCU, NTU and others reaching out to do the same.”

He advised any student struggling with clothing or food to get in contact with the De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU).

Malachi has been a student of DMU since October 2021 and got voted in as president of the society in June this year, alongside other committee members.

The DMU ACS was recently nominated for the prestigious award, ‘Most Improved ACS of the Year’ at the national ACS Awards, and has a dedicated committee which includes roles like President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, African and Caribbean consultant, health and welfare officer.

The society tries to make students feel welcome in Leicester as most arrive from other cities. For the rest of the year, the society aims to achieve this by hosting more debates, networking campaigns, social outings and invite speakers.

The ACS mission “is to ensure our members enjoy their experience to the fullest, an everyone receives an equally beneficial experience outside of the academic classroom and basks in the enjoyable familial atmosphere.”

Maslachi added: “As a society, we want DMU to look appealing to students wanting to reply.”

Friendly: The DSU campus centre building.