Politicians, Sports and Indian visitors!

Hello! My name is Matthew and this is my Deputy Head Boy’s blog. After the thrill of the House cross country, at the end of last term, a new term has started! And this term at Bickley park school has got many surprises ahead, including House Cricket, Sports Day, and the final centenary event: a party taking place in our very own school grounds! I myself have been involved in organising this and there have been many fantastic ideas floating around, including bouncy castles, hook a duck and even soak the teacher. Also, some Indian cricketers have come over from their native country to experience life at BPS and in Britain.

Hopefully, they will enjoy our school and our country now their visas are all in order. I trust we will all make them welcome as they are in a foreign country having never traveled abroad before. A side note to everyone is that they do not speak fluent English and will not understand us if we speak too fast. I personally am very excited to get to know these cricketers and hope they will learn as much from us as we learn from them.

However, today I do have something else I want to talk about. It is a book I am reading currently and it is called ‘Becoming’. It is the autobiography of Michelle Obama, the wife of the previous U.S President, Barack Obama. I recently was hit by the autobiography bug after I read ‘Blowing the B***** Doors Off’ by Michael Cain and ‘Absolute Pandemonium’ by Brian Blessed. But ‘Becoming’ is by far my favourite. From growing up on the rough streets of Chicago, and struggling to make friends, to law school, and meeting Barack, every page had me hooked! It also provides a fascinating insight into the world of politics. To anyone who says politics is boring, read this book!

One part that really had me feeling sorry for the family was how the media interpreted every seemingly innocent action they took. At one point, Barack and Michelle were visiting Barack’s mother in Hawaii. Barack has to fly back to America the next day to vote on a topic as a senator. However, their newborn daughter, Malia came down with a fever. Soon this developed into an ear infection that, for a child, could be potentially deadly. Unable to fly, she had to be taken to the hospital where Barack decided not to go back to vote. Unfortunately, upon his return, he was berated by the media for missing the vote, calling him weak for fussing over a child’s earache, whilst not mentioning the fact that Malia couldn’t have flown home with her fever and that, if left untreated, it could have been very serious. This is just the start. When Barack decided to run for president, Michelle was asked to do an interview. She tried to show her husband in a more relatable light by stating that he still helped with the washing up and forgot to pick up his clothes. The media started portraying her as a spoilt Chicago princess who expected her husband to do everything. Even after a speech, when Barack gave a friendly fist bump for good luck, was interpreted as a terrorist jab. News articles even stated that Barack is not a true American for ordering Dijon mustard with his hot dog! The list goes on.

It really made me wonder what it would be like to have to walk down the street surrounded by a security detail: how every little move you make is planned and watched over and how the most seemingly innocent words can be twisted to form a racist statement or a threatening gesture. It also made me realise that celebrity life may have its benefits, but it can also be claustrophobic and cramped. In this book, you really feel the ups and downs of presidency: from the capture of Osama Bin Laden to a school shooting, you gain a gripping description of politics.

I would recommend this book to anyone above 12. Almost all ages will find it interesting and, to anyone who thinks politics is not interesting, I would highly encourage you to read this book.

 Thank you for reading my blog and I hope to see you all again soon