June 5, 2017 37th and O

#HoyasInUK Day One

by Edward Weizenegger

Waking up for the first full day in London, the #HoyasInUK were treated to a crash course in the United Kingdom's political system from Professor Yossi Mekelberg, who teaches International Relations at Regent's University London. From the relatively rudimentary revelation that the Queen is not in fact the most influential figure of the government to describing the intra-party political tightrope Jeremy Corbyn has to walk to maintain his leadership of Labour, it was an essential education.

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Adjourning to lunch at The Grazing Goat, we had some of the best French food in London, served by a Spanish waitress. Whether that sort of easy trans-European exchange would continue is the central question of the Brexit strategy, and just who is going to lead the country in those negotiations is perhaps the main issue in Thursday's election.

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To help understand how the campaign is proceeding on the ground level we traveled to East London to visit Sam Jeffers at Newspeak House, a coworking space in the Bethnal Green neighborhood in West London. Sam has worked on political campaigns both in the United States and the UK and is now managing the Who Targets Me project. He helped explain the difficulties of voter mobilization and the vast differences between a 6-week snap election and the seemingly interminable campaigns seasons in the United States.


After this we decided to take in a little local color, heading over to Old Spitalfields Market and stumbling upon a live fashion show put on by the London College of Fashion. Trying to understand the subtleties of high fashion wasn't easy work, so we headed to Som Saa and dug into a veritable smorgasbord of Thai cuisine.

Between the electoral education and the city's renown cultural cuisine, the #HoyasInUK have dove straight into the London experience.

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