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A Fashionista's Guide to Politics: The US Judicial Branch

The midterms were marked by emotion and change, from the start of campaigning to the counting of the final ballots. The number of firsts was unprecedented – the first Muslim woman in Congress, the first openly gay elected governor, the two first Native American Women in Congress – a sign that the voices of minority groups in America are finally opening the door. Another big change – the House of Representatives is now dominated by a Democrat majority, a shift after two years of a Republican majority in Congress.

A Fashionista's Guide to Politics: The Legislative Branch of the United States Federal Government - by Tamara Cincik and Rafaella de Freitas

With the mid-term US elections just around the corner, understanding what this means: who has the balance of power, what voices constitute each Chamber and what this means in terms of legislation is increasingly important wherever you live in the world, changes to US laws affect all of us in this increasingly globalised world. For instance when the US Senate voted to change tax laws at the end of 2017, it reduced Corporate Taxes by 14% from 35, to 21%. As a result of the reforms, US companies with offshore dealings could decide to keep their money at home, enticed by lower corporation taxes plus a desire to avoid new restrictions on shifting profits abroad. Companies operating overseas, such as big tech and pharma companies, would be taxed at a low rate - 15.5% - to return the cash to the US in a one-time move. However, Ireland, where Apple has a major base, still undercuts the US with a corporation tax rate of 12.5%.

A Fashionista's Guide to Politics - By Tamara Cincik and Rafaella de Freitas

With the UK due to officially leave the EU on March 29th 2019, we now have less than 6 months to not only fully understand how the EU works, but what it does for those on the inside and what effects not being at the decision making tables at the European Parliament in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg will mean for the UK. Did you even know that the EU meets in not one, not two but three cities across Western Europe, with meetings for the whole Parliament taking place in Brussels and Strasbourg and admin being done primarily in Luxembourg? Second only to India for the size of the electorate, the power and impact of the EU cannot be underestimated. Educational programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus and key to its value, with the former acting as the largest EU Research and Innovation (R&I) programme with over €80bn of funding over 7 years between 2014 – 2020. The sheer power of this as an economic driver for advances in science, medicine, tech and the creative industries cannot be underestimated, creating a genuine single market for knowledge, business opportunity as well as R & I.

28 countries across Europe, soon to be 27, with a shared agenda across finances, IP and sustainable initiatives, creates a powerful trading bloc which represents over 500m people.

A Fashionista's Guide to Politics II: Demystifying the Myth, the Votes, Referendum & The Show - By Tamara Cincik and Rafaella de Freitas

Last week, Fashion Roundtable began our series, demystifying the at times, bewildering world of politics with A Fashionista’s Guide To Politics. Politics determines not just the big stuff: whether a country is or isn’t inside the EU, goes to war, or has the death sentence as part of its penal code. It also determines the things we take for granted: whether you have to pay for school lunches, or child’s nursery school, when you can collect your pension (and whether they will even exist when you reach pension age. There isn’t a single issue which doesn’t get raised by campaigners and activists, by lobbyists and policy makers, which doesn’t get debated and then decided upon across local and national government. If there is something you feel strongly about, there is a real chance that others do too. Fashion Roundtable believe strongly that by breaking down the echo chambers of fashion and politics, our hopes and dreams, as well as concerns and worries, will be heard by those whose votes decide so much of our lives.

A Fashionista's Guide to British Politics - by Tamara Cincik and Rafaella de Freitas

At first glance, politics and fashion are polar opposites, and political affairs may seem irrelevant to someone in the fashion industry, especially in the creative aspect of the sector. A designer or stylist might think they are removed from politics: except as Brexit shows, our previous freedom of movement for goods (textiles) and services (work in Europe) is a part of the on-going Brexit negotiations. Game of Thrones has been discussed in the Chamber (what you see on TV for PM’s Question Time where MPs vote) multiple times more than fashion.