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Hi GP students,

You may want to have a look at these two articles and useful resources from The Conversation.

They highlight the recent Panama Papers leak and its consequences (or lack thereof) on the rich global elite. The points raised may be relevant to those of you preparing either Media or Globalization as your main General Paper essay topics for the A levels.

Two questions from the previous A Level years Paper 1 which this information can be incorporated within would be:

1. 2015, Qn 1 ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity.’ To what extent is this true?

For this essay, the Panama Papers’ exposure of those who set up off-shore companies for purposes of tax avoidance would be a useful illustration of bad publicity and its potential fall-out for the influential individuals involved.

It is thus a useful illustration for a point that ‘disagrees to a fair extent’ with the question.

ALTERNATIVELY, some of the points raised in the article posit that the rules of economic globalization are rigged in favor of the rich and influential with the resources to write the rules of the game. They are thus largely shielded from any initial bad publicity or capable of weathering them.

It is thus a useful illustration for that a point that ‘agrees strongly’ with the question – that bad publicity is ultimately short-lived and of little consequence.


2. 2014, Qn 6 ‘How far is it important for people to be aware of current events in countries other than their own?

For this essay, you may want to consider the learning points people may derive from the Panama Papers expose. Countries which are (presently) untouched by the scandal may want to take note of the wide-spread nature of legally permissible but ethically dubious actions undertaken by the global elite to avoid tax responsibilities.

Some countries, such as Singapore for instance, are globally connected and hence more likely to become havens for such activities if their governments are less vigilant in policing dubious business practices. Thankfully, our country and government does maintain due vigilance regarding this matter.

Thus, this is a useful illustration for a point that ‘supports to a large extent’ the question statement, where people’s awareness of global issues helps clarify their understanding of stability, law and order in their own countries, which they may otherwise take for granted.

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