The Week on Twitter: Shane Long, Plastic Bags, the Living Wage, & Eggs

This week, the UK was forced to pay for plastic bags, talks of a living wage reached a high in Britain and Ireland, and everybody fell in love with Shane Long.

Ireland are guaranteed a place in the Euro 2016 play-offs #COYBIG #ThanksShaneLong!

Last night, Ireland played Germany in an attempt to qualify for Euro 2016 – and won. Lots of people were disappointed to see Shane Long on the bench, but when Shane Long came off the bench he scored a goal and everybody was happy again. Twitter hailed Shane Long a hero, Niall Horan promised to name his first born after him, and he trended long into the night.

#ThanksShaneLong is currently Ireland’s top trending topic; and will probably remain so (rightfully) for the rest of the day. While many are simply expressing their genuine gratitude towards the brave man who made Ireland’s dreams of a chance at a Euro play-off a reality, some are thanking Mr Long for others things – like the great night sleep they just had, the fact that it’s Friday, or because they happened to bump into Colin Farrell.

Ireland may have beaten the world champions, but they still have to win against Poland on Sunday to ensure automatic qualification. Manager Martin O’Neill doesn’t seem too fazed though. Speaking to the Guardian after the match, he said “I’m ecstatic to win – you’d think that would be at least deserving of winning the tournament (…) but we haven’t even qualified.”

Shane Long, you are some man.

Whole of England disgusted as #plasticbags become commodified

Earlier in the week, the British government introduced a 5p charge on all plastic bags sold at supermarkets. The decision to implement such a charge came after it was estimated that a plastic bag takes approximately 1,000 years to decompose. They are also one of the major causes of pollution in the country. Last year, over 7.6 billion bags were handed out at supermarkets, used once, and either discarded or forgotten about under the sink.

Government officials believe that the charge will deter people from wasting disposable plastic bags, and instead, purchase some reusable bags, which can be used over and over. The likes of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have already been paying for their plastic bags for years, but that didn’t stop the whole of England from getting fairly angry about the whole situation.

Some feared an uprising, while others (rather ridiculously) threatened to abuse supermarket employees who refused to give them a bag for free. Thankfully, normal people still exist, and they were able to defuse the plastic bag dilemma with their quite humorous tweets.

David Cameron’s #LivingWage is not living up to its name

Over the Summer, the Tories announced that they would be introducing a new National Living Wage to the UK. The scheme is due to be implemented next April, and will ensure that workers over the age of 25 make at least £7.20 an hour compared to the old minimum wage of £6.70. The living wage is then expected to increase again to £9 before 2020.

Sounds great, except those who are under 25 are still being forced to work for a little over 6 pounds an hour, while their counterparts – who are most likely doing the same work – are receiving more pay, simply for being older. Never mind that if you happen to be under 20, your wage will still be resting at £5.30… God forbid you were 16 and were actually being paid a measly £3.87 for your efforts.

Government minister Matthew Hancock tried to justify the decision by claiming that “younger people, especially in their first jobs, are not as productive, on average.” His comment not only provoked criticism from those who deemed it an offensive sweeping statement, but also from those who calculated that this proposed National Living Wage still wouldn’t allow the major of people to, well, live.

David Cameron’s promise to build 200,000 new homes by the end of the decade was initially met with approval – that was, until, it was revealed they would be too expensive for those on the National Living Wage. According to the Independent, in 2020 only houses within 2% of England’s councils would be affordable to those living on £9 an hour.

In other news, Lidl Ireland have announced their plans to introduce their own living wage of €11.50 to all of their employees. The new wage will come into effect on November 1st, and will also include Lidl workers in Northern Ireland who will receive £8.20 an hour.

Nobody’s happy about Stephenie Meyer’s new #Twilight10 book #TwilightReimagined

When Stephenie Meyer announced that she was releasing a new Twilight book for the series’ 10th anniversary, Twihards were excited. Then, when it was revealed that the book would essentially be the exact same story but with the main characters’ genders swapped, Twihards weren’t excited anymore.

Although Meyer has been heavily criticised for using Word’s find and replace tool and selling it as a new novel, the YA author has admitted that that’s what she had planned to do all along. Instead of a book, it’s “bonus material.” Instead of a new story, it’s a “science experiment.” Instead of an 800 year old guy stalking a young, impressionable girl, it’s now an 800 year old girl stalking a young, impressionable guy. And according to Twitter, it’s just as creepy as ever.

It’s #WorldEggDay!

Need I say more?

Featured image via