Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Ashleigh Hall's death exposes the dark side of social networking sites.

After a 32-year-old man blurted: "I've killed a girl," the danger of online paedophilia came to the surface again.

More and more, teenagers are increasingly in the habit of shutting their thoughts away from the outside world. Traditionally, they have been entered into a diary, now they are spilt onto online chat logs - the perfect scenario for perverts on the net.

Sites like Facebook and Bebo are as helpful for these predators as they are for keeping in contact with friends - parents have to remember this.

Friday, 9 October 2009


The way I see it, there is no doubt that David Icke’s ‘lizard theory’ is fairly crazy. The notion that reptiles are secretly controlling our actions is leftfield as it is, but the sheer lack of concrete evidence to back it all up is the side of Icke that discredits him the most. It all seems like a facade.

However, there are two sides to every story (yes...even this one). I believe that part three of the documentary, when David Icke was refused air time by a Canadian radio station (6:41, video above), exposed a regrettable tendency of human nature. In my eyes, he was understandably angry at the receptionist/radio station for giving him no reason why his interview was cancelled. In the context of Jon Ronson’s documentary, some Canadians had given Icke a hostile welcome, so the powers that be may have thought it could have harmed their station in some way. This in itself almost validates Icke even more as one of his main beliefs is that society, including the media, is subconsciously being controlled in some way. This decision denied his chance to put forward his side of the story; having this chance is meant to be fundamental in a democratic society. The refusal of the interview suggested otherwise.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


I would like to pick up on a quote from D. Sandy Petrey cited by Louise Weeks in her blog...

"Strikes became the primary symbol of socialist revolt. Zola consequently left his study of the commune to La Debacle to incarnate the movement of the proletariat in a strike, a subject whose vast dramatic potential had never before been exploited in a novel".

In my view, strikes – and miner strikes at that – would have been a very attractive symbol to people looking to join the socialist revolt. Throughout history, the largest revolutions have always been built on extremes, and there is little more extreme than mining, as Chris emphasized today. The meteoric rise of the Third Reich is perhaps best in underlining this. From the signing of the Versailles treaty at the end of WWI to January 1933, Hitler consistently turned the extreme conditions the Weimar Republic faced to his advantage: hyperinflation, failure of more moderate governments, fear of the left (largely cooked up by him in the form of the Reichstag fire) to name but a few – the only difference being every social class could relate, let alone the miners.

Propaganda was instrumental in this success. If strikes were “the primary symbol of the revolt,” strength and nationalism were the symbols of the Fascists in the early 20th century. One of the famous Nazi slogans was “one people, one nation, one leader while Benito Mussolini constantly referred to his policies as 'battles' in Italy. Both promoted unity in revolutionary, war-like conditions. It is my hypothesis that political allegiance or action will be as extreme (or not) as the conditions a people are faced with, which is where I draw my comparison to Petrey’s quote and my example.

Back to the original matter, The Hegelian view that a violent overthrow and eradication of the previous state is necessary is just as counter-productive, if not more than having an under-achieving government. the ultimate goal of revolt and subsequent dictatorship of the proletariat is equally as damaging as the rejection of the status quo (i.e – the ruling class).

Saturday, 3 October 2009


Released: 28th September 2009
Length: 43:16
Label: Polydor

Ian Brown’s sixth solo album brings together a lot of what the manic mancunian is about – as the title would suggest. But this is not one of his better moments.

‘Stellify,’ the first single to come from the album, opens up ‘My Way’ bursting with Brown’s larger than life sound. He said he still had something to say in the lead up to this LP, which appears the case in his video as he is seen walking the streets of Manchester with the 40-strong Northern Star Marching Band.

‘Crowning of the Poor’ is as provocative in its meaning as ‘Stellify’ is in its sound. Brown has always been known for big opinions and ‘My Way’ is no different as he bellows lines like: “billionaires in the yachts can’t, live the life that I got, can’t, zillionaires on the plots can’t stop the crowning of the poor.” ‘In the Year 2525’ follows suit but in the form of a light-hearted critique of man in the future: “in the year 5555...your legs got nothin’ to do, some machine doin’ it for you,” he bluntly predicts.

It’s never all doom and gloom with the ex-Stone Roses lead singer, as he exposes his bubbly and dreamy qualities in ‘Just Like You’ – and ‘Marathon Man’ confirms that he is likely to remain this way.

Then there’s the mellow and reflective side of Ian Brown, the side that falls in between the political wordsmith and the loud, in your face mancunian. ‘Always Remember Me’ is almost his version of a ballad while the mesmeric ‘For The Glory’ shows his modest side.

The LP musically picks itself up again with ‘Own Brain’ with some flashy guitar and Stellify-like energy thrown in. As F.E.A.R showed everybody, Brown likes to play with words, and ‘Own Brain’ does the same as it is an anagram of his name.

However, the following two tracks ‘Laugh Now’ and ‘By All Means Necessary’ don’t have as much to offer or say in an album that otherwise tells Ian Brown’s own vociferous story. Meanwhile, the closing track ‘So High’ would have more place in the last dance of a Caribbean wedding, but displays plenty of personality and style – a constant feature of ‘My Way.’


Ian Brown really does do it his own way in this LP that is packed with the elements of him that have made him so successful. Overall, however, not the best collection of tracks he has ever produced.

Rating: 7/10