2012: Time For A Change

destiny, emigration, Frankfurt, future, Germany, Hope City Church

Over the last few months this blog has somewhat been lacking posts and for this I apologise. It is not because I have become slack at blogging. Far from it in fact. For the last few months I have found myself writing, editing and running blogs for others (most notably Anya 17 and Hope City Frankfurt). Only thing is, between that and holding down two part time jobs, it left me with no time to write in my own blog (although with probably only six readers in the whole wide interweb I doubt my ramblings have been missed too much!). But now it’s 2012, it’s time to pick up the old keyboard and screen and start over. 


I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions (mainly because I am abysmal at sticking to them), but for me, 2012 presents a long-awaited beginning which should at least be documented in the semi-permanence of the internet [purely for it to be lost in cyberspace and then one day rediscovered by some unsuspecting hacker who probably hasn’t even been born yet, you understand].

The dawning of 2012 marks the final steps towards probably one of the biggest and slightly more mental decisions of my life. In a matter of months, nay weeks (job, flights and accommodation permitting), my pale little English face will soon be finding home amongst throngs of German ones as I set up life in Frankfurt.

Yes, at 26 bizarre and wonderful years of age, I am going to leave my mother country and attempt to live in a land where to be honest, I can hardly order a coffee and my ability of asking for cake with it involves saying “Kanne Ich……….. [long pause as I point widely]…die kucken?” (Apologies to anyone who can actually speak German and is aware of the shocking language assault I just performed, please bare with me.) 

It might seem like a mad, hair-brained idea (my mother is less convinced it is now following several lengthy discussions about it over the last ten months) but I’m a believer of destiny and calling and I’m as sure as I can be that moving to Germany is part of an incredible plan for my life. Sure, if you’d told me three years ago that this is what 2012 would look like, I’d have probably thought you were, well, not altogether there, shall we say?

It certainly wasn’t part of my original life plan dreamt up years ago when, aged about six, a teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. In that version of my life, I was probably the secret sixth member of the Famous Five, grew up on the dark Heathcliffian moors and could talk to any book character I pleased. Or I was a secret mutant human, part of Xavier’s school for the gifted, best friends with Bill and Ted and able to ride any horse I wanted. I probably also told this teacher I wanted to be a jockey or a vet or a Thunderbird or something. I definitely never imagined living in another country (living in fiction was enough, obviously). Not until I was 13 at least and began to harbour desires of being a journalist in the Big Apple a la Sex In The City (although I had no idea who the heck Carrie Bradshaw was) did my life plan ever consider a bit of healthy emigration.

But now, now I’m actually alive in 2012 and it isn’t some ethereal, slightly futuristic number given to a year in the distant future, now, I’ve come to realise that my life plan doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I live in the destiny I’ve been called for. I cannot wait to live in Germany no matter how daunting it may seem. There’s only one go at this life so I might as well give it my best shot and take the bull by the horns. 

You’re welcome to join me for the ride. 

Rioting, Looting and the Broom Army: A Social Networked Response

Britain, politics

There was a day this summer where I was simultaneously proud and ashamed of my country and the people in it. In August 2011 the British newspapers suddenly had something to talk about on what would have otherwise been a slow news day. What’s more, they could speculate on the impact of social media on our society.

It was one of those weeks where you’ll remember where you were as you watched the surreal, movie-esque news coverage of London burning. Watching BBC News late on the Monday night I was waiting, almost willing, the credits to roll; as if this was all some terribly realistic film that would soon be over leaving us all thinking how wonderfully lucky we are that this was a clever cinematic creation.

But the credits didn’t roll and London continued to burn.

It burned in Tottenham, it burned in Enfield, it burned in Clapham. Five generations of family business lit up the London skyline in Croyden.

Twitter was all a-flap with news of the latest developments, as unbelieving eyes and ears took on board what they were living through. Facebook was littered with messages of love and concern, disbelief and fear of the events unravelling across the capital. As time wore on, these messages were added to with photos and videos hastily put together by Joe public. It became apparent that the riots of 2011 had taken hold of social media and they weren’t about to let go.

In the breakfast news of Tuesday morning the London Eye was set against a backdrop of smoke, a stark reminder that the previous night’s events weren’t merely a War of the Worlds remake.

While the daylight allowed the nation to take in the true horror of the night before there was still hope for humanity. Amid the claims social media sites had been used to encouraged the riots; Twitter, Facebook and a heap of other social networks were loud with information on clean up jobs happening across the country and the encouragement to join in if you could.

While the newspapers clattered about with reports of people inciting violence through using Blackberry Messenger to bring together what would have otherwise been an unorganised riffraff; the general public used the same social media networks to mobilise an army of defiant retaliation.

Epitomised by one iPhone captured image on the streets of London of the so-called Broom Army, Twitter, Facebook and the rest, empowered individuals to come together in a comradery arguably not dis-similar to the “keep calm and carry on” attitude we British like to believe prevailed through wartime in the early twentieth century.

The British Riots of the summer of 2011 showed the good and the ugly side of social media. If we learnt one thing, it’s that social networks hold the power to motivate a people into action – be it for good or for destruction. After the initial start in London, riots elsewhere in the country appeared to be a bunch of individuals coming together to jump on a bandwagon and join in for whatever they could get – all supposedly inspired by tweets and facebook posts.

Social media, while perhaps a vital tool in aiding groups of hapless individuals to reek havoc in their cities, also provided the antidote to the mindless destruction. Even the Police forces were in on the social media. South Yorkshire Police used Twitter to inform those in the area of the lack of riots happening in the region. (As a Sheffield resident I just want to say here how proud I am of the youth, teenagers and young adults of South Yorkshire for not rioting.) Videos captured on mobile phones and posted on internet sites aided the naming and shaming of people involved. People rallied together in the post-riot shambles, inspired by the support coming from Twitter and Facebook.

Without social media networks the events of August 2011 could have been very different. The riots might not have spread beyond the localised attacks in Brixton, but the unity and sense of community as people rose up against the rioters and looters was enhanced by social media networks. And in these times of uncertainty, community and unity is exactly what Britain needs. Long live social media!

Music: Ones to watch in 2011

Music, Reviews

It’s that time of year again; time for round ups, retrospective opinions and contemplative previews.

As December draws to its wintery end and the world gears itself for a fresh batch of 365 days seen in with a decent amount of revelry here’s some music to add to your NYE playlist of acts to watch in 2011. (So when they make it big next year, you can feel smug knowing you’ve been ahead of the game)

The Joy Formidable

Ritzy, Rhydian and Matt are otherwise known as The Joy Formidable and come highly recommended by Radio 1’s new music connoisseur, Huw Stephens. This spritely, enthusiastic little Welsh band have been doing the rounds for a good few years and have just completed a tour of the US.

2011 sees the release of their debut album The Big Roar at the end of January. It is preceded by the single Austere (check out the new video), available on limited edition vinyl and to download from January 17th.

All that is followed by a tour kicking off in February, which takes them across the UK, Europe, back to the US and to 2011’s SXSW in Texas.

If you can’t wait a few weeks to hear more then lurking in the depths of the internet is their previous EP A Balloon Called Moaning.

 

Little Comets
Another band releasing their debut album in January 2011, and also hotly tipped by Huw Stephens, are northern foursome Little Comets. Think the Mystery Jets meet The Coral and you might end up somewhere close to the sound of Matt, Mark, Michael and Robert.

Hailing from Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Little Comets have already created an extensive fan base and gained a notoriety for gatecrashing university lectures and performing on public transport.

After the success of previous singles Adultery, One Night In October and Isles, Little Comets are set to grace airwaves up and down the country with the release of their debut album In Search of the Elusive Little Comets at the end of January.

Catch them on tour at a venue near you in January starting at Liverpool’s Shipping Forecast on the 28th.

Everything Everything
Technically Everything Everything aren’t a brand new, emerging act for 2011 but they are taking part on the NME Shockwaves Awards Tour which has often provided a platform for bands ready to hit the mainstream bigtime (notably The Killers, Bloc Party, We Are Scientists and Arctic Monkeys).

Sounding a little like a noughties indie version of The Pet Shop Boys (and that’s a good thing), Manchester quartet Everything Everything are already leaving their mark with their 2010 album Man Alive.

Expect great, probably slightly surreal, things from this band in 2011. They’ve been 6 Music’s album of the day, met Rolf Harris on a ferry and have already hidden themselves away to write that “difficult second album”.

If you want to get a taste of Everything Everything and their more than slightly quirky style then check out the single Photoshop Handsome – available to download from January 17th – or their previous single My KZ Ur BF.

The Go! Team

If you’ve never come across The Go! Team before you have been missing an audio/visual treat. They are a six piece from Brighton and 2011 brings a brand new album that’s bound to be jam-packed with feel-good bouncy tunes galore.

Rolling Blackouts is due for release at the end of January. It is the third album from the band and looks set to continue their happy, psychedelic party throwback sound.

February will see the band make a welcome return to the live scene, starting with a show in London’s Heaven on February 8th. If you’ve wanted to see how a band incorporate various instruments including an African Thumb piano, harmonica and glockenspiel into a rock band, The Go! Team are the ones to catch.

Educate your ears with hits from their 2004 debut Thunder Lightning Strike and a few previews of the new album.


Alice Gold

She looks a bit like a moody Joss Stone or a tastefully dressed Jennifer Ellison and sounds like PJ Harvey got pumped full of adrenaline. She’s recently supported Athlete on their UK tour, unleashing her attitude-laden voice and guitar rock on the unsuspecting crowd.

Born in Camberley, Alice started writing at age eight, toured America on her own in a 1978 Winnebago and generally appeared to live a bit of a nomadic-esque life according to her myspace profile.

Keep your ears out for her album Seven Rainbows which is due in the summer, and expect a single in early 2011. Describing her sound to The Sun as ‘psychedelic pop played with soul’ Alice is sure to crop up in the music press every now and then if nothing else.

So that’s it, your five to listen out for in 2011. This list isn’t by any means comprehensive; comment, criticise and add your own top tips below.

Other notable acts to make sure you delight your ears with include Sheffield band Feelix, James Blake, Lyrikkal (she’s nine and could give Willow Smith a run for her dad’s money) and if you haven’t happened across these yet make sure you give Sleigh Bells and Cold War Kids (who are back with a new album) a listen.

LIVE REVIEW: Athlete O2 Academy Sheffield November 29 2010

Music, Reviews

First published by Sheffield’s free magazine Exposed
Photos to follow just as soon as I get them uploaded!

Athlete
O2 Academy, Sheffield
November 29th 2010
4/5
 
For unbeknown reasons, Athlete have never really hit the so-called Big Time. Even the success of 2002’s album Vehicles and Animals or hit single, Wires, in 2005, hasn’t seen them secure a coveted place in the indie hall of fame. (Although they did secure an Ivor Novello Award for Wires). Where others have soared in a giddy haze to the top, Athlete have been the steady tortoise, plodding faithfully, writing beautiful songs and producing stalwart albums.
 
Yet in the intimate venue upstairs at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, competing against the beats of Vampire Weekend downstairs, Athlete prove just why they have sustained a firm and varied fan base. Tonight they are supported by local singer songwriter Stoney and a girl called Alice Gold who looks like Joss Stone and sounds like an attitude laden PJ Harvey.
 
Athlete’s Joel Pott takes to the stage with his acoustic guitar and mix track and launches into You Got The Style. Considering the weather outside is threatening a snow blizzard, it’s the perfect ironic start – Oh it’s getting hot in here, must be something in the atmosphere – to a beautiful night.
Immediately the room is in full voice, singing along. As they abandon the setlist for a moment, the boys crank out Vehicles and Animals, swiftly followed by Westside – complete with Joel forgetting the lyrics and a brilliant little bit of heckling and banter between stage and crowd. 
 
Athlete have drawn a Sheffield crowd that spans generations and includes some fans who witnessed the band perform ten years ago supporting Mansun at the Leadmill. 
 
It’s feel good, it’s melancholic, it’s downright cheerful in places. Whatever you think of Athlete, make sure you catch them live next time they grace a Sheffield venue. Surveying the audience tonight as they dispel onto snowy Arundel Gate, every face displays a smile despite the freezing weather. You won’t be disappointed.

LIVE REVIEW: Just a Band – Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Plug, Sheffield

Music, Reviews

Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Plug, Sheffield
October 27th 2010
4/5
This review was written for Exposed (exposedmagazine.co.uk), Sheffield
It’s been over three years since they graced our airwaves with a satirical social commentary on NME and the supremacy of Stephen Fry but Dan le Sac and his bearded pal Scroobius Pip are back. Stopping off in an energetic Sheffield to play Plug, which, in Scroobius’ words, looks like a laser quest venue, they bought a quirky American lady by the name of Kid A and Birmingham septet Misty’s Big Adventure with them.
Kid A, otherwise known as Anni T, can only be described as Bjork meets Morcheeba to a background of electronica beats. The voice of Sac vs Pip’s latest single release, Cauliflower, Kid A opened the night in an unassumingly pleasant way.
Misty’s Big Adventure, on the other hand, launched into their set with provoking poetry and a tune not dissimilar to the Batman cartoon theme. It’s rare a support brings so many feel good vibes as Misty’s Big Adventure. Imagine The Go! Team crossbred with The Zutons and you might be close to the hunched over excitable band complete with trumpet and baritone sax. Their emo-spoof, I Want A Biscuit, You Can’t Have One was a definite highlight.
Despite a series of hit songs a few years back, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip are still very much on the backburner of the mainstream. Opening with Sick Tonight, they immediately get the Sheffield audience on side, Dan dropping beats only he knows how to perfectly complements Pip’s half spoken, half sung vocals.
Even as the boys pull out more melancholic tracks, including The Magician’s Assistant, they strike a balance with humour about dwarves and three children sneaking into the gig on each others’ shoulders. After a solemn moment in memory of a lad called Jamie, Scroobius and Dan pull out the track that first snuck onto the iPods of the crowd – Thou Shalt Always Kill. With the crowd singing back every word as they bounce around, the song ramps up the gig for the final part of the nigt.
Saving hits The Beat That My Heart Skipped and Letter From God To Man for the encore, complete with Pip’s longest crowdsurf in which he kicked a mirror ball, these too likely lads from Essex leave the northern audience on a high and disappear.

Album review: Tinie Tempah Disc-Overy

Music, Reviews
Released 4th October 2010
9/10
What do Dysons, Mallorie Blackman, Scunthorpe and Simon Cowell have in common? Any ideas? No? I’ll tell you. They all feature in lyrics on Tinie Tempah‘s brand new album, Disc-Overy; his debut no less.
Instantly likeable from the first play, Tinie has created a monster of a major label debut which sucks you in from the moment you press play, pumps you full of adrenaline and leaves you wondering what just happened as closing track Let Go winds you down.
In 2001 a black 12 year old boy named Patrick Okogwu discovered UK garage unit So Solid Crew. Nine years later he’s better known as Tinie Tempah and is up for four Digital Music Awards including Best Newcomer. That’s more awards than singles he’s released.
Recorded in just 11 months in London and Sweden, it hardly seems possible that Disc-Overy is Tinie’s debut. Having firmly secured himself within the UK mainstream music scene with hits like Pass Out, Frisky and latest single Written In The Stars all in the space of the last year it’s hard to imagine the urban scene without Tinie.
The album quickly settles in with a sound that could easily become synonymous with Tinie’s urban style, rushing us through to his hit single Pass Out. But as track four, Illusion, and the following, Just A Little, slide you into an easy urban groove it’s clear that Disc-Overy is not 13 clones of Tinie’s early hits. The frantic pace of Pass Out falls away to embrace a more reflective mood that carries through the middle section of the album.
Having written most of the tracks after the phenomenal success of Pass Out, Disc-Overy takes you on a journey through Tinie’s childhood in South London as well as telling of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the twenty-first century fame monster.
Featuring collaborations with Ellie Goulding and Kelly Rowland plus track production from dance producers of the moment, Swedish House Mafia, Tinie’s album has an impressive weight behind it that can only serve to help its success.
When a debut album doesn’t feel or sound like a debut you’ve got to be on to something great. Disc-Overy is set to launch Tinie into the future and secure his place in the urban scene on a worldwide scale.

Dream team: Making fiction a reality

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While completing training for a leadership development programme I was challenged to come up with five characteristics I’d love to have on my dream team of followers. I pondered for some time and realised that my top character choices could be outworked in five fictitious heroes I’d grown up loving.

So, this is my dream team: 

Robin – Batman
This is the handy side kick, the sounding block. I work best if I have other people to bounce ideas off and feed off of. In my team I would have a Robin character who talks through ideas and problems with me. This person sees the potential in random suggestions. They can make the impossible seem probable and provide wisdom They would be the kind of person who can be left in charge. They could be developed into being a leader in their own right – in fact they could even be nearly there!

Robin helps to solve practical problems and issues. 

Jean Grey – X-men 
Jean is a multifaceted team member. She is mother, sister, daughter, wife and friend. She is the caring and nurturing figure of strength and stability. She is the prop supporting the team. She would talk easily with all other team members and encourage them. Jean sets the team mood and tone and is a major influencer. When team is tired, Jean encourages, coaching people through to the end. She pacifies in times of conflict and sees all sides. Jean is a connector and a multitasker.

Jean is the mother hen and helps to build the young and bridge any generation gap.

The Milky Bar Kid 
This character makes everyone happy. He always turns up at the right time with a smile on his face and something great to boost the team. An encourager like Jean Grey, the Milky Bar Kid is sanguine, a complete party person. He takes ownership of the team and all that they do. He is the social glue that keeps them united, the connector that brings people together and grows team.

The Milky Bar Kid is the young enthusiastic generation gap unifier with a sense of ownership and responsibility and yet a child like understanding and spirit.   


Lois Lane – Superman
Lois Lane lives by a “whatever it takes” attitude, working to see everything come to pass. She is determined and knows her mind. She shows submission, even though it can be a struggle because she is so strong-willed and strong-minded in working to achieve the collection vision of the team as well as her own individual goals. Lois Lane never has to be asked twice as is always ready for wherever and whatever is needed. Occasionally Lois has to be reminded to take a break!

Lois Lane is dependable. She may not be the best at time keeping but she makes up for it in determination to see the team achieve its goal.

Master Splinter – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Master Splinter is the wise sensei of the team. He has been there, done that, got the t-shirt but despite this, his is not wearied by past experiences. He shares wisdom in order to push the team forward quicker and see it grow in capacity. Master Splinter is loyal and fiercely committed to the fulfilment of the cause and remains calm in all situations. He defends the team from those with a critical spirit and brings correction out of love and compassion when it is necessary.

Africa, the internet and me

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Everywhere you look the familiar block red speech mark surrounded by a white circle that is the Vodaphone logo greets you. Street traders selling the latest knock-off Nokia mobiles pitch next to a fruit stall and right by that is a ramshackle stand with t-shirts, shirts and dresses pouring out onto the roadside. If it wasn’t for the Grace of God beauty salon next door and the stifling heat you could be in any local market in the western world.

But this is Ghana, West Africa.

As the rain drips down my kitchen window the thick, suffocating heat of Africa seems a distant memory. In reality, it’s been just over a week since my feet touched down on English soil again and I still have to take anti-malaria tablets that I swear are doing me more ill than good. But despite being a creature happiest in English Autumnal climes I miss Africa. A lot. 

The lifestyle, the heat, the friendliness, the bustle. The people of Ghana have left their mark on me. From their strange hissing noise to get your attention to the constant marriage proposals. The crazy smells of the market places (decapitated fish anyone?), the interesting toilet facilities and the tropical rainstorms. From just ten days in Ghana I have come away with more memories than I can comprehend. And I want to go back. Not to live there long term you understand – after just four days I was sick of drinking water out of bags – but to go back and embrace the people and enjoy a simpler way of life.

That said, life in the city is preoccupied with the information super highway. Everyone wants your mobile phone number and browsing (Ghanaian English for surfing the internet) is rife. 

It is impossible to go more than three steps without finding yourself greeted by Vodaphone logos, Tiga network slogans and adverts to get you to sign up for broadband internet. Life in the villages is not much different in terms of the constant awareness of modern communication. Visiting children in one of Compassion’s programmes, a short 90 minutes (give or take some traffic and Ghanaian time keeping) from the capital Accra, more than one school blackboard had the phrase “mobile phones are a means of communication” scrawled on it.

If you’ve got it, the internet and mobile phones are the way to communicate in Ghana. I didn’t experience the Ghanaian postal service but I understand it’s on the expensive and slightly unreliable side. 

I, on the other hand, relished the lack of communication services at my beck and call. Ten days without my mobile, without the internet and without Facebook and Twitter was certainly refreshing. Not only that it got me thinking about another little blog I can come back and post later. 

Africa, or more specifically Ghana, was everything I thought it would be, everything I never expected it could be and something that is going to stick with me in that oh-so-cliched way of forever. Dare I say it? Alright, I want to go back.

——————————–
Should you wish to know why I was in Ghana.

#GE2010: People robbed of vote as turnout seems to be on the up

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Even though the outcome is still to be announced, General Election 2010 promises to be one that will remain in the memories of many for a long time. 


Whether it’s the tales of voters being turned away from the polls or the uncertainty of the final outcome, #GE2010 as it’s been labelled by the social media masses has presented its fair share of surprises and controversies.


By far the biggest news story of tonight is the number of voters robbed of their ballots. Blamed on, amongst other things, the unexpected surge in voter turnout the Electoral Commission are falling over themselves to try and smooth the cracks and keep the peace offering a full investigation into what happened. 


The story broke in Nick Clegg’s constituency of Sheffield Hallam where hundreds of students and residents alike were turned away from St John’s Parish Church in Ranmoor without having had the chance to cast their vote. Reports suggest that students were sidelined and priority was given to local residents. Whether this is true or not many people are looking for a suitable scapegoat on which to pin the fiasco.


But is it really fair to criticise the Electoral Commission or the returning officers at the polling stations all over the country that reportedly turned away eager voters and closed doors? Shouldn’t these voters have arrived earlier to ensure their vote could be lodged? 

The next few days and weeks are sure to be full of finger pointing and accusations. Polling stations ran out of ballot papers meaning eligible voters could not cast their votes. The returning officers there should surely have a duty to ensure suitable provision is made for all those in the constituency have the chance to place their cross on a ballot. Surely the point of registering to vote means returning officers and councils can forsee a total possible number of voters, regardless of expected turnout levels? If a polling station runs out of ballots, that has got to be the result of poor forward planning. 


However the case that arose in Sheffield Hallam, Manchester and several other regions was too many people still queuing in the final minutes of voting time. Pinning the blame in this instance is less clear cut. Is it the fault of voters who didn’t arrive earlier to mark their ballots, or the ones who delayed the process by not turning up with their polling card? Perhaps blame should fall on the Electoral Commission for restricting polling time to a mere 15 hours – from 7am to 10pm – when we live in a 24 hour society. What about the returning officers? Is it their fault for not providing sufficient numbers of polling stations, booths and staff to deal with a rise in voter turnout?


The figures are still vague but it seems that voter turnout has finally bucked the trend of decline and started to rise. After years of tales of voter apathy and many a political big wig trying to suss out a way to encourage voters to visit the polls it seems that all is needed is a recession, some bad political and financial decisions and a disenchanted generation coming of age. 


As I write Gordon Brown has secured his own seat and increased his majority in his constituency, while his transport secretary, Sadiq Khann kept hold of Tooting which saw the largest rise in voter turnout so far tonight, up 10% from 2005. 

It seems that increased voter turnout is a double-edged sword. On the one side, improved voter turnout is providing an interesting election with still no clear outcome coming through. On the other, unprecedented levels of voters coming forward to have their say has caused chaos at the polls, showing many regions to be completely unprepared and a lack of foresight and planning.

General Election 2010: Pre Polling Day Ponderings

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Tomorrow. Polling day. It looms with a sense of trepidation and nervous anticipation. 

Could we wake up on Friday morning with a hung parliament? Will we have the first Liberal Democrat government in 65 years? What will the BNP and UKIP have to show from the 15 hours of voting? As I write this, the once rank outsider is rallying his supporters in the centre of the city of Sheffield. (In case I lost you there, I am referring to Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg).

This is the first time I have experienced such a flurry of activity and discussion about a forthcoming election. I voted in my first General Election in 2005 and while, as a university student I was inflicted with a barrage of political campaigns, I don’t remember as much of a buzz about the whole fiasco. 

In 2005 there was no real competition. No party was strong enough to truly dislodge Labour’s grip on the country. They had won by a landslide in 1997 and despite the unpopular Iraq war and WMD scandals, 2005 showed little sign of a slip the other way. The media was full of stories of disenchanted, disheartened, disenfranchised voters up and down the country. Even the students who could usually be counted on to be political vocal and active were holding back. In my hazy memory of 2005, it seemed everyone was resigned to another Labour term. 


But 2010 is different. This time, at least in some parts of the UK, it is very definitely a three horse race. Labour MPs seem to be losing face after their 13 years in power. Nick Clegg and David Cameron are providing a competitive opposition where one has been missing for so long. 

And you can’t discuss GE2010 without a nod to social media. Twitter and Facebook and other sites are revolutionising the election despite there still not being an option to electronically vote. A survey conducted by Virgin Media Business showed that two fifths of all internet users in the UK believe the option of an e-vote would make them more likely to participate in tomorrow’s election. And surely a fair bunch of the electorate will be checking the internet while they wait in line at the ballot boxes?

Dare I say that the combination of social media pushing this election to the fore of a media savvy generation and the election of Obama has caused the British public to realise that if enough people act upon it, change is a real possibility.


Whatever we wake up to on Friday morning, I hope the second top story will be news of a record high turnout at the polls tomorrow. Change is possible, but only if we all unite.