“Manchester, it has everything except a beach” 

A good way to start off this post might be to give some context as to why I’m writing it. In late 1995-1996, my mum (who was only 19 or 20) moved from Leeds to Manchester for one reason, and one reason only: to party. It is this perfectly rational thinking which allows me to draw the greatest similarities between my mother and myself. However, whilst frequenting the likes of the Haçienda, the ritz and the other hundreds of clubs that made up the Manchester night life scene, she met daddy-o and later in 1996, I was brought in to this wonderful world. 

But once I was born, I was a regular at the St Mary’s Children’s hospital on Oxford road – which meant that mother dearest couldn’t move back to that old stomping ground of hers. She was trapped in this concrete jungle that goes by the name of Manchester – of which now the vibrant night life that she did experience has withered away, and has been replaced by what can only be described as delapidated warehouses and indie bars. And then, when things started looking up for her with prospects of moving closer to the rest of the family (who now live in and around Leeds) … I just had to be granted a scholarship to a private school. Well … Fuck.

Mammy has wanted to move back to Leeds ever since she split with my dad, and if I’m honest, I do not blame her at all. But now that I’m going to University (!!), my mum has nothing tying her down to the city of Manchester – which means one thing … She’s moving back to Leeds. Well … Fuck … Again. 

It may sound so very selfish of me since my mum has sacrificed so much for me, but I really don’t want to go to Leeds. I’m sorry if any of my readers are from Leeds, because I mean Leeds is great … But it’s also shit. It’s got nothing on Manchester, nor will it ever compare to Manchester either. For me, Manchester is the UK’s tribute to NYC or San Fran, where there is such a diversity in the people that you come across, and there is such a multitude of opportunities to better yourself. As Mark Delaney Robinson said in 1997: “Manchester reminds me very much of San Francisco, even the weather is the same! … When I go back to California, people ask me if I’m homesick. How can you be homesick in Manchester?” . It is a vast concrete jungle blessed with nods to our industrial past, as well as the architectural vision of the future. And the rain, well, you get used to that. But one thing’s for certain – Manchester is a home for me, which makes it all the more difficult when my mum said we’re moving. 

I couldn’t – and still can’t – make sense of why she would want to leave here. But I guess my reasons for staying make up the exact list as to why she wants to leave. My first reason to stay would be my family. I’m blessed to know my dad’s family and so moving to Yorkshire would mean I would see them on a less regular basis, which is never nice. But for my mum, she has no family here whatsoever so I guess she feels lonely. My second reason to stay would be my friends. Despite convincing myself that I don’t actually like people, the people I do like are truly amazing specimens who, for a matter of fact, all live in Manchester. But for my mum, all of her friends live in Leeds which again I can understand as to why she would want to move. She never goes out anymore (mainly because she spends her life working) but it would be nice to see her have a few girls round for a girls’ night in and whatnot. 

I guess what I can say is that moving to Leeds for my mum would be much more beneficial in terms of having her family there helping her out, and it shouldn’t really matter to me where she moves because I’m moving out anyway. But for now, I’m staying put here in Manchester, or as it’s sometimes known, Madchester. I’d take the bad weather and good music over Leeds any day! 


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General Election. 2015. 

7th May 2015, and the UK media had its eyes fixated upon the General Election. It’s been dubbed ‘the most important election of a generation’, and it was most probably one of the most unpredictable too. Nobody could call the shots – although once again, the exit polls were fairly close. 

As a politics student, this election has been absolutely fascinating to watch. I can’t quite explain why,no guess it’s the fact that the youth seem to be much more engaged now than ever before with 6/10 young people turning out to vote. And I know the result wasn’t to everyone’s taste, it definitely wasn’t to mine, it’s fair to say that the people had voted for who they wanted to see in power. 

The reason I’m writing this blog post is to talk about the result of the election. Now clearly, I’m going to be against the idea of a majority led Tory government, but strangely enough I don’t mind David Cameron being in Downing Street once again. I have to admit, he helped this country over the last 5 years, and he can command a lot of respect, but what I don’t agree with is the consequences of his policies. During the coalition government, there was rapid growth in the number of families who were having to use food banks in order to have basic access to food. The number of homeless people has increased massively, only the other day I was walking through Manchester and saw 18 homeless people sat on the streets. And this is due to increases in costs to living, yet a large number of the population not even earning a living wage! As an eton-educated, Bullingdon boy, you’d think he’d have enough sense to knock this on the head! 

Another thing that is going to have a massively detrimental effect upon society will be the potential privatisation of the NHS. For years, the UK has prided itself upon its health service, which catered for most people in the country – but now, everyone will have a price to pay. So will this then mean that once again, the most vulnerable ones in society will be drawing the short straw by not being able to afford basic healthcare? I do acknowledge that this is possibly the most attractive solution to solving the issue of healthcare provision in the UK, but do I think it’s the best solution? Do I bollocks. 

One mistake that I think politicians make nowadays is trying to serve the needs of one particular group nationally, whether this be the working class, or the wealthy business owners, or even the revolutionary scots, they all do it. And now it’s time for change, and everyone needs to be helped. That’s most probably easier said than done, I know, but the only way we can solve social inequality is by eradicating it at the source. I’m not calling for a communist state, far from it, however I would have preferred it if maybe it wasn’t a Tory majority government – and instead was a coalition with another party such as the DUP just so that the powers of each party could be checked. Now unfortunatelyThere has been three resignations from three of the party leaders, which goes to show that change is occurring, and needs to happen fast. If only there was a way to fast forward time to speed up this change. We need to learn from our mistakes and sort this country out. 

Nous Sommes Charlie

So whilst the world is suspended over a huge pit of tragedy, crawling with little droplets of violence, corruption, and radicalisation, there are 12 people lying dead in a morgue in Paris. 12 people are lying dead after fighting for the freedom of expression, the freedom to say what we please.

When will we wake up and see that this world is totally and utterly fucked up? It says a lot when a group of cartoon artists can’t go to work and not return home. It says a lot when children go to school to receive an education and don’t return home to their parents and families.

This post is not just dedicated to the death of those in Paris. This is to raise awareness of the sheer, dire attitudes towards the protection of innocent civilians. We live in a world where religious ‘honour killings’ are a day-to-day occurrence in the news, and where murder is just another “Oopsie daisy” and that’s that. Let’s get this straight, a murder should not be considered to be something casual. IT’S FUCKING ILLEGAL. Life is sacred, and life is something that should be valued.

I stand in solidarity, honouring the victims of the cold-blooded murders. I stand against violence.

Je Suis Charlie. Nous Sommes Charlie.

Young Irish lad starts social media campaign to find a ‘pretty Canadian girl’ he met on a flight

The Dude With A Blog

Just last week, Jamie Kelly (24 years of age) from Galway sat beside a Canadian girl named Katie on a Ryanair flight from Barcelona to Dublin.
T
he pair began chatting during the flight, and Jamie told the Canadian news station CBC that he felt they’d ‘made a connection’.

They were separated sadly, once they left the plane. After the usually reliable Facebook search failed to produce any results, friends of Jamie’s started the #loveatfirstflight hashtag on Twitter in the hopes of bringing them together again.

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Jamie then appeared on Irish National Radio ‘The Ray D’Arcy Show’ on Today FM on Friday – but it wasn’t until his story was picked up by Canadian media that he made a breakthrough.

Katie’s sister got in touch with a friend of Jamie’s on Twitter, saying she was certain she knew who they were talking about:

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The mysterious Katie turned out to be…

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