Job Hunting

Whilst looking for work on the Jobcentre Plus website, I perhaps over-optimistically ran a search for “media and creative” jobs in the UK, hoping to find an advert presumably for an ” inexperienced, third-rate writer who can ramble on aimlessly about matters of little to no importance”. Unfortunately for me I didn’t come across any jobs like that, I did however notice this advert which stuck out amongst the other search results.

Yep, the government-run website for us scummy job-seekers is now looking for people to work in the sex industry, or at the very least skirt round the outside of it. I know it’s not illegal to advertise for someone to provide “adult webcam entertainment” and the pay isn’t actually too bad- employers here are only offering minimum wage but expecting at least one year’s experience for low level admin jobs, but it seems very strange to me that the government who have upped the school leaving age to 18 and placed such an emphasis on “eduation, education, education” (allbeit making tuition fees astronomical) in order for us to supposedly have more opportunities are now so keen to see people in employment that anything will do.

Would this have been advertised on the website a year ago? or are they hoping that some poor, recently unemployed sod will opt for a new career path?


March 23, 2009 at 10:28 pm 1 comment

More trouble at the Beeb this week

They have hit (their own) headlines, yet again after deciding not to broadcast an appeal to raise money for those affected by the Gaza conflict due to fears it may infringe on one of their founding principles of “impartiality”. Obviously there is always going to be impartiality in news broadcasts anyway purely because of the basis on which news stories are selected and which are not – for example, while we were being informed of the Darfur crisis, ongoing instability in, say, Columbia is being ignored.

This is the second time in three months that the BBC, the medium through which we, the public, are supposed to be informed of the news has, arrogantly, decided that the goings on within it’s own organisation are more important than actual news; whether it’s ongoing wars, murders, election campaigns etc. So we had the bizarre (to me, anyway) situation over the weekend where the top story on the BBC was them trying to justify their reasons for not showing an appeal and putting the reason for the appeal i.e. Gaza crisis, to second billing.

I understand that because the BBC is publically funded and so should be answerable to the licence payers but not at the expense of other “more newsworthy” stories.

If angering the licence fee payers is set to become a regular thing for 2009, may I suggest a weekly Points of View style show? Instead of it being hosted by a jovial Terry Wogan with people ringing in complaining about how crap My Family is, we could have hard-hitting, serious journalist Jeremy Paxman grilling other media types over their shoddy decisions and dodgy judgments…and then perhaps a viewers’ phone in vote on whether they should be fired or not. Wouldn’t work would it?

January 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm Leave a comment

I’m not a Daily Mail reader but…

sometimes I can’t help but think that the British justice system is a joke; my casing point being the case of three young men who raped a vulnerable 16 year old girl and then doused her with caustic soda, causing permanent scarring and pain, in a sick and disgusting bid to get rid of the DNA evidence.  See here . I almost don’t know why they bothered-rape conviction rates are notoriously low and prison sentences for this crime are often shockingly short.

Over the last three years my course taught me the seemingly obvious idea that not everything in the world is as black and white as the poor excuses for certain newspapers would have their readership believe- not everyone in prison is “bad”, many have just been victims of “social exclusion” in the sense that they may have been affected by poverty, not had the opportunities or access to certain services like education, housing and health care, that many of us take for granted. That is not to say that these people should bear no responsibility for the decisions that they have made but it does perhaps give an indication of the reason they have gone down the “wrong” paths.

However the abhorent scum mentioned earlier do not fall into this category, I am truly at a loss as to how they will ever again fit into society as “normal” human beings.  It was an act of premeditated evil and I find it puzzling as to why they only received prison sentences of between six and nine years (which as most people know means a mere four and six)…which brings me on to Karen Matthews, mother of Shannon who went missing in a fake kidnapping scam.

On being found guilty, the judge described her as “Pure evil”, is that not a bit strong? Sure, she wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of tax payers money, faked crying over her kid when she knew where she was all along… but “pure evil”? Shouldn’t that be reserved for people… a bit more…well…evil? Such as murderers for instance, people who kill in cold blood? Yes, she is despicable for using her daughter in this way and she certainly is not the brightest button in the drawer to even think she could get away with this, but who’s to say that if she did manage to claim the £50 000 she might have spent some of it on her seven kids?

Am I the only one who thinks it is a bit strange that we live in a country where rapists convicted of GBH get near enough the same prison sentence  (six to nine years) as a very stupid woman (eight years) copying a scam from channel four’s Shameless? Or where someone with no driving licence or insurance can run over a young child and leave him for dead and only get 300 hours community service.?

January 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

Why I love the people in my town…

Every week the free local paper, The Citizen (or the Shitizen as it is affectionately known in our house, mainly by me) is delivered. For many residents in the area I am sure this complimentary source of local news and information simply winds up unread and used for their pets’ bedding but I almost look forward to it because there are always some gems waiting there for the avid reader to spot. All of which give an insight into the lovely, kind hearted, if sometimes slightly dim people of the local area.

This week’s front page headline is the simple and fitting “Brassed Off” which is accompanied by a photo of a glum looking woman who was conned into spending her Christmas shopping money on £150 gold jewellery by a “poor family” only to find out the next day it was worthless brass.

Reading the letters page always brings great joy. Often it is the same people writing in week after week- a school teacher noticed this phenomenon back in 2000, when I overheard her mention to a colleague that her neighbour was constantly writing letters to the newspaper and yet did not have enough time to clean his house that apparently “stank of cat piss”.

Amongst the letters complaining about the litter in the city, the fact a recent government report spelt the town’s name wrong or the proposed by-pass, there are always bound to be a few from the local councillors making petty little digs at or even down right bitching about one another.

The most recent controversial topic of debate to appear on the letters page concerned the weight of local women, asking the not so tactful question of “is it just me or are all women getting fatter?” The best thing is the following week a woman wrote in and rather than being angry at the chauvinistic, stirring letter happily agreed.


This week one of the letters was praising and defending the local youth. A resident wrote in specifically to comment on all the helpful young men she had encountered on a shopping trip to Lancaster, despite it seems, causing her more hassle in the long run. Firstly, she described an earnest store worker and customer trying to help her locate a bolt for her bathroom door, which unfortunately the store did not have…

“I then went to the library to use the photo-copy machine and a boy aged about 10 or 11 came over and said that he could do it for me. That went wrong and he apologised but another young man, aged about 18 did it for me

As long as there are people happy to waste their time by writing letters, I’m more than happy to waste my time reading them. 

The classified section is also full of its own entertaining delights; every week there is some numpty who has paid more in advertising costs than the value of whatever they’re selling. The one that sticks out in my mind is a “pair of size 16 khaki shorts, 50p ono” with a mobile number.


The following is a link to more local paper antics




November 26, 2008 at 6:11 pm Leave a comment

It’s the phone for you, Manuel

This was a comment I left on another blog, but I thought I might as well post it here, it’s sums up my cynical feelings on the world quite nicely and I know I’ve been neglecting my pig sty recently.

“I’m finding the whole thing a bit mohammedtheteddybear-iculous, really. I am curious as to whose interest is being served by all this press coverage, Brand, Ross and Manuel’s manky granddaughter are all going to do pretty nicely out of this as “all publicity is good publicity”, generally (unless you’re Gary Glitter, but let’s not go there).

Who else is benefiting from this?

While the news is showing this, we’re not getting adequate coverage on:

1. The de Menezes case. It was reported today, the first occasion that commuters on the train were allowed to speak in court-they weren’t able to last year during the police’s own investigation (what a surprise!) -that there was NO warning from the police officers before they shot the guy seven times in the head and according to witnesses it was not even clear that they were actually police officers. To me it is far more outrageous and offensive than a lewd answer phone message -the police are trying to get away with this (and will most likely do so) so I bet someone there is very happy that Manuelgate is top of the news agenda.

2. The good old credit crunch-unemployment, home repocessions etc are soaring, but Gordon Brown still sees fit to chastise Brand and Ross.

3. A very important election deciding who will become one of the most powerful people on this planet is coming up in…ooo about 6 days, does that not deserve more than third billing in the news?

Is it just me that is finding this worrying? The most read stories according to the BBC at the moment are about “Ross and Brand”, some Man Utd football deal and “Dr Who”. While we’re reading and talking about stuff like this we’re not focusing on the bigger picture, we’re ignoring more serious injustice (like that arrogant sod being released 18 months early for dangerous driving and causing a 2 year old girl to suffer serious and permanant brain injury and paralysis) and not being outraged and things we should.

It’s completely warped.”

October 30, 2008 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment

Subject Snobbery?

OK so while I know this is kind of old news now, I’ve got to say it did annoy me, it seems that this is another attempt by Oxbridge to keep certain people from certain types of schools out and other students firmly in.

In case you cannot be bothered to click the link, students who take more than one “new” A level such as Health and Social Care, Media Studies, ICT and Sociology will not be accepted by Oxford or Cambridge. Another plot to keep the riffraff away…

Having studied two of these “unworthy” subjects at AS level, one of which required more work than both English and History combined (seriously, you don’t know what boredom and frustration is until you’ve gone through the testing stages of various query commands on an Access database), I’ve found that while they may not be traditional subjects, they are much more relevant to the modern world than dead languages (which are dead for a reason, by the way). It’s true in media studies you do spend some time watching films but I do not really see the difference between watching film noirs and studying History of Art; both seem like useless areas to study on the surface but both to some extent look at the social and political contexts in which they were made and are about appreciating arts and culture. However I’m probably biased, but the media plays a huge role in our society and it will only continue to grow. I think it is important to have an understanding of how it works and whose interest it all works in because it allows us not to take everything that is fed to us through the internet and TV whether it’s the News, Eastenders or The Maltese Falcon at face value.

It’s all very well saying that Oxbridge are after traditional (adj: often used to justify and excuse social inequalities, barbaric rituals, Christmas trees and the like) subjects but how relevant is a superior knowledge of Latin/Ancient Greek in most jobs today? I’m sorry but just because your degree has “University of Cambridge” stamped all over it, does not make knowing [insert random Latin phrase here] any more practical.

I’ve studied a relatively new discipline at university (Social Policy and Administration has only really existed for the past 100 years-mainly because governments have only started paying attention to the welfare of the less better off in the last century) when people ask me what I study at university I usually have to tell explain what it is before justifying why I took it instead of a more established subject (leaving out the bit about not really having much of a choice due to A level grades, bloody Media!). When I first started the course I was kind of a little bit ashamed of it but looking back on the three years, although there have been modules I hated, it has been interesting-we have covered a wide range of areas everything from how local and central government work, to the good old Poor Law, crime victims, NHS management, social exclusion all of which is important and I hope will actually be of some use if I manage to get a job in the public sector.

I haven’t meant to be a subject snob in this post (sorry Oxbridge dead language students but your institutions started it!) and I have been in the past regarding certain school subjects, although a person who took farm GCSE can’t really be too up themselves about their subject, to be fair!

May 23, 2008 at 7:32 am Leave a comment

A complaint to the BBC…

The following is a copy of a complaint that my housemate, B, and I spent a good 40minutes writing last night/early this morning after watching an interview with Sir Alan Sugar get constantly interrupted by an attention-seeking talentless slob.
“As avid viewers of Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (hereafter FNJR) we know to expect cheeky banter and “the unexpected”. Indeed, that is what we love about FNJR. However, we were rather disappointed when we tuned in on Friday night. As enthusiastic followers of another popular BBC programme, The Apprentice, we tuned in mainly to watch Sir Alan Sugar, as opposed to Jade Jagger and Johnny Vegas, who as students (who have read with disgust a recent article in the Guardian about an alleged sexual assault made by Mr Vegas at one of his stand-up shows) were perhaps not the targeted demographic (although if Mr Vegas is not meant to be targeted at young adults we are unsure of whom he is supposed to be targeted at for we certainly do not think any elderly relatives of ours, or our parents, would appreciate Mr Vegas simulating what can only be described as a poor attempt at fellatio on Alan Carr in drag).

It was deeply disappointing therefore, to find that Sir Alan’s interview was constantly interrupted with crude innuendo from Mr Vegas. Our student house loves crude innuendo as much as the next, but only when it draws a laugh, or at the very least a half-hearted chuckle. However, we felt it was disrespectful to both Sir Alan and the viewers who already had endured the inane drivel of Mr Vegas once that evening. Mr Vegas is mostly famous for a low budget sitcom with poor ratings, and an advertisement in which he was outperformed by a monkey-shaped puppet. I am aware that Mr Vegas is meant to appeal to the common man, the stereotypical type of “blokey bloke” that loves his football, pints and takeaways. If we had wanted to listen to the drunken ramblings of a 40+ man, most likely to be wearing the same clothes he has been wearing throughout this week’s heat wave, we would have gone to our local pub or called up our uncle Dave, (who, incidentally, has no friends, however he is family and we pity him).

We would love to see the Comic Relief version of the Apprentice, particularly for Wozzie’s banter and the joy of seeing Mr Vegas having his dreams dashed when he is first fired. Sir Alan is the figurehead of what is arguably one of the most popular programmes the BBC currently produces; as a self made multi-millionaire he provides inspiration and commands respect in a way that Mr Vegas will never. To have his already short interview cut short by a desperado trying to milk what will surely be one of his last TV appearances now (even you in the media have to admit his act is wearing a LITTLE thin) was an insult, and it was clear on camera that the patience of both Sir Alan and Mr Ross was being stretched. 

BBC, we love Jonathan Ross and we love Sir Alan. Please do not let someone who is clearly trying to grasp at their final shreds of personal fame interrupt the main guests, who along with Jonathan Ross himself, are the primary reason people tune in, again.” 

We signed it from our housemate, L, in case I one day apply for a job at the Beeb!

May 10, 2008 at 5:11 pm 1 comment

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