Monday, 22 April 2013

Why should we care?

Those who regularly read my blog will know that for the past few months I have been working with a organisation called Shout Out UK. There purpose is to give give young people a voice who are otherwise ignored by traditional media. 

I have also been working on the 'Why Should We Care?' event (ran by shout out uk) which aims to get politics onto the national curriculum and to show people that it is more then just arguing in parliament, it is about them.

This Saturday (20th april) I got to finally see the launch of the campaign and see a lot of hard work start to pay off. Of course the work has only just started, and this event will be the first of many. I wrote about the event on the Shout Out UK website, which can be viewed here.

The event started off with a simple networking session for everyone to get to know each other, then everyone took there place in the chambers and after a short film were welcomed by Marsha Thompson. The debate then started. Everything about the debate is in the article so I don't need to go into details here, but the main talking points were, the rise in tuition fees, the loss of the EMA, the relationship between media and politics, the cost of travel for young people and the role of the UKYP.

It was clear that everyone was passionate about the days issues, but there was also a great deal of respect between different parties, Of course there were times that I forgot that I was reporting on the debate and I had to join in, but before you give me that look, I did manage to plug Shout Out's twitter.

The debate lasted almost two hours before it brought to a close, and it was clear that we all could have talked all the way into next week.

I got involved with this campaign because I know that the young people of this country are fantastic, and they have the ability to change the world and make it a much better place, they just need a little nudge and the right tools. This campaign will give them those tools to get involved with politics and change the world.

One of the most stupid things that you can say is, 'I don't care' or 'I don't find it interesting  because it will not make you immune to the governments. Politics is not like football or a soap opera, you can't just ignore it. You should know how your country is run, and what the people running it are doing, that way you can hold them to account when they step out of line.

This bit is the blogging equivalent of a YouTube end screen. The bit that is in the background while you choose the next video.
If you want more information about the why should we care campaign you can go to
You can follow Shoutout on twiiter or facebook
If you want to get involved with ShoutoutUK or want to help spread news on issue which affect or interest you, or if you want to launch your own campaign, send a email to 
You can also follow me on twitter

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Why Should We Care, event planning so far.

I am on a roll today.

The planning for Why Should We Care? Politics in Schools launch event is going so well, and we are two days away.

But why am I investing my time and energy into this, simple, young people have been ignored by Politicians, demonized by the Media and never really been given a chance to speak up, So I joined Shout Out UK and decided to do something about it. Politics is part of everyone’s life, saying “I don’t find it interesting” won’t make you immune to the government’s laws.

Why Should We Care? is taking place in Harrow Council Chamber, if you can make it, it's free, more details are here. As well as Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The soundtrack of my far.

I thought that I would do something different today, I’m going to post a list of songs, but it’s not my favorite  or the top 100 chart toppers. It’s a list of songs that mean something to me, or that remind of a time, place or person. This list is in no particular order.

Light My Fire – Will Young.

This was the first ever single that I brought, I loved this song growing up, and I loved Will Young. I was eight or nine years old when Light My Fire was covered.  I brought the CD from our local ASDA (The British version of Wal-Mart) , a week after Will Young had won Pop Idol for around £3 with my pocket money. I have remained a fan ever since.

In case you’re interested, I used to get £5 pocket money a week.

Relight My Fire – Take That. (Feat. Lulu)

Late nineties, I was even younger and convinced that there was a secret box under the floor boards, inside this box, I was convinced that there was a map that would lead to some un-discovered treasure just outside the valley where I lived and that it was my duty to go and find it, with my dog. Tucker was a springer spaniel and the most beautiful and gentle dog in the world. I would do anything to get him back.  

How did this song get into my memory? Simple, my Mother, she played this every single day, I’m pretty sure that my Dad is sick of it.

You've Got A Friend In Me – Randy Newman

I have two words for you: Toy Story.

Sex Bomb- Tom Jones.

Questions are raised as to why an nine year old would be obsessed with song so much that he ends up singing it every day in the school playground, a playground of a strict Roman Catholic school. I am now an atheist.

Anything from Radio 1’s Live Lounge Volume One.

Year eight in school (seventh grade for my American Readers who make up 65% of my audience.) and this was the year of change, firstly I was growing up, very quickly and shall we say that things were changing inside me, and I was starting to feel things that were weird, but what I was feeling seemed different to what the popular sporty kids were feeling or what my group,’ the ones who paid attention and were so bright that we could be the best in class without falling into the geek/dork/nerd stereotype’ were feeling. They were attracted to girls, I wasn't.

RockStar - Nickleback.

I loved this song; I was such a rebel when it came out that I got the censored version on my mp3 player. I used to listen to this song on the bus on the way to school, during that dry period when I didn't have a radio play built in to my mp3 player, so I couldn't listen to The Chris Moyles Show.

Uprising – Muse

Fast forward to college, I was 17 and a budding actor, my whole life revolved around acting, I was partially good at Shakespearean drama's and dark gritty plays. I was not so good at singing. I did not like open my vocal chords in front of hundreds of people. Uprising was the first song that I sang in front of a audience, but it was the song the taught me to just enjoy it. I played a weird werewolf/zombie thing during this song. This was the big opening to our Rock 'n' Horror evening.

We had rehearsed this a hundred times and we got it perfect every time. The plan was that we were to be split into two groups, My group would enter from the door on stage left in a creepy and incredibly evil manner, singing until 'we will never see the truth around.' At which point the other group would come in from the door on stage right, and sing up to the chorus, where both groups become one and we all sing together.

However, Sod's law would have it, that our tutor, who shall not be named, decided to lock the door that the second group would come out from. Our tutor locked this door to stop parents, friends and family from taking the easy way into the hall, forgetting that the second group would be requiring that door in a piece that our tutor choreographed themselves.

It came to the second groups cue, instead of hearing the lyrics, we heard a 'clunk.' We had to think quickly, it was do or die, we sang the words as best we could, while being accompanied by 'IT'S LOCKED' and the very distant singing while the group very quickly made there way into the Studio, to enter the Hall, via the two sets of double doors which lead out to center stage.

They got 20 or so people on stage via three sets of doors in a time that Usain Bolt cannot hope to beat. We got it together by chorus.

Uprising is, and remains my favorite song.

Viva La Vida - Coldplay.

I've nailed this song on my guitar. That is all.

And I love this song.

Mozart's House - Clean Bandit.

I heard this on Radio One last month while driving home and just fell in love with it. It's is my soundtrack for right now. I love that Clean Bandit have been able to stamp there own style on a stable of classical music while being respectful the the source material.

It only two and a half  years for this work of art to be noticed in the mainstream. It is so good, I love it.

Shake it - Metro Station

It was the summer of '09' The best goddamn summer ever, My whole year got to go to Butlin's, (we still had to do lessons though) for a study week in the run up to our GCSE's. The only thing is that I have very little to write about it on this blog, mostly because it involves a tonne of people and some stories that I assume that they (and me) want to stay buried, especially for some in the building on the other side of the courtyard.

The thing is, Metro Station are the complete opposite of my normal tastes, yet the still have made it into my list, and that summer would have been so different with another song, and not as special.

Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns N' Roses.

Sweet Child o' Mine was the first song that I taught myself (with the help of youtube) to play on the guitar and the soundtrack of my rocker stage.(I wear mortal's clothes now.) I was 18 and wanted to be different, I also hanged out with the different kids, but don't worry, I was in the group could hold down a job and kept our heads screwed on.

I also had a brief passing with Paramore, but they didn't stick.

There is one point that I want to make, people in my generation, say that our music is rubbish and does not hold up to the 70's and 80's. I say to them that if they don't like what they've got then they should make their own, no one forces you to listen to what is current, you choose your playlist, not me.

Who know's the next song on this list could be one of yours.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

State of the blog.

This post marks the 102nd day that this blog has been live. They say that the first 100 days in office are the most important and the same can be extended to blogs, many fall short and are just left to decay, but not this one. You will never get rid of me, unless I die, which would be quite unfortunate.

I thought that it was time for a state of the blog address, it the same as a state of the union address expect with less money, less politics and you have to imagine me as Bill Clinton, but without the long line of women (old joke, I know.)

At the time of writing this post there have been 1169 views over 22 different posts (this post being the 23rd.) That is amazing, people are actually taking the time out of their day to read what I write on this little corner of the Internet, I have only one question for you, are you high?

The most successful post of mine is "In Summly, I'm Feedly My Current FlipBoard While Checking My Pulse." I think I got the timing right with that one, I posted that about 2 weeks or so before Google announced that they were going to retire Google Reader, because of this, the post gained another batch of views, jumping from about 25 to 121.

Just to cover myself, I didn't actually know that Google was going to retire Reader until, it was announced, I do not have inside connections. Although I really wish I did. It puts me in a tough position, do I sell my soul to Google or Apple?

I also made it into Jibby's top one hundred blogs list, the fact that someone wrote about this blog on there blog (blogception) is not just amazing, but also incredibly humbling . +Sam Bowden thank you so much.

Unfortunately blog everyday in April did not do as well as I hoped, mostly because I was too ill to write anything. If you want to know the details, one end was like the Nigeria Falls, the other was like the Iguazu Falls.

This blog to me is more then a blog, it's an extension of myself and my inner thoughts, it's a place where I can get things out in the open, clear my mind and get a second opinion. If you haven't already taken up blogging, do it. It is so good for you. I even persuaded one of my friends +Lauren Brabrook to start up. Her blog can be found here:

I am also going through a period of professional change. In my career, there are going to be a lot of opportunities for me to climb the ladder (for want of a better phrase.) It has taken a lot of risks on my part, I left a very safe job at River Island to do this, budgeting is now my number one priority, the last thing that I want to do right now is go back into retail, although I've got over a years experience over two different stores in a tonne of different positions, it is not what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I'm also seeing changes in myself, growing up, I was the mature kid, the one who doesn't seem to have a childhood but is rather born as a adult. Growing up, I was a very shy and reserved kid, but I'm getting rid of that shyness that used to stop me from doing what I wanted. I always had to have someone with me when I go to new places or taking to new people, now I can't think of anything better to do.

I was the teachers pet of all teachers pets, but with style, if I didn't like the piece of homework that I was given, I would just do it on the bus. I would simply remember what was told to me taking a mental image of the whiteboard or the slide and recalling it when I needed. I am now reaping the benefits of that, I can recall whole conversions, and remember so many random facts. I could make a whole new post on how my brain works.

Yet, I cannot remember peoples names.

This may seem like a oxymoron (look at me using big words) but I'm maturing while becoming a kid again, I find so many things wonderful now, from aspects of science that I ignored at school because I just wanted to learn about space and not the cells that are in plant, to fiction.

I used to think that fiction was a waste of time, the only stories that I cared about was Harry Potter, there is a whole other story about how I got into Harry Potter, but I'll save that for another post.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

You have been invited.

I love being able to do awesome things, with awesome people and on Saturday 20th April 2013, I'm going to be doing just that.

But I want to do it differently, I want to take each and everyone of you with me.

I am helping to organize The Politics in Schools campaign run by ShoutOutUK. As the name suggests, this campaign is going to try and get politics into schools and working for young people. This is our chance,and we should not waste it.

More details are available here, for you lovely people to peruse over.

If you can make it, I would love you forever. If you cannot, you can still support us by following us on Twitter and Facebook

I will also be writing about the event for our website (that is being reconstructed), and blogging a bit on here as well. I know, get me.

p.s. I love the word peruse.


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Explosive Diarrhoea

I feel really rough today, it's not been a bad day. I just feel rubbish, but fantastic at the same time.

The reasons for me feeling rubbish are simple. My stomach has ordered the contents every dinner I have ever eaten to make a swift departure via the back entrance. The effect that was mistaken for a nuclear explosion was felt as far as Newcastle and measured 7.4 on the richter scale. Local residents describe the event as chilling, disturbing and really rather smelly.

The reason for me feeling fantastic are a secret. I have some really great news that want to tell you, but I'm not allowed.

Heads up, I'm working for the Politics in Schools campaign. We are officially launching on 20th April. I won't just be writing about it, i'm also the events manager for the campaign. It's hard work but a hell of a lot of fun. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Here goes nothing

I thought I try something different this month, everyone on YouTube seems to enjoy doing this, so I decided to convert the VEDA format slightly and blog every day in April.

Today I did something that was quite a good exercise for me, I have just applied for the Nico Colchester Journalism Fellowship 2013. The entry criteria was simple, you must be a EU citizen and write an 800 word article on 'What should the European Union do to keep Britain in?'

The aim is to help continental writers better understand Britain and for British writers to better understand Europe, is a three month fellowship at ether The Financial Times or The Economist as well as £5000 to cover accommodation and travel.

I'm not going to know until June when the committee meets to discus the entry's.

Fingers crossed that I get it, but if I don't, there is no need to worry.

Also you are very lucky, this is my second post in 24 hours. I have never done that before, go me *clicks fingers*

This is BEDA #2 because I am counting my last post as BEDA #1. It was wrote in the early hours of the morning and to me it still felt like the day before. So there.

On a more serious note, today I read, one of the most beautiful comments that I have ever seen. Posted by +Lacey Edwards she wrote;

"You are changing to world a little at a time just by sharing your thoughts."

I am in awe at that sentence.

It's four in the morning and I need to sleep.

I have no idea what to write. I'm meant to be writing a article about The European Union and Britain. Instead I'm writing this, yet that article is very important.

I am meant to be a logical and rational person who is capable of being an adult that is responsible. Tapped Out is looking really attractive right now.

I never really had a childhood, because I was too busy trying to be the responsible adult, that kid who is popped out of his mothers womb and then puts on a suit and goes to work. I want to have fun and be crazy for once in my dammed life, yet the responsible voice in my brain says "Thomas, you are a responsible child."

There's my problem, I'm not a child any more.

I know what I want, I want to make a life for myself that fills my heart with content and joy, by that I don't mean having a tonne of money to buy whatever I want, I mean the one where I can have an adventure, go do those things that filled my childhood dreams when lying on the top bunk, (yep, I got it.)

Then responsible me comes in and says

"you must not do that, you have to set an example for the rest of the children"  

Really, this is what some of the children are doing, one is currently touring the globe, going where their heart desires. Another is a part time model, part time student ambassador and here's the killer, this person performed at the closing ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics.

I'm meant to be that successful dude who you met in school, remember for the rest of your life, got pushed around a bit but ends up with a Ferrari by the time he is twenty-five. I don't think I have a lot to show for it

Yes, I know I have awesome job, (I'm not complaining.) But I want to change the world, right now, the question is, How am I going to do that?