The breath-taking Lucy Rose is just one of the acts featured on the WatchListenTell channel.

Published: 23rd Feb 2012

People close to me will know that I’m a bit of a YouTube junky. If there ain’t much on the box or I’m laying wide awake in bed then I’ll often just turn to YouTube and scour around until I find some random documentary to watch. The dork that I am, these documentaries are usually about war, genocide or politics. It’s quite odd – of the billions of videos that I have access to via the worlds largest video-sharing website, I choose to watch programmes based around a depressive subject matter.

However, on the odd occasion, I do seek musical genius. Rather than listen to the standard mainstream trash like most, I like to sniff out raw talent. Pure vocals, handmade noises and the use of musical instruments alone. A sound that hasn’t been tinkered with by those studio soundboards. I’m of the belief that real music is played – not made. That’s why I’d like to recommend YouTube’s WatchListenTell channel.

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The Falkland Islands

Published: 20th Feb 2012

Nearly three decades have passed since the Falklands War, yet tensions between the UK and Argentina have resurfaced. As the dispute over power and rightful ownership continues, I give my take on things in this latest edition to my blog.

It’s common knowledge that the Falkland Islands sits on a huge bed of oil, latest figures brought to light in a recent article by The Guardian suggests around 8.3 billion barrels in the waters surrounding the disputed territory.

For me personally it’s interesting that only now, just five months after British oil company Rockhopper made “further significant finds” in and around the islands, that the feud has been brought back to life. There’s no doubting that oil is the main source for this tug-of-war which is now going on between the islands rightful owners Great Britain and the cheesed off and bitter Argentinians.

It would seem that many other countries, particularly Argentina’s near neighbours in South America, are now backing Argentina’s claim to ownership primarily based on the islands’ proximity to their mainland. This is absolutely absurd. The location of the Falkland Islands has nothing to do with the matter. The islands have been a¬†British dependent territory since 1833, when British rule was re-established.

The Falkland Islands has around 3,200 inhabitants, the vast majority coming under either of the following ethnic groups, ‘Falkland Islander’ or British. And to nobodies surprise, they want to remain under British colonial control just like their ancestors.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is a bit of a sort isn’t she?

The Argentine President has accused the UK of “arrogance” for flatly refusing to discuss the issue of the Islands. I urge¬†David Cameron to stick to his guns on this subject matter. He should continue to refrain from entering any sort of negotiation with the Argentine President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. If he does, it would be an insult to the 258 British soldiers killed in action during the Falklands War.

I, like many Britons back the words of Ann Leslie, the former Daily Mail Foreign correspondent who recently said this: “The whole of Britain thinks we’ve expended so much blood and treasure keeping hold of it, why would we hand it back now?” Hear, hear.

Tesco Forced Labour Scandal

Published: 19th Feb 2012

This past week fresh unemployment figures were published and to no surprise they’ve reached a 16-year high with 8.4% of the national population currently being without a job. That’s an incredible 2.67 million jobless people, with the taxpayer supporting around 1.6 million who claim the Jobseeker’s Allowance.

With the amount of full-time jobs being advertised ever decreasing as businesses struggle in a time of economic depression, it is becoming increasingly difficult for those actively seeking work to find a job with dozens, if not hundreds of competitors for just one sole highly sought after position. Leaving many disappointed unsuccessful candidates wondering if they will ever find a job.

I think that it’s an absolute disgrace that we are now seeing supermarket leader Tesco exploiting the growing mountain of people who find themselves in such a needy and desperate state; that they will now even consider free labour in order just to be considered for a paid position within the company at a later date.

There’s no doubting that the chain are taking advantage of this flagship Government scheme in which those who join risk losing benefits if they quit after working for at least a week, especially seeing as Tesco let slip that less than one-in-four who had worked for free over the past four months had actually landed a job. It shocks me that upon release of these figures that Tesco’s top brass didn’t stop for a moment and wonder how they had the gall to advertise a position to work night shifts in return for just expenses paid and a benefit the person who’s out of work is already entitled to.

Tory Employment Minister Chris Grayling.

Tesco’s motto of ‘every little helps‘ should perhaps now change to ‘too little, too late’ as they put pressure on Tory Employment Minister Chris Grayling to make the scheme completely voluntary.

The “sector-based work academies” scheme, as Mr. Grayson describes it, to me resembles forced labour. The scheme could quite easily be seen as a ploy by the Government to reduce the growing bill that it is currently being shelled out to those people claiming Job Seekers Allowance. It’s only natural that these people who are forced onto the scheme eventually grow tired especially with little evidence to show that it’ll be beneficial to them in the long run.

It’s plain to see that the Government needs to review the scheme and if they continue plugging it then they need to work closer with both the firms involved and also the people fulfilling the positions. Until they are able to prove that the scheme does usually (by usually, I mean a high percentage figure) provide a way back into work on a permanent fully-paid basis then campaigners will continue to protest and rightly mock the scheme.

South Ossetia – Territory Dispute

In 2008, just how close did we get to a World War?

Published: 7th Feb 2012

For one moment I’d like you to imagine the declaration of a modern day world war. The horrendous scenes that each and every one of us would have to bare witness to as nuclear bombs are strewn across the planet, people dying from blasts, fire and radiation. Would modern day media outlets really have the ability to report on it? Surely human instinct would kick in and everyone, including those reporters, would be doing their damn hardest to protect themselves and their families. But in reality you’d be a hopeless wreck. Wouldn’t you?

Today I’m going to examine just how close we were to the episode described above in 2008. Surprisingly it wasn’t due to any wrongdoing of the well-known culprits that are associated with instigating recent conflict; Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq or North Korea. It all boiled down to two provinces of little-known Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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