Health conscious pupils have told McDonald’s exactly why it shouldn’t open a restaurant next to Newcastle’s biggest school.
Youngsters have made an online video urging the fast food giant to pull plans to open next to Kenton School.
In the three-minute clip posted on video sharing site YouTube, the children say opening up a drive-thru there would increase traffic and cause more risk of injury to pupils, as well as having negative health effects.
They also urge campaigners to stop McDonald’s “wrecking the skyline” with its iconic giant ‘M’ signs.
The idea was the brainchild of pupils at St Cuthbert’s High School in Newcastle.
Teacher Michelle Summerside said:
“I live in the area so that’s where the link comes from. Also a couple of the pupils live in the Blakelaw and Kenton areas so aren’t too far away from where the McDonald’s would be.
“They have put some good opinions across. I asked them to research some facts and they have picked out some good stuff with a good message. I helped a little bit but it was their idea.”
Full story & video : http://northstar.boards.net/thread/166/mcdonalds-prompts-protest-newcastle-pupils
Here’s an idea… forget the spin-doctors and the mainstream media and instead explore the political landscape via the music it’s inspiring.
You probably won’t have heard much, if anything, of what follows. It’s not played on the TV or radio, the political parties themselves don’t know it exists and almost certainly wouldn’t care for it if they did – with one exception. There is one party who understand the concept very well – can you guess which one ?
This is folk music (small ‘f’), music performed by folk, singing about their concerns. For the most part it’s DIY recordings and videos, probably made on no budget at all in most cases, and released into the wild via Youtube and other sites.
It’s not-for-profit, its makes no money for corporations, it almost certainly wont be on your radio. But its inventive, satirical, funny, vitriolic and often thought-provoking. What else do you need ?
Once upon a time, protest music like this would have been the domain of either a person with a guitar (the folkie approach) or a band (the punk approach). Both would have had to use a recording studio for best results, press records or cassettes, and then have to distribute them.
It all took time and money.
Nowadays you can have a recording studio on your PC, record and mix your track and within minutes post it on the internet. Within an hour it could be heard by more people than you’d ever have believed possible in the old days.
What follows is a selection of these songs. They are mainly protesting against various parties or individuals – there are actually very few songs promoting political parties, and they are usually pretty dire – as an example I’d point you towards ex-Radio 1 DJ Mike Read’s ‘Ukip Calypso’, which had to be withdrawn from sale after claims that it was racist. I reckon it was the attempt to sing it in a fake West Indian accent that did it.
Ukip tried to salvage something from the wreckage by saying that all proceeds would go to the Red Cross to help fight Ebola, only for the Red Cross to reply;
“As a neutral organisation, we cannot benefit from something which overtly supports one political party.
“In addition, the Red Cross has a proud history of helping refugees and asylum seekers who are negatively referred to in the lyrics.”
Read later told BBC London:
“People are very, very, very quick to take offence now at something that years ago would have been deemed to be a bit of satire and a bit of fun..”
Could this be the same Mike Read who in 1984 was instrumental in getting the BBC to ban Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” on the grounds that it was obscene ? I think it could.
For the record (sic) “Relax” subsequently shot to Number 1 in the charts, stayed there for five weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the seventh best-selling UK single of all time.
Banning things rarely makes them go away.
Well, since we were talking about Ukip, I’ll start with selection of songs about them.
There are lots of them ! I’ve chosen a small selection of my favorites.
Interestingly, there are a lot of female artists recording anti-Ukip songs…make what you will of that.
Anyone who reads Private Eye will know that Ukippers tend to have a very low tolerance of satire directed against them, so perhaps they might want to skip therest.
The rest of you… enjoy !
Who Put The U In UKIP? – David Goody
(Dont) Vote Ukip – K Pizz
Fab Farage: A UKIP Odyssey (featuring Stella)
The Daily Mail UKIP Song
Ukip – Jonny & The Baptists
And my favorite…
Lets put the blight back into Blighty
Like the Dark Ages, but more white-y
Song For UKIP – Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
To be continued…
A Hartlepool cabbie and charity stalwart who is standing for MP has had thousands of hits onstanding for MP he has created as part of his campaign.
Well-known Hartlepool taxi driver Stephen Picton, who has raised more than £50,000 for good causes, will challenge Labour’s Iain Wright as an independent candidate when the town goes to the polls in May.
Back in March 2011, Stephen recorded his own version of Thom Pace’s hit Maybe, which is the theme tune from the Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
It proved a huge success, racking up more than 9,000 YouTube views.
“I’ve been doing videos on Facebook for a few years and I do a lot of charity work, that’s how people got to know me.
“I just turned it around and used it as a format to let people know how I was feeling while I’m running for MP.
“One of them has had 6,000 views.
“I’ve had no negative comments at all, people have actually been saying that they feel the same as me.”
The dad-of-four from the Oxford Road area of Hartlepool, said:
“I use videos and social media to help me along my way in the campaign.
“It’s a big part of everyday life now.”
He also raised £50,000 before his 40th birthday by organising dozens of quirky fundraisers.
Stephen, also known as Taffy the taxi driver, is campaigning on improving services for Hartlepool including the reinstatement of the town’s hospital.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 13 Mar 2015
A Teesside UKIP candidate has turned her hand to karaoke to poke fun at David Cameron and her seat rival.
Mandy Boylett, UKIP’s candidate for Stockton North, has recorded her own version of ABBA’s Chiquitita, which has been posted on YouTube.
The parody mocks the Prime Minister’s “love” for the EU and also sings about the current MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham.
“Alex Cunningham, you and I know how elections come and they go but this time you’re leaving. You’ll lose your safe Labour seat to the UKIP girl,” she sings.
Ms Boylett adds that Stockton North “is turning purple.”
But Mr Cunningham has said that she needs to be “serious about politics.”
“I have heard about the song but I won’t be wasting my time listening to it,” he said.
“She needs to be serious about politics rather than being silly.”
> You’d have thought that a UKIP candidate might have wanted to murder a song by a British group, not a Swedish one….
David Cameron, tell me what’s wrong?
Your MPs don’t really want you
In their eyes
You’re still in love with the EU
Oh that 1.7 billion
There is no way you won’t pay it
I can see that you think that we won’t notice
David Cameron, tell me the truth
Cos you can’t keep on deceiving
They will really keep on leaving
You were always sure of yourself
Now I see you’ve lost your direction
Saying, yes Angela, will lose you the election
Alex Cunningham, you and I know
How elections come and they go but this time you’re leaving
You’ll lose your safe Labour seat
To the UKIP girl
You will have no time for grieving
Alex Cunningham you’re gonna cry
Because Stockton North is turning purple around you
Over thirty years neglect will come to an end
And we’ll celebrate the purple
Thirty years will come to an end
And we’ll celebrate the purple
So the walls came tumbling down
Your campaign’s a blown out candle
All is gone and it seems too hard to handle
Alex Cunningham tell me the truth
There is no way you can deny it
With yet another smear to try to keep me quiet
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 06 Mar 2015
A community campaigner has become an online sensation by using the power of song to vent his frustration at council decisions.
Hundreds of people have watched tracks that poke fun at Durham County Council, which were written and posted on the internet by comic singer and ukulele player Alan Prudhoe.
The retired local government officer was one of 2,700 people who objected to the demolition of the former Tudhoe Grange School in Spennymoor, County Durham.
They wanted Durham County Council and Spennymoor Learning Community Trust, which owns the site, to try to find a buyer to save the 1912 landmark brick building.
But both organisations said it was unlikely to sell whereas the cleared land would generate cash for education in the town so decided to press ahead with demolition, which is currently underway.
The authority said it would have cost £3m to repair Tudhoe Grange – the same figure it quoted to fix up five care homes it shut, the stately home and former school Windlestone Hall in Chilton which many believe was sold off cheap and the restoration of Wharton Park in Durham which is ongoing.
The 70-year-old, who worked for Durham County Council for more than 30 years, said:
“With the school we felt there was inadequate consultation and public opinion was ignored.
“I’ve lots of experience and feel as a public service the council is totally out of control, decisions about a huge turnover and lots of residents are made by too few officers and cabinet members.
“My songs are a means of communication, I’ve always used comedy to get a message across and this is a way of engaging people and venting my frustration.
“I never want to offend anyone, I don’t think the internet and social media are there to make personal attacks and I never sing anything I wouldn’t say to a person’s face.”
His council jibes are far from his first online musical hit, as there have been more than 5million viewings of his performances on YouTube and he has a significant following in Peru.
Durham County Council chose not to comment.
Source – Northern Echo, 24 Jan 2015
Councillors have been slammed for walking out of a meeting – because a member of the public was filming proceedings.
Members of the Labour-controlled Hetton Town Council walked out of October’s monthly meeting after Kay Rowham started videoing it on her iPad.
The retired IT and telecoms worker took advantage of new Parliamentary legislation, signed by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles in August, that anyone can record, film or tweet from public meetings of local government bodies.
However, her actions sparked a mass exit and now councillors have been told “democracy cannot live behind closed doors” by a council watchdog.
“I go to most of the meetings and I’ve just got a new iPad,” said Mrs Rowham, of Hetton. “When the rules changed, the town clerk advised members of it and I believe they all got copies.
“I did take a paper copy with me just in case, because they are not very public friendly. I go every month and I take notes, just to keep an eye on them.”
Mrs Rowham, who received 25 per cent of votes as a UKIP candidate in the May city council election for Doxford ward, started filming four minutes into the meeting.
She then posted the 12-minute, eight-second clip on video-sharing website YouTube under the name KittyKat.
“From the moment I started, a couple of the councillors looked at me, saying ‘look, she’s recording it’,” she said.
“There was nothing contentious going on. You could see they got uncomfortable and asked me to stop filming. They refused to carry on the meeting while I was filming.
“Coun Anderson said they should call the police. We weren’t being disruptive, it was the councillors causing the uproar.”
On the footage, town clerk John Price can be heard trying to explain to members that the council has to make the provision to allow filming
Despite this, Mayor Tony Wilkinson suspended the meeting, saying: “My ruling is that there shall be no recording until such a time that this is adopted by this council.”
In an explanation of the legislation, the Government website at http://www.gov.uk states:
“The new law aims to end active resistance amongst some councils to greater openness.
“Councils have even called the police to arrest people who tried to report, tweet or film council meetings, or claimed spurious ‘health and safety’ or ‘reputational risks’ to digital reporting.”
Coun Keith Hepple, leader of Hetton Town Council, said:
“The town council meeting on Monday, October 20, 2014, was suspended by the Mayor due to disruptive behaviour by a person.
“This was whilst discussing another issue. The town council is adopting a similar policy and procedure to meet the new legislation and whereby meetings can be recorded and filmed.
“Guidance has been taken from the National Association of Local Councils and their guidelines, and from discussions with other neighbouring local authorities, to ensure the council or its committees will be fully aware of the requirements and constraints of such.”
A spokesman for Labour North said: “This is a matter for the town council to look into under their complaints procedure and not for the Labour Party.”
Source – Sunderland Echo, 05 Nov 2014
A cameraman has hit back at controversial TV show Benefits Street being filmed in the North with his own homage to his beloved hometown.
Crews from Love Productions are filming the second series of the TV show, which follows people living off benefits, on Kingston Road in Stockton for Channel Four.
But Karl Coates, who has worked as a cameraman and producer for Sky News and BBC, said he fears the controversial TV show will only show Stockton in a negative light.
In a rebuttal to the image he expects the programme to portray of his beloved hometown, the cameraman has gone out to film his own short video to show all the great things about the area.
In the short videos Karl states that Stockton, Teesside and the North East “will yet again be hung out to dry”.
> If there was a bit more of this kind of approach, some of those uncivil civil servants might start behaving a little bit better…
A young woman caused a stir when she stripped down to her undies in a Teesside job centre.
The woman walked into Stockton Jobcentre and removed her coat to reveal she was wearing a black bra, pants, stockings, suspenders and trainers.
Film footage posted on Facebook shows her disrobing and claiming she is protesting against sanctions to her jobseeker’s allowance.
The woman is quickly ejected from the premises by a security officer, who can be heard telling her to “grow up” as she is thrown out, swiftly followed by her jacket.
She is told to move away from the job centre or she could be arrested.
It is believed to have been a dare as part of a new drinking game that is sweeping the internet.
> Or it might just have been a protest against being sanctioned ? I might give it a go myself sometime 🙂
A video was subsequently posted on Youtube (below), the poster (obviously not the lady in question) remarks rather primly that: A video has been revealed showing the moment a woman stripped to her underwear in a Jobcentre as part of a Neknominate challenge, and attempting to pass it off as an act of protest.
In other words, devalue any anti-DWP protest by bringing in issues like Neknominate, she was seen drinking from a can, etc. Still doesn’t mean she didn’t have relevent issues with the jobcentre.
The G4S goon looks remarkably like the runt that tries to throw his lack-of-weight around at my local jobcentre. Do they grow them in a vat or something ?
Source – Middlesbrough Gazette, 15 March 2014
Channel 4 News sent Conservative MP Jacob-Rees Mogg to South Shields, a contituency that has never had a Tory MP.