Monday, 20 April 2009


A few weeks ago I posted a Facebook status update saying I wanted to "protest against the G20 protestors - go home and stop wasting police time". Within 90 minutes there were 26 comments on my wall. Almost all of these were in support of my feelings, and the amount of posts convinced me that there are many people out there who don't like protestors very much. I don't think the police like protestors very much either. But while this is no excuse for unidentified police hitting innocent people, I think we're starting to victimise them.

The police have been grouped into one big mob by much of the media, and are being excused of unjustifiable tactics of 'kettling' and the like. But the majority of policeman were at the G20 protests with one aim - to try and keep the peace and protect the public. It seems that a few let their emotions get the better of them and strike down protestors unnecessarily, but that should not be a call for us to push for a radical overhaul of the policing system. If you compare the Metropolitan Police to the forces in other countries, we are very fortunate to be so well protected. High-profile policemen are resigning because they held a secret document the wrong way up (Bob Quick), and because a suspected terrorist was unfortunately shot dead (Ian Blair). This is not a cause for concern in relative terms! But it is correct that the IPCC should investigate how the G20 protests were controlled, and how the police can do a better job in the future. I just don't think we should be panicking...

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I've just started work experience at Classic FM this week, and I will be reporting more about that next week - but I had a great first day today! However I was on a different radio station at lunchtime, after BBC Essex called me as they wanted to interview me about the rising problems with student debt. You can listen on 0h44m30s at I was asked whether I thought university was still worth it and about the problems of graduating in a recession, so it makes for interesting listening! My basic response was that even though you graduate with mounds of debt, it's much better to do that and then make it up in the long term when you earn higher wages as a result of obtaining a top degree.

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In other news, The Guardian ran a story today about the lack of jobs in the media for graduates, but I think this could be a blessing in disguise. There are lots of nonsense courses at lesser universities out there for people who want to get into journalism or the media. However if there are fewer jobs in the future, then hopefully universities will stop running doss 'media studies' courses that offer little chance of a good job. By studing journalism practically at a top university, you are taught how to be a good journalist, and leave fully qualified and ready to go. By cutting out these 'lesser' degrees, we might ensure that only people who really want to get into journalism and the media go to the top universities and get the jobs everyone wants.

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I've just returned from a great holiday with the family in Barcelona, where we visited various sites such as Parc Guelle and Camp Nou, and also made the journey to local Catalan towns Tarragona and Sitges. Barcelona is such a vibrant and cultural city, and we've been out there four times in the last 10 years as we have relatives who live just outside in Corbera.

Anyway, enough about the holiday - "Mes que un club", as they say at Camp Nou. I thought Newcastle fans were mental about their football club, but in Catalunya it's even more crazy. Barcelona have currently got one of the most exciting players in the world, Lionel Messi. This guy is just so good that it seems his feet are constantly glued to the ball and no player has a chance to take it off him. He sums up what is beautiful about football, and I sincerely hope that Chelsea get humbled in the forthcoming Champions League semi-final by the skill of their opponents. Barça are what football was invented for.