Monday, 26 December 2011

Bradley Manning: Hero.

As I write this article, a man is sitting in a cell in Fort Leavanworth, Kansas. This man is facing the possibility of life in prison or even death. His crime? Helping release classified information that documented amongst many other things, the US Army's role in heinous war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. A common quip amongst those in the legal profession is that 'it is a crime to witness a crime and not report it'. Well Bradley Manning witnessed countless crimes during his time in Iraq and in the cables that he had access to and subsequently leaked to Wikileaks. This man had a moral conscience and felt an overbearing obligation to show the world the hypocrisy and terror which his own country and the army he was serving in propagates. For these actions, he was  locked up for 10 months and held in conditions so bad, so inhumane that UN rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez is launching an investigation into them and only after a petition signed by 295 scholars was he moved to a medium-protection facility. All this while the people who perpetrated the acts of violence and murder which Private Manning revealed are anonymous and free.

I've been a little vague on the details so far so let's delve right into some of the information that Private Manning helped leak. The first thing that was leaked by Wikileaks was a video of an apache helicopter in Iraq gunning down 13 people they believed to be insurgents and killing two international journalists who were unarmed and in civilian clothing when they were gunned down by laughing US soldiers who seemed jovial and flippant. Next came the Afghanistan War Logs which included tens of thousands of military field reports. Next came the Iraq War Logs with 400,000 military records of the US operation of Iraq, These logs included the accounts of the deaths of 66,000 of the 109,000 recorded civilian deaths in Iraq. Cablegate came next which released 250,000 US military cables that stretched as far back as 1966. Some of these leaks provide absolutely shocking reading.

Take the Ishaqi incident for instance. Thanks to Bradley Manning and Wikileaks we now know that in 2006, US soldiers handcuffed 11 people, 5 of them children and 4 of them women and killed them with a bullet to the head execution style. The soldiers then proceeded to bomb the house that these people had occupied to cover up their disgusting crimes. It was the Iraqi police who at the time made these claims.  The US government launched an investigation into the incident in 2006 but, unsurprisingly, cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing claiming that they had been fired on and had cleared a safehouse. The Iraqi government rejected this verdict. The cable leak which Manning provided told of a UN report 2 weeks after the raid which explained how the Iraqi police and government's view on the Ishaqi Incident is accurate. These are war crimes which Private Manning has helped reveal. War crimes which the US army perpetrated and then attempted to cover up.

To do what Manning did, to help send thousands and thousands of US military cables to a person or an organisation that is going to leak them is an example of incredible bravery. People have been polarised over Bradley Manning however, especially in the US. Many, like me, see him as a man with a moral conscience, a man who was objective enough to see that what his government and army was doing was wrong and a man who helped shed light on the deaths of countless individuals. Many others see him as a traitor to his country. A man who, with the help of  Wikileaks, helped put the lives of not only his fellow soldiers but of the 350 million American citizens at risk. He is seen as a an ally of the enemy, a treasonous individual. Indeed, one of the 30 charges he faces is 'aiding the enemy'. But he did not betray his country. He betrayed his government. He betrayed them when he saw what they were doing and subsequently covered up was wrong. His aim, as he put it, was 'removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetrical warfare'. He didn't aid the enemy but instead he aided humanity.

We live in a generation where the word 'hero' is thrown around quite too often but Bradley Manning is a true American hero, one of the few genuine ones out there. While the troops abroad are praised no end for their work in extending American imperialism worldwide, one of the few ones who actually helped the world is locked up and facing a lifetime wasted. This man should be given the medal of freedom. This man should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. But first, and most pertinently, this man should be given freedom.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Alex Turner: The finest songsmith of our generation.

This is article will be an adoration of Alex Turner so if you don't like him, stop reading. Now. Let's get down to it. Alex Turner is far and away the greatest musician of our generation. Anyone disagree? Thought not. Ok, I'm not going to be that bias but I am going to metaphorically suck his phallus for the next few minutes.

Alex Turner was not put in an easy position at the beginning of his career. The Arctic Monkeys catapulted onto the scene with their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not which raided the English charts and launched the Monkeys into the media spotlight. The Arctic Monkeys were put on a pedestal. They were lauded as the 21st century's answer to The Beatles, they made colloquial accents in music cool and they were seen as saviours to the lagging English indie scene. The only problem with being put on a pedestal is that the tabloids put you up there only so they can knock you down. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not would be the yardstick that subsequent Monkeys' release would be compared against. This wasn't an easy situation to be put in when you're as shy and unassuming as the Arctic Monkeys are. The only way out of this would be to be damn good musicians. Good thing the Monkeys are.

But first, let's dissect the first album. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not is generally considered to be something of a modern classic and that isn't just me talking. NME, Hot Press, Q and Time Magazine all named it as their album of 2006,  it is the fastest ever debut album from a band in the UK, two of the singles off the album ("When the Sun Goes Down" and "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor") topped the British Charts and NME even named it the 5th greatest British album of all time. But the statistics only tell half of the story. It is when you actually analyse the music that you begin to comprehend the brilliance of the album.

The album is something of a concept album telling the story of clubbers from Northern England. The absolute attention to detail and level of observance which each track encompasses is truly astonishing. Alex Turner sounds like a seasoned sociologist rather than a pimply nineteen year old. Take the song 'Dancing Shoes' for instance. I'll let Alex himself describe the topic it deals with - "people always looking to pull when they go out however much they mask it." This is a fascinating observation of human behaviour in nightclubs and once which is incredibly accurate. "When the Sun Goes Down" deals with prostitution in Sheffield, "Fake Tales of San Francisco" deals with the overbearing influence of American Culture on young British people and "From the Ritz to the Rubble" deals with nightclub bouncers who "want it all to kick off"

But it wasn't the laboratory-like observations of Turner that propelled this album to the top of the charts but the infectious guitar hooks and accessible nature of the insanely catchy songs. In essence, it was an album that could be enjoyed by a casual music listener not wanting to be enlightened or the more hardcore and profound critic. It was the perfect debut album.

Of course, Turner, and the rest of the Monkeys of course, had to prove that this spectacular debut album was no fluke, that they weren't simply the right band at the right time. And that they did. The Monkeys followed it up with the louder, the darker and the deliciously contagious Favourite Worst Nightmare. It was never going to be more successful or even better than its predecessor but my god, it is a cracking good album. 

Similar to their previous release, Turner's indomitable wit shone through on this record. From the wonderfully metaphorical track that chastises celebrity culture 'Teddy Picker' to the poetic, mystical break up song that is '505' this album provided us with some of the Monkeys' most impressive songs and indeed some of their most popular concert tracks (They still finish each gig with 505). The album consolidated the Monkeys' position as England's most exciting young band and indeed it cemented Turner's place as England's most talented and wonderfully unique song writers.

Artists must change however, the best ones do anyway. The Beatles did. Bob Dylan did. The Arctic Monkeys did. While Favourite Worst Nightmare was a departure of sorts from Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not it was still a typically British guitar pounding record with many of the same themes explored throughout both. This was not necessarily a bad thing as both albums are bloody brilliant but bands have to not change but tweak their sound after a while. The Arctic Monkeys did this with the 2009 release of the Desert Rock orientated, American-inspired album Humbug. It was certainly a departure from the norm for the Monkeys and one which polarised many fans.

In between Favourite Worst Nightmare and Humbug however, Turner had been involved with in a side project. He had teamed up with Rascals lead singer and guitarist Miles Kane and formed The Last Shadow Puppets. The Puppets released their first and so far only album in 2008 entitled The Age of Understatement. This album really is a gem. It amalgamated Kane's beautiful guitar playing with Turner's profound lyrical ability and ear for a melody. The result was a gorgeously sixties sounding album that showcased Turner's versatility and, above all, ability no matter what environment he was in to craft quality music.

Anyway, back to the Monkeys. Oh yes, Humbug. Humbug was quite the album as it was a true departure from the mainstream for the Monkeys. The songs were no longer as accessible, no longer beery sing-along chants. It was music that you had to sit down and have a good few listens to to truly appreciated. Listening to Humbug is quite a surreal experience as at some points, one questions whether this is the same band that only three years previous was betting that girls looked good on the dancefloor. It is a truly rewarding experience however as this album, like its predecessors is absolutely fantastic. A darker, more mature album with heavier guitars and heavier themes, it is telling evidence of how talented and versatile the Monkeys are. Cornerstone is perhaps the finest track on the album, in my humble anyway. It showcases Turner's unique ability to tell an original love story. It tells of how Turner, pining for a love he has lost tries to pretend that girls he is acquainting himself with now are in fact his lost love. He ultimately settles on his lost love's sister as 'She was close, well you couldn't get much closer'. A fascinating tale.

Fast forward to 2011 and Turner has (in my eyes of course!) truly cemented his position as the finest songsmith of our generation. In March, Turner's first solo record was released. The soundtrack to the the film by British comic Richard Ayoade Submarine was written and composed by Mr.Turner. There are only 5 songs on the soundtrack but they are gems, each one of them. Turner's voice is hauntingly sombre in 'It's Hard to Get Around the Wind and the lyrics in 'Glass in the Park' are as impressive as almost any of his in the Monkeys. It is a teaser of what Turner is capable of on his own.

The story of 2011 for Turner however was the release of the magical, the melodic, the absolutely fucking brilliant Suck it and See, the Arctic Monkeys' fourth full length album. It is a modern masterpiece. Love is the most common theme that runs throughout the album and it carries on where 'Cornerstone' left off, showing off Turner's talents as a stupendously talented romantic storyteller. 'Love is a Laserquest' tells of a girl who may have had a rather flippant attitude towards love in the past and may now be regretting it and 'She's Thunderstorms' tells of a girl who has been 'loop-the-looping around my mind' causing 'acrobatic blood flow'. It is a wonderfully poetic track.

The highlight of the album, nay, in my eyes, the highlight of the Monkeys' entire catalogue comes in the form of the album's title track. If anyone were to ever claim that Alex Turner cannot write a love song, presentation of this song would render said opinion invalid. One of the most evocatively beautiful songs I have heard, I swear, I have listened to it at least three times a day for the past two months. Its majesty is barely believable. I will end this article with the first verse of this song, proof if proof was needed that Alex Turner is the finest songsmith of our generation. If you actually made it this far through the article, I fucking commend you.

Your love is like a studded leather headlock
Your kiss it could put creases in the rain
You're rarer than a can of Dandelion & Burdock
And those other girls are just Postmix Lemonade.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


"The mind has mountains" Gerard Manley Hopkins once wrote. He was right. My mind has massive peaks, peaks with precipices and often I find myself scaling these peaks, exploring my mind and the world around me. But often I fall off these precipices and into a dark unknown. This unknown is scary. It is a place where I feel alone, worthless and restless. I feel as if I must prove myself to everyone. I become incredibly insecure and irritant. In these moments of relative depression I am incapable of human interaction without tears emerging from my pupils or bursting out in a fit of unquenchable rage. I become cynical and oblivious to all of life's charms. Even football, something I have grown up with and loved with a zeal unmatched all my life can seem dull in these moments. The question you may ask is how do I escape from this terrible state? How do I return to being a normal, functioning human being? Three things help; Music, running and writing. Music is abstract and never changes no matter what mood I may find myself in. Running helps me forget all my woes, real or imagined and helps me in a strange way to prove to myself that I am not worthless, I am not alone but that I am great. Writing helps me express feelings that are so complicated and mysterious that I cannot physically talk about them. These three things are my safety ropes when I fall off the precipices of my mind.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Women rule the roost musically in 2011

2011 has been a strange year for music. Dubstep and electro-orientated music has invaded the mainstream with artists such as Skrillex and Avicii no longer the preserve of the underground scene. On the other hand though sweet melodic, ballad-heavy pop has invaded the charts. In short, it is hard to find any patterns with mainstream music this year. The only recurring theme I would suggest is the continued outperformance of male pop artists by their female counterparts. Girl power is back bitches and it’s here to stay.

One of the stories of 2011 has been the success of Adele. Adele’s success has been astounding. She is the most successful female artist of the year and has successfully cracked the States. But she has done much more than this. She has opened a gap in the market which other artists have exploited. In my opinion, artists such as Christina Perri and Jessie J have a lot to thank Adele for. Girl power has engulfed the music sphere this year and that’s not just thanks to Little Mix winning the X Factor. Arguably the biggest artists of the year were Adele and Rihanna, two women. Factor in the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and the emergence of Jessie J, Christina Perri and Lana Del Rey and you begin to see the feminine influence on the music people listen to.
Adele has become somewhat of a national treasure in Britain ever since she performed a tear-riddled version of ‘Someone Like You’ at the Brit Awards. When news broke of her throat ailments it was almost a Diana moment for the musical aficionados of the UK. Her success is nothing to be scoffed at however, her album 21 is the best-selling album of this century in the UK selling 3.6m units, it debuted at no.1 on the Billboard 200 and is the only album this year to sell over 2m units in the US. Adele has also influenced artists more established than her with Beyonce claiming that her new album 4, a more soulful and slow record in comparison with her previous releases, was partly inspired by Adele. It is also worth noting that Adele is a songwriter as well as a singer. Her music is deep and when she sings, you know she is speaking from the bottom of her soul. No female artist has achieved this since Amy Winehouse’s seminal classic Back to Black was released back in 2006.

Adele of course, is but one of an army of female artists who have ruled 2011. Rihanna, for better or for worse, has become possibly the biggest popstar on the planet in 2011. I’m going to admit something right now, something that may not go down too well with a lot of people, I hate Rihanna. I seriously do. She also writes none of her own songs which means that she’s not an artist like Adele. But that does not dispute the fact that she is hugely successful, an extreme influence on popular culture and has, in the shape of We Found Love, possibly the biggest single of the year. We have reached the point now where Rihanna could release a death metal version of Long Haired Lover From Liverpool and it would still reach no.1. I still hate her, mind. And her terrible music (In my eyes, We Found Love notwithstanding, she does not have a good song)

With the possible exception of Ed Sheeran, Jessie J has been the stand out newcomer of 2011. Her debut album has been an unequivocal success and spawned four very successful singles. I swear to God, I must have heard that song Price Tag close on a 3000 times at this stage. I’m not usually a fan of mainstream pop if I’m honest but some of Jessie J’s offerings this year have been mightily good. Who You Are is a fascinating and uplifting track which the talented young lady wrote herself. I would argue that the vocal performance Jessie J gives in the song is the best of all the mainstream artists this year (And considering she’s up against Lana Del Rey, Aloe Blacc and Adele, that’s quite an achievement). My only gripe with her is that she pulled out of Oxegen. You set Amanda Brunker upon us Jessie… not cool!

The success of Lady Gaga and Beyonce show no signs of waning either. Beyonce recently released her critically acclaimed fourth album entitled, rather unoriginally, 4 while Gaga continues to be the most eccentric (and in my opinion fucking annoying) mainstream artist around. Her video for Marry The Night is stranger than a banjo-playing badger. I was lucky enough to see Beyonce in the flesh at Oxegen and let me tell you this, she is as beautiful in the flesh as she is in the papers. How she can dance at such a speed and sing competently at the same time I will never know.

The boys are no damp squibs. Bruno Mars and Michael Bublé are still massively popular, Ed Sheeran has had a fantastically successful opening year and Coldplay are still the biggest band on the planet. But 2011 has been a year for the ladies. And 2012 looks like it could be a carbon copy. In my opinion this is a very good thing. I think the best music this year has been released by men but that’s only because I’m a Rock ‘n’ Roll man. But the worst music has also been released by men (Skrillex, LMFAO, Deadmau5 hang your heads in fucking shame!). The best mainstream music and most commercially successful music has been released by the fairer sex however. So I ask you, Who Run the World? GIRLS. Sound for not suing me for copyright infringement Beyonce.

Why nightclubs are horrible and beautiful.

Nightclubs are peculiar beings. What are they exactly? A place to dance? No. A place to have a good time? Not even. Their sole purpose is to be a meeting place for young men and women so they can bump uglies.

Nightclubs are awkward and uneasy places. They can be a confidence destroyer or confidence builder on any given night. But I hate them. I hate the music. I hat the contrived acts of romantic interaction. I hate the teases. I hate the people looking for fights. I hate the stupid dancing and the drunken eejits. I may sound bitter, I may sound like a killjoy but frankly, I don't care. They are horrible.

You may be intrigued by my title so then. If I hate them so much, why do I refer to them as ,in-part at least, beautiful? The reason is nightclubs are places of solitude and thought for me. I often find myself pondering some of life's great mysteries while 'Pitbull' or some other godawful rapper is blaring in my ears. I think about life. I wonder how relevant nightclubs are in life. I ponder male-female relationships. I think about great global crises and ways of solving them. In short, nightclubs offer me time and space to ponder these issues because luckily I am male and as such will not be pestered by dickheads wanting to finger me. No-one expects you to engage in deep thought while in a nightclub so I do. There's nothing else to do in the cunting places anyway.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Five reasons NOT to hate Liverpool by an ardent United fan.

Liverpool and Manchester. It’s a rivalry that predates football itself. It harks back to the times of the Industrial Revolution and the Manchester Canal. Scousers and Mancs just don’t get on, do they?  Especially United and Liverpool. The rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool is legendary, by far the most romantic and famous in English football. When these two teams meet, Sky’s incessant ramblings about ‘Super Sunday’ and ‘Ford Football Focus sponsored by Gillette Soccer Special’ seem actually apt. Bu these two just don’t get on? There are many, profound, historical and deep-rooted reasons for this and I’m not going to get into today. All I’ll talk about today is why I strangely respect my team’s supposed arch-rivals and why I definitely don’t hate them…. Well unless they’re playing against my beloved United that is!

1. They’re not Chelski or Citeh
Liverpool FC is a club steeped in history. In a similar vein to United, it is a club that the romantics can enjoy. It is a club with a glorious yet sometimes tragic past. The club has character. Unlike our brand new, plastic, corporate, mega-bucks rivals. Chelsea and Man City are two average clubs with an average fan base and a very modest history and trophy cabinet. Neither have produced the teams, the players, or indeed the moments that United and Liverpool have. Manchester United and Liverpool are pillars of English football, institutions almost. They are names synonymous with success and glory. City and Chelsea are merely pretenders.

2. The fans of LFC are quite special
If there is one thing to be said about scousers, it’s that they know how to create noise. European nights in Anfield (which are absent this year) are quite unique. While the Kop may be a proudly anti-United organisation, it’s hard not to admire them. Seeing the Kop in full flow, with their red scarves piercing the night’s sky, belting out You’ll Never Walk Alone (which I’ll get to later) is quite a scene to behold. It’s a quite tedious running joke that United fans are a muted, impassionate bunch and while this may be true for a small portion of the fanbase, the Stretford End is still a bastion of intense ecstasy. There are many parallels between these two great terraces.
3.Bill Shankly
Football has produced many larger than life characters, men who, at the risk of sounding American, simply exude the spirit of the game. Brian Clough. George Best. Malcolm Allison. Robin Friday. There are many more names that you could add to that list on one of them is without doubt Bill Shankly. Whatever one’s feelings about LFC may be, you cannot help but admire the love he had for the club and especially its fans. The scenes at Anfield when he retired in 1973 have not been witnessed since and the grief that surrounded the club when he sadly passed away ten years later remains unparalleled. He is also a one man quote machine. We all know the trademark ‘Football isn’t a matter of life or death – it’s much more important than that’ and ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ but frankly these have been driven to the point of absurdity. His more impressive quotes in my opinion would include “"The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It's the way I see football, the way I see life” and my personal favourite “At a football club, there's a holy trinity the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don't come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques”. These quotes become more and more pertinent as time passes on.

4. Munich and Hillsborough
I must say, it both astounds and disgusts me that the Munich and Hillsborough disasters have become a dividing factor in the rivalry between United and LFC. No other English clubs, with the possible exception of Bradford, have experienced such deep and tragic disasters as the Munich air crash and the Hillsborough disaster. One would assume that the fact that fans of the two clubs could relate over the grief and pain felt by the two disasters but in actual fact, the two sets of fans disgrace both tragedies with vile taunts and chants. I would argue that we United fans should be more understanding of Hillsborough and the deep, indelible scar it has left on the club and maybe then they shall also be more respectful towards Munich. They’re part of our collective history and one cannot help but admire the fraternity witnessed at LFC in the wake of Hillsborough, almost mirroring the response Munich received at United. In a much similar vain to the Munich air disaster and United, it was a tragedy that shook the club to its very core.

5. You’ll Never Walk Alone
It’s my guilty pleasure. As a United fan, I find it hard to listen to a song that is so associated with my club’s main rivals as I feel as if in a way, I am betraying them but my god, it’s a good song. I’m talking the Gerry & the Pacemakers version now. It is one of the most uplifting and inspiring songs I have ever heard and I do not blame LFC at all for adopting it as their anthem. Hearing the Kop sing it with such fervour and soul is almost awe-inspiring. Not quite as good as hearing the Stretford End chanting ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’ or ‘Are You Watching Merseyside’ but good nonetheless, Oh, and it was Bill Shankly who decided it should be the club anthem. Don’t you just love him?

Why football is better than women

By Conor O’Riordan
It’s an old cliché, isn’t it? Football is better than women. Many men profess this in moments of intense fervour when watching football only to laugh off the mere notion of it when they calm down moments later. But in all honesty, deep down, we all know football is better than women. It was Friedrich Nietzche who said “Ah women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent”. True that. For you see, we men are a simple bunch. This is how we are portrayed and it is true. We like to make things easier for ourselves and without question it is much easier to love a football team than it is to love a woman.

For starters, your football team are with you for life. You will never suffer the heartbreak or embarrassment of a messy break-up. It is a relationship that starts at childhood. There is an old cliché that says “You don’t pick your football team, it picks you”. Partially true that. I did not consciously make the decision to support Manchester United, it just sort of happened. United was always a faithful partner. It never cheated on me, never stopped talking to me (I still get weekly e-mails from them) and never stopped giving. I know we United supporters live a charmed existence in comparison to many other clubs but I’m sure this is the case for most other clubs’ supporters. United never asked for my opinion on what clothes make their arse look fat. They never chastised me for not listening enough. I don’t recall United telling me that “I’m just not their type”. Like Bruno Mars, they love me just the way I am.

Football is also a source of conversation amongst your friends, the main source for many people. You can’t discuss women in depth with other men, it’s unnatural! But football? Christ I’ve had some in-depth conversations about football. I’ve spent a half hour discussing Saloman Kalou with my friend Dave. I don’t even like Saloman Kalou. The social aspect of football is almost as appealing as the aesthetic aspect of it. Many of my long term friendships are built on a mutual love for the Beautiful Game.  It is something which bonds men together like nothing else.

Another reason why football is better than women is that it doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure on you. If you fall out of love with football (an unlikely scenario) it will wait. It will carry on as always in the background and when you are ready to embrace it again it will welcome you back with open arms. Football loves you, it wants what is best for you. Now on the other hand if you fall out of love with a woman be prepared for a Grade A s**tstorm.  She will not wait, she will not understand. She will leave. Football will also never make you change. If you weigh 150kg, have a face like Luke Chadwick and a brain like Paul Merson football will not try and change you. It accepts you anyway you are. It loves you and wants you to be happy just the way you are. Now women on the other hand….

Do young people just not care anymore?

I write this article a week after the Government has launched a budget which will extend the austerity drive our previous Government imposed upon us. It is a budget which targets the poorest of this country, the most vulnerable, the families and the disabled. It is a budget which has targeted students with a €250 rise in registration fees for college (After Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn promised that there would be no rise pre-election) but has there been any hint of a kerfuffle from students. You bet your bottom dollar there hasn’t.

No, students are more preoccupied with the X Factor finals, alcohol and a shitty little video of a boy claiming to be bullied in school that somehow deceived the majority of facebookers into believing was legitimate. With regards to the issue of registration fees students and young people have been audibly silent. This is only one example of a much broader problem that is engulfing society, young people really don’t care anymore.

I speak from experience. I speak as a student who talks with other students on a daily basis. Our country is being fucked over royally by an undemocratic capitalist system in which the working-class and middle-class in society have to cough up for the mistakes of the elite upper class, or the 1% as they have been christened.
But do young people care? Fuck no. Many young people who I have conversed with regarding our political and economic crisis have remarked how they feel FG/Lab are the ‘best of a bad bunch’ or how ‘they are doing their best’. These bland and false statements are endemic of the lack of knowledge young people have for the political situation. If anyone were to delve into the austerity measures our Government is imposing they would see how unfair and unjust they really are.

What’s that I hear someone shout? ‘The cuts have to be made somewhere, people should deal with it, it’s in the national interest’. I have heard these sentiments expressed on countless occasions in the past weeks. If you just thought that to yourself you are a fucking idiot. Seriously, shut the fuck up. The richest 1% in Ireland own 28.1% of all wealth in this country while 5% own 46.8% of the wealth. This means that the top 1% own roughly €131.5bn while the top 5% own €219.3bn. That’s Credit Suisse talking by the way, I didn’t make up these figures. The money is there so that cuts can be avoided but you see the people at the top are quite pally with the politicians and you get by with a little help from your friends don’t you? If this does not make your blood boil then you are either part of the 1% or as ignorant as a panda.

Young people of this country and in particular the working class and middle class need to realise that we will see no change in our woes unless we tackle these issues head on. This means getting off our arses and challenging the government head on by protesting and not just accepting fiscal inequality as the status quo.