Quote of the day!

Don't be afraid to give your best to what semingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.

Dale Carnegie

Def Poetry - Amanda Diva - 40 Emcees

Robyn's Personal Statement: 1st Try

Mozart wrote his first composition aged 5. Picasso first discovered his talent for painting aged 9. I penned my first poem aged 7. From a very young age, I had a love of reading and writing that differed from the other children of my age. While they giggled at the adventures of Spot the dog, I delved in the rich description of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

Literature has moulded my entire life and now I hope to write literature that will in turn mould the lives of others. It played an integral part in my A level courses. With politics, I could exercise my love of debating, which began when I competed in debating competitions for my school, and examine the power of rhetoric in shaping our political system.

With my love of international literature, such as Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac and Eugene Onegin by Alexander Puskin, came my decision to study French. I always felt that when novels are translated, they lose the authors lexical and syntactical crafting and so I have since become determined to be fluent in French.

I decided on English literature and language as I wanted to study how writer’s craft their work as well as analyzing it. I also loved the creative writing element of the course and the wide range of novels we would read as part of the course.

Law gave me the fundamental understanding into our legal system and thereby go on to teach it to others. I created and presented a stop and search rights assembly for year 10 and found the challenge of entertaining while teaching an exhilarating affair. While the first, this was not the last time I taught or organised teaching opportunities for students.

Two others and I won funding from sports relief to run a 12 week kickboxing class for 20 sixth formers, which we all finished with a level 1 kickboxing qualification. I was also a teaching assistant in a year 9 and 10 English class for around 8 months. For the year 9 class, I went on to prepare a GCSE preparation lesson and from the year 10 class I met two girls who I began to mentor. I loved the feeling of watching others develop from the skills you were teaching them and in the future I hope to become a tutor on an Arvon writing course.

Given my love of all things literary, it will come as no surprise that when I discovered this course my heart not only skipped a beat but completed a triathlon. The idea that my time at university would be spent reading and exploring the works of a wide range of authors as well as writing and developing my own made me determined to do whatever it took to ensure I would be reading my name on the top of an acceptance letter.

This course is perfect for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming a successful novelist and poet. I have taken many steps towards this dream, especially since starting sixth form. I have been on both an Arvon foundation and Poetry School writing course and subscribed to The Writer’s Magazine. I created Home Grown Writing, a blog in which I post all that I write from poetry to gonzo journalism articles. My part time job has helped me to develop my article writing skills as I write legal articles for a barrister. More recently, I was published in an e-anthology, entered several poetry competitions and was chosen to be the news and creative writing editor for the school magazine. I also read a large variety of books from Maureen Freely’s The Other Rebecca to Tolstoy’s War & Peace.

One experience, however, has prepared me more than most for university life and the demands that a university course would require. I was chosen out of 60 applicants by the retiring US ambassador and the Windsor Fellowship to be part of a group of 12 young people on a US-UK leadership and dialogue programme. It involved months of residential weekends with 100% attendance, research and presentations in order to prepare us for a 2 week trip to the US which we spent with Americans and Iraqis, using communication to understand each other’s faiths and cultures and then present our new knowledge in a presentation back in London to our stakeholders. This experience gave me a never-ending list of skills, including leadership, communication, independent learning, teamwork and the ability to balance heavy workloads with a social life.

This course is everything I could possibly dream of and now I am looking to you to take my raw natural skill and chisel and shape it into a profound, undeniable talent. In return, I pledge here and now to exceed every expectation you have of students on your course.


Personal Statements

Ok, so i've started writing my personal statement for Uni and now have THREE versions. I'm going to post them all on the blog and then you can advise me on what bits you like from each version etc.


I'll post the first today, second tommorow etc etc and if i end up with more versions then i'll post them as the days go by too! =]

Quote of the day!

The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lies than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.

Harold Kushner

End of the Year

The slow repetitive tick tock
Tick tock, tick tock
Of the oval clock
Seems to mock

The silence echoing around
The room of endless sound
I knew they were bound
To leave, she mutters, eyes on the ground

The time just seemed to fly
I'll miss them all and, God knows why,
Marking the work that made me want to die
But i have to release my writers to the sky

And let them learn to flap their wings
And enjoy their 6 week summer flings
And with the autumn september brings
Comes the room filled with the rings

Of laughter and life of my students dear
But then comes the usual nagging fear
Of getting them through another year
If only there was an exam paper seer


Def Poetry - Brian Dykstra - Pushing Bush

Quote of the day

Michael de Montaigne

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

Quote of the day!

We need to get rid of pain and anger before we can bring in love

Susan Jeffers

Quote of the day

Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others

Shakespeare In Love Review

Quote of the day!

Fear is the main source of superstition. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Bertrand Russell

Law Essay: Causation

‘Liability in criminal law normally requires the prosecution to establish that the accused has caused the relevant prohibited consequences to occur. For instance, in homicide that the accused caused the victim’s death.’

Explain by reference to decided cases how the courts have approached the requirement of causation

Causation is usually raised when result crimes are committed and means that the result of that crime must be proved by the prosecution to have been caused by the defendants act. The prosecution has to show that the defendants conduct was the factual and legal cause of the consequence and there was no intervening act to break the chain of causation.

The factual cause is when the consequence would not have happened ‘but for’ the defendants conduct. This can be seen in the case of Pagett. Pagett was found guilty of manslaughter because the girl would not have died but for him using her as a shield from police bullets.

In some cases there may be more than one act contributing to the consequence and some of these acts may be done by people other than the defendant. However the rule is that the defendant can be guilty if his conduct was more than a minimal cause of the consequence. The defendants conduct doesn’t need to be a substantial cause. In the case of Kimsey the defendant was in a high speed car chase with a friend when he lost control was not very clear however the defendant was still found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. The Court of Appeal upheld this conviction saying that the defendant was guilty as long as there was more than a slight or trifling link.

If the result of the crime is caused by an intervening act which is sufficiently independent of the defendants act and not foreseeable then the defendant will not be liable. This occurred in Jordan where the victim was stabbed but healing well. However, he had a severe allergic reaction to large dose of medicine he received and died. The defendant was found not guilty because the cause of the victim’s death was unconnected with the defendants act and so the chain of causation was broken.

The chain of causation can be broken by an act of a third party, the victim’s own act or a natural but unpredictable event. In Williams a hitchhiker jumped from the defendant’s car because the defendant was trying to steal his wallet and died from head injuries. The defendant was found not guilty and the Court of Appeal said the victims act had to be foreseeable and in proportion to the threat. If the victims act is unreasonable then the chain of causation is broken.

Where the result is caused by a combination of the defendants act and an intervening act and the defendants act remains a substantial cause then the defendant will be liable. This can be seen in Smith where the victim was stabbed and poor medical treatment made the injury worse and he died. Despite the poor medical treatment lessening the victim’s chances of recovery by 75%, the defendant was still found guilty of murder. This is because the defendants act was still a substantial and operating cause at the time of death.

Medical treatment is unlikely to break the chain of causation because it would make doctors unsure about performing certain treatments if they thought they could be accused of manslaughter. An example of this is Cheshire where the victim was shot but had nearly healed. He was given a tracheotomy and died from complications of it that weren’t diagnosed by the doctors. The defendant was found guilty of murder and the Court of Appeal said there was medical negligence but defendants acts contributed significantly so he was liable.


Reform of the Attorney General

Over the last 500 years, the Attorney General has ensured the Government follows the law, supported the rule of law, protected public interest and promoted improvements to the administration of justice. They have also been the leader of the Bar and closely involved with the Bar’s affairs. However, in recent years there has been great controversy caused by events including the Attorney General’s opinion being used as legal cover for the Invasion of Iraq, the Attorney General’s part in the termination of the BAE investigation and the “cash for honours” issue. This has lead to Gordon Brown making reform of the role of the Attorney General a part of his larger constitutional reform. The proposed changes were set out in the consultation paper “The Governance of Britain – A Consultation on the Role of the Attorney General”. Baroness Scotland of Asthal, QC, the current Attorney General, said in an article written for Counsel Magazine back in May 2008 that “we wanted to see whether there was anything fundamentally wrong with the way the role was structured, and if not wrong, how could we improve clarity and transparency in what the law officers do.”

There are three core roles of the Attorney General. The first is to be legal advisor to the Crown and represent the Crown in the courts. Second, the Attorney General is the Minister of the Crown with responsibility for superintending the CPS, Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office and the Armed Forces Prosecuting Authorities. The Attorney General, alongside the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice, is responsible for criminal justice policy. The Attorney General is also the guardian of public interest - particularly in charity matters. Lastly, the Attorney General is in charge of the appointment of “advocates to the court” and “special advocates” and legal proceedings such as commencing and terminating.

The main concern has arisen from the Attorney General’s political status as a government minister and the conflict between the Attorney General’s role as the Government’s chief legal adviser and her separate role as chief processor and guardian of public interest. This conflict has sparked the question as to whether the Attorney General or another person should have responsibility for individual prosecution decisions and prosecution policy. Critics say that the Attorney General cannot give independent legal advice to the government when they are part of it, therefore one of the issues is whether the person giving legal advice to the government should be part or separate from it. The controversy caused by the Attorney General’s opinion being used as legal cover for the Invasion of Iraq has also raised the question as to whether the advice given by the Attorney General should be made public.

The defence of the present role is that there is a public benefit in having an Attorney General who is a political insider as they are more likely to have credibility than an opinion offered by an outside lawyer. Moreover, ministers are more likely to listen to the advice of someone they consider as being “one of them”. In terms of whether advice should be made public, the government has said that the Attorney General’s advice to government is the same of the advice to a client, in that it should always be subject to legal privilege and therefore is not disclosable unless government chooses to make it so.

The proposed solution involves the appointment of a general counsel to the government, taking on the Attorney General’s role as the government’s chief legal advisor while responsibility for prosecutions would be made completely separate from government. The relationship between the Attorney General and the prosecuting authorities will be changed, with the Attorney General no longer having any power to take decisions in an individual case, except in certain circumstances to safeguard national security. The Attorney General will have to report to Parliament every time this power is used. A protocol, which will be publicly available, will set out how the Attorney General and prosecutors are to operate in relation to one another and a different protocol and annual report by the Attorney General will be given to Parliament to improve accountability. The Attorney General’s power to enter a nolle prosequi (Latin for not to pursue) will be abolished and the oath as guardian of the rule of law will be amended to have the Attorney General “respect the rule of law”. This shifts the basis on which the Attorney General gives legal advice to be in the public interest rather than political convenience or party loyalty.

These changes are not intended to meet a short term goal as they are a small part of the UK’s large constitutional reform, which takes a long term view. These changes are not yet perfected nor set in stone as they have yet to go through further scrutiny and a thorough pre-legislative process. Baroness Scotland, QC, feels these changes are a success as they “modernise and clarify the role of the Attorney... I believe they will increase public trust and confidence in my role and enhance the rule of law”.

Others, however, feel that the Attorney General having less to do with government gives rise to other problems. They believe that if the Attorney General were to now take too active a role in the day-to-day running of their departments then they would be considered to be “interfering” and would therefore not get the best out of the people that they superintend.

Nevertheless, I believe that this Consultation Paper successfully finds the balance in reforming long established institutions whilst maintaining the role which has worked for centuries. If legislation were to be subsequently enacted it will effectively address the current concerns of the Attorney General’s role in the 21st Century.

Quote of the day!

The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether itis taken or not and never persist in trying to set people right

Hannah Whitall Smith

Def Poetry - Al B Back - Super Negro

Packing Up

I packed up the bastards shit yesterday. I was thinking of being all cliche and throwing it out of the 3rd floor window. Apparently the feeling is sensational. Alas no, I acted as an adult and packed it away neatly into black bin bags - obviously leaving out anything I'd bought him. He turned up at 2, bang on time, something he'd never managed in the 17 years we'd been married. The Ferrari was parked in the front of the house and I could just make out that 6 foot Swedish silicone breast in the front seat draped in a jacket of baby animals. Whore. He didn't look at me the entire time. Just mumbled a pathetic "thanks" and ran off to find his balls. I could never explain that feeling i had after I closed the door and listened to the sound of his midlife crisis roaring off into the distance. I had just faced the man who broke my heart and not let an inch of the hurt he had caused me even flicker onto my face. I could picture the ladies at the tennis club patting me on the back and congratulating me for not letting him "win". But one thing still puzzles me and leaves me awake at night. If I am so much better off without him and if I have come out of this situation the better woman, then why do i feel so decrepit and alone and why can i not say his name?

Quote of the day!

If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

Winston Churchill

RIP Michael Jackson

The King Of Pop 1958-2008

Quote of the day!

Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end

Henry Miller

Glasto Fever!

The oh-so-lucky Symone has gone to Glasto SO you lot are stuck with me for the next few days! Hopefully when she gets back she'll have loads to say about the bands and maybe some new lyrics to analyse!

P.s: I never know: is it spelt analyze or analyse?????? In the english spelling that is, not american


7 Months today...Gosh we're nearly all growed up =}

gkittering b-day

Quote of the day

Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld

One gives nothing so freely as advice

Law Essay: Strict Liability

‘Strict liability offences are contrary to fundamental legal principle. The imposition of criminal liability without reference to the state of mind of an accused can never be justified.’

Consider why and in what circumstances the court recognize the existence of crimes of strict and absolute liability.

A crime of strict liability is one where mens rea is not required in respect of at least one aspect of the actus reus. It is the imposition of criminal liability without proof of fault on the part of the defendant. This makes it an exception to the basic principle of criminal liability where actus reus and mens rea must be proved. In strict liability offences there may be no blameworthiness on the part of the defendant. This was seen in the case of Callow v Tillstone where a butcher asked a vet to examine a carcass to see if it was fit for human consumption. The vet said it was but it wasn’t and the butcher was convicted of the offence of exposing unsound meat for sale. For strict liability, all the prosecution needs to be proved is that the defendant committed a voluntary act.

In comparison to absolute liability as no mens rea is required for the offence and here is no need to prove that the defendant’s actus reus was voluntary. A case that illustrates this is Larsonneur where the defendant was ordered to leave the UK so she went back to Eire. However, the Irish police deported her back to the UK against her will and she was arrested for being an ‘alien’. These offences are very rare and involve offences where the actus reus is a state of affairs. This means that the defendant is liable because they have been found in a certain situation.

Nearly all strict liability offences have been created by stautes and are regulatory offences in nature. Strict liability offences were created as there was an increase in regulatory legislation and there were growing difficulties with enforcement. Therefore, the courts decided to do away with the requirement of mens rea in many cases where there were no express words in the statutes requiring proof of mens rea.

Judges interpret the definition of the offence in the act and although there is always a presumption that mens rea is required, judges are prepared to interpret the offence as one of strict liability if Parliament has not indicated any mens rea word in the relevant section of the act. If the statute includes certain words or expressions such as ‘wilfully’ or ‘intentionally’, then the offence requires mens rea and is not one of strict liability. However if the act makes it clear that mens rea is not required then the offence will be one of strict liability. This was seen in Sweet v Parsley, where the courts presumed mens rea was required because in their interpretation of the offence, Parliament did not mention the need for mens rea.

In Gammon, Lord Scarman gave other factors to be considered by judges when deciding if an offence is one of strict liability. Firstly, the presumption of mens rea is displaced if the statutes clearly say so. However, the presumption of mens rea is required if the offence is truly criminal in character. This occurred in B v DPP where the D’s conviction of inciting a child under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency was quashed by the House of Lords, who argued that mens rea was required for this offence. Lastly, presumption is displaced if the statute is concerned with issues of social protection and public safety, which is why many regulatory offences are ones of strict liability. In Alphacell, the company was charged with causing polluted matter to enter a river when pumps they installed failed, even though there was no evidence either that the company knew of the pollution or that it had been negligent. The House of Lords held it to be one of strict liability and the company were found guilty because it was important that rivers should not be polluted.

For some offences the statute provides a defence of ‘due diligence’ which means that the defendant will not be liable if they can show that they did all that was within their power not to commit the offence. However, there is currently no sensible pattern for when Parliament decides to include a ‘due diligence’ defence or does not. In Harrow LBC v Shah and Shah, the staff of the defendant sold a lottery ticket to someone under 16. Magistrate dismissed the charges but the Divisional Court held that the offence did not require any mens rea and the act of selling the tickets to someone under 16 was enough to make the defendants guilty, even though they had done their best to prevent this happening in their shop.

Another feature of strict liability offences is that the defence of mistake is not available. In Cundy the defendant was charged with selling intoxicating liquor to a drunken person. Even though there was evidence that the defendant had not noticed that the person was drunk, the magistrate held that the offence was complete in proof that a sale had taken place to a drunk person and convicted the defendant. The lack of these two defences for strict liability cases means that I can be unjust as in the cases for Cundy and Harrow LBC, the defendants were unaware that an offence had been committed and were blameless.

This is reflected in the case of Prince where the defendant had taken an unmarried girl under 16 out of the possession of her father, thinking that she was 18. He was convicted of taking an unmarried girl under 16 out of the possession of her father because the offence doesn’t require mens rea for at least part of the actus reus and is thereby one of strict liability. On the other hand, in Hibbert the defendant met a 14 year old girl on the street and had sex with her but was acquitted because it was not proved that he had intention to take her away from he father and mens rea is required for this aspect. The case of Hibbert shows that even though one aspect of the offence was strict liability, mens rea was required for the main aspect. This provides a protection for some defendants who were unaware an offence had been committed and were blameless. However it also shows an inconsistency in the courts attitudes towards strict liability because even though Hibbert occurred before Prince, Prince was still found guilty.

Nevertheless the main reason for the creation of strict liability offences is to protect the public and this protection is needed in many different types of situations. Strict liability is easier to enforce as there is no need to prove mens rea and therefore saves court time as people are more likely to plead guilty. Also, as seen in Hibbert, allowances for levels of blameworthiness can be made in sentencing.



Do you know what its like,
When you reach the other side?
Do you know what’s its like,
To have you running through my mind?

I can't escape
I don’t want to,
to have you running
All over me
It hurts, to bleed.
The pain is my torture.
Like bondage to me.
Train tracks together.

Do you know what it does to a person in love,
Who cant handle her emotions anymore?
Do you know what it does,
When He walks out the door
And into the arms of a whore?

Flowers, light rays
Cliche… ha!
Stuck in the same phase.
Around the corner,
Up the stairs.
Higher, further.
Get away.
Open up…

Like music flowing through my veins.

Symone xoxo

Quote of the day!

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom

Albert Einstein

Poetri "Ant Poem"

The famous Tony Award Winning, Def Jam Poet...Poetri, performing at Da Poetry Lounge

Quote of the day!

A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.

Michael Eyquem de Montaigne

Law Essay: Omission

‘In general, the criminal law prohibits the doing of harm but does not impose criminal liability for an omission. However, there are justifiable exceptions to this general principle.’

Assess the truth of this statement by reference to situations where a failure to act may result in criminal liability.

Criminal liability in criminal law accepts that a person must commit an unlawful act with mens rea. However criminal law accepts that in certain circumstances a person who fails to act where there is a duty of care and does something negligently can also be liable. This called omission.

Some countries have a good Samaritan law which means that all citizens have a duty to help one another in emergency situations. However British judges do not like this because it implies that the defendant ought to have acted and to impose a duty is to strike at the defendant’s freedom. Instead judges and parliament have established duties of care through common law and statutes.

An example of statutory duty comes from the Children and Young Persons Act 1991 which states that parents have a duty towards their children. Before the 1991 act the case of Gibbins and Proctor established that there is a duty of care where there is a relationship. This case is an example of the parent-child relationship as the defendants failure to feed his daughter was enough for the actus reus of murder.

Pittwood illustrates a contractual duty as the defendant, who was a railway keeper omitted to shut the gares and was found guilty of the manslaughter of a person hit and killed by a train.

There can also be a duty through ones official position. This is rare but occurred in Dytham where a police officer saw a man being beaten up and did nothing to help. He was found guilty of neglecting to perform his duty.

The defendant can also be liable where the duty was undertaken voluntarily. In Stone and Dobinson, Dobinson had voluntarily undertaken to look after Stone’s elderly sister and so was found guilty of her manslaughter when she died from malnutrition. The Court of Appeal said that by taking her into their home they had agreed to take care of her.

Lastly, there is a duty where the defendant set in motion a chain of events. This was created by Miller where the defendants mattress caught fire and the defendant did nothing. The house caught fire and the defendant was convicted of arson as he knew that there was a dangerous situation but failed to take any steps to deal with it.

However it can be difficult to decide when a duty of care exists. It is normally he judge who determines whether there is a duty of care and the jury decides if there is a duty of care and if that duty has been breached. This means that the law is capable of expanding to cover more situations, as stated obiter in Khan and Khan where the defendant had supplied heroin to a new user who took it in their presence and collapsed. The defendant left her alone and by the time they returned to the flat she had died. However this can be seen to make the law uncertain.

Secondly, it can seem harsh that someone who accepts an adult into their home has assumed a duty towards them as adults are generally considered to be responsible for their own life. The argument for this is that if the adult is vulnerable then the adult taking care of them is in the best position to ensure potential harm is avoided. This duty can be fulfilled simply by summoning help and the defendants in Stone and Dobinson were found guilty because they failed to do so.

Lastly, many statutes impose duties and many of the laws in this area have strict liability. The justification for this is that it is for the greater good of society. One example is the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act which makes all household members liable for failure to protect a child. This makes it easier to succeed in prosecution with is important because the law should provide children and vulnerable adults with as much protection as possible.


The Break Up Review

The Break Up sees Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn play art dealer Brook Meyers and tour guide Gary Grobowski , a couple from Chicago whose relationship takes a turn for the worst. After an argument caused by 12 twelve lemons and ended by an angry outburst by Gary, Brooke breaks it off with him and a fierce battle of the sexes ensues. This film is an interesting spin on the traditional Rom-com, with the couple breaking up rather than trying to get together but still successfully incorporates and balances both elements of the genre.

Most of the laughs come from Vaughn’s usual talking-out-of-his-arse style, which is a pity considering the comic talent of the rest of the cast, including Jason Bateman, Justin Long and Jon Favreau. John Michael Higgins, who plays Brookes eccentric brother Richard, also provides plenty of laughs with his singing group “The Tone Rangers”. I must admit it was a pity that Aniston’s comic talents weren’t better used, especially considering her 10 year comic role as Rachel in the sitcom Friends.

I watched the film with the commentary, because I’m cool like that, and discovered that director Peyton Reed had Aniston and Vaughn ad-lib many of the scenes. This gives a natural feel to the conversations between Brooke and Gary and makes the ups feel or the more heart-warming and the downs all the more heart-wrenching. This also keeps the film from being another typical rom-com, although at moments it slows the pace of the film and makes it a little too realistic.

Aniston delivers a truly touching performance as Brooke, the art dealer determined to show her ex what he’s missing and make him crawl back on his knees and Vaughn keeps the laughs rolling and yet shows a sensitive side which I have never seen this funny man do before. Together, the chemistry is very natural and believable, most likely because Vaughn and Aniston started dating in real life during filming.

This film fits it’s genre like a glove and remains light heartedly entertaining throughout. Be warned, however, that on watching with a member of the opposite sex you may find yourselves taking sides and been in arguments yourselves and, ladies, you will definitely have more than a flash of déjà vu.


Quote of the day!

The ability to confront issues is really important to a successful career, maybe even a successful life

Amy Digeso

Mumm-Ra vs Panthro! Paul Mabon Live at Da Poetry Lounge

This poem examines the introduction of the "Alpha Male" in a single parent home along with Domestic abuse as seen through a childs eyes. myspace.com/paulmabon

Vertigo [Unfinished]

I am going to put this poem up, even though it is unfinished. Unfortunately, I have been attacked by a serious case of writers block and I am having trouble writing ANYTHING! So... enjoy the semi-finished: Vertigo.

Deflects in knowledge,
Contemplating, the ever waiting,
Life we lead.

Continuous, continuum,
Contort, contract, contradicting my idiocy.
Imaginary ideology.

Absorb, immerse.
The rake is rank...
I rally, forgive me.

This vendetta; a vengeance,
Versus the vermin,
Spilt vermilion.
We're versatile.

The screams, the shouts.
The whispers let it out.
Potent stench- nobody knows.

Do you really give a damn, fuck with me.
I know who I am. This battle's empty.
I have bottled the fear, bludgeoned my heart.
Go ahead... Start...

Contemplating the ever waiting.
That is a lie.


Quote of the day!

Waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel?

Stride down there and light the damn thing yourself!

David Wood, Life Coach

The Poetry Lounge Video

http://www.choicesvideo.net The Poetry Lounge is a free, multicultural open-forum for self-expression, inspiring young people to find their own voice and let it be heard.

Quote of the day!

There is one art of which man should be master, the art of reflection.

Samuel Coleridge

John O. Flashback Poetry Lounge (1999)

I have books!!!

The summer holiday is nearly here and so i have been preparing my entertainment: BOOKS!!! I intend on having books stacked to my eyeballs and my first 6 arrived today, with 4 others i ordered due anyday now. Arriving today is:

  1. The enchantress of florence by Salman Rushdie
  2. The waves by Virginia Woolf
  3. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
  4. Alexander Pushkin by Eugene Onegin
  5. The other rebecca by Maureen Freely
  6. The home and the world by Rabindranath Tagore

The books due are:

  1. Un Lun Dun by China Mieville
  2. Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac
  3. Invisible man by Ralph Ellison
  4. The Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentlemen

And the book si plan on ordering very soon are:

  1. Possessions by AS Byatt
  2. A history in 10 1/2 chapters by Julian Barnes
  3. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
  4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  6. White teeth by Zadie Smith
  7. A clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
  8. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  9. 1984 by George Orwell
  10. The Picture Of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

That will probably take me till about October and then i'll be ready for my long Winter evening lot!!!

Now, the significance of all this seemingly useless information is that i'll be posting my reviews and thoughts of all these books as i go along. Throughout this blogs creation i've been reading away but then leave it too late to write a review on it. This issue exists no more as i intend to keep you guys up to date with my mini thoughts as i go and then end with a nice fat review for you to enjoy at the end.

Has anyone already read any of these books and fancy telling me their opinion?

7:00 am Morning Reflection

I didn't know it
Was possible to
Hate anyone this much.
Everything a relationship is based on.
To look in the mirror,
Hating what you see.
This is what you've done
To me.

Symone xoxo

Quote of the day!

Always think of what you have to do as easy and it will be

Emile Coue

Hailing Supreme

In 2007, Gordon Brown announced a programme of constitutional reform with the aim of rebuilding national consensus and international trust. This initiative, however, had already begun under Tony Blair as seen by the creation of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The latter has lead to the creation of a UK Supreme Court which should be completed by October of this year.

According to the July 2003 Department of Constitutional Affairs Consultation Paper, Constitutional Reform: A Supreme Court for the United Kingdom CP 11/03’, the creation of the court was necessary as the current system raised “questions about whether there is any longer sufficient transparency of independence from the executive and legislature to give people the assurance to which they are entitled about the independence of the Judiciary.” This quote clearly refers to the UK’s alleged current violation of the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers, suggesting that this new court is a solution to these problems. The Supreme Court will remove the law lords from the House of Lords and thereby “separate” the legislature and executive from the Judiciary. While the new court will hit Gordon Brown’s target of rebuilding trust, is that all the new court is for? Is it simply a very expensive election tool or will it truly improve the English legal system? While the judiciary, legislature and executive may be physically apart, will the branches be truly separated?

The Supreme Court will have the original jurisdiction of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and will completely replace it’s judicial capacity, returning it to a purely legislative chamber. This will clearly have an enormous effect on the UK Constitution by severing the ties between the legislative and judiciary. However, the location of the Supreme Court suggests that the two branches are not yet ready to say bye-bye.

The new location at Middlesex Guildhall a Grade 2 listed neo-gothic building on Parliament Square –has outraged conservation group SAVE Britain’s Heritage. According to their Secretary, Adam Wilkinson, “the plans are doing an enormous amount of damage to an extremely fine interior…if this wasn’t going to be a Supreme Court there is no way that it would get planning permission”. The other concerning factor is that it is not necessary to destroy a Grade 2 building, as the original choice of location had been Somerset House on the Strand, which is “at the heart of the legal campus, you wouldn’t have had to make such radical alterations and it’s less damaging in terms of the historic fabric.” So why Middlesex Guildhall? Rabinder Singh QC of Matrix Chambers confirms that “many people in the legal profession were hoping it might be closer to the Royal Courts of Justice” but also agrees that there is a “certain symmetry” in having the Supreme Court on the same square as Parliament and many other Whitehall Ministries.

I, on the other hand, find myself coming to different conclusions. The Government is spending between £37million and £57million on renovating a Grade 2 building to separate the judiciary and legislature only to place the judiciary in the immediate vicinity of Parliament.

While the law lords are removed from the House of Lords, this is not going to be the only change made to the composition. The law lords currently have a staff of one office manager, six secretaries and four legal assistants with a budget of £200,000, excluding judicial salaries. However, the Ministry of Justice launched an advertising campaign in October 2008 to find a Chief Executive for the Supreme Court with a salary of up to £100,000. This Chief Executive will have 50 staff and a budget of £12million, a far cry from the meagre resources of the law lords. However, it must be noted that the new Chief Executive will do the exact same job as the current Law Lords. The cost of moving the Supreme Court has been justified by Jonathon Fisher QC of 23 Essex Street Chambers by saying that “if we are going to have a Supreme Court of standing…we have to have a building commensurate to its status.” But what about the sixty times increase in costs for the staff? With no explanation given by anyone as to why the budget has increased by such an amount, one can only assume as to its purpose. Personally, I find a deep resonance with Gordon Brown’s aim of “rebuilding” trust and the connotation that a big budget and staff means a lot of profound work is being done to improve our legal system.

It must not be forgotten that the US made a very similar move to this over 70 years ago. In 1935, the US Supreme Court moved out of the US Congress and into No 1, First Street NE, Washington DC. The new 92 foot high Court was built in three years using quarried marble from Italy and cost nearly $10Million, but not all US Justices supported the move calling it “almost bombastically pretentious”. In the UK, the new Court has also been met with contempt from the law lords as, back in 2003, only four of them had supported the idea. Now they all claim to back the project, or are reconciled to it, however, Wilkinson claims that most law lords “don’t want to be there” and would either prefer a purpose built site or to remain in the House of Lords. Others, particularly the Conservative Party say that the plan for Supreme Court should be dropped altogether. Conservative Peer Baroness Seccombe declared the Supreme Court to be an expensive “folly” and said that the court would become known as “Falconer Towers” (after the ex Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer of Thoroton, QC). Nonetheless, the majority view of the Bar is that the Supreme Court is a step forward. Michael Fordham QC says that the Supreme Court is “very long overdue” and “it’s not just a matter of form or window-dressing. It reflects the extremely important role that the court has to play.” The negative views of different Peers and the Conservative Party is inevitable: the House of Lords do not want to relinquish the fusion of the legislature and judiciary and the Conservatives want to down trod anything Labour do. The positive response from the Bar, on the other hand, suggests that the court will have a positive effect in terms of the UK legal system.

The new Supreme Court will bring about great change to the UK in terms of separating the legislature and judiciary, however, I remained unconvinced by the costs of staff and their budget and the positioning of the court. It seems to me that the enormous budget is a façade created for the benefit of the public’s conscience and the use of Middlesex Guildhall is to ensure that the judiciary, although independent, is still under Parliament’s watchful eye. Given the location of the Supreme Court, space could well be a sought after commodity if Parliament decides to park its tanks on the judiciary’s lawn or visa-versa.

Quote of the day!

Your attitude determines your action. Your action determines your accomplishment. Act as though it were impossible to fail.

Winston Churchill

My Interpretation of Hyperballad

My Interpretation of A Truly Amazing Song...

Bjork- Hyperballad

We live on a mountain
Right at the top
There's a beautiful view
From the top of the mountain

Every morning I walk towards the edge
And throw little things off
Like:Car parts, bottles and cutlery
Or whatever I find lying around
It's become a habit
A way
To start the day

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you

It's early morning
No one is awake
I'm back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow with my eyes 'til they crash
Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks

When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?

I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you

This is a truly beautiful song by Bjork. When I heard the song, the lyrics felt so powerful, even more so than when reading. From the first playing... I was hooked. Hyperballad is now my 8th most played song on iTunes, at 118 plays. I have always been a person biased towards songs (and artists) who have deep, meaningful lyrics, as opposed to the catchy lyrics in a Lady GaGa or Britney Spears song.

Many interpret the lyrics to be about a women in an abusive relationship. I differ, i believe it to be about a women who has her faults and 'throws little things off' to protect the relationship, to not take it out on her partner.

The relationship is clearly fragile, as stated in the first verse 'we live on a mountain. Right at the top.' They are in love, and its strong but it is an effort to continue, to go on with this relationship as she has her faults.

She needs the private time alone 'before you wake up' to purge herself from the day to day issues which eat away at long term relationships 'throw little things off... bottles and cutlery or whatever is lying around'. These little rituals that people do to keep them sane, their vices 'its become a habit, a way to start the day' Some start with a shower, or coffee; she needs to be destructive.

In being destructive 'till they crash' it would seem that she is two different people, the one at 'the edge' and the other with her partner. Not wanting to fall out of love is what urges her to use the symbolic items as a catharsis. 'Imagine what my body would sound like, slamming against those rocks.' The mind wonders to how it would feel to fall out of love, to fall from the 'mountain'. She questions whether or not it would be a shock 'slamming', or if she would care 'will my eyes be closed or opened'.

Hyperballad explores the theme of vices. The idea that nobody is perfect. Everyone has faults, imperfections but they way in which we deal with them is what makes us an individual. We are human, social creatures, but at times we need to be alone. To cleanse ourselves and let the 'other' side to our personalities shine. It is just human nature.


John O. Flashback Poetry Lounge (2001)

I Am Sorry

Robyn brought it to my attention yesterday that I have not Blogged since March 17th and I AM SO SORRY. I know a lot of people use exams and stress as an excuse, but honestly I have been ridiculously busy with school work and such. I am not (pardon my french) taking the piss; I do really have to work hard for my grades, as A's do not come easy to me, even in my best subjects (English Lit and Philosophy). Anyone who has studied English Lit, Philosophy, Chemistry or Music, will understand what I am trying to say. They are not the easiest AS Levels to study; two of them are considered to be among the hardest. I will start Blogging more regularly from today (expect poetry and analysis of poetry- something new I'm trying- from tomorrow)!
I will leave you with an apology poem that I adore! I found it a few years ago, when looking for the right words to say 'I Am Sorry'. Unfortunetly, the name of the poet is unknown, but still here it is:

Three words, eight letters, so difficult to say.
They're stuck inside of me, they try and stay away.
But this is too important to let them have their way.
I need to do it now, I must do it today.
I am sorry.


Quote of the day!

The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost.

George Shultz

John O. Flashback Poetry Lounge (2002)

Quote of the day!

You may fail many times, but you're not a failure until you give up

Robyn's Thought Of The Day: Ha Ha Ha

Last night i was feeling pretty damn rubbish. My exams are finished and I'm back to A Levels and the work is piling back up again. I just felt like i needed a laugh, so i watched Friday Night with Jonathon Ross on BBC Iplayer which is always guaranteed to make me giggle.

Then, after it had finished, i noticed this thing at the bottom that said "more like this" and it showed Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow. I'd seen Michael McIntyre on different things before and i found him pretty funny so i thought i might as well watch it. I can tell you now, i have never laughed like that in my LIFE. Jesus it was good. After that i clicked on another "more like this" link to Live At The Apollo, which i'd never watched before either, and that was just as funny.

Now this may seem like a pointless rambling entry, but i assure i have a point. After feeling as crappy as i did, i was amazed at how happy, positive and alive those programs made me feel. Just through that magical mystery called laughter, all my troubles washed away and i felt a billion times better. I now truly believe that the phrase "laughter is the best medicine" is true and i have felt it first hand.

Brutha Gimel at Da Poetry Lounge

www.Poetry.LA -- Brutha Gimel performs his work at Da Poetry Lounge, West Hollywood, CA (6/2/09)

Robyn's Thought Of The Day: Where's Symone?

This is just a mini thought that i feel it neceesary to add: Where the bloody hell is Symone? I have just taken a look at the many many many many posts i have been posting and realised that Symone has not posted since the SEVENTEENTH OF MARCH!!!! How crazy is that? So now you must all leave comments insulting her laziness and pressuring her to come and post =]

Quote of the day!

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going

Beverly Sills

I want it

I want it
I need it
I breathe it
I sleep it

Give me a pen and i'll write you my life
Take it away and hand me a knife
Don't talk to me of stability and paying the bills
I'll gnaw my own bones to keep these thrills
If you just let me write, if you just let me be
I'll lyrisize this earth and then you will see

This is my life since i was ten years old
Would've been longer if someone had just told
Me of that feeling you get from spilling it out
Spelling it out, letter by letter
line by line, getting better and better
and finding my voice on the silent shelves
Hidden way in the back and deep in the delves
Of my search for my freedom from they've made me
Not a doctor, nor a lawyer, just what I want to be

So here i am, writing to you a 17 year old
woman when i should be a girl but, no fear,
Thse wrinkles carry the sights of my soul
That tear me apart and keep me whole
Besides every poet must have their vice
It's what keeps them going and gives them the spice
To keep rhyming through critics, through poverty, through meals
Each wordful building up to help us fight our ordeals

I want this struggle while i'm making the climb
I need the release that comes with the rhyme
I breathe in the ideas and breathe out the design
I sleep in solution so i'll wake up and shine


Quote of the day!

Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning

Mitch Albom

Andrea Gibson at Da Poetry Lounge (Part 2)

www.Poetry.LA -- The second half of Andrea Gibson's feature appearance at Da Poetry Lounge, West Hollywood, CA (6/2/09)

London X

I wrote this poem about one of the most amazing groups of people i have ever met, and a group i am a part of, called London X. I wrote this with Shaheeda Bernard who is, in a word, FABERLOUS. We performed as the opening to a presentation to explain who London X are and what we are all about. It may not make a ridiculous amount of sense to you now but i plan on posting all my stuff done with London X on the blog very soon, so it will all make sense.

Welcome to all, thank you to all, grateful for the presence of all
Presenting to you 12 inspirational teens
Don't let these garms fool you, we're so much more than it seems
We are the London X

The definition of diversity
The power of originality
The strength of our communities
We are the London X

Now take the time to know us all, meet us one by one
Discover all the things we'll do and all the things we've done
Over here we have Chloe, so much more than a blonde
Next we have Fahad and his Barack Obama bond
Then we have Priya, little but strong
Don't forget Alom, the creator of our song

But wait, you haven't met Izzy or Josh
The cub scout leader and the boy who can squash
Any hesitation with unrivalled dedication
Jacob's got the intellect, Vishal has the brains
Hebaq's a sweetheart, Sheun never complains

Welcome to all, thank you to all, grateful for the presence of all
Presenting to you, 12 inspirational teens
Don't let these garms fool you, we're so much more than it seems
We are the London X

The definition of diversity
The power of originality
The strength of our communities
We are the London X

Quote of the day!

Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.


Andrea Gibson at Da Poetry Lounge (Part 1)

www.Poetry.LA -- The first half of Andrea Gibson's feature appearance at Da Poetry Lounge, West Hollywood, CA (6/2/09)

Why Can't We?

Why can't we just get along?
Why is love just not strong
Enough to keep us in that honeymoon phase
to let us go back to our loved-up ways?

Before you left your towel on the floor
Before i forgot to close the doors
Before you ever screamed at me
Before i had to truly see

That anger you just can't control
That hatred deep within your soul
For those who've hurt you and ruined your life
Yet on me you take out all your strife.

But i'm the only one that's here
To listen to your hopes, your dreams and fears
Why can't we just get along?
Why is my love just not as strong?



Quote of the day!

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Paul Boese

Def Poetry - Paul Flores - Brown Dreams

PMQ: What a load of old S***

I watched PMQ today. I had to, with all the exciting stuff going on in politics. Everybody loves to watch justice served, but i have to say that i don't feel it is being served to the right person. Everyone is turning and slinging mud at Gordon Brown but as far as i am concerned, that's just the Apprentice syndrome. You could have mixed sandalwood with cedarwood and it will still be the project manager's fault because they should have "delegated correctly".

Let's face it, when Gordon Brown stepped in he was doomed. Everyone was pissed off with Blair, then pissed off we didn't get an election when Blair left, then pissed off by corrupt bankers causing a recession, then pissed off by corrupt MPs. Everyone was pissed and so it all rained down on Brown. I actually feel quite sorry for the bloke. He quite clearly gets next to no sleep, his supporters are queuing up to dig the knife in (some are getting a complimentary twist) and he can't seem to do anything right.

Being a politics student i can look at the situation objectively (then again, where's the fun in that?) and from doing so i can see the fault in all. Should any MPs happen to come across this, please have a read and take heed.

First all, i shall begin with the Conservatives. Part of their job as Her Majesty's Opposition Party is to scrutinize the government and they act like they are, but they aren't. NOT AT ALL. Throughout PMQ they said what rubbish the government are doing and how much better they would do it. How is the Government supposed to improve from that? Have you ever heard of constructive criticism? Except these conservatives don't WANT to give constructive criticism, they want to dish out the destructive stuff to try and turn voters against them. While this may help them in the election that is not going to help the recession, that is not going to help fix your corrupt politicians and it is not going to give the public more faith in politics. If anything, constantly pointing out the flaws in our government is taking away our faith and so when the conservatives take the stage, next to no-one will have any faith in anyone anymore and they would have simply won because they were the lesser of two evils. This is starting to happen already, with BNP getting two seats in the european elections. It's because you are BOTH doing an unsatisfactory job and people are starting to feel like they have nowhere else to turn. It would be strange for conservatives to agree with labour and i am not suggesting they do any such thing, but instead of jumping down their throats at ideas which, in my opinion, are pretty damn good (GET RID OF THE WESMINSTER VOTING SYSTEM!!!!) you should be trying to mould the policy proposed into something better for the public. Save the mud slinging for election time.

Now for the Labour party. WHERE THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU? You are dishing out your soundbites on how great Gordon Brown is but are you actually bloody doing a bloody thing to properly help him? I haven't seen anything and it's me, the general public (and voters in the next election) who NEED to be hearing and seeing that Labour is doing things to support Brown and showing that we have a united Government with a supportive party. I was glad to see some Labour MPs standing up to question and doing their job of scrutiny and not just succumbing to the party hacks and keeping shtum but i haven't heard a word from my local Labour MP on anything (then again i rarely do). Keep us informed in what you are doing, in what the PM is doing and how it is helping everyone and don't just flash your "We heart Gordon" badges once in a while.

Cabinet, you get your own paragraph too because, frankly, i'm ashamed. Good for those of you who resigned because you didn't agree with Brown, i believe that no one should follow what they don't believe i. However, the lot of you that are staying haven't helped him a sausage. You are all too scared to step out into the arena and help Brown fight the lion. Instead you stay in the shadows and hope to survive another day. If you could just band together and start working with him then it would make a huge difference. To clarify, i mean work with him in PUBLIC. I'm sure you're all doing your bit behind the scenes but the public don't see that, do we?

Now for all the MPs that sit in the House of Commons. Grow up. When Nick Clegg stood up and spoke, you all talked over him and i could barely hear a word he said. In school we are constantly taught to "not talk while someone else is talking because it is rude", can you not do the same? Show a bit of respect for your fellow politicians even if you may view them as "below you" for being from the third party. You may not all be the same party but you are all people and all deserve to have your voice heard. Afterall, is that not the point of MPs? To ensure that everyones voice is heard? Even the speaker had to ask people to behave, like a teacher in a classroom telling off the naughty students! You are all educated, intelligent grown men and women so start acting like it. As for the expenses business, i shall not tarnish you all with the same brush because i am sure there are many of you who did not exploit the system for every penny you could get. For those that did: I am pretty sure you did not go into politics to start theiving taxpayers money. I'm sure that at one point, perhaps when you were a fresh-faced twentysomething year old just out of Uni, you actually wanted to help people and make a positive difference. Go back to those days. Go back to the basics. Stop thinking "must win election must win election" and start thinking "ok, how can i help at least one person in my constituency today?" Believe me, it will make a huge difference because we may actually start to feel like you give a toss.

Lastly, Gordon Brown. Ha, i bet you were all thinking i was just going to insult everyone else and act as if our PM is perfect. Well he is not. He is as unperfect as every other human being on this planet and makes mistakes just like every human being on this planet, except his mistakes have a far worse impact. I agree with your critics, your leadership style has to change. Your cabinet reshuffle was definitely a kick up the backside for some but your fellow Labour MPs still do not respect your authority. I don't doubt that in your last meeting with them you told them to support you or bugger off but it isn't enough. You need to take away second homes for those that already live around bloody London and can take the tube or bus. You need to raise their salary and cut what they can claim expenses for. You are very right to change the voting system but you need to put more controls on the nationalized banks. You own majority in them so they should be putty in your hands. Make them cut bonuses and control salaries. Show these snivelling backstabbers whose boss. Cameron is good, i shall not deny, but people are still reeling enough from the Thatcherite days to vote Labour so use that and show the people that they can be in control. Show them you are as tough and terrifying as your (possible) future Enterprise Tsar. Then you will earn back that respect.

And can i just add one last thing i noticed in that PMQ? You constantly referred to the public, which was great it showed you are trying to help. One problem though; We were percentages. Such a percent have been moved into new housing, such a percent are catching the superbugs. When did we stop being people and become numbers? You need to remember that we aren't just facts and figures that you can manipulate to increase or decrease. We are people with hearts, well educated minds and, most importantly, ballot papers in our hands.

Quote of the day

Mary Wollstonecraft

[of women]
I do not wish them to have power over men; but over themselves

The ballad of the White Middle Class Christian Man

My name is Jamelia Mohammed

I'm here today to expose 
The brutal torture
That is the reality
Of the white middle-class christian man

Throughout history
These poor human beings
Have been singled out and bullied
By a cruel, heartless world

Let's begin at the turn
Of the 20th century

Aboard the infamous titanic
They were left to  drown
While their selfish wives rowed off
So much for gender equality!

Next they were made Hitlers right hand
By mere default, no less
They did what they had to
But will the world understand?

After the war came the negroes
Taking over culture bit by bit

The white man couldn't jive like them
He couldn't grow a 'fro like them
He couldn't even jump like them
He was left in societys back corner

Who cares
About having social rights
When they remained
Such tortured social rejects? 

This unfair treatment
Still goes on today

They never got any government money
Or got to declare bankrupt
They never got to cry at night
at the constant racist jokes

They had to start a war
Just to fuel their car
And their love of Jesus meant
Attempts at 80s anarchy were pointles

This is the ballad
Of the white middle class christian man

Robyn xxx


Def Poetry - dead prez - 4 The Hood

Quote of the day!

The happiness if your life depends on the quality of your thoughts

Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Def Poetry - Dead Prez, IN-Q & Black Ice

A video by ghettosmurf3221

Def Poetry - Julian Curry - Niggers Niggas & Niggaz

100 word review: Jane Eyre

This is in my top three books of all time and another classic that everyone should read. The theme of love gives the impression that it is for women, but I can assure you that men can enjoy it just as much. It is one of the books that you don't just read and enjoy, but actually have an effect on your life when you finish them. The message really makes you think about your own life. I recommend it to everyone. It is one of the greatest works of English fiction. You would be mad not to read it!

Politics Essay: Pressure Groups

Why may some pressure groups choose to remain outside groups?

Although there are many benefits to being an insider group there are also many downsides. Firstly, insider groups must have objectives that are compatible with government which means that they wouldn’t be able to address all the issues they want. Outsider groups wouldn’t like this because it would mean sacrificing some of their aims.

Secondly, they must demonstrate capacity to ensure that their members abide by agreed decisions. This significantly restricts the groups freedom of manoeuvre. Outsider groups would also hate this because they would feel ‘domesticated’ or ‘controlled’ by the government.

Also, some groups recognize that outsider strategies, such as petitions, demonstrations and marches are the most likely way of engaging potential supporters and turning them into activists.

Also many outsider groups have been attracted by ‘new politics’ which lean towards more innovative and theatrical forms of protest politics rather than ‘established’ parties, pressure groups and representative processes.


Monty Python - Language Lab

Ok, I'm going to vent...

Recently, I entered a couple of poetry competitions, with entering fees of around £3-£5 a poem. One particular competition i entered was by Iota poetry and today they sent me an email. They said that they do not enter single poems as they prefer to publish several by each poet they include. I have one question:



Oh well. Wish me luck for the rest of them!!!!!

Independence Day - Speech By The President (Bill Pullman)

100 word review: Invisible Man

An extremely interesting novel about a black man in the 1950s in the prejudiced American society. It looks at the situation in a new way, with a person once so filled with hope and reduced to mindless violence. Very deep and serious, not a book for Sunday afternoons.The characters are real and the whole novel has an auto-biographical feel about it. A book that can be appreciated by everyone. A modern classic, it is one of the must reads. It is considered one of the most important and influential novels of the twentieth century and the creator of African-American fiction.

HILARY CLINTON: "No Way, No How, No McCain"

Quote of the day!

You know you've reached middle age when all you exercise is caution!

100 word review: The Enchantress of Florence

Salman Rushdie has always written amazing books, and he doesn't disappoint with this one. It has a brilliant mix of fantasy and history to create an original story and at the same time has very deep ideas and messages about women. I wouldn't suggest to it younger readers, simply because of the high amounts of sex and some of the language! If you have read Rushdie's previous works and liked them, then you will definitely like this and if you haven't read any of Rushdie's work then I would recommend this without a doubt! (You should also read Midnight's children)

Monty Python - Literary Football

Quote of the day!

The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs

Joan Didion

Politics Essay: Liberalism

Why do liberals reject unlimited freedom?

Freedom is a core theme of liberalism and they believe individual liberty is a supreme political value. Although classical liberal believe liberty is an essential natural right for human existence and modern liberals see liberty as the only condition where people are able fulfil their potential, no liberals accept that individuals have an absolute entitlement to freedom.

They believe that unlimited freedom can become a ‘licence’ and give individuals the right to abuse others. This is related to the liberal belief that the individual is egotistical and self-seeking and it may be in the interest of certain individuals to abuse other individuals. Therefore John Mill argued that the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

While liberals agree on the value of liberty, they disagree on what it means for an individual to be free. Classical liberals believe in negative freedom which is the absence of external restrictions or constraints on the individual, allowing freedom of choice. Modern liberals, however, believe in positive freedom which is based on the achievement of autonomy and the development of human capacities.

Liberals reject unlimited freedom because they do not believe that a balanced and tolerant society will develop naturally out of the free actions of the individuals. They fear that completely free individuals may wish to exploit others if it is n their interests to do so. Therefore, liberals believe that our liberty requires that others are restrained from encroaching on our freedom and that their liberty is safeguarded from us. This relates back to liberals belief in a liberal state as this protection can only be provided by a sovereign state capable of restraining all individuals and groups within society.


Monty Python - A Book At Bedtime

Quote of the day!

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.

General Colin Powell

In-Q "Highways" Performance 2008


Your eyes take in the colour. The dream.
The soft blue skies and clouds of cream
Your fingers play the still clear air

You crane your neck, shut your eyes
Force yourself into the skies
Anything to erase
This overrated 'grown-up' phase

So tired of ills, of work, of stress
Who knew age could cause such mess
Don't lose focus.

Go back to the dream
Ignore that frustrated inner scream
But time is up, the break is done
You've had your 15 minutes of fun

Now lower your head and open your eyes
Let out that longg exasssperated sighhh
Then turn around, go back indoors
Don't dare gaze back over the moors

Of 25 odd years ago
Of times of fun in sun and snow
Here lies the childhood of your soul
Whose cause of death you well know
Was when you walked into that bar
Wearing that damn wonderbra

Robyn xxx

Quote of the day!

What we hope to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.


The Poetry Lounge 2 - The Power of Poetics Video

http://www.choicesvideo.net The Poetry Lounge is a free, multicultural open-forum for self-expression, inspiring young people to find their own voice and let it be heard.

Welcome to the past!

We're going back in time this month and believe me, it's set to be an eye opener!!!

We'll be having quie a few reviews of films set in the past including the tragic Hotel Rwanda, the hilarious Ice Age and the remake Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

We will also be posting, as usual, our random thoughts now and then but this month they will be a bit more specific as we'll tell you all about our favourite decade, time period and day in our lives and why!

Then we wil have loads of poetry on the theme of the past, as well as spiffy videos that you may have noticed popping up all over the place!

Here's to a memorable June