Just give me some peace and quiet for a while. Please.

Scotland: the country that gave us Robert Burns, William Wallace and Ricky Ross. It’s also the country that has given us an entertaining, yet dreary independence vote. Ever since the Scottish National Party pledged to hold an independence vote in their manifesto in 2007, it has almost come to the time where Scottish people make their decision to whether they want to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. While there is plenty of time to make a decision on whether you want to vote for ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, the topic of independence has grown tiresome.

Most Scots are prevalent on Twitter and the aspect of social media has been a significant factor during the Scottish independence vote so far. This is mainly down to the SNP’s idea of implementing social media in order to get people to vote ‘Yes’. It is supposed to allow people to be convinced to vote ‘Yes’ by using a simple hashtag: #voteyes. However, it isn’t all roses and daisies. There seems to be a fair use of animosity on Twitter – and not just Twitter. Facebook, blogs and YouTube seem to be hostile, filled with arguments about why independence is better for Scotland. On Twitter, especially, you can clock the people who are voting ‘Yes’. They have ‘Yes’ in their profile picture; they have ‘Yes’ in their bio; and they have ‘Yes’ in their cover photo. One, in particular, and this is no word of a lie, had a guy who designed melted cheese on toast in the shape of ‘Yes’. There’s being passionate about your opinions, and then there is making cheese on toast as a statement. Hang your head.

The argument continues on Twitter when Scotland Tonight is on air. Very often they have a televised debate which usually ends up in a fat politician being lynched. That genuinely happened in November of last year when Nicola Pigeon (Sturgeon) faced the Secretary-of-State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael in a match of politician deathmatch. Here, we witnessed the vulgar tongue of Sturgeon who essentially vilified Carmichael on air while he was – and I’m going to quote Malcolm Tucker here – like a sweaty octopus trying to unhook a bra. The man was all over the place, but mainly because the vicious Sturgeon had dropped him into that – a woman who has absolutely no dignity or respect. I took to Twitter following that debate and the Scotland Tonight hashtag was filled with ‘Yes’ voters claiming that Sturgeon had ‘won’. Nobody won. You will only win in September, and that’s if you win.

Now it seems that you cannot get away from Scottish independence. Wherever you go, there are people in the street handing out fliers; there is adverts everywhere; there are people wearing ‘Yes’ badges; and there are even households getting ‘Yes’ newspapers through the door! That newspaper is essentially free bogroll, but I don’t want independence shoved in my face. I mean, you don’t provide the Scottish public with a newspaper through their door and state that The Proclaimers are for independence. Nobody cares if those two halfwits are for independence, it isn’t going to swing my vote. In addition to this, there is even sly bribery involved where you can win an iPad and money if you enter a competition. How desperate does one party become in order to gain more voters on their side? I know it isn’t directly targeted towards me but glancing over the next computer, there was someone on the Yes Scotland website which stated that a River City ‘star’ was for independence with a picture that tries to grab the attention of male readers. Great tactic. Totally irrelevant, Sean Lafferty (or Laugherty, perhaps?).

That’s why I have become bored of independence. I’m bored talking about it, I’m bored hearing about it, and I’m bored seeing it everywhere I go. Not only am I fed up of all that, I’m sick (yet quietly laughing) at the desperation of the ‘Yes’ campaign. I know it’s extremely difficult to move away from independence, unless you moved to Singapore or something, but you can’t go anywhere without knowing about it.

Reading this, you may be thinking, “this guy is definitely a ‘No’ voter.” Actually, I’m on the fence more than anything, but if from now to September there is a continuation of desperation in terms of ideas and off-the-hook policies, I won’t be venturing into ‘Yes’ territory.

Break-ups via Facebook – Surely not?

Charlotte Anderson, Nicola Park and Islay McDougall
Listen here:

The Shocking Turth About Teenagers – Assessment

Watch out! I am from the rebellious, rioting and hated generation. I for one like nothing better than to run around causing chaos by smashing up cars and buildings. After all, it’s all I’m good for, isn’t it? To make this judgement, you merely have to log into Facebook, turn on your television or walk down the street.

The view that youths are disruptive vandals is validated and reinforced by the media; for example, the media coverage of the 2011 riots. These riots sparked up in Tottenham and the flames of destruction soon spread to Manchester, Bristol and many other parts of England. This expansion was said to be fuelled by social media such as BBM, Twitter and Facebook. One BBM broadcast called for all Londoners to join the riots.

It said: “Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) OXFORD CIRCUS!!, Bare SHOPS are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) fuck the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! >:O Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother… SALUT! if you see a fed… SHOOT!”

This destructive behaviour highlighted an endless succession of young people ‘getting it wrong’ (as my head teacher would say) through arson, theft, violence and complete disregard for people and property. These young people were detested by society and those caught were rightly punished. But just because certain individuals found themselves entangled in a form of mod mentality, does not mean that we, youths, should all be tarred by the same brush. Should the government and society no also ask themselves how and why those young people were sucked into such depravity?

The Scottish Attitudes survey, is an annual survey of 1,600 adults which is aimed at examining public opinion. The survey included questions aimed at exploring public attitudes towards young people, with particular reference to youth crime. The survey found that there was a widespread view that the amount of crime committed by young people is higher than a decade ago – 69% of adults surveyed THINK this. These statistics partner up with the findings that 52% of adults would be worried or uncomfortable walking past a group of teenagers. And why should they feel safe to approach us? After all, with 1,400 offences recorded in Edinburgh linked to gangs of youths, over a two month period – 23 incidents a day – should we not be feared?

However, are we not letting the dark fog of vandals over-cloud the heroic actions of young people? Two ‘hoodie heroes’, Peter Shaw, aged 13, and Connor McClung, aged 11, were praised after they sprinted into a burning house to rescue a four-year-old boy. Braving the smoke from a blazing bed, the friends rushed in after seeing flames at the tot’s bedroom window. Peter shoved the four-year-old under his hooded jumper to save the boy from choking on smoke, before making their way to safety. A fire service spokeswoman said “The two boys did a very brave thing and are to be commended. They gave no thought for their own safety and put others first.” With all the garbage that goes on in our society, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see the unselfish and brave behaviour of young people publicly praised.

The story of these two young heroes challenges the stereotype tags of people who wear hooded tops. If it wasn’t for Peter’s hooded jumper, would the toddle not possibly have suffered extensive lung damage from inhaling smoke? Whilst we’re on the subject of stereotypes, if all of these are true, should we Scotties not all be wearing kilts, have ginger hair and be running around the highlands hunting for our dinner?

On the other hand, if social media sites are said to be at the heart of the grief in society, should it not also be pointed out that sites such as Facebook and Twitter are also used by adults? Look at Bart Heller, a 43 year old man from Indiana. He used Facebook to confess that he had shot and killed three people, including himself.

He posted: “I’ve killed ryann, erin, and myself. People were warned not to f—- play me and ruin me. They didn’t listen. Sorry about your luck.”

Even celebrities such as Ashley Cole and Ashley Young can’t escape social media backlashes and have been singled out after receiving racial abuse on Twitter. Surely, if companies such as British Airways, who have apologised after tweeting racist comments, can’t keep a clean track record of what they say on Twitter, why should young people be expected to?

So what should young people think of the generation that are so quick to look down on us? Our so called ‘role models’ who complain when we follow their examples of wrong behaviour? The youth are the wrongdoers in society.  That is why not one of us will have the opportunity to have a secure job which pays well and allows us to buy a house of our own and look forward to a good pension and being able to retire at an age when we are still young enough to enjoy it.

But are youths really the cause of these problems? Of course not! The older, ‘wiser’ generation has left us with an awful mess to deal with. The credit crunch, brought on by greedy bankers, fed by a society who wants everything now and has lost the concept of saving up to buy something. It’s just a case of borrow now and worry about the consequences later. A generation who have developed drugs and lifestyles which is producing a dramatically ageing population without thinking for a minute about how their generous pension schemes will be paid for.

But it will be paid for. It will be paid for by us, the younger generation. The generation who are looked down on and condemned merely for being here. It will be paid for by us, who will have to work harder and longer for significantly less reward, and for a much lower standard of living. But don’t worry, we will work harder, so that our increased tax will pay. That is, if we are able to find a job. Already the financial problems brought on by the older generation have meant that school-leavers cannot find work. In some parts of the country 34% of people leaving school are classes as NEET, Not in Education Employment or Training.

The global financial meltdown has meant that more of us will have to work harder and for longer. We will also have to work smarter. To do this, we must receive a good university education, but this too is becoming an increasingly unlikely dream for most of us. Universities are having their funding cut by up to 33%. This means that they will be forced to make cuts to the number of places available to young people. For those lucky enough to be offered a place, they will leave with huge student debts, which will be like a milestone around their necks for most of their working lives. It’s okay though, although we won’t be lucky enough to afford all the luxury foreign holidays, enjoyed by the previous generation, we can always holiday at home. That is, if we can. The global warming crisis produced by our elder’s generations, will mean that Scotland could soon be facing a slightly more, Tropical, climate. However, don’t reach for the sun lotion just yet, it will also mean that clean water will be in short supply, crop yields will fall and food will become increasingly expensive.

The view that we are the menaces of society, that we are the ones driving the Great out of Great Britain, is simply unrealistic. The older generation have adopted a passive approach, allowing my generation to suffer through the mistakes made by our elders. However, these mistakes are passed off as ours and so we must face the consequences. The stereotype that all youths are delinquents must be challenged, otherwise how else will our generation ever be accepted as more than a bunch of trouble makers. Here is one last question to ponder over as you see a teenager like me, walk towards you down the street, will you cross to the other side?

You Are What You Tweet

What do you tweet? What you had for lunch? What you think of the X Factor? Or the name of a suspected paedophile?

Once upon a time Twitter was used to follow celebrities’ every move or to rant about subjects deemed too trivial to qualify a Facebook status. Now the website’s user-base has stretched beyond the limits of bored teenagers, turning it into a serious journalistic tool. So does this mean that the rules of the newsroom now need apply to tweets?

The relation between media law and Twitter has been a controversial topic since its inception in 2006. Now that the Leveson Inquiry is underway, the social media site may finally have to stop acting the petulant teenager and take some responsibility for its content. As the Guardian (@guardian) succinctly tweeted: “one Twitter click- and it’s so easy to destroy someone’s world.” Continue reading

All smoke and mirrors as Mclarens team-mates are no more

Lewis Hamilton, the Mclaren poster boy has upset many fans by accusing team-mate Jenson Button of unfollowing him on Twitter.

“Just noticed @jensonbutton unfollowed, thats a shame. After 3 years as teammates, I thought we respected one another but clearly he doesn’t.”

As Hamilton prepares to move to rival team Mercedes next season it has become apparent that the two British drivers may not have the ‘perfect’ friendship that many perceive. It has been clear that throughout this season Hamilton has not been happy about Jenson’s often superior driving. This isnt Hamilton’s first tweeting blunder; after qualifying in Spa earlier this year, he voiced his upset in being unable to match Buttons performance

‘Upset at being unable to match Button’s pace in qualifying after opting to run an older spec rear wing’

It has been a turbulant season with many  unhappy with Hamilton’s behaviour on and off the track forcing a u-turn after this latest escapade:

“My bad, just found out Jenson never followed me. Don’t blame him! Need to be on Twitter more!”

With no comment from Mclaren and no serious acknowledgement from Button it leaves many, including Hamilton, wondering if Twitter is something Hamilton should persue or laid to rest with his Mclaren career.

Rebecca Barrett (@beccaabarrett)


The Power of Twitter

by Rachel Small

If you ever needed proof  that twitter can stimulate debate and get people talking about certain issues just search for #feministwishlist . This hashtag is an example of when a twitter trend takes off dramatically. The other interesting thing about topics on twitter is the incredible variety of people who contribute to them. There is nowhere in the world that you could sample such a variety of opinions and stories.  Is this the true beauty of twitter?

They Cannae Cut River City!

Spending reviews in Scotland have concluded that 16 million pounds is to be taken from the budget of BBC Scotland. It is predicted that 150 jobs could be lost, 10% of staff. Twenty percent of each programme budget will be cut. Stephen McGinty of Scotland on Sunday reported that cuts could see a the doing away of overnight shows on Radio Scotland and losses to factual programmes, sport and entertainment. Sixteen percent savings have to be made on whole. However despite this gloomy overhang the people of Scotland have cried out over one programme rumored to be axed. River City. Continue reading