Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rachel Jardine: Gone Too Soon.

Part of journalism is that sometimes you have to report on stories that are uncomfortably harrowing. It is even worse when you know the victim involved…

I was on my way to a meeting in Piccadilly last Friday when, as I usually do, I picked up a copy of that day’s Manchester Evening News. I skimmed the front page reading the horrifying news that my friend Rachel Jardine, a masters student from the University of Manchester, had fallen 80ft from Bloom Street car park in Manchester.

To make matters worse, while she lay dying Ben Heney robbed her of her mobile. It is thought that Rachel was making a last phone call to her mother. She died of her injuries later that day in Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Originally from Bristol, 22 year old Rachel came to Manchester to study philosophy. Just an hour and a half before she died she posted this poignant quote on her Twitter page:

‘Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.’ – Jean-Paul Sartre

Heney managed to sell the mobile phone for £20 to fund his drug habit. Greater Manchester Police have called this crime “unforgivable”. The fact that anybody could rob a dying woman, instead of trying to help her, is terrible but it is even more hurtful due to the fact that I knew Rachel personally.

I graduated from university last year but knew Rachel due to our involvement in the student radio station Fuse FM. She was enthusiastic, dedicated, and most of all, such a lovely warm person who I know will be missed by all at the station.

In just 12 weeks time Ben Heney will be out walking the streets of Manchester again, free from jail. While the crime itself was petty, is the lack of morals that motivated the robbery something that should have surely justified a longer sentence?

God bless you Rachel x

In the Fuse FM studio celebrating the end of broadcast. Rachel is on the far right, I’m at the bottom.

Blue Moon Rising

Manchester City Football Club had gone too many years without any silverware in their trophy cabinet… or should that be broom cupboard?

That is, until this happened:

On April 16th 2011, something strange took place. Something that Manchester hadn’t seen in 35 years. The power shift.

City beat Manchester United 1-0 that day in the FA Cup semi final that day. Meaning that they were through to the finals on May 14th, against Stoke – admittedly quite the anticlimax after such a triumphant victory against our derby day rivals. They couldn’t loose, could they? Of course they could, this is City we are talking about!

A mixture of nerves and excitement filled that day as, once again, the Blue Army travelled down South to Wembley. Yaya Toure proved the pessimists wrong with his thunderous goal at 74 minutes. Game Over.

Surely, we’ll wake up from this dream soon in a cold blue sweat? Luck like this just doesn’t happen City, fans have programmed themselves to accept that with a smile and inflatable banana over the years. This wasn’t luck though. This was talent.

With, arguably, one of the best line ups to ever grace the Blue three-quarters of Manchester since that of Bell, Lee, Summerbee and Young et al in 1969. This year’s campaign was a display of pure skill from Roberto Manchini’s squad and Sheikh Mansour’s wealth.

Yesterday, the club held its FA Cup celebrations in a parade through (a very windy!), Manchester in an open top bus, on its way to Eastlands.

I was one of the lucky few who had tickets to celebrate with the team inside the stadium. The night featured performances from Kid British (who neglected to say that all but one of their band members are United supporters…) True Blue Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy and Supra, who covered the Blue Moon anthem.

Moving tributes way dearly paid to Malcolm Allison and Neil Young, who both died before they could see City victorious again. The team was led out and revealed next season’s red and black away kit, in honour of 1969 nostalgia.

CityOh, and did I mention that we have a guaranteed Champions League place by finished third in the premier league this season?

… The club better start looking for a bigger trophy room; the Blue Army do not intend on waiting another 35 years for moments like this. There’s a Blue Moon over Manchester from now on!

Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

In fact, a super injunction prevents me telling you the answer to that…

Yes, we have to watch what we say now, even on micro-blogging sites, such as Twitter.

This has all made the headlines after a married premiership footballer had an affair with a Big Brother star. This ‘star’ has been named in the press, it’s Imogen Thomas. However, the footballer was granted a court order that prevents him from being named in the press – this is the, now illustrious, ‘super injunction.’

However, social media is not covered by this court order. A Twitter account was set up that revealed the identity of this footballer and many other ‘celebrities’ who were alleged to have had affairs. The media can comment about all of this but are prevented from naming any of the people involved.

The footballer didn’t let this die a death though; A reported 30,000 Twitter users are now at risk of being sued for revealing his identity. This, therefore, has caused his name to be used in the mud-slinging even more. Well, if nothing else, this conforms to the stereotype that footballers are as thick as two short planks.

So, does this super injunction culture demean the principles of freedom of speech? The front cover of today’s Independent gives their opinion:

Is this super injunction law a farce? Yes it is – the Sunday Herald had a picture of this footballer, barely censored, on their front page yesterday. They didn’t do this to sensationally reveal his identity; most people already know that. The Sunday Herald did this to expose the fact that super injunction law is not applicable in Scotland!

So, what did happen to freedom of speech? Well, it moved to Scotland. Let’s hope that this gagging order doesn’t follow it. If these adulterers can’t stand the heat then they should get out of the bedroom. They’ll reap all the benefits of their fame, enjoying the money, fast cars and… girls. Then they spit their dummy out when the consequences come back to bite them.

This could be the start of something big…

Hello world! (As WordPress always likes to start new blogs off.)

Well, this has been long overdue, hasn’t it? I’ve been threatening to blog for a while now… and that day has arrived. It’s nothing revolutionary. It’s nothing niche. Just a place where I can keep track of my thoughts and comment on what I find interesting. Maybe it will be themed in a certain way due to my own interests and personality, if it is then that is totally organic.

I look forward to see how this blogging adventure goes. You might even find my little musings enjoyable… As the Kenan half of Kenan & Kel would say: “Aww here it goes!”