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Issue 1.

Satire Without a Flap

March 2012


This is a cold war!

PLUS: Cameron & Clegg Divorce Pickles in custardy battle America Republican Nominations Thames Estuary Airport Costa Concordia to form foundations? More inside

Lift the Flap!

From the Team Thank you for picking up the first issue of The Cockerel! We hope to have many more in the future. We also have a Twitter account for more frequent updates and a Facebook page where you can follow us! @TheCockerelMag Thank you!

3. Dont cry for me,

5. Deterioration of music 7. Republican


8. How rude, boy! 10. Cheese and


And More 11. Poetry Corner

Politics 101 with Alex Walmsley Pg 11

12. American

Is Americas moderate middle missing?

Election Commentary Pg 12


13. Scottish

17. Horror-scopes 18. Oracle Cockerel 20. Cartoons

The Team Joe Williams (Editor) Nicholas Fairclough Adam Woolley Alex Walmsley Charlotte Unwin Dani Tomlinson Toby Cowling Adam Latchford Hannah Ross Jess Galloway

From the Editor

As the notice says at the top, thank you! This is the first ever issue of our magazine, and hopefully not the last. Its been a long - and slightly stressful - journey getting this finalised and into print, but its turned out to be brilliant. A big thanks to everyone who has also helped to get this into print and, of course, you for reading it. Were always open to suggestion and new writers! If you feel youre as opinionated/cynical/satirical as we are, then let us know either via Twitter or Facebook and Im certain we can find a place for you!

2011 was a great year from a satirical point of view. We saw ridiculous claims from Trump and the subsequent Birther Movement Yes, that whole Barack aint no American! actually had a name. Then the yearly Mission Accomplished banner came out from America after Osama bin Laden was killed. Libya and the whole of the Middle East kicked off and Gadaffis rgime collapsed. Greece hit a slippery slope of defaults and mass rioting and Britain is now dressed in the latest JD and Sports Direct range of clothing! There were, of course, much more wonderfully wild things that went on throughout 2011, so continue reading to find out more!

Dont Cry For Me Argentina, The Truth Is I Was Never Part of You!
Alexander Walmsley
In this day and age, the situation of the Falklands is a rather odd one. Britain owns the islands and to many the islands represent the shell of the old British Empire. Argentina claims these islands do they deserve to get them or even have a reasonable historical claim? Simply put no. There are many reasons for why they are British and not Argentinian. Most importantly, they want to be British! It would be reprehensible to abandon them to Argentina, as they really do not want to be associated with the country. One has to ask oneself where exactly does this Argentinian claim come from? Well, to cut a long story short, the British and the Spanish argued over the islands and then both withdrew forces, whilst keeping a claim. Then Argentina had its revolution and decided it would inherit the claim of the Spanish. So who do they send to claim it? None other than an American. It all got a bit complex around here when another man (this time a German) decided to settle in the Falklands and took a British deputy. He asked both Argentina and Britain for permission before going there. He later irritated the Americans by stealing a ship and as such, the Americans responded as they always do: gunboat diplomacy (literally in this case!). This caused significant damage to the place. The British eventually got fed up of the Argentinians interfering in the land they had claimed, so they told (with force) them to leave after they tried to install their own governor. The Argentinians then said that the colonists were all told to leave, which has subsequently been disproven. So what does this story tell us? For one thing, that Argentina really doesnt have a better claim than Britain. They just decided to inherit it from Spain. Their agents even asked Britains permission

before going there to establish settlements! Argentina never truly had de-facto control over the islands and when they attempted to do so, Britain removed them. Of course Britain did not behave well here (true colonialist best), but Argentinas claim is weak and certainly no stronger than Britains if not weaker due to their lack of de-facto ownership. Talking about colonialism, that brings me back to the modern day. Why do the Argies think they can accuse of us colonialism over the Falklands? Sure I accept, we were colonialist and behaved appallingly at times, but we (unlike a neighbouring European power) eventually gave up all of our large overseas territories and drew a line under that chapter. Yet we retained the Falklands. Why? Because they were too

small to self-govern and they had to be either given to Argentina or retained by the UK. Ultimately the islanders chose which country to be a part of, as they should have been able to. Hence I would denounce them as the colonialists. They wish to take some Islands which they have minimal claim to and where the islanders dont wish to belong to them. Ultimately, I hope that the UN investigate Argentinas claim to the Falklands very seriously. Theyll see that they have no right to the islands in the modern day. Just as Britain is so often accused of refusing to let go of its past, Argentina is refusing to do so as well. Ultimately my belief is that as long as the Falklanders wish to be British, they should be allowed to remain so and never be forced to join a deluded nation.

The Deterioration of Music

Toby Cowling
One only needs to look at the UK top 40 to weep with despair at the rapid decline in music. There used to be a time where there was some sort of restraint on the music front, but now it has just sunk to a huge low. Firstly, what has happened to identification and artist names! Gone are the days when musicians would actually be called by their names like Mozart and Beethoven, and even more recently like Shirley Bassey, and Madonna. Now it has conceded to an all-time low with pitiful appellations like P!nk and B.O.B.! Someone also needs to tell Tramar Dillard how to spell - rider, although with a name like that, Im not particularly surprised at his literary dexterity. Furthermore, back in the good old days, musicians could actually sing! I know its quite a shock, because one would assume that if you were endeavoring to pursue a career in such a field, you would actually be able to construct a musical phrase in tune, however that appears not to be the case, what with such innovative new creations as auto-tune making their way forward. Try to imagine artists such as TPain, for example, without auto-tune! Its pitiful! It appears that singers who can actually sing are becoming quite rare! Another area of music, which has evidently debilitated is song titles. Back in the classical era, music would follow certain structures or formats that would then categorize it, hence why they were named, Piano concerto or Ballade. It appears nowadays however to be the case that artists would release their plethora of emotion into some ridiculous names like, Nothings real but love, We found love, Love on top. Its getting ridiculous! Instead of the traditional, Symphony number one, were getting You da one! Spelling hasnt always been my forte, but it does bug me slightly when I notice quite elementary spelling mistakes in songs. For example, - You da one, With ur love, Want u back, Mama do the hump! What kind of a name is that anyway! Can you imagine the reception someone like Mozart would have got if he announced the name of his new composition to his noble listeners as something like Dada do the cha cha! I truly despair. Maybe this is just a very sad indication of the poor education in this country! We could even present this as an argument to the prime minister to get him to increase government spending on education! Cher Lloyd is seventeen years old and she cant even spell youre, or you!

Another thing that I would like to mention is music videos. Now the old equivalent of music videos in my opinion is opera. Now there werent many operas in which Haydn was featured groping himself whilst performing pelvic thrusts along stage, so where this new trend of dancing has originated from I have no idea, but clearly Rihanna is quite imaginative. Whether or not this new technique portrays whatever emotional story she is trying to tell, or rather a due sense of foreboding, is up to the lucky audience. I think however that Im going to stay away from this whole emerging generation of utter detritus in music, and continue to advocate a top-25-mostplayed of classical music.

Republican Nominees: What a Boy Band!

Adam Woolley


On 6th November 2012, the United States presidential candidates will be able to do no more. Obamas excruciatingly uneventful tenure may reach its demise. The American public will possibly cast their votes according to the value of the brownie points earned with the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Although, due to the inflation of brownie points (to the dismay of Girl Guides the world over), the president may be forced to grovel for a loan from the International Monetary Fund. Guantanamo Bay will remain open and the Health Care system unreformed. Yes we can? This column will serve to provide you with a cynical and highly biased commentary to the election build-up. And so, allow me to nail my colours to the mast while the mast in question remains upright: I want Obama to win. Despite the criticisms of my opening paragraph, I firmly believe that the current president should retain his power. Primarily this is due to my fears of a Republican party which, on account of Obamas shift to the centre-right, have leapt even further in that direction just to keep a safe distance away from him. Since that bastion of right-wing

journalism Fox News has been granted the role of underdog from the presidents arrival to office, the term liberal has been dirtied, and is now considered in some circles to be pejorative. Therefore, to appease a public which has gulped down the dystopian newsfeed of Fox News, Obamas policies have shifted to moderate conservatism. However, even this is better than the alternative. And here they are - the four alternatives: the Spice Boys; Mormon Spice, Tea-Party Spice, Newt Spice and Homophobic Spice (all with varying catchiness, Ill admit). While they may not be the most lucrative boy band, they are the four Republican nominees for the presidential race (although I am not losing all hope for a prospective jam). Over a series of various primaries, the most popular candidate will emerge. But for now, feast your eyes:


Perhaps the most popular in the boy band, Mitt Romney looks like a George H W Bush who has undergone a science-fiction rejuvenation. In fact, due to his endorsement by both of the former president Bush(e)s, consider him their adopted son (although Romneys sentiments surrounding the adoption of a child by two men might refute that somewhat). And to further add to the irony, Romney is the son of a Mr George W Romney. Coincidence? Probably. Although, when we consider Mr Romneys net fortune of $250 million, the uncanny similarities appear almost too strong. Other trivia regarding Mitt includes: he was the CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics Organisation committee; he has an admiration for the National Rifle Association, and is a

keen hunter; oh - and if it has not already been made clear, Mitt is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, what I am sure you will agree makes him most electable is the fact that his eldest son is named Taggart. Who would have thought that this candidate would be a fan of Scotlands longestrunning police drama? Of all of the nominees, Romney appears to be the most moderate, and despite the general perception surrounding members of his religion, he is a strong advocate of civil and gay rights. He appears to adapt to political evolution, altering his policies accordingly. If Obama were to lose the election, then of the four in the boy band I would most keenly support this candidate (mainly because of Taggart!).


The Yoda of the elections nominees, Ron Paul has been dubbed the intellectual godfather of the reactionary Tea Party movement. Paul has often opposed his party on several key issues, and has on many occasions questioned his membership. Also affiliating with the rapidly expanding Libertarian Party, he supports laissez-faire economics and desires a return to US isolationism. Interestingly, he served as a medical officer in the United States Air Force with the rank of

Captain, before working as a gynaecologist in the 1960s and 70s. Although entitled to a government pension, Paul refuses to receive the money, claiming it would be hypocritical and immoral (evidently sustaining himself with the power of the force).


The former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is no stranger to controversy. During Bill Clintons first mid-term election in 1998, in which Gingrich had campaigned furiously to remove Clinton from office, the Republicans suffered their worst mid-term defeat for 64 years. Absorbing much of the blame, Gingrich resigned from the House altogether. There have also been allegations that, despite his staunch public support for family values, he had an adulterous affair with the woman who became his second wife, during his first marriage, and with the woman who became his third wife, during his second marriage. (Un)fortunately, he suffers the indignity of sharing a similar name to that of Nute Gunray, the evil reptilian Vice-Roy of the Trade

Federation in the Star Wars prequels (pictured). Yet perhaps this is a fair comparison. Gingrichs frankly ridiculous name has been regarded by the more superficial and unintelligent morons of American society to be a reason worth voting for him (as opposed to voting for someone because their sons name resembles that of a British detective series). Yet as an object for comedy and satire, Gingrich is a dream that does perhaps outweigh his undesirable policies and shameful personal life. Should Newt be elected as president, he shall become a member of an elite club in global politics of world leaders who are also lizards, joining our own Prime Minister David Cameron.


With a name like a New York mafia gangster, the revolting Rick Santorum is the most extreme Spice Boy. His opposition to abortion and gay rights, make Obama look almost socialist which is exactly what the Republican far-right have desired. The most vehement opposition to the Obama administration across sections of the Deep South has made Santorum

for some the peoples favourite. Santorum has even earned the support of the equally revolting, extreme conservative juggernaut that is Glenn Beck. However, moral barometer Bono from U2 has said of Santorum, he has been a defender of the most vulnerable. And who am I to disagree with Bono?

And with my impartial summation of each of the potential candidates, it is left now to you to back whom you wish. (Fans of Taggart you know the drill.) It is likely that with the release of the next issue of The Cockerel, one of the above men/lizards will have been nominated, and will be primed for an explosive campaign.

R ude Boi, Crude Boi?

Dani Tomlinson
Are music videos to blame for promoting sexuality in todays youth culture? I can admit that I am a sucker for Rihannas catchy hits but someone has to draw the line somewhere when you see juniors of around eight years of age singing the lyrics Come ere Rude Boi, is you big enough? Now, I suppose we can let Rihanna get away with the atrocious grammar in her lyrics but the content however, is a slight concerning issue. Obviously, children at a young age dont know what negative connotations they suggest when they are singing Im sexy and I know it. but watching the music videos on the TV and seeing their favourite female artists prance around in practically nothing and dancing in very unorthodox positions begs the question: Are music videos promoting sexuality? Music has always been important and influential among the adolescents. Thats why you see your dads go absolutely crazy and air guitar to AC/DC or your mums sing really badly to Kylie. Its also why you see old embarrassing photos of your parents with curled perms and big hair from the 80s that make you want to cringe...or maybe thats just my experience. On the one hand, music has brought out new forms of dance to youth culture such as moshing (among the rock genres) and shuffling (One might not think it now, but in a few years time one will think back to how much of a fool one looked when one attempts to shuffle). However, on the other hand you may have noticed that quite a large number of early adolescents between the age of 13 and 14 have started dressing more provocatively and trying to look older than what they should. Nowadays even 12 year olds have discovered Topshop and are wearing miniskirts that look like belts or low cut shirts that show too much flesh to be legal for a pre-teen. What on earth happened to the days of wearing embarrassing and unfashionable tat our mothers bought us!? Even when theyre reaching Year 10, a number of them still pop up to the Year 13s to ask if they can borrow their ID so that they can have a night out on the lash when really, they should just be playing out with their friends and having sleepover parties.

This isnt the 90s anymore! No more Sabrina The Teenage Witch or Saved By The Bell. Lets take Madonna, for example. Shes been an international superstar for decades. If we look at one of her early videos such as Like A Virgin and compare it to her latest single Gimme All Your Love theres a huge difference in the way shes dressed and the way shes dancing...although, Ive never really understood why that lion is miscellaneously chillin in Like A Virgin. Dont get me wrong, if youve got

the figure of a goddess like Madonna at 53 you should be proud but is it really right as a role model like her to be dancing in fishnets and a leotard at her age and lifting her top up to show her bra in Gimme All Your Love for young children to see? However, the other side of the argument is that its not just the music industry that is playing a part in the encouragement of adolescent sexualisation. It could be that television programmes have some blame. As unrealistic as Skins is, it is very popular and does show a lot of odd yet extremely raunchy plotlines (kids dont care about bedtime at 9pm nowadays!). Even in innocent family shows like Doctor Who when companion Amy Pond came onto the scene wearing a very small imitation of a

policewomans uniform in the first episode of the series. In fact I think something else came to everybodys mind when she said she was a kissogram and that she goes to parties to kiss people No offence Doctor Who fans (Aka Adam Woolley). Whether people see Ke$ha as promoting childhood alcoholism by brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack or Lady Gaga as promoting animal cruelty by wearing a meat dress or some form of... interesting and unique attire, whether we like it or not music has changed as well as the media. There are many contributing factors to this sudden growth in teenage sexualisation but music and the media seem to be a more significant influence.

I would rather be eating cheese and reading Sartre on the banks of the river Seine
By Jess Galloway
Although presently entering into the practice of journalism myself, I in fact hold great objection to the reading of newspapers. For me, this is namely because I am unable to regard fondly my own tones yet, as the rag becomes ever more ragged, I feel that the publics disenchantment is more than justified. Tabloids and broadsheets; as I read neither, I feel we can presently brush over these with adequate haste. They are, after all, much of a muchness. If it is not political bias and nonsensical allusion that pervades your efforts to learn of the worlds shortcomings then you are instead to find yourself sifting through junk food news and narcotics before concluding a lack of earthly cerebrum. This aside, though, it cannot be denied that the page three girl format really is something that ought to be rolled out to that of the satirical school magazine. As for local newspapers, their attempts are nothing short of venerable and revered. Their attempts to surpass the

televised local news, that is, in the task of bringing the least noteworthy of tales to the attention of, well, locals. I use the term locals not with directly derogatory denotations however, if anyone were to admit appreciation for the content of one recent incident in particular, I feel

that such connotations would be the only sort logical to deduce. The episode of North West Tonight (other brands of news-fashioning are available) in question felt it appropriate to include consecutive stories on the restoration of a doll, the closing of a McDonalds branch in Winsford and an attempted interview with a cat. I beg one second longer of your time just to reiterate: a cat! Oh, Gordon Burns, how your absence is felt! Returning focus to the written media, one must address the issue of the illconceived, amateur headline. For fear of infringing upon the comic material of Dave Spikey, I shall mention no specifics, but I am confident that we all aware of the syntactical calibre and standard of quipping screamers to which I refer. The local press are of course infamously familiar with this technique. The amalgamation of factors colluding against them makes their resorting to such nadirs of diction inevitable. The vast plains of publication space that they are required to fill, the lack of adverts for fascia boarders and houses that are sold subject to contract that augments this space yet further and the elite readership at which they aim are but a few of the reasons which could be deemed to sufficiently excuse them of their literary atrocities. When combined with the inconsistency generally seen between such headlines and their photographic appendages, however, I am afraid forgiveness to no degree can be granted. A headline may

inform me of the tumultuous success of a councils healthy eating initiative yet the image of homely six year old Brucey, hidden away on the back row, quite contradicts the stated argument. The matter that I, a mere flicker of newspapers, can notice such a juxtaposition of verbalism and photograph, I feel amply demonstrates the incompetency about which I write. And finally, the most invidious of them all: the satirical newspaper. Surely their attractiveness to libel lawsuits tells us something of their inept and repellent nature. If you were to make offence your profession, I would imagine discretion would be a minimum criterion of your pursuits. There again, I would hate to judge too harshly as I myself am delaying the opening of a letter from the European Court of Human Rights that has appeared on my doorstep since the publication of this article. Therefore, newspapers are nowt but tosh. It leaves only for me to reiterate the words of The Great Galloway himself in stating that any leisure activity would be infinitely more satiating, constructive, enriching and gratifying than feeding from the loins of the printing press. And if you are intending to conglomerate a whole load of claptrap, written by those who could not even make the cut as Jilly Coopers reincarnation, then remember to include me in your editorial team. Cheers.

Should Scotland Gain Independence?

Adam Latchford
No, no they shouldnt. Lets face it, I could go into the pros and cons, examine all the benefits and costs that independence would have for the Scottish people but in reality, I only need to mention three things. The first of which is oil. The current mantra being stressed by Alex Salmond is that the North Sea oil is Scotlands oil and that this is extremely important for the Scottish economy to function as a whole. They have taken Norwegian figures of oil earnings (about 324 thousand million) and are simply relying that this will allow Scotland to function as an economy; they will always have this to fall back on. Well that just shows Salmonds genius yet again, seemingly forgetting that oil is a scarce resource. Couple that with the fact that the statement of the oil being Scotlands oil is simply not as likely as Salmond makes it out to be. The UK economy gains large revenues from this oil, around 54 billion a year; I highly doubt that they will give it up this easily to Scotland. It is not as simple as the oil is closest to Scotland, it will require negotiations, in which there is no doubt that Scotland would suffer; the stake they would get in oil will be much lower than Salmond expects. So, as you can see, Salmonds bright idea of Scottish Oil is based on crude judgement (apologies for the pun) and is quite frankly deluded. So what about the EU? Salmond has already made his desire to remain in the EU clear and will join the euro when the time is right. A new country like Scotland would be exploited and burdened with other countries debt. The United Kingdom pays roughly 13.5 billion euros to help pay for the EU budget. This is likely to be split if Scotland leave the EU, with Scotland expected to take on around 4.5 billion euros of this payment. Couple that with the fact Scotland intend to withdraw from NATO, the EU may be tempted to exploit Scotland for all its worth. Will the Scottish government really be able to afford this; is their business strong enough? Arguably Scotlands most prolific businesswoman is Michelle Mone OBE. She created the international lingerie brand Ultimo and was recently voted as Britains number one most influential businesswoman by glamour magazine. She is a great entrepreneur who through hard work and determination has worked her way to the top. But why is this relevant? I mean, I know its always interesting to read about lingerie (Surely some mistake? Ed.), but there is a key point behind this. Michelle Mone is completely against Scottish independence and has threatened to move south to England or Wales if Scotland does become independent. It has been suggested that

others would follow Michelle Mones lead and this could mean that one strength which Salmond claims is his greatest Scotlands many entrepreneurs could have no fruitful backbone if the expected mass exodus comes to fruition. You may be thinking that Ive missed some obvious plus points for Scottish independence, and youre right, I have.

And if everybody in Scotland chooses to become independent then I wish nothing but good luck, but lets be honest. In 10 years time Scotland will evaporate into a nether region where that will struggle to exist and co-operate, leaving the future bleak. And when the pandas, due to return to China in 10 years, leave, Scotland will be left with nothing.

Och aye bamboo!

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll All Knowledge Rr Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Of Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
Nicholas Fairclough
Of late, Ive found myself develop a rather curious obsession. Before this statement sets minds racing this isnt the sort of obsession normally associated with teenage boys. Mine is an obsession with fonts. Not, in fact, those stone things found at the pointy end of churches, but the typefaces that we encounter (and largely ignore) on a daily basis. Yet the ability to spot Gill Sans at 40 paces has only come about as a result of the rapid popularisation of Microsoft Word. For me at least, this rather grey programme (albeit one with a now much-missed paperclip) was the first time that fonts as an entity appeared on my Radar (a rather stylised font; avoid for all but minimal titling). In fact, fonts are everywhere; just rarely noticed. The pleasing contours and legibility of Transport, the font used on British road signs, go unnoticed, whilst the strong, stoic lines of Rail Alphabet, British Rails corporate font still grace many a station platform and, indeed, hospital waiting room. The Times New Roman, that for so long was the default in Word, was the font of The Times newspaper whilst the aforementioned Gill Sans has been linked to the British government since the dawn of time itself, featuring on the now loathsomely common Keep Calm and Carry On posters which have been needlessly toppled from their position as a design classic to museum gift shop tat. As fonts have become an increasingly large part of our lives, so too has design itself. Whilst hatred of wartime posters is reserved for a select view, the hatred of a font has become a trend in itself. Comic Sans, the fun font in the Microsoft canon is indeed a truly horrible typeface. However, not through any fault of its own. Like any other popular design, overuse means death. Comic Sans flaw was that it looked just so friendly: very quickly it was seized upon, much like the exclamation mark, as a means of conveying effortless good humour and friendliness. Suddenly, the font based upon (as its name suggests) comics was being used for everything, from the church cake sale, to Grannys funeral. To remain popular then, a font be different.

But not too different. Many budding typophiles have been felled by the complex fonts available at their fingertips. From the eccentric to the downright illegible, fonts of all shapes and sizes are used and abused on a

regular basis: Broadway in point 72 is undoubtedly an all too common sight for sore eyes. Comparatively innocuous fonts have their faults too the ubiquitous Arial is, like its Swiss cousin Helvetica, rather too boring to be used for anything but bodies of text on the internet. Meanwhile, the ubiquity of the titling font Impact renders its name a futile defence against its absorption into the surrounding aether.

Whether The Cockerels selection of fonts will go down through the annals of time as a design classic is a moot point, yet what is clear is that the selection of typefaces available to the computer user is likely to become even more bewildering in future; a confusing mix of symbols resembling (at least metaphorically) that nigh-on useless font, Wingdings. If we seek to achieve only one thing in the future, let it be this: lets keep it sans Comic Sans.

The Quorn Ultimatum

Adam Latchford
Now its time for my rant article, since my others have been happy clappy so far. Before I start, Im going to try and keep the Quorny puns to a minimum, but no promises. I hate Quorn. SO MUCH. Now, I dont hate vegetarians. I never have, I never will. So Adam I hear you ask, why do you hate Quorn? Well its simple. There are a lot of great vegetarian options out there: roasted peppers filled with houmous and feta cheese is my personal favourite, so why the need for Quorn? Many vegetarians preach about how bad eating meat is; how we over farm for ourselves, yet they eat something WHICH TASTES EXACTLY LIKE MEAT. I dont care much if you like the taste of meat; if youre that passionate about not eating meat you shouldnt squornder the opportunity to try lots of great alternatives, and you should make sure you dont eat Quorn as it doesnt give you as many nutrients as other options, and if it tastes like something you hate eating, why should you know you like that taste? Quorn is terrible, and I hope that in years to come it is quornantined (sorry, Im scraping the bottom of the barrel now) to a novelty food.

The Iron Lady

Joe Williams
Thatchers nickname, the Iron Lady, has been totally misconstrued according to newly released Cabinet documents. The documents were forced to be released under the 30-year act, or something of a similar name (apparently Parliament has an imagination barrier). The documents show that after a total refurbishment of 2,000 to the Downing Street flat, Thatcher begged, argued even, to pay for a 19 ironing board, hence the name Iron Lady. Its rather IRONic that she was willing to pay such a small expense; the documents released show that she had the carpets seamed, a chair cleaned, the crockery replaced and many other things done. It seems like they didnt actually refurbish the flat at all; what they really did was clean a few bits and bobs and kept it secret for 30 years because, after all, theres nothing you can do about it now. I just wanted to make it perfectly clear that her name is IRONic. She came and tried to straighten out the creases of the British society and ended up doing nothing but putting a good old stain that cant be removed. Well done, Thatcher! Good on you!

Oh, dont worry, my expenses should cover it

Politics: Whos Who?

Alexander Walmsley
Many people find politics confusing, boring or irritating (or all three). Below Ive made a concise summary of some of the major players in politics with rsums in order to try to alleviate at least some of the fog of war that politicians seem to hide behind!

David Dave Cameron: Our illustrious leader. Cameron keeps control over the proles with his millionaire buddies in the cabinet. His current policy objectives include the Big Society (A policy no-one else understands) and trying to be an ordinary bloke. Nick Clegg: The newest recruit to the Tory ranks and Deputy Prime Minister. Cleggs firm beliefs and resolute resolve will surely aid the Tories to election to success. He is one to watch out for! George Osborne: The pleb of the cabinet, our Chancellor. Osborne had the disadvantage of attending a private, not public school. Despite this vast misfortune, he has been trying to prove himself as an economist, aided by his degree in modern history. William Hague: The Foreign Minister. A shocking addition of a relatively ordinary man from Yorkshire to the cabinet. Serves under Cameron after failing to garner popularity with the public as previous leader of the Opposition. A 2001 poll found that 66% of voters considered him to be "a bit of a wally". Kenneth Clarke: The Justice Secretary. An old hand at politics and one prone to making serious gaffs. Known as a dinosaur by some, Clarke is oddly liberal and pro-European. Hes always one to make the headlines, yet somehow survives. Andrew Lansley: Our current Health Secretary, who is pushing through reforms to make the NHS more competitive and efficient (no one mention the word privatise!). He is also trying to combat obesity and has let McDonalds and Pepsi help write the policies. He has a good working relationship with doctors and thinks of them as politically poisoned. Theresa May: The Home secretary. She is also the Minister for Women and Equality, and is a keen supporter of gay rights having voted against gay adoption rights in previous years. She is known to be against immigration and is helping pursue the governments strong policy (which only affects non-EU immigrants). Baroness Warsi: The Chairwomen of the Tory party. Having only a red brick Uni to her name, she is the token Asian woman in the cabinet, to prove the Tories are not old-

fashioned and racist. Often prone to shouting on Question Time when facing difficult questions. Michael Gove: Yet another Oxford graduate in the party, Gove is the Education Minister. Known as being obsessed with free schools was quoted as saying Like Chairman Mao, weve embarked on a Long March to reform our education system. Obviously educational disaster and murder is on the cards; this minister should have an interesting career. David Two Brains Willets: The minister in charge of higher education and science. Despite his alleged Two Brains, Willets has failed to realise that the young are not thick and can still be irritated with higher tuition fees despite knowing that they dont have to pay beforehand and that there is a salary level one has to reach before paying anything back. Eric Pickles: The Local Communities Minister. Having attended Leeds Polytechnic, this ministers ambitions have been limited by his lack of Oxbridge, or even a red brick education. Regularly the target of fat jokes on Have I Got News For You.

Ed Cain Milliband: The leader of what some refer to as the Opposition. Made leader by the Unions, who now regret their decision as he has not supported them and have given another reason to the public to be angry at union leaders. Ineffectual and described by some as looking like he is wearing two itchy jumpers. David Abel Milliband: The candidate who could have led the Labour party to electoral success. Unfortunately for Labour he lost, and is now wandering around in the political wilderness contemplating where it all went wrong. Ed Smiles Balls: The Shadow Chancellor. Ed.2 is very different from his leader, as he is always smiling. Mr Balls constantly smiles constantly, whether he be talking about unemployment or government tax rises. He supposedly has more economic credibility than Osborne having worked under the economic mastermind, Gordon Brown, for many years. And yes, he did balls up that job, so we watch further developments with interest. Yvette Cooper: Ed Balls wife and Shadow Foreign Minister. Seen by some as a hope for the Labour party, there was some surprise when she didnt put her name forward for the leadership role. Then again, we have to assume that she respects family loyalty and did not wish to run against her husband. Harriet Harman: A very effective deputy leader of the Labour party. She is known to be a key supporter of positive sexism racism discrimination. She works hard to make sure black people and women are allowed equal rights by preventing others from taking jobs. Clearly a woman with a passion for equality (just dont ask about ginger rodents!).

Dianne Abbot: A rare sight in the modern Labour party; a left-winger! Shes commonly known for her appearances on the news, Question Time and on This Week, a programme whose amount of viewers is probably equal to the amount of voters who are inspired by Ed Millibands leadership style. Andy Burnham: As he was so keen on telling us in the Labour party leader election campaign, he is an ordinary bloke from the North (or more specifically Leigh). Other than that, not much is known about the shadow health secretary. The others: Many of the Labour front benchers hide in the shadows of the shadow cabinet, rarely emerging. Perhaps wise considering the current credibility of the Labour party.

Lib Dems:
Nick Clegg: Experiencing vast unpopularity as the incumbent Deputy Prime Minister. Some say that he is sell out, some say that he is a Tory puppet, all we now is that hes not going to lead the Lib Dems to victory at the next election. Vince Cable: The business secretary. He doesnt seem to like the Tories much and dislikes Rupert Murdoch more having declared war on him just before Christmas. Once seen as the likeable face of politics, he now looks more like a deeply unhappy old man. Danny Alexander: Chief Secretary to the treasury, best known as a ginger rodent after being called one by Harriet Harman.

Of course, there are many others in politics, but there is little attention paid to them. There is the leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas (she has a seat now!); Leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage (who is currently busy pursuing his partys only policy of independence from the EU at the EU); Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP (a racist idiot who still believes he is descended from indigenous British people who came over in the Ice Age); Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP (The Scottish First Minister who is just as bigoted as Nick Griffin, only with a very Scottish slant on his thoughts); and the other minor people like all the Welsh and Irish. None of these currently pose any real impact on politics (other than perhaps Alex Salmond), but who knows? The Lib Dems really are unpopular at the moment

The Middle East Today

Randy Walker

As a true patriot, I am proud to say I was born in the best country in the world. Sadly, a lot of people in the world dont have that privilege, but luckily for them, Uncle Sams on hand to give them real American-style democracy, whether they like it or not. Yeehaw! The thing is, all this stablising and propping up of other countries isnt easy, and with so many poor countries run by dictators out there, its a neverending battle that the champions of liberty must fight in order to bring peace and prosperity to all.

Therefore it is with great sorrow that I discovered that Al Kyder, the scumbag commie who organised multiple terror attacks, has decided to back the downtrodden people of Syria. I mean, come on! Thats what were meant to do. Not only is he stealing our jobs, but just confusing the entire situation there. Who the hell are we meant to invade liberate next? Its not so straightforward being the world peacekeeping organisation, with all that oil to relieve from foreign countries merica, hell yeah!

Calamity Clegg in Tory Turmoil

Anna Haughton
Since May 2010 the Cameron-Clegg dynasty has been in full swing. Several fatalities have been made already, Cleggs political career to name but one; but is the end really nigh Clegg? It appears Cameron has had Clegg on his lead from the very start, forcing the new Deputy Prime Minister to default on one of his biggest vote earners shows not only weakness in the neuveaux sham that is Clegg, but balls, something oh-so-novel for a Conservative. One foul swoop of the eagle that is Cameron, has caused his second in command to not only fall pray not only to the press, but his (student) constituents in Sheffield Hallam. Now, lets be frank, if his constituents dont like him and hes a Lib-Dem, who is going to like him? Not content on being embarrassed by the whole afore mentioned student fee fiasco, Clegg was keen to show some rebellion to his master Cameron, in the form of enforcing his A.V system (thats the Alternative Vote for those of you that didnt know). So what was decided? A referendum was to be had, and the blatant lack of interest descended amongst the general public, shown only by the abysmal turnout of just 41.8% I expect the turnout was greater at Saddam Husseins funeral than this sham of a referendum. If the turnout figures werent embarrassing enough, the one chance Clegg had to show the country that he was able to stand on his own two feet quickly swept him back on all fours when the results came in, defeated by 69% Clegg had no chance. Even more embarrassing, when you look in detail at the Alternative Vote, it doesnt actually fulfil the purpose Clegg had wanted it to. As avid politics students, you should all know that the Alternative Vote actually benefits the Conservative party, not the Liberal Democrats. Yet another crucial blunder in the, frankly ridiculous career of Clegg. You wouldnt be able to tell he went to Cambridge, would you? If things werent bad enough, the Tory Lib Dem leader now has teachers shaking with rage, he admits over the pension shambles. A

shambles that has been estimated to have cost almost500 billion and added to our already crumbling economy. Not content on adding damage to his career, he had to add damage to our economy. Keep it going, Clegg, and we will be the next Greece!

this another familiar promise he is going to break? Another student fees fiasco? The Conservatives have already scrapped the EMA and have plans on cutting housing benefits. So is he really helping the youth and their families or just widening the poverty gap? The Conservatives can say they are going to fix the broken Britain, but is it Britain that needs fixing or the leadership that needs the fixing? Clegg, as far as Im concerned, has no role in Government, other than following his precious into meetings and making cringe-worthy mistakes that the press just love to hoover up. They already disagree over Europe and surely Cameron is keen on shaking the mess Clegg has made on Britains recent history off his coat and career. In terms of his life in politics Cleggs time is limited, but only time will tell if he is able to pull through the next election.

Daddy Dave kicked you out already? So far, weve slated the poor fellow, but what is good about him? Well, in his own defence Clegg says he is keen on helping the youth and plans on investing money in improving unemployment in the youth, but is

Don't Play FTSE

Sam Ball
As I write this I am currently taking part in a scheme that provides shares for schools. Now this basically involves a group of boys being given 1500 of real money to invest in real shares, and I have learnt a lot from it already. I now know that everyone involved should never invest their money as it would be more entertaining to burn it and we would still have 0.00 at the end whether we burnt or invested the money. But also I can now see why the bankers have lost all our money. Now I don't know how much our shares are worth at the moment but I'm pretty sure it's below 1000 already, that's at least a 33% loss, and here's why: Firstly we simply didn't do the required preparation, we just plunged in, I even invested most of the money without knowing what a FTSE even was! (It is the financial times stock exchange and tells you how well the top number of largest companies are doing, so if FTSE 100 rises it means that the value of the shares in the top 100 companies have risen) Secondly we just didn't see the point of doing work for it when in our minds we had the combined ability of Gordon Gecko and Warren Buffet. Unfortunately we didn't as it turned out, our ability is more like that of Kweku Adoboli (who for those of you who don't know managed to lose a Swiss banking and financial services group, UBS, 1.3billion all by himself). Quite an achievement although I think that had we been given the same amount he had we would have done the exactly the same if not more. Thirdly we decided to trust each other, now this proved to be a very costly mistake when one of our number wanted to invest in Unilever, we invested most of our remaining money in it and only once we had done so did he reveal that it was because he wanted to invest in unknown companies. (Unilever are not unknown, just a few of their brands include Flora, PG tips, Hellmanns and Persil, also as it was their founder Mr Lever who paid for our school so that really should have been the one company he did know). Now thanks to investing in his 'unknown' company we seem to have lost money like its going out of fashion. Fourthly it wasn't our money, this meant we took risks that we wouldn't have dreamed of taking with our money, and if it was our money I can guarantee that we would still have every penny in the

bank, instead of investing hundreds of pounds in a company just because someone came in that day and said it would be a good idea. It also meant that once our shares empire started to decrease in size that instead of selling them and finding something else like we should have done that we just let them fall whilst clinging to the hope they were going to double in value overnight (which they didn't). Now this is why we lost our money so now I'm going to apply this to the banking situation we currently have, now our first and second mistakes will apply to some cases such as the one I pointed out but I'm sure that the majority of bankers do the required preparation. I think our third mistake applies as I'm sure had the bankers been checked more and just generally kept on a tighter leash that a lot of money would probably not have been lost, and I think that our fourth mistake definitely applies as were Nick Leeson (a man who managed to single headedly bring down Barings bank!) investing his own money then he probably would have been a bit more careful with it. But fear not, as I also have a solution which I can't find any flaws in what so ever, all we have to do is stop wasting our time by using 'Shares4Schools' on schools, which will always make the mistakes we have and instead rename the scheme 'Shares4Banks'. This will be exactly the same but it will be bankers taking part, if they manage to make money they can be trusted with the

money of the taxpayers and the great thing is that as it is relatively cheap we could make them retake the test every few years in case there were any flukes.

Our useful, modern resources

I genuinely believe this would work and we could use how well they do to determine how much money they are given to invest, it would also give us an idea who would me more reckless with our money and could allow the banks to choose a banker that is right for them, and any money lost would be 1500 at most, which I'm sure the 'wannabe' bankers could be forced to pay back. Also even if it didn't I'm sure that somewhere in my idea there's a pretty good TV show!

Slate or Rate?
The Kindle
Charlotte Unwin
Everyone has an opinion on the Kindle- and they either think its the best thing since sliced bread, or worse than the devil himself. However, I do not agree with either. Id much rather have sliced bread than a Kindle, but then Id rather have a Kindle than meet the devil. So it was an interesting moment for me when I excitedly unwrapped my present (notice present is singular) on Christmas morning and stared at the cause of so much controversy and arguments lying in its brown, cardboard box. Now, I must admit, initially I wasnt very pleased. Id heard enough things about the Kindle to make me want to throw it into the fireplace and run to the nearest bookstore to get rid of the feelings of guilt for crossing over to the dark side. However, as it was Christmas day, I didnt. I smiled, hugged my parents and said the usual Its just what I wanted! line. It wasnt until Boxing Day that I began to discover its wonders. The obvious one is its weight. The Kindle I received, the fourth generation, weighs less than 170 grams. This is ideal, as you can read lying on your side in bed without having the difficulty of holding a book open with one hand. As a student, this is AMAZING- I dont have to carry round all my back-cripplingly heavy textbooks. Its 6 screen size makes it easy to fit into pockets, and doesnt take up much space in a bag, and considering it can hold up to 1,400 books, leaves much more space in my bedroom, and locker, for useless junk. Another point to mention about the convenience of the Kindle is the price. This was the one factor that persuaded my dad into buying me one. Lets say I read approximately a book a month. Considering the average book price is roughly 9, this means that I spend (or rather, my parents spend) 108 a year on books. And more - in the summer holidays what else is there to do but read? Therefore, this 8-week period increases my book-reading rate to a book a week. This is another 72 a year. My annual total = 180. Shocking. (And dont tell me to go to my local library as it only has two books. The Bible and the Dictionary.) However, Kindle eBook prices are much lower. The costs of printing and paper, which amounts to 50% of overall book prices, is not needed, resulting in cheaper eBooks. According to Amazon, over 550,000 of eBooks are 5 or less, and many are free. Therefore, if I bought the same amount of eBooks as real books, the total cost would be 100. And as my Kindle is connected straight to my bank account, my parents feel safe that Im not wasting their money on black bounded books that tell the monotonous tales of pseudo-heroines in desperate needs of pseudo-heroes to come and sweep them off their feet (dont worry I dont read these books either.) Also, you can easily search, download and read any book, magazine

or newspaper from across the world whenever and wherever you are. You can download the first chapter of a book, or the first few pages of a magazine or newspaper to get a taster of the writing style and story before you purchase the full version. Awesome, I know. According to a recent study conducted by Tammy Anderson, a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee, the Kindle has a positive effect on childrens perspective towards reading, as they are more interested and therefore more willing to read. This doesnt surprise me as children, along with most teenagers and adults, marvel at the prospect of playing with new technology, and if you can incorporate one into learning, of course they will use it. However, although this piece of evidence is wonderful, I dont think it could last. Either children love to read, or they dont. The Kindle is eternally useful to those that do, but just a short burst of excitement for those that dont. They will forget them as soon as something more fun is discovered. Like most things, the Kindle has its negative aspects. Perhaps the most obvious one is its effect on bookstores Kindles are killing them. Across the world, bookstores are dying helplessly all because of the human greed for new technology. The fact that eBooks are cheaper for us means that less people are buying in bookstores. Now, if like me you think that bookshops are a little piece of heaven, then this will be heartbreaking to you too. Bookshops are a place where you can lose all track of time, forget the stresses of the world and just relax. And the possibility that the future of technology could erase such an oasis of pleasures for the hopeless romantics in all of us is shattering. But do Kindles really have the power to do this? The Kindle, however great it may be, is still just a piece of technology, and like all pieces of tech, requires extra care. For instance, with a book, I can throw it into my bag knowing that when I take it out, even though it may be creased, it will

still be readable. With the Kindle, however, I feel more on edge. I cant sit with it balancing on my knee whilst drinking tea, like I would with a book, just in case I spill my drink. Even though all Kindle data is automatically stored into the cloud, Im still cautious of breaking it. And, like all pieces of technology, needs to be charged. Although it only takes 3 hours to fully charge, and the battery then lasts a month, its not as good as a book, which is already and always readable. For those among us that treat books badly; break their spines, spill drinks on them, fold the edges over (shame on you!) with a Kindle, you dont have that privilege. A Kindle needs to be loved and taken care of, and even though many people do treat books in the same way, you dont get an option with a piece of technology. It needs to be taken care of, or it will break. Another aspect to consider is the actual feel of the book. One of the problems with the Kindle is that you cant tell how far you have to read until the end, other than the percentage bar along the bottom. Maybe I am too used to picking up a book, with a bookmark hanging out, to judge how far Ive got to, but with a Kindle, there doesnt seem to be digital spatial awareness, if you understand my logic. So, although I understand why some people may slate the Kindle, I urge you to try it for yourself, before you do. It definitely has its advantages. You can read as many reviews as you like, either slating or rating it, but you mustnt allow them to indoctrinate you. You must make up your own mind. Who knows, you might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was. But I must say, the joy of browsing through a bookshop on a Saturday afternoon cannot be replaced with a mere piece of technology.

Film Review-The Muppets

Its Not Easy Being Green
Hannah Mitchell
I have been a fan of the Muppets for my whole life so when I discovered there was a new Muppet movie coming out I was just a bit excited. The movie follows Walter, who is the worlds biggest Muppet Show fan ever since he discovered there are others out there who are like him, Gary, who is Walters brother and Mary, Garys long suffering girlfriend. The film follows the journey of Walter and Gary figuring themselves out and deciding, which one of them is a man and which is a Muppet? Walter, Gary and Mary take a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate Gary and Marys tenth anniversary of being together. The first thing they do is go on a tour around Muppet Studios, which has become very run down after years of disuse. Whilst there, Walter discovers an evil plan of a greedy oil baron to buy Muppet Studios under the pretense of making it into a Muppet museum, then to destroy it instead to drill for oil. He is devastated about this, leading him, Gary and Mary to go looking for Kermit the Frog in the hope that he can help them save the Studios. They go on a huge journey across the USA and to France to gather together the rest of the Muppets so they can do one more show and raise the $10,000,000 they need to buy the Studios and save the Muppets. The film is very well acted and has a good story line. It also has a lot of spontaneous singing and dancing which, although unrealistic, is very charming. Something a bit different about the film is that the characters say things every so often which show that they know this is a film and not real life, which adds an interesting layer to the film. Examples of this include Mary saying This is going to be a really short movie. in response to Kermit saying the Muppets wont get back together and when Fozzie Bear says Wow, that was such an expensive looking explosion! I can't believe we had that in the budget. The film boasts cameo appearances from a variety of stars such as Jack Black, Dave Grohl and Whoopi Goldberg and the cast is one of famous actors, Jason Segel, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Adams just to name a few. The Muppets is one of those films that makes you feel very happy for hours after it has finished, despite being very cheesy in places. It is great to see the Muppets back on our screens in such spectacular fashion


Nick Cleggs Big Society

Havent we heard this before somewhere?
Joe Williams
Due to Clegg lacking the ability to think for himself, hes decided to target what annoyed every citizen of Britain by talking about the Big Society, except, of course, with a different name. Below is a transcript of his speech at the annual Demos Lecture. Let me begin by thanking the Demos and the Open Society Foundation for inviting me to speak here today Im glad somebody wants to listen to me, its a lot different in parliament. The good thing about getting somebody who doesnt speak that often is we try our best. The values of the open society: the same thing that Cameron said about the Big Society. I dont quite remember all of them but I think it has something to do with social mobility and pluralism. And, of course, reflecting on the past events that recently occurred due to the recent cuts. Times are extremely difficult at the moment. The economic situation of not just Britain but the world as a whole usually leads to one thing separatism, populism and an us versus them mentality (I say that because I cant think of anything more intelligent to say). However, a great thing to come out of the general election was me, due to me being liberal. I have no idea why, but thats what it says here. Liberals are good. Apparently, anyway. Its not just because were complete pushovers, or because we make numerous U-turns constantly, its because we unite the country in a common hatred against our ridiculous policies. The far right boast of elitism, the far left boast of education and the NHS, we boast of saying hey! Thats a great idea, lets do it! Never mind, back to the way we were! and, of course, lying, but what party doesnt do that!? However, when times are difficult, we have to remain optimistic I mean, the policies arent working and we havent got any money so we may as well rely on whats free! Not only must we rely on optimism, though, we must work together; as one; as a United Kingdom. Dont worry, we can forget about it once were back on stable ground. We can all go back to hating each other and stop pretending, but for now, lets just be okay with each other. People change politics. They change the way things are done. Public opinion can completely disintegrate an idea that took months to establish within seconds. If we work as a union, as a true public, we can get things done, because otherwise no politician is going to do it, all we want is a brand new moat and another flat in Kensington.

If were an open society, a society that accepts all ideas and works as one to reach a common goal, we can be out of this mess in no time. We can be voting Liberals and everything will go back to 1900. Oh, those were the days. The Raj, lots of money, everything was swimming besides, of course, that bloody Kaiser who wanted lots of our land. Lets be honest, we need an open society to work well. We need a society that enjoys one anothers company, a bit like how I wish parliament was, or how, at least, David and mines relationship was. Hes such a silly man. He never listens to a word I say. David! I shout Lets help students and then he beats me into submission with that charismatic smile! Oh, listen to me waffle on like a 12 yearold girl with a school crush! Ill just have to grow a backbone!
I just want David to love me. Is that too much to ask?

The thing is, societies work better when we work together. I know Im stating the obvious but Im not actually that bright so I couldnt think of anything to say. Anyhow, vote Liberal and have a wonderful night.

The Coalition Government

Adam Latchford
Were coming up to two years of the coalition government now and Im sure everyone has their own opinions on how they are doing, but Im just shoving in my two cents. Now, I apologise if this turns into a left wing rant, so Im going to try and keep quite a clear head. Basically, for me, the coalition have done one brilliant thing, which I can give them credit for enormously. Theyve stuck together. To create anarchy in a country I think you need three things. One is a weak economy. We have that, lets face it. Unemployment is at its highest since 1996 and we are heading towards a double dip recession (you heard it here first) whilst our government debt is in excess of a billion pounds. The eurozone crisis is not helping either, nor is the American crisis as this means our trade is lowered with these two countries (with whom we do about 85%). There is a large loss of businesses as many businesses are falling under and lets face it, were screwed (A tad polemic? Ed.). Another thing needed to create anarchy is public unrest. Weve had that. Remember the riots? Remember the student protests, the strikes that have been called, and the furore over the cutting of public pensions? This led to the biggest strike since the general strike of 1926 and lost millions of pounds in our economy on that single day. But in my opinion, the third thing you need to create anarchy is a weak government. And as it stands, we dont have that. Sure Clegg had a little strop when Cameron vetoed a decision in the EU without his consent but they will not crumble as a government. They both realise how important it is to get rid of the national debt and they are both trying to find out the best way to do it, despite that having a diverse effect on our economy. Okay, I think Ive given enough praise to the government to last me a life time, time for a rant. Now, Ive already spoken about unemployment briefly, but lets just put this into some sort of context. We expected to gain some unemployment initially, with the cuts in the public sector, but the government promised that this would be fine as the private sector would effectively take over and boost our economy. Oops. The government recently spoke about small businesses driving the economy and this would be great really, but in an oligopolistic world can we really expect small businesses to flourish? Well, if we look at the glorious town of Stockport, 30% of all shops are abandoned and

empty. Now, you could argue that internet businesses in the United Kingdom are booming, since they have fared comparatively well since the recession, but again, big corporations are eating these businesses up, starting price wars to shove out all other competition. So, what does the government do to protect small businesses? Thats right! Speak about cutting income tax on the richest quintile of people Now, I will never claim to be a genius, but surely it doesnt take one to realise that if you want to push small business then the way to go about it is to incentivise people to set up businesses, rather than make it easier for the rich to get richer? But what other short-comings have the government been culpable to? Well, do I dare talk EU? I dont even think I need to show how stupid it is to be involved in the lower half of a two tier government whilst bickering with France and Germany on how best to solve the euro-zone crisis, so I wont bother. Im going to talk about the N word. NHS. Since it was founded, the NHS has been the envy of many other countries in the world and America is currently failing to emulate it with Obama Care. Its a marvellous idea: free health care for all, whether youre rich or poor, married or single, black or white, male or female, there is absolutely no discrimination. The governments view? It costs too much and we want to introduce competition to raise hospital standards. Im pretty sure theres something called legislation

which we could use to make sure that the hospitals are performing to their optimum, offering cash incentives to those who are doing the correct thing and forcing those who arent too up their game. It doesnt take a rocket scientist to work out that free health care is an amazing thing, and we have managed to afford it for the last 63 years, when we have been through harder times then now (arguably, anyway) and introducing competition will only lead to the demise of this fantastic service. Abroad, the United Kingdoms reputation is sliding, as we become Americas little bitch and continuously struggle to solve our internal problems, as well as our poor attitude in conflicts world-wide (invading Libya; leaving Syria to it - which one has the oil?) but the one thing we have always managed to impress and make the world envious of is our NHS. Well done Mr Cameron: youre killing a beautiful thing. But I think I speak for everyone here: all the readers who are interested, all those who arent, and all those that Ive literally forced to read this, when I say the tuition fee increase is a complete and utter farce. Id just like to remind everybody that in the Liberal Democrat manifesto they said that they would make university FREE for all students. Now, I know theyre the minority in a minority government but lets face it, going from making university free to a threefold increase is ridiculous. The Liberal Sellouts have outdone themselves here, as lets face it, they could never have kept all their policies if they had got into power as a single entity but the fact that

they sold out everything to get an AV voting referendum (remember that?) which failed anyway shows a lot for the strength of their partys character. At least the Conservatives didnt lie their way into power; they just bent the truth. Im rambling here, but I want to leave with this one point. At the next election many of you will be eligible to vote, and I suggest that you do. People fought for their right to vote; Emily Wilding Davison literally died for her right to vote.

Now it seems that the British people would rather die than vote. So please everyone, make sure you see the importance, every single vote does matter, and whoever you vote for will benefit greatly. It is a privilege to vote and it is foolish to relinquish this opportunity.

You said you liked me more!

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Sir, I found the last edition of your esteemed organ surprisingly thin in content. Please rectify this situation in future. Yours, Trevor Nelson Milton Keynes A thousand apologies. Ed. Sir, The 'Letters' page of your esteemed organ may soon come under threat. It seems that you will increasingly become less likely to be addressed as 'Sir'. Regards, Good Fredwin Paisley, Renfrewshire ought to have initiated its own existence: the Higgs boson of periodicals. Where some nave souls will undoubtedly find your efforts admirable, I am decidedly unmoved and shall be avoiding your free magazine at all costs. Best wishes, Mrs Brincks Via Email

Sir, My name is David Moore. I work for HSBC Bank in the fraurd security office. In order to reactivate your account you must access our website: with your bank security data code. If you do not your HBSC accouunt may be deleted. Yours, David Moore Lagos, Nigeria Sir, I am writing in response to your erstwhile privation of publication. The founding of Bolton School at its present site ensued in 1899 and the establishment has existed in a form of sorts since 1516. Despite this grandiose and extensive heritage, The Cockerel has failed to enter the public domain before the present day. I surmise that your response would be that it, an inanimate object,

Sir, I was curious as to whether you could assist me with a small predicament. I have tried to expand my business of late but there is one concern holding me back; why arent my cockerels laying eggs? Have a bootiful day, B Matthews Norfolk

David Jacobs The Peoples Psychic

(21 March 19 April) An unknown stranger will punch you. Consider investing in a new mop.

(22 September - 22 October) Consider yourself at home. Friends will be important to you this month.

(20 April 20 May) Food will serve you well this half-term; eat some. Consider visiting Stevenage.

(23 October - 21 November) Wasnt he a Bond villain?

(21 May 20 June) You will be psychologically traumatised this half-term. You will see a man with ears.

(22 November - 21 December) A freak printer accident will destroy your fruit.

(22 December - 20 January) Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200.

The Big C
(21 June 22 July) Be careful with your face this half-term. Friends may turn their back on you, but probably wont.

(21 January - 19 February) This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

(23 July 22 August) Be careful with family this week: they might eat your legs.

(20 February - 20 March) Blackpools nice this time of year.

(23 August-21 September) Wear a hat to bed this month; consider getting in touch with someone you hate.

(30 February) Consider planning your funeral. Now is a good time to invest in life insurance.

Oracle Cockerel
We look into the Crystal Cockerel to predict the news of the next month
Week One: As the turmoil in Syria reaches its climax, Colonel Gaddafi will rise again to mollify the situation. Jeremy Clarkson will offend the ambassador for Chile. The Cockerel will be a huge success, and the editorial team will be forced to consider putting a charge in place for a copy. Week Two: Kate Middleton, while being toured around (another) youth group, will tear one of the childrens paintings up in front of them, out of frustration. While addressing the House of Commons, Vince Cables teeth will fall out. Jeremy Clarkson will offend the ambassador for The Democratic Republic of Armenia. Week Three: For her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep will win the Household Cleaning Fluid of the Year Award. Jeremy Clarkson will offend the entirety of the North East of England. Chris Huhne(s wife) will be caught speeding. Week Four: On a visit to Newcastle, Jeremy Clarkson is crucified.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe. If Lewis Carroll used Spellcheck, There wouldnt be a double Dutch. Hed have more literary respect. Hes just so out-of-touch! The worst thing is hes a success! Had he been typing with his feet? From what Ive seen he didnt express The gumption to delete. It would be far more appetising If hed read in its inception: Fragment (consider revising) By pressing F7. Microsoft underlined the script With wavy green and red marker. He ignored the talking paper clip Sulking in the corner. We couldve made sense, and expunged That which I am complaining, If the problem had been overcome With adequate IT training:

It looks like you are reading a poem. Do you need help?

Week Two:

Teas grilling, and the Weektoes sloths One:

Did gear and gamble with their wage. All misty were the biographers, And the mime rats outrage.

The Cockerel Crossword

Compiled by Alexander Walmsley
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1. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 13. 14. 15. 17. 19. 23. 24. 27. 29. 30. 31. Nick Clegg lacks one Palestinian Terrorist group I predict a American state, famous for racism Cannon fodder to disguise the real culprits Diminutive French president A type of hacking attack Confused Alybi? Meetings for agreement Russian puppet master Good Luck Jonathan, youll need it here Alexanders empire Seen at Twilight Site of Indonesian bombing An adjective for the Isle of Man A Titanic problem French cheese Build this one brick by brick International Monetary Fund

1. 2. 3. 6. 8. 10. 12. 14. 16. 17. 18. 20. 21. 22. 23. 25. 26. 28. 30. 32. First name of the Syrian president Arab Country, invaded by Iraq Andrew Lansley better have one First state of Republican candidate elections Home of the Gulag Galactic exterminators Japanese currency Perverse Liars On Top Draw out a response Inheritors of the Earth One of the Seven Deadly Sins I love the smell in the morning A made-up race? A belt of stars Chemical symbol Group 2 Greek mythology self-obsession Stronger leg bone The Hanging Gardens Latin for lion Postal abbreviation for Iowa