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Day: January 4, 2012

The End of Year Livejournal 40 Question Meme…

For many years I have done the end of year meme on LiveJournal about how the past year went. This year that meme has been promoted to the blog as I slowly let me LJ wither and die. Here is my review of 2011 in the form of the same 40 questions I have answered year in, year out for the past decade or so.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I commentated on a live football match for radio. That has to be up there. I went and stayed in a hotel on my own for the first time too. Also y’know interviewed the Deputy Prime Minister. That was pretty cool.

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I never do I’m afraid.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope. Several people who I used to go to school with from my old social group have got their partners pregnant but no-one close to me any more has given birth.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Happily not.

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed in the UK for the whole of 2011.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Good question. As 2011 continued I became more content with how life was playing out. There are obvious things that don’t need pointing out here that would be good but things are good. Possibly some more travel and good times.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I don’t think I have one. The two major moments of 2011 were the radio thing and Nick Clegg but I can’t recall the date of either of these events off hand. Early August and mid-September.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Surviving it? I suspect in all honesty my biggest achievement was being nominated for Blog Post and Blog of the Year by Lib Dem Voice.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I can’t think of anything I set out to do that I failed at. I suppose there are many small things but nothing major.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Apart from a cold and a quite nasty infection that has still left me with blurred vision is one eye then no. Although that is quite major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I don’t think I bought anything that amazing or life changing in the whole of 2011. I am a saver not a spender. If I buy something it is likely to be for need not want.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Most people that I know?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

People that aren’t encompassed by my previous answer?

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, Tax. Boo.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Football commentary and Nick Clegg interview. Yes I think that is a fair answer to many of these questions. I had (and I’m not joking) about eight hours sleep in the three days I was in Birmingham for Lib Dem Conference.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Not sure there is one to be honest.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier. Quite considerably so.
ii. thinner or fatter? Not sure. I’m fatter than I was in the summer. I suspect fatter.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Believing in myself. Writing. Exploring more avenues for future happiness on both a professional and private front.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Opposite to the first answer above.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Alone. How I spend it every year.

21. How will you be spending New Year’s?

Alone. I actually was watching the Top Gear India Special when the calendar ticked over.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?


23. How many one-night stands?


24. What was your favorite TV program(s)?

Two words. Masterchef. Australia. Boom.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. I don’t hate anyone.

26. What was the best book you read?

I think it was Buster Olney’s Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

No-one from 2011 has really made a huge impression on me musically speaking.

28. What did you want and get?

Not sure anything really falls into this category.

29. What did you want and not get?

A lottery win. A book publishing deal. Neither of these were terribly likely anyway.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I suppose Senna although not seen many films this year. I saw the original version of The Unforgiven which was good.

31. What did you do on your birthday?

I was at my sister and brother-in-laws, she fed us well and we watched the British Grand Prix. Then I had a lovely three hour train ride home.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Having a more positive influence on those around me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Jogging bottoms and Jeans are locked in a long-time war for my affections. Jeans are slowly gaining the upper hand.

34. What kept you sane?

Who said I’m still sane? They only let me out of my straitjacket so I could write this. In all seriousness I keep myself sane. Not sure how but I do.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

In a huge upset Sophie Ellis Bextor will be named here. Zooey Deschanel is quite wonderful too. Scarlett Johansson has to be mentioned. So no real newcomers to the celebrity runners and riders here.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I have been caught up recently in my small voice media crusade but politically many issues stir me but few make my blood boil. My main gripe at the moment is how Labour are acting like they know better and won’t acknowledge or actively help the government. We are in a economic mess that needs to be cleaned up but they have very publicly washed their hands of it and are blaming everything on the government and the bankers. This I find pretty abhorrent.

37. Who did you miss?

I do miss certain people but life and people move on.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I have met some interesting people in the past year. The term ‘best’ troubles me but I think it would be remiss of me not to mention Matthew Gibson, who I think is very interesting and may very well be a very able voice for the Lib Dems in the future. Also Nu…

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

Trust your instincts and don’t over-think everything.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Not sure there is one but ‘It’s my life, take it or leave it’ sums up my attitude towards the future.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

The Daily Mail and Stephen Lawrence. Why the newspaper still gets it so horribly wrong.

I have been on a bit of a bandwagon recently over what the role of the media is not only in this country but around the world. Is the media there to drive the news agenda or is it there to report the news? I know my thoughts but I am a lone voice in the wilderness with the wind howling back into my face so my voice is only heard by me.

So yesterday two men were convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. They will be sentenced shortly and will be sentenced as juveniles as they were 16 and 17 when they carried out the murder. These men had escaped justice for the best part of 19 years. In 1997 the Daily Mail had a front page calling five suspects murderers and challenging them to sue them. We all have seen the front page but it is all over the Daily Mail website today. I still find this deplorable as I believe it is the job of the courts and members of a jury to decide who is guilty of what crime and not an editorial staff at a newspaper but that might be a bit old fashioned of me.

So we get to today. The Daily Mail are lauding the fact that two of the people they accused have been found guilty. Guilt was deemed through forensic evidence only which always make me a touch uneasy but guilt has been passed and that is that. My biggest issue is with the fact that the three other men they accused are being chased by the newspaper as they look to take down the other three men they accused for the killing in 1997. Hang on a minute surely that isn’t the job of the newspaper, that is the job of the police and CPS?

As it stands these three men have been found not guilty in a court of law of these crimes. Charges were dropped due to insufficient evidence so what do the Daily Mail have on these suspects that they have decided not to pass on to the police? Surely they have some hard evidence to accuse these people of such a crime or is it maybe the fact that the people of this country want justice and sometimes justice is best served through the media than in the courts?

This is just something I cannot stomach. The people behind the Daily Mail do not know these men committed said crime. They took a calculated risk that would boost their circulation and make them sound tough on a notorious crime. The five men were always unlikely to sue the newspaper despite the fact they would win because of the public perception against them for doing so. Two of these men have now 15 years later been found guilty in a Court of Law but all five were perceived guilty in the Court of Public Opinion thanks in no small part to the Daily Mail.

Should they herald this as a triumph? They got two of out five seemingly right. All five had faced these charges before but when the Double Jeopardy law was repealed then it opened up the possibility of another trial. The police have found enough forensic evidence to take down two but the odds of finding any against the other three or more at this point seems like an awful long shot. No witnesses at the time could identify any of the suspects. There was no CCTV of the incident so we are left with the scenario where there will be no primary evidence available at any potential trial of the three other men.

So why does the Daily Mail (and the BBC News last night) try to continue to harass these men who have faced these charges only to be found not guilty due to insufficient evidence in an attempt to goad them into a retaliation? They do it because they have decided that is what mob justice wants and if they can’t get justice in the courts then they will be the ones to hand out the justice. That isn’t right folks and we all know it.

Still that how it goes these days. A media outlet can drive a story and if it bays to the will of the mob then they will be able to get away with it. People want justice and these days many don’t see the Court of Law as the best place for justice to be dished out. This worries me deeply.

I know that all five men that the newspaper accused seem like extremely unpleasant people. They may well be guilty of the crime that the Daily Mail says they are. They might very well be. However for me I shall leave it up to the courts and the 12 good men and women on a jury to decide who is guilty and of what crime and not the media. The media will never have all the evidence and will always have an ulterior motive. The courts and the jury won’t and that is why they are the right people to dish out justice and not the media.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.

The Rambles of the Neil Monnery hits the big 100,000…

TRONM and 100,000 views

So yesterday The Rambles of Neil Monnery reached a little bit of a milestone. Since March 28th when I moved to my own self-hosted WordPress blog I have received 100,000 views. That is many more than I could ever have imagined. I can’t believe so many people read my inane witterings but it does make me feel as though it is all worthwhile. I know there is no real content structure and just what pops into my fron whenever I decide to write.

For the foreseeable future this will continue to be the case. However after announcing my intention to run for Southend Council in May then obviously there will be plenty of pieces on that matter between now and then. Don’t expect the usual mix of bad joke photos, sporting views, other politics discussion as well as my thoughts on news to go away though. That is part of this blog and will continue to be so.

There are many ways to keep up with the site if you don’t visit that often. You can like us on Facebook, you can sign up for e-mail notifications of new posts in the top right hand corner of the site and you can of course add our feed to any aggregator system you may use.

Thank you for all your feedback over the past nine months and I hope you continue to enjoy what I write. If you don’t then no doubt you’ll let me know. Here’s to an enjoyable 2012…

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please leave any comments or contact me directly via the E-Mail Me link on the Right Hand Nav. You can stay in touch with the blog following me on Twitter or by liking the blog on Facebook. Please share this content via the Social Media links below if you think anyone else would enjoy reading.