“Fantastic leader, not the most vibrant” says Blunkett

Labour leader Ed Miliband has been getting pressure from every angle recently from voters saying he should not lead the party in the next General Election along with his Labour peers saying he needs to work even harder to win back voters.

Today, two senior Labour figures expressed their concern about Labour’s problems in getting their message across to voters.

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett compared Miliband to former post-war Labour Prime Minister Clement Attlee who he said was a “fantastic leader” but “wasn’t the most vibrant” public performer.

Former Chancellor, Alistair Darling also raised concerns that the party have not done much to get a clear message across to voters. Speaking to BBC’s Hard Talk programme, he said “I think everybody in my party is pretty focused on the fact that come this Autumn you need to start making it pretty clear to people what would the difference be if you come to the general election and vote for a different government.”

Miliband is now struggling to get back in control after complaints have also been made within the party over the shadow Cabinet’s failure to maintain a higher profile over the summer.

David Blunkett also expressed his concerns over Labour’s problems in connecting with the public by mentioning the recent complaint made by Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, that Labour had “massively failed” by not “holding the Tories to account.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme “There is frustration, but there is also a great deal of hope. I would accept what’s been said over the last few weeks, including the article by John Prescott on Sunday, that we need to work out how to get a higher profile in circumstances where it is very difficult to get a hearing.”

The ICM survey for The Daily Mirror shows that 46% of voters are backing Miliband to lead the party in 2015, while 34% think he is the wrong person for the leader role.

There are still people supporting him yet many are unsure whether he is strong enough for the role. Miliband should now find a new strategy to win back voters come the 2015 General Election or else Labour could possibly be in big trouble.

London 2012 Olympics – One Year On

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This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Games and more than two-thirds of the UK public think that it was well worth the £8.77bn that was spent on it. But what have we learnt from the games and did it leave a legacy?

Indeed, a legacy has been left. For me, I believe we etched ‘London’ into people’s ears as a praised city. ‘Well done for putting on a wonderful event.” is often said to us Londoners all the time since the games.

In a sense, it brought us all closer together and not just Londoners. The games brought the whole of the United Kingdom closer together. We all learnt to help our community and do more for it. We learnt to not let dreams stay as dreams. Seeing the successes of our very own Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins etc… it taught us to never give up on our dream, whatever that dream may be.

It also taught us not be a cynic and have faith in our city. I can hold my hands up to that. Before the Olympics, being the usual Londoner that I am, I thought the Olympics would go belly-up. I never thought we would have left that much of a legacy but we have and it is amazing.

It helped the local economy in more ways than we ever thought. It made young people to take up sport instead of staying on the streets. It did give us a meaning and we are all just thriving in the legacy because London has never been the same since.

On a personal level, I believe it has done wonders to the local area. Growing up here, I have seen it all ever since I was young. From a drudgery part of East London, quite a disadvantaged, working-class area, I have seen it become a wonderful and stunning touristy area in just 7 years.

When it was in the making, our community was so excited yet nervous because of our expectation of the Olympic Park and the surrounding area was very high indeed and thankfully it met our expectations and one year on, East London is still glowing and the legacy of the Olympic Games is shining through.

Should Mental Health Lessons Be Taught In Schools?

There are calls for young people to be taught about mental health in schools as part of the national curriculum after a study revealed today that one in three children in Britain have contemplated suicide by the age of 16.

The reason for this is a lack of education surrounding mental health as many young people go without help and therefore struggle to cope. There are issues in schools that young people face everyday such as bullying and schools often do not take into consideration the result of bullying and how severely it can effect a person, espcially when they at an age where they are trying to find their own identify. They could resort to self harm, eating disorders and have low self-esteem.

There could be a shy and quiet pupil in a classroom and perhaps they are naturally shy but it could be more to it than that. That person could be depressed and suicidal because he or she is being bullied and does not know where or who to turn to. If that person was taught about mental health in school, then they could at least know that they could have a problem and know where to go for help.

There is still a stigma attached to having a mental health problem and people are still quite weary of even talking about it.

Having been through my school years but not once was I ever taught about depression or anxiety disorders or even eating disorders. I do believe if I was taught about those issues, maybe I could have handled them well and perhaps know what to do and feel less alone.

Early intervention is key to any illness and a mental disorder is something like cancer. If it is not treated early, then it will grow and grow and keep on growing until it eventually gets worse.

I strongly believe lessons on mental health will benefit young people in a positive way. However, mental illness is not a choice so having lessons on mental health will not prevent them developing a problem but they will get to understand it and break the stigma attached to it. They will talk about it and know who to go to for help if they unfortunately develop one. Schools need to start preparing students for real life and real problems because frankly that is where the problem lies – there is lack of education out there.

Does Child Pornography Cause Sexual Violence?

In the wake of Mark Bridger being found guilty of murdering 5-year-old April Jones which was proven to be a sexually motivated murder after Bridger looked at indecent images of child pornography and rape online, it raised the question whether pornography is the cause of sexual violence.

MPs and children’s charities today have condemned Google and internet service providers to block violent and child pornography online after details of the murder of April Jones emerged.

But how can this be possible when you can go on a site that then links to other sites which makes it easier for people to find these disturbing images eventually.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, John Carr, a Government adviser and member of the Internet Task Force on Child Protection, said “Google are the biggest players. If they were to block it, others would follow.”

It might seem impossible to block these sites but as the internet is still rather new and technology is always developing, there should be a way to clamp down on these extreme sites and I think google and internet service providers should do something practical in order to ban these sites.

Adult pornography is one thing but child pornography or rape is another which is not porn. It is not something we should put 18+ and censor it. It is something we should ban entirely because violence of any kind, is not something to be glorified and with how accessible these images and videos are now, explains why Mark Bridger and Stuart Hazell who was also found guilty last month for killing 12-year-old Tia Sharp, fuelled their fantasies by looking at those images which then motivated them to act in the same way which lead to murder.

I am not saying it is entirely the internet’s fault but it definitely plays a part and I hope that this leads to effective measures to stop any repeated or similar cases from happening again.

Waiting Lists…

Waiting lists for treatment, for any disorder is a frustrating thing. We are dealing with a health problem here which could kill us and they put us on a waiting list, which can last for years, but for eating disorder treatment, it is even more dangerous.

An eating disorder is a dangerous illness and by being put on a waiting list, you are asking for death because you wait and wait and wait and by the time you are offered treatment, you are severely ill.

This angers me because ALL eating disorders, whatever the stage the sufferer is at, should be treated early, before it gets worse. It seems like the specialists want people to be emaciated and severely sick to get treated. It should not be like that all.

Anorexia is a very life threatening illness and to many sufferers, being on a waiting list is a recipe for disaster because to them it means they are not “anorexic enough” to get treated and which they turn into being “fat”.

Eating disorders are completely and utterly hard to detect, which is why, any sign of abnormal behaviour, I think should be treated as soon as possible, before it gets out of hand. There should not be a criteria about how you must be a certain BMI to be anorexic. Not at all.

Eating disorders should be treated just like any other health issue. It is absolutely serious and nothing is being done about it. People are dying with the illness more frequently than ever, which proves it all.

I think it is time for specialists, especially in the NHS to start taking eating disorders more seriously and actually start to feel empathic to people with eating disorders. It is about time Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt does something about waiting lists, especially in mental health services because at the moment, it is awful.

Some eating disorder sufferers may not be dying, however it is not just about physical health. Truth be told, the emotional pain inside is what is killing us the most and whether the person does not seem to be dying outside, I can guarantee you that the person is dying inside, which is why eating disorders need to be treated as soon as possible because it is a psychological problem. The physical problem is only the symptom of the illness so therefore, if it is not treated early, it gets worse.

Sir Alex Ferguson to Retire as Manchester United Manager

It is an end of an era. A day all football fans have dreaded. Sir Alex Ferguson will step down as Manchester United manager at the end of the season. 26 years of being Manchester United’s manager is an incredible achievement and I think he will leave without any regrets.

He was a strong leader and adored by fans and players but he also had his faults throughout the years. Without the faults though, he would not have been a great public figure that he is today.

People found him to be a strong manager because of the way he combined many of his own qualities into the team. He managed the team in a way where no other manager could. His passion and enthusiasm about football showed in the matches by the way he organised his team.

He knows what attitude to use against different players and what players he thinks will definitely benefit the team to help them grow and win. I don’t think he regrets signing Robin Van Persie. In fact, that was probably his proudest signing so far.

After winning thirteen Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, two domestic league and FA Cup doubles, he thinks it is about time he leaves and he will leave with a great reputation as one of the greatest managers of all time as well as a great legacy left at Old Trafford.

Local Elections 2013 – UKIP’s Victory…

So, Ken Clarke, who are the “clowns” now? UKIP have had the last laugh today when they managed to win the most votes at the local council elections across England. It could not have come at a better time as well after Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke branded UKIP as “clowns” the other day.

This result was rather unexpected to some but expected to others because of how much UKIP have grown as a political party in recent months. We have seen it coming and people have taken a liking to their policies.

But, what are UKIP doing that Labour, Tories and the Lib Dem’s aren’t? Maybe the British public want something new. Of course, we cannot deny that most political parties say they will do something but in the end, it turns to be the complete opposite. Maybe people are just curious as to see what UKIP will do to deliver…or maybe it was the desperate protest votes that UKIP continually deny, that they are more than a protest voting party. This is what people really wanted…or is it?

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the result was “remarkable” for the party and they are on course to change the face of British politics.

The Conservatives have fallen back since the general election and worry has arisen for Prime Minister David Cameron. He said he will need “to work hard to win back voters.”

Labour have still got a lot to do even though they did fairly well in the local elections today and leader Ed Miliband said he is “pleased” with their result  However, the Liberal Democrats are nowhere near to win the public over to vote for them after suffering quite an awful result.

UKIP are not going anywhere and from the results we are seeing from local elections, they are on their way to compete with the other three main parties in the next general election in 2015.