Archive for December, 2010

December 31, 2010

>10 tunes of 2010 for your NYE party

>Here are 10 of VN’s favourite tunes to light up you NYE party this evening:

“One” – Swedish House Mafia
Katy on a Mission” – Katy B
“This Day is Mine” – Emma’s Imagination
“Ill Behaviour” – Danny Byrd
“Brainwashed” – Devlin
“Promise This” – Cheryl Cole
“Hollywood” – Marina and the Diamonds
“Telephone” – Lady Gaga
“Like a G6” – Far East Movement
“Acapella” –  Kelis

December 29, 2010

>Skins 5 titles


At VN towers we have been getting quite excited about the prospect of series 5 of Skins. There is a whole new cast of characters once again, and today the new titles has been released:
Series 5 of Skis will broadcast from 10pm on E4 on 27th January.
December 24, 2010

>Merry Christmas from VN!


Thanks to all our readers who’s reading, commenting and sharing of posts have helped this blog grow rapidly in 2010.

There will be some exciting new developments to VN next year. This will include the launch of our youtube channel VNVids, which will host videos from events, vox pops, as well as original material.

Big thanks to this years contributors Oliver Holmes (sport), Ian Hodge (sport) and Thomas Hemsley (US Politics). This blog is not just about one person, or a select group of peoples’ interests and opinions, so if you want to write for VN in 2011 please email me at

Until then, have a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Charlotte Henry – Editor

December 24, 2010

>Laying bare the year of… David Cameron

>The final ‘Laying bare the year of…’ post looks at the year of Prime Minister David Cameron.

David Cameron

2010 finally saw David Cameron achieve his goal of leading the Conservative Party out of the opposition wilderness and into government…with a little help from his new found friends. At the beginning of the year he looked a comfortable bet to be leading a majority government, but as winter turned to spring the polls closed in on him. A poor start in the Leaders’ Debates and Cleggmania put him under  more pressure, and he edged at least one of the last two debates. As he started his pre-polling nighttime campaign tour his lead was slim. There are lots of Conservative members who still feel that by failing to secure a one party majority David Cameron in fact failed in this years election.

Post-election he has though proved himself to be a leader of more substance than many gave him credit for pre-election. His ‘big, open offer’ speech to the Liberal Democrats on May 7th will go down in political history, as will that press conference with Nick Clegg in the Downing Street Rose Garden. Under more pressure than he had been used to on home turf, his conference speech in October may have been mocked for the ‘rap’ sections and cheesy exit music, but it again proved that he is committed both as leader of the Conservatives and the coalition.

Away from politics, Cameron’s personal life has been another emotional rollercoaster for him and his wife. Within a matter of days in September Cameron’s fourth child Florence was born in Cornwall, and  his father sadly died.

The Prime Minister also tried to win the 2018 World Cup for England. He was part of the fantastic last pitch, along with David Beckham and Prince William, to secure the tournament. However, he was witness to crude politicking that would make even his party’s 1922 committee blush, and the tournament went to Russia.

Vince Cable and the Telegraph may have made the end of the year more sticky than it need to be, but Cameron will no doubt consider his 2010 a success. What 2011 will hold for his Government is anyones guess.

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December 23, 2010

>It gets better…today

>Now VN and Stonewall have not always seen eye-to-eye on issues, but they have been re-running their excellently messaged, albeit shoddily produced, “It gets better…today” campaign videos today. They are worth highlighting, and here are some of our favourites:

Prime Minister David Cameron

TV and Radio Presenter Clare Balding

December 23, 2010

>Dear Daily Telegraph, journalism should be about facts not fishing expeditions

>In the hysteria surrounding the non Wikileaks “Cablegate” many people seem to have forgotten quite how this story came to pass in the first place. The Daily Telegraph, a fairly respected broadsheet whatever its political persuasion, just got bored pre-Christmas and went on a fishing trip.

Obviously behind closed doors the two parties in the coalition have discussions about how to accommodate their differing views before presenting a united fron in public. That is how coalition politics works. Hardly news. Furthermore, Vince Cable hadn’t actually done anything wrong. He was perfectly entitled to not approve the BSkyB takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. His silly brags were of course deeply unprofessional, embarrassing, and call his judgement into question. However, the situation would not have arisen if the Telegraph hadn’t sent two journalists off to his constituency, fishing rods in hand.

Everyone knows Christmas is a slow time for political journalists, but that doesn’t mean you go creating stories because your news desk are twiddling their thumbs. If you do stoop that low, at least have the integrity to publish everything that bites the bait, not just the stuff that suits your political, but not commercial, interests.

Here’s hoping that in 2011 journalism can return to being based on facts, not cheap stories created by low-brow tactics…some hope.

December 22, 2010

>Laying bare the year of… Mark Zuckerberg


2010 was the year that the Facebook founder and CEO really came out form behind his laptop. Of course there was the film based around his life and company, ‘The Social Network,’ which was a box-office smash.  However, he also made multiple mainstream media appearances, including a cameo in the Simpsons, and making a big charitable announcement on Oprah.

More than anything though, 2010 was the year Facebook moved away from being just another social networking website. The blue button has started sprouting up everywhere this year, allowing you to share articles, pictures, and videos with all your ‘friends’ at a click of a button. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, Zuckerberg once again received large amounts of criticism over concerns about privacy on Facebook, when new changes made people’s profile less private than they though. But he still always seems to come out on top. People want what he is offering.

Not an online political freedom fighter like Julian Assange, Zuckerberg is pretty much your classic geek. Except for his obsession with people and networking. The sociopath depicted in the film could never really have come up with the huge social tool Zuckerberg invented, the tool that is now valued at $6bn as the year comes to a close.

Zuckerberg’s rapid increase in profile in 2010 reached its climax last week, when he was announced as Time magazines person of the year. In 2011 Facebook will once again outgrow it’s current California bases and move to a more Google-esque campus, the website will inevitably also grow. While most social media sites disappear with the trends, Facebook seems set to stay. Zuckerbergs mono-vision has this year started moving the site towards being a passport to the internet itself.

December 22, 2010

>Lenny Henry – soul man

>VN was thoroughly enjoying the house band Ronnie and the Rex last night at downstairs at the Kings Head in North London when a rather familiar face showed up:

But Lenny Henry wasn’t there to do some stand up, that was left to the rather dull and predictable Glenn Wool, instead he was belting out numbers with the band. Lenny sang three songs including a rendition of the classic ‘Soul Man’ that got everyone to their feet. Good Christmassy fun!
December 21, 2010

>Cable survives, but Murdoch is today’s real winner


Vince Cable MP addressing a Liberal Democrat c...Image via Wikipedia

Vince Cable will remain as Business Secretary…just. His comments yesterday about the coalition’s “Maoist revolution” in the Telegraph were rightly dismissed as nothing more than an embarrassment. Robert Peston’s revelation that Cable had also “declared war on Murdoch” proved a little bit more problematic, and the clips of him giggling with pretty girls will haunt for a long time to come.

The result is Cable now presides over a department with vastly reduced powers. Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, and Cameron loyalist, Jeremy Hunt will now preside over decisions of media regulation and ownership. DCMS is one of the few departments with no Liberal Democrat Minister in it, and Murdoch’s desired take over of all of BSkyB now seems destined to go through. VN awaits with trepidation the launch of Fox News UK.

There is nothing honourable about the way the Telegraph went on a cheap fishing mission, and  subsequently failed to report the BSkyB element due their opposition to the News Corp takeover. However, they have suceeded in severely clipping the wings of a key Lib Dem, who in the end, is lucky to be still flying at all.

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December 21, 2010

>Laying bare the year of… Gordon Brown


Gordon BrownImage via Wikipedia

Do you remember when people liked Gordon Brown? When he was the substance to Tony Blair’s shine? Well…that wasn’t 2010. No, 2010 was the year Gordon finally was forced into an election. You could almost hear the ‘ITS TIME, TO FACE, THE MUSIC’ X-Factor voice.

The year started looking like there would be an electoral wipeout for the Labour Party, and by May 6th the only thing that people knew about the election is that Labour had lost it. However, they had somehow not done as badly as people thought they would, and were just about still in play in the coalition negotiations. Brown though doesn’t get much credit for this. Between agreeing with Nick and bigot-gate he was hardly a campaign asset to his party, and the Dark Lords Campbell and Mandelson deserve much more credit than him for keeping the whole show on the road.

It is of course down to Mandelson that Brown was holding the position anyway. Right at the start of the year former cabinet Ministers Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon had tried to force a leadership election. Brown was apoplectic. Various current ministers were frogmarched to the nearest TV camera to declare their unwavering support for their inglorious leader. For comedy value Jack Straw turned up to meet with Brown “looking like the damned grim reaper”. Hours later though is was all over when David Miliband finally came out to give his support too.

In his book, “22 Days in May”, David Laws describes Brown as lecturing, not listening, to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg as they tried to see if they could do business. Brown’s bullying reputation was already established, courtesy of former Labour Party General Secretary Peter Watt’s book earlier in the year. Mandelson and Blair have since finished of the last remaining bits of the Brown’s reputation to such devastating effect in their own tomes that one almost feels sorry for him.

Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander eventually had the guts to do what no Labour MP could, and forced Brown to resign as a condition on. Having pined for the top role in politics for so long, the 2010 tide was too strong for Brown to push back. Brown has only been seen in parliament twice since standing down. He will be as happy to see the back of 2010 as he was to the back of Blair.

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