End of year lists time has come around again, hurrah! 2016 has been one of the weirder and less wonderful years in recent years with celebrity deaths and crazy politics abound. The year was less than stellar for music too but nevertheless I have got 25 tracks which for me have stood out as the top. Same rules apply as always, only songs released as a single or as part of an album in 2016 are allowed and only one song per artist.. and with that I give you 2016;
25. Public Access TV - End of an Era
24. Arthur Sharpe - My Only Worry
23. Akala - Giants
22. The Strokes - Oblivius
21. Jamie T - Drone Strike
20. Zayn - Pillowtalk
19. The King Blues - Off With Their Head
18. Protoje - Who Knows
17. Childcare - Film Club
16. Shame - The Lick
15. Tibet - In My Head
14. Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Dark Necessities
13. The Tribe - Jump Up
12. Pixies - Tenement Song
11. Rat Boy - MOVE
10. Grouplove - Good Morning
9. Rationale - Something For Nothing
8. Xylaroo - Sunshine
7. Kano - A Roadman's Hymn
6. Nova Twins - Bassline Bitch
5. The Divine Comedy - Funny Peculiar
4. We Are Scientists - Buckle
3. Peter Doherty - I Don't Love Anyone (But Your're Not Just Anyone)
2. LUH - I & I
1. Blossoms - Charlemagne
Maybe I was a bit unfair before, there are some truly cracking tunes in there with Blossoms being the pick of the bunch. A list combining mainly of British Indie which my lists always will be but also a good amount of British rap and grime music which it has been a really good year for but more on that in the album list.
If you are interested HERE is the spotify playlist, and until next year
Today I have made the leap and left the Labour Party. I have been a member of the party since I was about 16 and have been affiliated with the party as long as I can remember. Before I go into the whys and wherefores I will point out that my ideologies have not changed and I am not ruling out rejoining the party at a later date it is just that for now I do not feel comfortable giving money to the organisation.
OK so my history with the Labour Party, I was born into a Labour household, my mum was a long term Labour member, Dad is a Labour Councillor and my Godmother is an MP. Growing up my friends were all mainly from Labour supporting households, I was well and truly immersed. Somewhat naively throughout my youth I did the biddings of the local Labour party whether it was delivering leaflets or entering data onto a computer database and I do not regret this getting Labour into power in 1997 was a great success and the party did many great things when in power in Northern Ireland, devolution and welfare changes.
Things though have changed, I studied politics both at college and then University. I have since learned and seen first hand the dark side of politics in the UK and around the world and with that I have become politically at least much more of a pessimist. I went into University thinking a life in politics was the life for me, I came out not so sure.
Anyway to the party we see today, my decision to leave is based on the fact that I really see no tenable option as to who I would like to vote for as leader. Normally I am very much the advocate of it doesn't matter who the leader is as we are lucky in the UK to have a party system, not presidential but times are changing with this leader vote comes a choice of which Labour party we will see come out the other side.
Now with Jeremy Corbyn, although I did not vote for him in last year's leadership election (to see why see here) I was sympathetic to his ideals and to a large extent I still am. I am an old fashioned socialist at heart but I am very pro EU and I understand that there is a need to compromise with the right of the party to find a solution for all. I cannot side with Corbyn though as he has shown a lack of ability to compromise and a stubbornness which is not in the interest of the party or the greater population. Unfortunately as well, though not entirely his fault, there is a large portion of his support who are not playing by the rules.
As for Owen Smith (and the majority of the PLP) I can see their point of view, Corbyn has become a laughing stock of late and probably has become un-electable and Smith seems to have some good ideas, encompassing some of the better arguments from both left and right of the party. Of Course though there are the negatives, my initial complaint is the way in which this leadership campaign has been brought about, despite a disdain for Corbyn that the majority of the PLP has he does have a mandate to lead based on the votes of the membership. To create a coup and call for a new leader is saying that the party don't care what the membership want and that is not good for democracy. The polls and likely outcome of the election prove that Corbyn is want the membership want. Also like that of the left, the followers of this movement have also been nasty as well if in a more passive aggressive way often portraying themselves as the victims whilst posting stories of how awful the left is.
Now realistically neither side will get the party elected any time soon as despite the Tories being a complete mess, the Labour Party has managed to make them look like a pillar of strength and so we are destined to be ruled over them for a decade as they take us out of Europe and build the UK into USA v2.0. I have seen this debate cause arguments between friends and family with both sides shovelling negative propaganda down the other sides throat and rarely offering any positive solutions to the problem. Neither side are willing to compromise in the slightest and thus I don't see what I can do but remove myself from the situation and wait for the party to implode in on itself from the outside. Until then I will keep myself busy with individual campaigns rather than party politics and maybe somewhere down the line try and help rebuild a party from the inevitable split that is just over the horizon.
Ok so I don't on the whole like to get in with too much Social Media emotional posting as realistically a few thumbs up here and there really aren't going to change my life a great deal but today I feel I need to do something. This post is for me, for me to read in another 5 years to see how I was feeling but also for all the people who miss Sheila Draper, my wonderful mother.
As the title suggests it is 5 years today since we lost her and it hasn't been easy. From the first few weeks of constant tears and horrible dreams to the emotional Birthdays and Christmases. It is true though with every passing year, although it doesn't get better, day to day life does become easier to deal with. Special occasions though I feel will always be hard. I mean in those 5 short years a lot has happened, most notably for me starting my career, promotions, proposals, marriage, my first home and most recently my first step onto the property ladder. These are all milestones that I always assumed she was going to be there for but at least I know she would be proud.
There are all the future milestones too that I hope to achieve over the coming years and I know I will muddle through but I just wish she could see them. I know though I am lucky to have had her for the time that I did, she was as perfect a role model as I could have ever asked for and with dad have given me the grounding for the person that I have become thus far. I don't want to get into an homage about her life her but this is the woman who when faced with the difficulties of having a child with severe disabilities, a relatively rare disability that in 1985 was little known about, rather than feeling sorry for herself she set up a community of people to help and support each other to look after their children, The CHARGE Family Support Group which is still running and helping families today.
Anyway on this day I remember the great times we had and although I am sad they are no more I am so so grateful for what I got.