All posts by Anthony Murphy

A Case Study Of Labour Party Communication From 1992 To 1997

With a combined application of empirical evidence, academic research and opinion, this essay will assess the impact that the popular printed press had on Labour Party policy and communication, focusing on not only the surprise outcome of the 1992 election, but also the ultimately successful electoral strategy of the Labour Party from 1992 to 1997. It will also explore elements of historical comparison and contrast.

Both the political landscape and the printed media coverage for the 1964 election campaign and its 1992 counterpart are remarkably similar; the outcomes, however, reveal a stark contrast. It is this fascinating juxtaposition between the two respective results which provides the spark for this exploration, including how it potentially hardened the future Labour leadership’s resolve to court a previously hostile media organ, in glaring contrast to the previous incumbent’s ambivalence. The 1997 campaign’s success was achieved in no small part through Tony Blair’s political courtship (and subsequent mutual support) of Rupert Murdoch, following Blair’s ascension to the leadership of the Labour Party in the aftermath of John Smith’s untimely passing in 1994. Blair was also assisted by the implosion of the Conservative party under John Major’s leadership Continue reading A Case Study Of Labour Party Communication From 1992 To 1997

The Hollies – Two Lads From Ordsall

In 1948, a six year old boy from Broughton, by the name of Harold Allan Clarke, walked into Mr Burke’s class at Ordsall Board School. The only spare seat in the room was positioned next to a certain Graham William Nash. It was the beginning of a friendship that was a significant part of the 1960s golden era of pop music and a friendship that lasts to this day.

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Graham Nash in 1956 at Aberystwyth Summer camp with Salford Lads Club (Photo courtesy of Salford Lads Club)

Both lads bonded over their love of singing, membership of Salford Lads’ Club and a mutual love of Manchester United. In October 2013, Graham Nash told this writer in his hybrid Salfordian/Californian accent that “there’s only one team in Manchester man and that’s United”. In his autobiography, Nash elaborated on the effects of the Munich air crash, which occurred days after his 16th birthday: “The Busby Babes were my team. They were our local pride. My Dad had taken me to dozens of their matches and one of their most celebrated players, Eddie Colman, went to my school. It was impossible for me to digest.” Continue reading The Hollies – Two Lads From Ordsall

TV Review: The One Show & Rip Off Britain:Live

The One Show (Wednesday 7 p.m.) night had Nick Hewer from The Apprentice, Guy Martin, a TT racer who told an enthralled nation about his spanner collection and a drummer called Sean who could hit his drum pad six hundred and fifty four times in thirty seconds.

Other highlights of the show featured: a twenty six stone man who could pull fourteen cars for eighteen feet with just his body strength; a 12-year-old girl called Scarlett who could go fifty metres in twenty eight seconds on a space hopper; and an interview with Prince Andrew where he was promoting an entrepreneurial scheme eerily similar to the one that his big brother, Chuck, was doing some thirty years ago. Continue reading TV Review: The One Show & Rip Off Britain:Live

TV Review: Coronation Street & The Apprentice

Hathersage Road Swimming Baths was the venue for the trial of the year, which commenced on Coronation Street on Monday night. Amongst the usual farcical courtroom scenes that Corrie does so well was this pearler from an annoyed Rita Tanner (Barbara Knox) when she said ‘Decorum to them is like a foreign word’. Continue reading TV Review: Coronation Street & The Apprentice

TV Review: Jeremy Kyle, X Factor & The Code

The Jeremy Kyle Show (ITV1 every weekday morning…forever) was in 2007 described by a district Judge in Manchester as a “human form of bear baiting”. The continuing success of the programme is as extraordinary as it is depressing. In this execrable show, we have the messed up lives of real people put on a stage for a pantomime.

Superficially, the raison d’etre of our hero (let’s call him Jezza) and his show, is to help people put their houses in order (so to speak), perhaps advise people who would be going through similar crises in how to deal with them in a dignified manner.

If that is the case then the fact the show has been running for seven years Continue reading TV Review: Jeremy Kyle, X Factor & The Code

TV Review: Scott & Bailey, Bad Education & Educating The East End

Now in its fourth series, Scott & Bailey (ITV1 Wednesday 9pm) goes from strength to strength. Loosely inspired by 1980s cop show, Cagney & Lacey, Scott & Bailey goes way past the original template.

For a start, it has three strong women in central roles who are not constantly bickering and putting each other down, something unheard of in most TV dramas. A wry Northern humour also plays a huge part Continue reading TV Review: Scott & Bailey, Bad Education & Educating The East End

The Challenge That Citizen Journalism Presents To The Future Of Commercially Driven Journalism

This essay will discuss the challenges that the medium of commercially driven journalism faces in the future. It will present the evolution and practices of both professional journalism and how it has become entwined with citizen journalism. The essay will also juxtapose the historical context with the contemporary relevance of citizen journalism and how commercially driven journalism will have to find a way of accommodating the practices of citizen journalism, whilst at the same time, staying commercially viable and of a quality and integrity that the medium has traditionally strived for.

There is a natural suspicion of time-served journalists to the ever-expanding genre of citizen journalism. Continue reading The Challenge That Citizen Journalism Presents To The Future Of Commercially Driven Journalism

A Contemporary Critique Of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

An indecipherable clutter of chatter, combined with the sound of string and horned musical instruments being tuned up, give an ominous atmospheric intro to what we’re about to hear.  It only last ten seconds but seems to last longer. Out of nowhere the music begins and before we realise what’s going on, we are being informed that ‘It was twenty years ago today, that Sgt Pepper taught the band to play’. Coming into the chorus, we hear what in my opinion are the best harmonies the Beatles ever did (and I include “This boy’, “Yes it is” and “Because” in that comparison).  Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) was conceived to give the Beatles an alter ego and escape the constraints of the mass popularity that kept them in a tight box during their earlier years. This new phase of The Beatles career would see them grow their hair to the length they wished, not wear the matching clothes that they had been doing until then and create a more individual profile for the members of the band instead of the tight knit collective that had been the case prior. This was the coming time of a sometimes glorious, free spirited indiscipline which lasted until the folly of Apple Corp reared its head a couple of years later.

With the introduction of ‘The one and only Billy Shears’. Continue reading A Contemporary Critique Of The Beatles Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

When Hell Freezes Over – Never Say Never…

Every so often, speculation about the potential reformation of now recognised seminal Manchester group, The Smiths, rears its head. Whilst there is absolutely no doubt that bass player Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce would be amenable to a reunion, the likelihood of this happening, in my opinion, is unlikely but as we are to discover over the course of this article, one should never say never.

In October 2011, The Smiths’ Mancunian compatriots, The Stone Roses announced Continue reading When Hell Freezes Over – Never Say Never…

The Differences Between Stories That Are In The Public Interest And Those That Are Of Interest To The Public

This essay will compare, contrast and discuss the differences between public interest journalism and journalism that is of interest to the public. The essay will attempt to decipher where the lines of the two aforementioned concepts become opaque whilst at the same time, acknowledging the mutual interest of the necessity to public knowledge and gratuitous salacity.

Journalism that is in the public interest is the fundamental backbone to a functioning democracy. In theory, Continue reading The Differences Between Stories That Are In The Public Interest And Those That Are Of Interest To The Public