British Youth and Politics: Can they come together?

Kanye telling the world that of course he'll be running for Pres in 2020

Kanye telling the world that of course he’ll be running for Pres in 2020

The MTV VMA’s this year brought to mind an issue that we could have never thought up in our wildest dreams: yep, Yeezy for President of the US in 2020.

That’s right, Kanye West stated just how obvious is was that he would be running for the position in just five short years.

Twitter responses to Kanye's Presidential campaign

Twitter responses to Kanye’s Presidential campaign

This of course saw the internet erupt with responses to the news and was the birth of the hashtag #Kanye2020.

Even President Obama himself weighed in by offering his advice to the rapper, as shown in the video at the bottom of this article.

This humility towards Mr West, is a complete turnaround from the President referring to him as a ‘jackass’ way back in 2009.

It sparks the feeling that Mr Obama knows exactly what he doing. In including fun little anecdotes about Kanye’s 2020 pledge, Obama is directly appealing to younger voters.

This sparked curiosity and brought about the wonder as to why our politicians aren’t doing this sort of thing for our younger generations.

President Obama is a whiz on social media also, making himself seem more available to those younger voters. But just how close do under 25’s in this country feel to our Prime Minister, David Cameron?

The results varied in how the answers were given, but they all pointed in the same direction: there is nothing there to attract new, young voters.

Sam Bradley, 19, Hemlington feels that although he can relate to some ideologies put out by various political parties, there is not enough there at the minute to encourage young people to vote.

“In terms of relating to young people, they don’t hit the target. We just don’t really care because we’re not represented,” he said.

Young voter Sam Bradley discusses his thoughts on modern day politics

Young voter Sam Bradley discusses his thoughts on modern day politics there is not enough there at the minute to actual attract young people to vote.

Katy Phenix-Norman, 22 from Redcar added: “My opinion is if you look at the average Conservative voter, they are 55+ and middle class. So their policies are tailored more towards their voting base i.e bus pass, savings and pensions.

“In this same vein of thought they are less likely to push ‘young’ topics such as university fees. So until more young people get involved in politics and become a larger part of the voting demographic policies will not be tailored towards them – hence a sense of not being able to relate to politicians.”

The questions this raises though, is that with the way current politics is, am I expected to wake up one day when I’m in my 50’s and think ‘Yeah, this is for me now.’

It’s something I’m not sure I can see happening. In a sense, it saddens me that the U.S. has a leader that is so connected with the youth, with pop culture references and fantastic use of social media, and our government doesn’t even try to win me over with policies I might like. And I’m not the only one.

Philip Stirzaker, 25 from Hemlington, expressed to me his admiration of Obama.

“Obama is amazing. He’s charismatic, apparently empathetic, funny, in touch and really does in a way have a clue what’s going on at street level in the USA,” he said.

“That being said though, the USA is outrageously big and dynamic so he’s probably more in touch with our youth across the board than that of the USA.”

Philip believes there is some hope for Britain in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn.

“I believe in Jeremy Corbyn, he’s like a bland Barack Obama… maybe he is from money, maybe he’s not, you don’t really want to read too much about the bloke,”he said.

“I’ve watched some PMQ since he’s been the Leader of the Opposition and he seems honest, upfront and not towing a line.

“He’s here for the people, which is what politics has failed to be here for so many years that it’s painful to even think about our future.”

He feels that the biggest reason for a divide between voters and politicians is the “ancestry of obscene wealth” that they come from.

This is something Jack Waldron, 21, Middlesbrough agreed with.

 “I personally can’t relate to  a southern middle class etonian, [speaking about the PM] but I don’t think politicians are there to be related to,” He said.

“I don’t mind what background my local MP comes from, as long as they do their best to represent me and their constituents in the Houses of Parliament.”


Who can you relate more to? A young Corbyn (left) or a young Cameron (right)?

Who can you relate more to? A young Corbyn (left) or a young Cameron (right)?

Although there are a growing number of British youths now taking an active interest in politics, there is still a clear divide between them and the actual politicians.

As an individual I feel like I understand the US President more than our own PM sometimes, in that he understands my wants and needs.

I can only hope that our future is bright and that one day we will have a Prime Minister that appeals to the majority of younger voters. Maybe nothing like a ‘PEEZY’ though…


from Tside

DCI Banks star receives Honorary Degree from Teesside University

Local actor and TV star, Stephen Tompkinson, has received his Honorary Doctorate on a windy, final day of Graduation week at Teesside University.

Stephen Tompkinson

Stephen Tompkinson dressed in his Graduation gown

The Stockton born actor is well known for his roles on stage and screen, the most well known being current character, Alan Banks, from DCI Banks.

As well as coming back to the local area to see family and friends, Tompinkson revealed that he was quite a big sports fan and is an avid fan of Middlesbrough football club.

Whilst thanking a number of different people, including his family and the writers for his previous and current tv shows, he said: “Middlesbrough Football Club, I have got to thank them for constant inspiration and teaching me all aspects of life, not just winning.”

He also predicted that the team would get promoted to the Premier League next season through automatic promotion, referring negatively to the play-off final game, last season, against Norwich.

But amongst the jokes, he talked about the spirit of the people of Teesside and how they came together recently at the victory against Manchester United, referring to the light display for the workers of SSI, who lost their jobs.

He said: “I thought it was so beautiful going to Old Trafford and to pay homage to the Steelworkers who lost their jobs in the way that they did. It says alot about this area and this community.”

As well as praise for the local area, he was also impressed by the ‘new look’ of the University campus.

Looking out of the window into the heart of the university, he said: “[the university] are attracting people from all over and they are getting such a good reputation and it is a reputation that they will build on.”

“They keep developing and it is just fantastic,” he added.

As well as giving an insight into what he was like as a student, where he admitted he was a hard worker, he finished off with  a few words of advice for students at Teesside University, looking to get into the acting industry.

As well as mentioning some of his personal tips on how to get into an acting career, he gave some advice for students to take on board, saying: “My maxim has always been, as much as you can, try and shape your career as if you can try and do something completely different from the last job, you will never get bored, and that will transfer to the audience.”

Graduation Week 2015 – Honorary Graduate Stephen Tompkinson from TUSU TV on Vimeo.

from Tside

New Designers @ Teesside University :Post from Tees Made

Each year, the third year product design students at Teesside inherit the New Designers society.  This group of students is primarily a means to organise fundraising activity for the New Designers stands at the end of the academic year.  Three students this year have taken on key roles within the Society.


Tim Hargreaves, Lawrie Ward and Ffion Crowhurst have each taken the positions of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.  Their task this year is to organise events and manage the society as we being to raise funds for our stand at New Designers 2016, next summer.  With the new construction and developments around the University – Not least of all the Curve – Campus Heart is a hive of activity.  This gives us an excellent position to organise fundraising activities for the New Designer’s fund.

So far, the society has held a number of small events – bake stalls, cake stands and the like.  On the evening of Halloween, a group of us also partook in a sponsored hike.  Many attended in fitting Halloween attire, to the bafflement of every other hiker we passed along the way.    The trip began at the foot of Highcliff Nab, one of the cliffs overlooking Teesside and the surrounding area.   The trek then began through the moorlands, and on to to Captain Cook Monument above Great Ayton.  The weather was unseasonably pleasant, and by the fourth hour we reached the base of Roseberry topping.  The hill itself is one of the tallest in Northern Yorkshire, with a magnificent view for miles around.


Though the trip was almost non-stop, we managed the reach the topping – and in doing so, raised a considerable sum towards our New Designers stand.  As Christmas is approaching, we’ve taken some time to brainstorm new ideas for more events up to and after the New Year.  Some of our members have taken the time to begin crafting Christmas gifts, and touch up their model making skills while doing so!


from Tees Made

New Designers 2016 :Post from Tees Made

The New Designers exhibition is one of the most important annual events for Design students, and a chance for students from across the nation to meet with industry figures and employers.  Held in the diverse London district of Islington at the Business Design Centre, the show offers students a chance to showcase their work and canvas ideas to a variety of Designers, buyers, trend predictors and members of the public.    The atmosphere and venue encourage curiosity and invite viewers to a whole range of different Design and Crafts related displays.

As of 2016, New Designers will have been going for 31 years – an established, and well recognized show to be sure.  The exhibition is supported by many Event and Media partners. These renowned establishments, such as The Design Trust, The Design Museum, Design Nation and Icon, are among many expected to be attending the coming show.

Held each year, usually in late June and early July, the exhibition is a regular spot for third year design students at Teesside University.  For some, this is a springboard opportunity to help launch their new careers, or begin to develop a contact network – invaluable in the field of Design.  Employers also look to find fresh talent among graduates, and many former Teesside students have been offered work placements and internships while displaying their work at the exhibition.  The exhibition also caters for younger students, with regular campaigns aimed at high school, A-level and college academics.  For younger students considering university level study, this is an excellent opportunity to meet tutors and graduates in person.


Click the image above to see more Class of 2015 work at New Designers.

Here, we can see the previous third year’s finished stand at New Designers.  The location is prime, and although the show is supported by sponsors and partners, the price of our stand requires some fundraising and more than a little creative thinking.

You can read more at NewDesigners.

from Tees Made

Music Guide 2016

From The Cure’s first UK tour since 2008 to The Last Shadow Puppets announcing a Spring return, 2016 is looking like one of the greatest gig years to date.

With 2015 coming to an end and Summer long gone, it is time to get excited about 2016’s festival season.

Yes, already – as Reading and Leeds Festival recently announced that Red Hot Chilli Peppers are the first headliners of the August festival, with support from the likes of The Courteeners and Slaves, The 1975 have also been announced.

It has been said that Chilli Peppers are an exclusive to the festival season and are not scheduled to do any other. Reading and Leeds festival takes place August 26 – 28 2016


Reading & Leeds First Announcement

As usual the Glastonbury rumours are circulating – with the annual speculation of an Oasis reunion. Talk has also been turned to the likes of Adele, Muse, Fleetwood Mac and Foo Fighters who are leading betting odds as favourites to headline.

Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 music presenter, said that all three headliners for 2016’s Glastonbury have been booked.

However, the first official announcement is not scheduled to be released till the beginning of April 2016. See full betting odds for headliners below.

Glastonbury 2016 Favourites:

3/1 Foo Fighters
10/1 Muse
12/1 Fleetwood Mac
12/1 Oasis
16/1 Adele
16/1 Bloc Party
16/1 Daft Punk
16/1 Radiohead
16/1 Rolling Stones
16/1 The Stone Roses

Back in November 2015, Stone Roses fans speculated big news as lemon logo appeared on posters around Manchester.

Fans of the band took to Twitter with excitement and speculation about a potential tour, album and infamous Glastonbury headliner slot.

However – the band announced three reunion shows at Etihad Stadium, Manchester and headline slot at Scotland’s biggest music festival, T in the Park. 

The festival said that they were “delighted” to announce The Stone Roses are headlining the Friday of T in the Park 2016; stating that – ‘When life gives you lemons, we give you The Stone Roses‘.

The Stone Roses – John Squire, Mani, Ian Brown & Reni

Within every 12-month period, artists who laid low for a significant amount of time return to the public consciousness and are celebrated for bringing new music to our ears. And, 2016 is already looking to be a promising year for music lovers.

The Last Shadow Puppets, the supergroup featuring Alex Turner and Miles Kane, have finished work on their second album according to drummer and producer James Ford.
And we have had  confirmation from the band themselves. The duo sent fans into a spin when the band posted teaser video “TLSP2” to their Social Media pages.
The band have not released anything since their 2008 debut The Age of the Understatement; the album that saw Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner and Miles Kane come together as The Last Shadow Puppets.
Now, seven years later, they’re back. The minute long video indicates a Spring 2016 release for the new record ending on the card ‘Spring 2016′.
The Cure are another band who have got people talking. The band announced details of two UK tour dates as part of a wider European tour.
The gigs will take place in Manchester on November 29 and London on December 1 2016.
These dates represent The Cure’s first headline tour since 2008. During the past seven years the band has performed a number of high profile London shows and headlined major European festivals but ‘The Cure Tour 2016′ will be coming to the North of England for the first time in ten years – enough to get any fan excited. Tickets went on sale on November 30 2015.
Adele, The 1975 and The Libertines, to name a few, are just some of the artists that have made a rigorous return late 2015.
With the release of a new album comes a tour and all three have announced 2016 tour dates that are scheduled for the beginning of the year.
Already 2016 is looking like a good year for music, and it hasn’t even started.

from Tside

Student Obesity At An All Time High?

We all love going to a pizza shop at the end of a night out and piling in all that greasy food in to our mouths without even looking at it.

Or even on your lunch break popping down to the local Mcdonalds or KFC because its cheap and it’s easier to do than getting in from work on a night and making your self a healthy dinner for the next day.

A takeaway classic, Pizza and Chili

A takeaway classic, Pizza and Chili

But did you know that according to statistics the UK is one of the worst countries in Europe when it comes to obesity.

In a .gov survey between the years 2010 and 2015, 61.9% of adults and 28% of children aged between 2 and 15 are classed as being “over weight”.

People who are over weight tend to have a higher risk of getting heart disease, certain types of cancers and also type 2 diabetes.

Eating unhealthy food can make you feel sluggish, have a horrendous effect on your skin and can cause weight changes.

This can not only have an effect on your health but also on your university studying.

When speaking to a health specialist he said: “Obesity rates in the UK are getting higher amongst teenagers and students.

“Particularly when it comes to students; the whole living away from home thing has an effect on their diet as well.

“They don’t have the money to go out and get the fresh food and fruit and they end up eating a ‘pot noodle diet’ which is seriously not good for you and is risking your chances of becoming overweight.

“A good way to prevent this from happening is by eating your ‘5 a day’ and by having as many home cooked meals as you can.

“Also while you are at university join the gym and be more active this is good for getting you out of the house”

But is this a true reading of students in Middlesbrough?

I asked a range of students what they preferred better, a takeaway or a fresh home cooked meal.

Here is what they had to say..

from Tside

Brand New Four Piece Boy Band.

The Brand New Boy Band: Pretty Vicious

Four Piece Rock Band

Four Piece Rock Band


Pretty Vicious, a band consisting of four young males, are said to be the next big thing for those lovers of rock and indie music.

The four piece band are amongst the hottest of the teenage boy bands.

They recently signed a record deal which was announced on Facebook straight away “WE HAVE SIGNED TO VIRGIN EMI RECORDS!”

The formation of the band was back in Wales in 2014 in a town called Merthyr Tydfil.

They have recently been holding gigs all over England, the most recent being in Newcastle.

The music is new and current, which ultimately sets them aside from other bands.

There progression since forming back in March 2014 is exceptional, they have a few tracks out and have even performed alongside rock legends Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr.

Some of their music include ‘Cave song’ and ‘Are you entertained’ These can be listened to at the following link:

“Cave song” being a track that was inspired by their hometown in Wales, the lyrics are about growing up in that town.

The band when interviewing them in Newcastle before their gig said they were “excited to be supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying birds”

The boys, Brad Griffiths, 17, Elliott Jones, 16, Thom McCarthy 17, and Jarvis Morgan, 18 have been working on music most their lives. They said the following when interviewing them at The Cluny in Newcastle last week:

“You should expect when coming to our gigs it to be very loud, you will have a headache the next morning. Once the album is out we hope people will know the songs better and be able to sing along to our music and have a good time. It’s hard when you don’t have an album as people don’t know the songs.”

Fans of the band are potentially waiting for the album release knowing it can only be soon.

One fan before the gig said they “hoped that it would be soon after the tour and couldn’t wait for it”

It seems they have much support back home, touring all around England and being at different places nearly every day they said they don’t always get friends and family coming along to there gigs but back home they will always be there showing their support.

“We are hoping it sells out on the door tonight, we don’t have friends coming to this one, but we do normally when we perform in wales.

It seems there sudden fame has started to really pick up since there average day now consists of touring lots and talking to fans, they said they are always “drinking, writing songs really, we are in the van most of the time so our life involves sleeping and touring, driving, we don’t have much free time anymore. You can’t even sleep because it’s like bumpy roads your constantly driving on. Your either in bed or in a pub.”

So far they have not only travelled around England but gone as far as Japan. When asking them about their experiences so far as a group they said it has been absolutely amazing.

Their favourite place to perform so far has been Japan “Japan, probably, from this tour. It was a great crowd, and just the fact we were in Japan because it was massive, the crowds, the place; we had such a great time. It’s wicked.”

It is unknown what is coming next for this young boy band, but it is definitely looking as though they have a bright future ahead of them, as they already have many fans and followers on their social media.

You can follow the band our their Facebook page and Twitter page at:

See this Youtube video below to hear what the boys said at Interview before gig in Newcastle at The Cluny.



from Tside

High Crime Rates Affecting Teesside Students

Crime rates in Middlesbrough are higher than average for the Cleveland force area. In October alone 1,110 crimes were reported.

Ste Riddle, a 20 year old student, was stabbed in the arm and face in The Empire in Middlesbrough on the 20th of September.

Ste Riddle's injuries affect the attack


The 20 year old sustained injuries to his arm and head at 2:30am. The nightclub where the incident took place is one of the most popular nightclubs for students. Theimages show the extent of Ste’s injuries, after he was allegedly stabbed on a dance floor.

After the horrific ordeal he received treatment at James Cook University Hospital. The victim, took to social media to appeal for witnesses to the incident that occurred on the bottom dance floor of the Corporation Road nightclub.

This is not the only type of crime in Middlesbrough that effects Teesside University students. It doesnt come as a shock after taking a look at the hot spot area’s for crime in Middlesbrough. Areas such as Linthrope Road, Southfield Road and Gresham Road have the highest crime rates. All of these areas are located close to Teesside University. The most common crimes reported are anti-social behavior, violence and sexual offences and criminal damage.

Teesside University Student Matthew Pickles has been effected by criminal damage on his car.

Broken window and criminal damage

The student had his car window smashed outside his house on Clarendon Road. This is not the first time this has happened to the 21 year old.

Matthew Pickles said: “I live with my friends on Clarendon road and it is a common occurrence that my car is damaged. I think students are trying to be safe whilst studying but criminals make us feel on edge and it is upsetting for this to happen especially on a tight student budget.”

“I understand why students are on edge. We need to be very careful, it’s a dangerous area. Staying with friends on nights out and keeping your belongings out of sight are the best ways to try and stay safe.”

“Lock all doors, even if you are in your house/car at the time or not and make sure there is nothing on show. Most of the criminals are opportunist and if they they see anything they will pounce. They are audacious enough to try it break into a car at 2pm so will be willing to try anything at any time.”


Katie Andrews a transfer student at Teesside University has moved to Middlesbrough this year to complete her degree.

She said; “I live in Woodland Halls find it hard to sleep at night, I just don’t feel very safe. Possibly because I’m not used to living in an area where crime rates are so high.”

“My advice for other transfer students would be to be careful on nights out stick with your friends, don’t leave drinks and mostly to lock your doors just in case. Better safe than sorry really.”

If you are worried abut crime in the Middlesbrough area contact Cleveland Police 999 for emergencies and 101 for non emergencies.

Listen to the sound cloud piece below where students speak out about how crime has affected them and they give their advice on how to stay safe.

from Tside

Teesside University Mission Christmas is a success

Journalism Students at the start of the Mission Christmas Campaign

Journalism Students at the start of the Mission Christmas Campaign

A group of journalism students from the School of Arts and Media at Teesside University have raised £325, as they come to the end of their campaign to raise money and collect gifts for TFM’s Mission Christmas.

Without the help of TFM’s Cash for Kids Mission Christmas campaign, 40,000 underprivileged children in the North East would wake up without any Christmas presents on Christmas morning. Many families in the North East experience extremely challenging times, particularly over the Christmas period. This can be due to financial problems, alcohol and drug misuse, abuse, mental health problems or a range of other issues. Mission Christmas provides new unwrapped presents for children aged 0-18. Once the presents are collected from all the businesses and groups taking part, they are organised in the warehouses and sent to the social workers to help distribute.

The presents are given unwrapped as the social workers then provide the family with the presents to enable the parents to be involved in the wrapping of the gifts and really feel that they are part of it. These gifts can give an unbelievable boost to children and their parents during difficult times. The amount of work the Cash for Kids put into the campaign is incredible and it is only really on Christmas Day, when Kara Hatton and the team from TFM’s Cash for kids are able to contemplate the wonderful achievement they have made.

The students have been delighted to work with Cash for kids on this and are very proud of the money they have raised in just a couple of weeks.

The students raised the money in lots of different ways and produced their own promotional videos as part of the campaign. They also held a cake sale on the last day of graduation celebrations, where they sold cakes they had baked themselves and set up a Just Giving Page.

TFM’s Mission Christmas has lots of celebrity supporters including Ant and Dec, Len Goodman, Amanda Holden and Lorraine Kelly.
There is still time to donate. If you would like to help please donate via the Mission Christmas: Teesside University Just Giving Page.
For more information about how you can get involved, please see the Mission Christmas website:

Many gifts have been donated too and these will be collected this week and delivered to the families.

from Tside