Robert Hampton

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19th April 2015

24 hour warning
Posted by at 1.59pm | Politics | No responses

I have been following the election campaign, but I’ve also been snowed under with Open University study (note to any potential students: doing three modules at once is not a good idea) so I’ve had little time to blog. The occasional snarky comment on Twitter is the best you can hope for from me at the moment.

It’s a close race. Today, one opinion poll puts Labour three points in front while another puts the Tories four points ahead. Two-and-a-half weeks to go until polling day and it’s all to play for.

Please make sure you are registered. The Government changed the way voters register, which has resulted in an estimated 800,000 people going “missing” from the electoral register. The deadline is TOMORROW (20th April) so it’s important to get it done now. Go to to register. It takes only a few minutes. It helps if you have your NI Number handy, but not necessary.

It’s nonsense to say that “they’re all the same, there’s no point”. Please don’t be seduced by the likes of Russell Brand; failing to vote is not some high-minded protest against a bourgeois elite, it will simply deny you a voice. Spoil your ballot if you must, but at least make the effort to make a mark on the paper. Vote for whoever you like. Vote for UKIP, if you must (please don’t vote UKIP). But please vote.

Here endeth the sermon. I’m off to read some more about Deterministic Turing Machines.

12th April 2009

That Mitchell on t’Web — Look!
Posted by at 11.42am | Television | No responses

“Sachsgate” is the scandal that refuses to die, with various opportunistic politicians now coming out of the woodwork to demand that Brand and Ross should personally pay the fine levied on the BBC by Ofcom. In today’s Observer, David Mitchell points out why this is a daft idea. His excellent article should be the last word on the subject. Sadly it won’t be.

29th October 2008

Tarnished Brand
Posted by at 9.43pm | In the News, Radio | No responses

It has its own sidebar on the BBC News site, and approximately one million pointless blog entries on MediaGuardian — the Brand/Ross “phone prank scandal” is officially big news. It’s even attracted a comment from Gordon Brown, who apparently has nothing more important to focus on. Everyone else seems to have weighed in, so here are my thoughts on the matter.

I quite like Russell Brand. I never listened to his Radio 2 show, but I’ve enjoyed much of the stuff he’s done on telly (Ponderland was a pleasant surprise, and he was one of the best guests to grace the panel of HIGNFY this year). This isn’t the first time he’s crossed the line, but I can’t imagine that the Daily Mail will get their wish and see him disappear into obscurity.

However, despite what the majority of Radio 1 listeners apparently think, I don’t think Brand and Ross’s antics were funny or clever. Yes, comedy should be all about challenging preconceptions and pushing boundaries, but this didn’t do that — it was just… well, stupid.

Has the BBC over-reacted in the face of a tabloid witch-hunt? Yes, but they did themselves no favours by hiding behind bland statements from anonymous spokesmen for days, while the corporation’s enemies were demanding blood. The BBC’s slowness to respond has allowed the tabloids to fuel the story with plenty of good old-fashioned hysteria.

Now its time to get a sense of proportion: at this moment Google News reports 4,115 articles about this kerfuffle. Meanwhile people are dying in wars, losing jobs, and having their civil liberties taken away — can we start reading about that on the front pages please?