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15 Feb 2002

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Music Review!

This week we look not what what is in the carts, but this time what is going on with a well know band! 

The pop group Hear'say have vehemently denied accusations that the auditions to find a new band member were fixed.  The quartet were forced to start searching for a new troupe member after Kym Marsh turned her back on the band.

Hear'say rocketed to fame following the success of ITV's Popstars programme.
It was far from plain sailing however for the five some with stories rife of arguments between band members and a tailing off of the success they enjoyed after starting out.
The bands newest member 23-year-old Johnny Shentall walked in to a storm of controversy when it was suggested that the auditions to find the new member were a sham.  It is rumoured Shentall had already been lined up to replace Kym on the basis of his unrivalled pop credentials.

Johnny cut his teeth as a member of throwaway pop act Boom!, has performed
as backing dancer with Hear'say and is also engaged to Lisa of the late Steps.  Hear'say have hotly denied that auditions attended by thousands of hopefuls were a set up.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the band said that, "The auditions were open and anybody could apply.  The decision was hard but we all decided that Johnny was the best person".
Band member Suzanne was unsurprisingly sycophantic about her new colleague
and said, "Johnny is an all-rounder, he has the right look, he sings well, dances well and is perfect for the role."

Article by Miranda.
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Our weekly national news comment articles.

Student Fees!

Tony Blair and New Labour may be in for an unpleasant shock.  A new website, claiming to be the first online petition against tuition fees in the UK, has been established and is collecting signatures at the rate of 2,000 a day. This week, the British Medical Association (BMA) and housing association Unite have released figures showing that students are in worse debt than ever before.  It is unsurprising that, as the website is known, has seen such success. It was first established online in December 2001, by a couple of Manchester students, Craig Norris and Chris Brobin, and since then has collected over 30,000 names.  It has separate petitions going for students, graduates and parents and guardians. The site states, "Our aim here at PayUpTony is to create a petition substantial enough for the government and the general public to take note of the injustice suffered by thousands of students and their parents." "The people that sign this petition believe in Government funded further education...  Once we have gathered enough signatures, we would like to present the long list of unhappy names to the Prime MInister, Tony Blair."

Anyone who wants to sign up can do so at

Work Hours.

Workers in the United Kingdom work the longest hours in Europe and, according to a recent report, this work rate is still rising.  Across the UK, nearly 16 per cent of employees work more than 48 hours a week.The TUC published a report on how to tackle the long hours culture, in viewof the European review in 2003 which is likely to end the 48 hour limit.  It says that men work the longest hours, with one in four clocking up more than 48 hours per week, one in ten working 55 hours and one in 25 working more than 60 hours. The UK is the only country in Europe that allows staff to opt out of the 48 hour limit.  Austria, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Sweden all have 39 or 40-hour limits and France has a 35-hour week.

Comment Articles by Miranda.