Who do you think you are kidding mr wenger

So we have signed

A left back who can’t defend

A winger on loan who is massively injury prone

A Korean striker who was in a team that was relegated

Mertsecker is a good buy, though I bet most arsenal fans would have preferred Cahill or Samba.

Can’t complain too much about Arteta but…

Even if fabregas and nasri had stayed we needed significant reinforcements . What we have now is a squad that is significantly weaker than the one that fell to bits at the business end of last season.

I hope I am wrong but I think we will struggle this season and it will turn out to be Arsene’s last. Walcott and RVP could be next to go too.

Utterly depressed.

Pop Goes Art – my new blog on @Jux (like Tumblr on steroids)


Love Posterous, never bothered with Tumblr, but I do think that a new screen (that’s the iPad) needs a new blogging format and that could well be Jux.

There’s loads wrong with it (it is a bit flaky, you can’t even add links, don’t ask about visitor numbers). But it looks amazing, especially on the iPad.

Anyway here’s my effort. www.popgoesart.jux.com Now go and create your own.

More here – http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2011/08/jux_just_what_y.html

btw – that’s Francois Hardy and France Gall

Shiny Shiny needs new Editor

After two years of editing Shiny Shiny the fantastic Anna Leach is leaving us for pastures new (that’ll be a tech trade title we are also rather fond of).

So we are looking for someone new to write and edit one of the UK’s best read (and best loved) tech sites.

You’ll need to be a

Fantastic writer 
Bursting with creative ideas 
So in love with tech you can’t go anywhere without your mobile 
Obsessed with silly apps 
An authority on Facebook 
Able to work from our central London offices at least three days a week

Ideally we are looking for someone who is new to journalism (though you’ll have a great blog to show us) or is looking for their second gig.

If this sounds like you then send us your details asap to ashleyatshinymediadotcom

Is the BBC secretly undermining the public image of print journalists?

Stick with me on this one.

20 years ago ITV screened an amazing Steven Moffat-penned children’s series called Press Gang. The inside track on a school’s kids run newspaper it starred Julia Sawalha (as Lynda basically (Kelvin) Mackenzie in a mini skirt), Dexter Fletcher and the brilliant Paul Reynolds (what the ferret happened to him?).

It was not only superbly scripted, brilliantly acted and daringly topical (they covered drugs, child abuse and more) mainly through the charactar of Lynda it showed journalists as heroes, publishing stories that exposed corruption, took on bullies and helped make school life better for all.

Yet it also showed Lynda as a real person dealing with her own insecurities and hang ups. It was also full of dirty jokes too, which made it a lot more fun than Blue Peter.

Most important of all though like a generation of other kids it inspired me to try my hand at journalism. And I am not the only one. Countless times, in conversation after conversation, other journalists have cited Press Gang and Lynda as the reason they joined the fourth estate.

Fast forward twenty years and the BBC has got a press-related programme on children’s TV. Scoop is a radical reworking of the Evelyn Waugh classic which stars Shaun Williamson (Barry from EastEnders) as a local newspaper journalist. Whereas Lynda was brave, intelligent and honest, Digby Digworth (Shaun’s charactar) is a bumbling, incompetent, lazy fool who is invariably beaten to his stories by his canine chum, the brilliantly named Hacker.

To make things worse the local newspaper editor Max De Lacey (played by Mark Benton) has zero scruples and thinks nothing of making stories up, fixing competitions so his relatives win and more.

Scoop is actually pretty funny, but it does portray journalists in a really negative light. You might scoff, but have local builders’ reputations ever recovered since the Beeb started screening The Chuckle Brothers? Thought not!

With the rise of citizen journalism, the problems of monetising web content and the stuttering economy haven’t local newspaper proprietors have enough on their plate at the moment?

To make amends the BBC should buy the rights to Press Gang re run the original Press Gang and commission a reunion, where Lynda (quite possibly an alcoholic now) and Colin (obviously a banker) team up once more to save the nation from corrupt MPs, dodgy press barons, rioting gangs and morally bankrupt Catalan football teams

Why Google buying Motorola might push HTC, Samsung and LG closer to Microsoft


So today’s shock story is that Google is buying Motorola, well the handset division Motorola Mobility, for a whopping $12.5 billion. That’s a 60% premium on its closing price on Friday and represents quite an investment. http://www.businessinsider.com/breaking-google-buying-motorola-mobility-for-1…

The interesting bit for me though is where does this leave Google’s Android partners like HTC and Samsung? Is it Google’s intention to to create a complete phone eco-system like Apple and the iPhone, in that it owns the hardware the operating systems and the mechanism for delivering he apps? I guess it is.

If so where does this leave the other Android makers? Are they going to become second class Android citizens? Will Google be pushing the Motorola brand to the point where it is state of the art as far as Android goes and is inevitably delivering phones and tablets that are technologically superior to the other brands?

It could be that the real winner in all this is Microsoft. It already has Nokia working on its Windows phones and has a good relationship with LG, which might now fancy pushing MS phones more than Android ones. Maybe HTC and Samsung will also think that the Windows platform offers more a fairer playing field than the Android one.

Bye bye Cesc – but before you go a few questions that need answering


Like most Arsenal fans I am a little sad, but not too surprised at Cesc Fabregas’ move to Barcelona. To be fair we did well to hang on to him last summer and he was always going to go this time round. I think too that the player has behaved impeccably and leaves Arsenal with a degree of dignity.

There are however a few questions that need answering asap

1 Is Arsene losing the plot? It is not 24 hours since he said that no players were leaving Arsenal. He must have known that the deal was imminent when he said this. Is it a case of wishful thinking or is he genuinely losing it?

2 Why aren’t Barcelona being investigated by FIFA for tapping Cesc up? – I like some of the players and have a soft spot for the manager, but Barcelona are a pretty scummy club aren’t they? They have constantly tapped Cesc up for over two years now, yet no one from FIFA has ever looked into the case. The pressure on Cesc and Arsenal during this time has been immense and it is clear that the player’s performance on the pitch has suffered.

3 Why didn’t Barcelona negotiate sensibly from day one? – It was in everyone’s interests that a deal was done early in the summer, so why leave it so late? Wenger knew he would have to let Cesc go if Barcelona came up with the cash, so why then did the cut-price Catalans let this drag on for so long. I guess it is once again about money. If I am being charitable I would believe that a heavily in debt Barca simply couldn’t afford to up their offer, but I am not sure this is the case.

Ultimately the saga has messed up Arsenal;’s pre-season, possibly driven the manager close to insanity and meant that we go into a champs league game with little in the way of the re-inforcements we so desperately needed.

I think Arsenal might surprise a few people this year. Maybe we won’t compete with United but I still think we have the talent to compete with the best of the rest of the Premiership.

Finally I wish Cesc all the best (unlike the toe-rag Nasri who is just after the cash). Barcelona has a long history of messing with the careers of Arsenal players (Petit, Henry, Overmars, Hleb to name but a few) none of whom have really reached the same levels they attained in north London. I fear that the emergence of Alcantara coupled with Cesc being prone to injuries might not mean that this is the dream move he wants.

Finally, although Cesc has been a brilliant servant of Arsenal football club, let’s not forget that during his tenure at the club we have won nothing. Here’s hoping that the £35 million we secure from his transfer buys winners.

One small good thing to come out of the riots #buyabobbyabeer


Back in the early 90s if you had asked me what I thought of the police I would have told they were an instrument of oppression of an uncaring, authoritarian, right wing government.

Well I have grown up a a bit since then and maybe The Met has changed too. Sure all the collusion between The Force and News International is a blot on their copybook, but for the most part I sense that the relationship between the bobby on the beat and the people they protect has changed considerably. It has been a long and slow process and along the way terrible mistakes have been made. But I hope that most people today think of the police as good people with a tricky job to do, rather than pawns used by the government to keep us all, and especially minorities, in check.

Ok, so much of this stems from personal experience. A couple of decades ago the police in my part of town, N16, were seen by some locals as lazy, corrupt and racist. Very few people think those things now. Most of my dealing with the police have been hugely positive. I have nothing but praise for our community police team.

I do think that many people’s suspicion of the police used to be fuelled by car ownership – getting nicked for speeding etc. However as car ownership in the capital has declined I wonder if this has made Londoners less wary of the police.

Ok, so it might be a different story in Tottenham and the Mark Duggan incident is obviously a complex and tragic story, but one terrible mistake shouldn’t tar a whole group of individuals.

So if one small good thing has come out the riots it is that communities have once again seen the police as a force for protecting them. Sure, on the early nights of the riot, with numbers stretched to the limit, the police struggled. But also I think people recognise that many officers went way beyond the call of duty, often putting themselves in very difficult situations.

So I love the idea of this buy a bobby a beer Facebook group. Well until I get nicked for riding my bike on the pavement that is.

Finally though it is worth retweeting fellow N16 resident Yvette Cooper’s tweet from this morning.

16k police delivered welcome calm in London. Police numbers make a difference. Now is not the time to cut 16k officers, Govt must rethink

Let’s hope they do

The Facebook group is here https://www.facebook.com/buyabobbyabeer

Is Bantr going to be the Twitter for footy fans?


Funnily enough while I was watching the Charity Shield it suddenly struck me that a Twitter for footy fans would be a great idea. Non football fans could then avoid endless transfer tweets while lovers of the beautiful game could indulge in tactical chats without worrying about annoying their followers.

And then today I hear about bantr.tv – a social network for footy fans. It looks fun – if a little over-complex – and hopefully it will do well.

The fundamental problem it faces though is that we are all so wedded to Twitter that adopting another platform would be a bit of a leap. Maybe there is a way of using hash tags to organise tweets – the tricky bit would be directing them away from non-appreciative followers.

Btw the pic is Arsenal’s ace new winger Alex Oxlade Chamberlain .

Me interviewing ‪Playwright Murray Watts on his trio of Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011 plays #edfest

I have been a bit of a fan of playwright Murray Watts for a while now. His exploration of the impact of Charles Darwin’s work on his Christian faith in Mr Darwin’s Tree – was quite superb in the way it handled a very controversial topic with sensitivity and lightness.

Pleased to say then that Sutro is doing a bit of work for Murray and his company Wayfarer Productions. You can watch my interview with him about the three plays he has on in Edinburgh this month above, follow him on Twitter twitter.com/wayfarerprods and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WayfarerProductions or see more videos, including some snippets from his plays on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/WayfarerProdsUK