Matt Lacey
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Matt is an actor, writer and comedian currently performing his debut one man show at the Edinburgh Festival. He has previously performed live and on the internet with sketch group The Unexpected Items and can be seen between shows on Comedy Central dressed as the Royal Baby. He is also the author of the Gap Yah Plannah based on the character he created for a popular internet sketch.

https://www.edfringe.com/whats-on/comedy/matt-lacey-classroom-warrior-free

Entries by Matt Lacey

Never Mind Scotland, Where Is London's Independence Referendum?

(3) Comments | Posted 7 April 2014 | (00:00)

Independence is in the air. Scotland is going to the polls, Venice has already voted overwhelmingly in favour and no doubt the Basque and Catalan regions are itching to follow suit soon enough. But London remains curiously quiet. Sure, in 2012 Ken Livingstone stated unequivocally that he wanted to "declare...

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Ten Examples of Politicians Behaving Like Overgrown Children

(0) Comments | Posted 23 February 2014 | (23:00)

Speaker John Bercow has recently commented that he would like to curb the "yobbery and public-school twittishness" displayed in the House of Commons. This, coming hot on the heels of research by the Hansard Society, which has found that the most common descriptions by the public of Prime Minister's Questions...

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The Scientists Have Got Their Priorities Wrong - We Need Fewer Death Robots and More Hoverboards

(0) Comments | Posted 23 January 2014 | (17:19)

I'm part of the generation that grew up with technology. We had computers in the school classrooms right from the beginning. Granted, the only thing you could do on them was make a cartoon apple jump up and down by typing words, but it's not so different from the educational...

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Does Anyone Just Do One Job Anymore?

(0) Comments | Posted 15 January 2014 | (21:14)

Alongside sporadic comedy and acting jobs, I make my living running a business that supplies lasers to the construction industry. This leads to a weird double life, where I juggle a disparate and unconnected set of tasks. Last month I had one day where I delivered a couple of lasers...

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MP Pay Rise of 11%? That's Cheap!

(2) Comments | Posted 7 January 2014 | (23:00)

When Jimmy Walker, the Jazz-era mayor of New York, was challenged on his policy of raising his own salary from $25,000 to $40,000 he is said to have quipped: "That's cheap! Imagine how much it would be if I worked full time!" And with that any many other bon mots,...

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Let's Get Rid of Unpaid Internships, We're Not Made of Airports

(1) Comments | Posted 17 December 2013 | (15:51)


I recently put up a sketch on YouTube that seems to have struck a chord with some people. In it, I play a stereotypical Sloane called Orlando braying on his phone to his friend about all of the internships he has been on. Each placement has been acquired through contacts and is unpaid, but Orlando is able to blithely go from one to another with reckless abandon because mummy and daddy are picking up the bill. For Orlando, unpaid internships are the perfect stepping stone to a job, but for those that without his financial backing, they stand as a blockade to crucial industries.

Now before anyone points out that I'm writing about unpaid work in a blog that I'm not being paid to write, let's be clear what these blogs are. They're essentially an online resource where everyone and anyone can post in order to get their views out there, sort of like a glorified Twitter. They provide a platform and people like me use it - at least no one is under any illusions. As Obama joked with Arianna Huffington at the White House correspondents' dinner "Give them a round of applause. ... And ... you don't pay them! It's a great business model." Of course the Huffington Post does pay its regular staff and it is stated AOL policy to pay everyone a decent living wage, including interns. But not everyone has this same policy; many media outlets, politicians, fashion and arts organisations expect young people to move to London (paying the eye-wateringly high rents) and work for nothing at the beginning of their careers. In some cases, they even expect the intern to pay for the pleasure of working with them, as with the dubious practice of auctioning internships. It's difficult to think of a greater embodiment of wealthy people being able to purchase advantage for their offspring and puts me in mind of an excellent Simpsons scene where Montgomery Burns attempts to buy a place at his alma mater for his son, who is so stupid that Yale set the price of entry as being 'an international airport'. At Westminster School's internship auction it was a case of "You want your son to work for Fabergé? Well, Fabergé could use an international airport."

If internships are not paid, they exclude people simply through wealth and geography. A talented young fashion student from Leeds will simply not be able to afford to live and work in London without an income unless they have rich parents or are willing to take out some seriously reckless Wonga loans. And all that with no end in sight in terms of a paid job. It's shameful to waste such talent, but it's also problematic for the very companies that are relying on unpaid interns, as they're seriously reducing their capability to hire the best people. In the long term, it'll be our economy that suffers, given that we rely so much on industries that require constant innovation and creativity. It's also bad for society, as the top jobs are dominated by a narrow social grouping. That Russell Brand struck such a chord with his incoherent manifesto to liberate ourselves through not voting is reflective of the current malaise in politics whereby they all seem the same, a fact that will only be exacerbated by recruitment through free work.

But some organisations have managed to wean themselves off this tempting covenant and find the money to remunerate workers. I have been working to publicise an organisation called Creative and Cultural Skills who help set up paid internships by offering part-wage funding to arts and cultural employers. If the highly competitive cultural sector can do it, so can others. There even seems to be some political will to tackle this problem, with Nick Clegg coming out strongly against them, though he was somewhat undermined by his party colleagues subsequently advertising unpaid positions. Fundamentally, employers need to realise that whilst they might be saving a little money in the short term, they are squandering the opportunity to hire the best people for the job. Orlando observes in the sketch, "intahnshups are like crabs, you tend to get them from your friends and their parents." I hope in future that these important points of entry to industry are more a case of what you know rather than whom you know.

If you'd like to get involved in the campaign to build a creative nation, and help them create 6500 jobs in 1000 days, visit their website...

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All Charity is Evil

(0) Comments | Posted 3 December 2013 | (22:58)

If you raise money for charity, you're probably oppressing someone.

Just as we have lurched past the warmongering campaign of the poppy-peddlers and Movember's little Mussolinis, now Christmas looms with its interminable campaigns to help the needy. From then, each month now has a designated charity aim, with January's...

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Second Wave Gentrification: The Twats Are Forcing Out the Dickheads

(0) Comments | Posted 20 November 2013 | (15:11)

A lot has been written about the effects of gentrification in London; prices are now rising so quickly that they'll soon be unaffordable to all but the richest. Boris Johnson's comment that the cap on housing benefit could lead to 'Kosovo-style social cleansing' looks like it might become reality. It's...

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Tinder Bueno?

(0) Comments | Posted 15 November 2013 | (09:53)

There's a new app that's been making waves in the world of dating for some time now. "Oh great" you think "another thing to distract me while I'm taking a dump". But no, this app will bring about the downfall of the Human Race.

The app is called Tinder,...

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Movember, Mullets and 14th Century Irish Legislation

(0) Comments | Posted 1 November 2013 | (23:00)

And so the month of November begins again and like the green shoots of our economic recovery, the first outcrops of hair are springing forth on the upper lips of men trying to raise money for charity and cultivate a rakish image along the way. Movember is not something I've...

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Edinburgh Post-Mortem

(0) Comments | Posted 31 August 2013 | (00:00)

Well, it's all over. All those places that were venues for the month have returned to their original usage as damp hovels. The people of Edinburgh can now walk through their streets unmolested by performers and promoters and the comedic and acting fraternities can return to being underemployed.

A...

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Final Week Edinburgh

(1) Comments | Posted 20 August 2013 | (23:33)

It's the final week of the Edinburgh festival, when everyone's madness comes to fruition. All the hopes and dreams that lurked at the back of the minds of performers will be dashed against the rocks of the cold indifference of the people that actually choose who will be heralded as...

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How to Win at Marketing a Show in Edinburgh

(0) Comments | Posted 14 August 2013 | (13:00)

Today I filled an entire wall with pictures of myself. It wasn't just a fit of egotism, in fact it was all marketing for my show, MATT LACEY: CLASSROOM WARRIOR, which is on in the beautiful 'French Quarter' of the Voodoo Rooms, West Register Street at 7.30pm during the Edinburgh...

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On the Origin of Performers by Means of Natural Selection

(0) Comments | Posted 11 August 2013 | (22:38)

It is interesting to contemplate the Edinburgh festival as a tangled bank, clothed with many shows of many kinds, with acapella groups singing on the Royal Mile, with ambitious drama students flitting about, and with comedians crawling through the edges of human decency, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed...

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Ten Things I Love About Edinburgh

(1) Comments | Posted 8 August 2013 | (11:47)

My last post came across as pretty morose, so before my family put me on suicide watch, I thought I'd write about why I bloody love Edinburgh.

1. The city itself. It's got a massive castle, great art galleries and museums and the oldest floral clock in the world (I...

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Marmite Fringe

(0) Comments | Posted 2 August 2013 | (15:06)

I both love and hate Edinburgh. Being up here at the greatest arts festival in the world, with the sun shining, in a vibrant city surrounded by stunning scenery can be bliss. Other times it makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach and brings out the worst...

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