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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Today's show 13/07/11

An interesting piece appeared in your favourite rag The Daily Mail yesterday concerning your BBC colleague Robert Peston and his alleged affiliations with News International ( Allow me to quote:

Media commentators have highlighted the close personal and formerly professional relationship between Mr Peston and Will Lewis, the very senior News International troubleshooter, amid suggestions that the BBC man is being used by the Murdoch machine.

Mr Peston is also close to Simon Greenberg, News International's director of corporate affairs.

A gossip column last week reported that Mr Peston was among the guests at a lavish garden party thrown by PR man Matthew Freud and his wife Elisabeth Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's daughter, at their Oxfordshire mansion at the beginning of July. According to the report Mr Peston, resplendent in a peach cotton scarf, was huddled together with Rebekah Brooks, his friend Mr Lewis, and their boss James Murdoch for a good part of the evening.

Last night, Labour MP Tom Watson said it was 'not right' that Mr Peston appeared to be being 'spoonfed' internal News International documents that were being handed over to police.
Interesting stuff, I'm sure you would agree. And it must be true if it is in the Daily Mail, surely?

Meanwhile, The Guardian have published a chart showing how the TV Licence Fee Tax is used (
). Interesting to read that Licence Fee Collection cost £126million last year, but that it only cost £53million to fund the whole of Radio 2 in the same period. Room for some efficiencies there I feel, and a good place to start would be cessation of the intimidating letters to people who do not own a TV.

And following the relevations by News International that Gordon Brown might just have got his facts wrong (
) and suggestions that Brown is just seeking revenge ( I see you are having a day almost devoid of Murdoch-bashing today...

1) GREEN ENERGY - By some estimates, the average household could see their fuel bills rise by a further one hundred and sixty pounds, in order to pay for green energy. Can we afford that? And how many solar panels do you need to boil a kettle of water? Find out more in this Guardian article : A quick search for "solar panel boil kettle" brought a BBC page up as the top item:
. The telling sentence is: Of course all this depends on your kettle! It will be interesting to see in years to come if and how attitudes about man-made global warming change once the inevitable pain is felt in peoples' wallets. Next...

2) METROPOLITAN POLICE - After listening to the police evidence to parliament yesterday, did you conclude that these Metropolitan police officers were lazy, scared (of Murdoch), corrupt, or sensible? : I think you are, unfortunately, confusing me with somebody who listened to their evidence. On that basis I'll guess that they are all four of those things, not that you will be changing anything, of course. Next...

3) NICK CLEGG - The deputy Prime Minister's wife says that Nick Clegg is killing himself to do the school run. Some people are saying that running the country is more important that collecting the children from school. Find out more in this Telegraph article : Running out of proper news stories, are we? Some people (well, quite a lot actually) are saying that your programme is rubbish, yet you choose to ignore them. I sincerely hope that Mr Clegg does exactly the same. Next...

4) GANNET - Finally, the man from Cardiff who had his eye pecked out by a gannet : Hmmm.... So this guy (a welder, but the BBC news web page makes no mention of his wildlife handling qualifications) sees what he considers to be an injured bird belonging to a protected species and decides to pick it up. The gannet, injured or not, would have been stressed by this. The barking dog would have only added to its discomfort so it did what came naturally and lashed-out in an effort to protect itself. Do I have any sympathy? Not really. Is this news? Not really. Perhaps he could sue the owner of the dog. Needless to say, the BBC news page fails to supply us with the most important piece of information: the fate of the gannet. Half a story, as usual. I was involved in a similar situation earlier this year, when I saw that a sheep in the field across the road was tangled in the brambles. I watched it on and off for a couple of hours as it tried to pull itself free. I had the phone number for the farmer so I gave him a call, spoke to his wife, and explained the situation. She thanked me for my concern and contacted the farmer who turned up an hour or so later. The sheep was still stuck in the brambles and so the farmer walked over to it with stout gloves and cutters at the ready. When he was within six feet of it the sheep stood up and calmly walked off. I learnt something about nature finding a way that day. But there is also a difference between my story and yours: I called somebody who knew what they were doing. Meanwhile, I like chips so I consider this story to be more important:

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