Posts Tagged ‘ BBC ’

Why Wales Gets Angry.

Earlier this week, Cardiff was home to shocking scenes of random violence, which claimed the life of a well loved member of the community, injured a dozen more and terrified people across the city. The motivations for the cowardly attacks by an individual driving a van into members of the public who had no hope of protecting themselves from his actions, are as yet unclear. Certainly though the impacts of his callous attacks will be felt for a long time, and we can only imagine what  will be going through the minds of the children affected by this event the next time a speeding white van comes near them.

The story was appalling, and yet, as the day of the incident wore on, another story developed on the pages of social networking sites. For an attack on a capital city which had affected so many, there was a lingering sense of confusion, and then anger, as to why this merited so little coverage on the news. Early on the same day, Conservative pleb basher Andrew Mitchell had resigned from Government, and it was this that seemed to preoccupy the minds of the national news networks.

No doubt the crumbling of the Westminster Government was newsworthy, but surely on a day when a capital city in Britain had witnessed such widespread attacks on the general public, it could not in any way be considered as the ‘top story’? The following day, the print media community continued to wash over the events of the previous day in Cardiff, preferring to salivate over a prominent politician’s demise. Meanwhile blood stocks in Wales continued to be in critically short supply following the high treatment demand resulting from the van driver’s attacks.

There is a pervading sense that, in general terms, the media simply don’t care about Wales. Certainly there had been plenty of coverage over the tragic story surrounding April Jones, but then, without wanting to be too cynical, the national media will often prioritise a missing child. The sense remains though, that had this been a story breaking in an English city, London perhaps, that there would no doubt as to the leading story, ‘terror in London rampage’ would have represented the tone of the headlines. Yet, if it happens in Wales, it’s probably just not that important. One wonders how many people would have needed to die for this to be considered the most important news story of the day?

Put in context, BBC News have given more coverage and commentary time today to whether or not an English footballer worse a t-shirt, than it did to the events in Cardiff. It is this disparity in coverage that incenses so many in Wales, we often feel like second class citizens in this ‘United’ kingdom, because that is the way we are treated. Sadly, the priorities of all the national news carriers illustrated that even when areas in Wales are subject to attacks that would dominate were they to happen across the border, their locality in this instance means that they are just not that significant.

And that is, one of the reasons at least, why Wales gets angry.

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BBC Royal Watch: Unharmed and Time to Panic!

Frantic activity in the halls of the BBC this morning as dramatic news regarding occasional Nazi impersonator Prince Harry broke, as it emerged that he was caught in a savage firefight while serving his country abroad. Although details were initially sketchy, it became apparent during the course of the morning that the Prince, arguably the most important member of the royal family* was unharmed. While based at a camp in Violentistan, the Prince was reported as having possibly defended his comrades from a savage attack. Although it cannot at this stage, or at any point in the future, be confirmed that the Prince, having run out of ammunition, picked up a stick and waved it with gusto in the face of his aggressors, it seems almost certain that the young hero did indeed defend the camp, while others cowered around him, possibly praying to the Queen for deliverance in their time of need.

Hero Harry Spits in the Face of the Taliban!

The BBC was quick to repeat that none of these details could be verified, but wanted to make sure that the loyal subjects of the British Empire could sip their Earl Grey tea at breakfast, safe in the knowledge that their Prince was unharmed, and that possible nothing at all had happened to him, certainly news worthy of topping every bulletin throughout the course of the day.

In other news, two US soldiers died in the same attack, but this is really not the sort of thing that the good people of Britain want to hear about over breakfast…so say the good ol’ BBC. God save the Prince and whatnot.

*located in a war-torn region where he can’t embarrass anyone.

The Jubilee: All Depends Where the Camera Points.

Anyone following the EyeOnWales twitter feed will know that we had some issues with all of the Jubilee palaver. General consensus from critics have fallen on our complaints as being those of lefty republicans, militant Welsh nationalists, xenophobes and most commonly, unpatriotic bastards. Who knows, maybe a bit of all of the above is indeed applicable. While not a republican blog at heart, we certainly have some issues with our democracy being advertised as a model to the world, while having to bend a knee and open a wallet for a monarch whose position is afforded to her by god (theoretically). We certainly have issue with decades of under investment in Wales coupled by massive contemporary spending cuts, while forking out direct and indirect costs running to the billions for a party. As for being unpatriotic, we have our Welsh flag flying proudly thank you very much, and it will remain flying proudly once all of those little plastic Union Jacks have been discarded to create some of the most festive landfill sites seen in the world – our patriotism is not defined by a government dictate to start celebrating.

But none of those issues has really grated. If people want to go celebrating the life of someone, fine, we don’t like the expenditure, or agree with the sentiment, but hell, there are plenty of things our respective Governments waste money on, this is just one more to put on the pile of burnt money, while people in Britain do far stupider things on a Friday and Saturday night than stand in the rain waving plastic flags at boats, in the grand scheme of things, it’s no great evil.

What does grate though, is the insistence of the national media in portraying the Jubilee as something that ‘everyone’ has got on board for. ‘The Nation comes together’ we are told, ‘street parties held across the nation’ we are told, ‘we are one country’ people insist, ‘the unity of the country’ is on display for all the world to see. You could mostly copy and paste these catch phrases into the commentary of any of the major news carriers in Britain (Wales included) and then on to the world. But was it really the case?

On the morning dog walk, Union Jacks have been spotted popping up here and there, the bunting going up, being blown down across the roads, to be replaced by some more the following day. Point your camera at those decorated houses and you would have yourself a fine snapshot of a nation in party mood yes? Then pan that same camera to the left, then to the right, then directly behind, nothing, just houses, no flags, no bunting, just homes, as they were and as they will remain. The dog walk usually identifies around 15-20 houses where the occupants have gone to the effort of decorating for the Jubilee. For each one of those houses, roughly 20-30 more will be found undecorated. Point your camera here, and what story do you then have for the newspapers? Television audiences are being cited as well by some as proof positive of the national mindset towards the Jubilee. Some 17million watching? Yet when the same argument is presented that some 45million were not watching, it is dismissed out of hand – proof of nothing the Jubilee fans shout loudly, except perhaps that the majority simply don’t care.

For us, it’s not so much an argument about becoming a Republic, or having a free and independent Wales, it’s about not being presented to the world as having taken part in a celebration of all the things that are the opposite of those sentiments. Freedom of choice and expression is a theoretical tenant in Britain, undermined by a national media that has been intent on painting a picture of unity in the worst example of jingoism in recent years, regardless of the reality. So perhaps that reality can be summarised for the many international eyes falling on the British Isles these past four days as such:

1. There are a lot of people celebrating the Jubilee, not everyone, not a majority, but a lot of people, and they had a fun time of it.

2. There are some people using the Jubilee to campaign for a Republic, not many, far from a majority, but some people, and they had a fun time of axe grinding.

3. Then there is the majority, not everyone, but most people, those who did not watch on television, stand by a river watching a boat, or climbed a hill to light a beacon, those who did not decorate their houses, or eat tea and cakes in the middle of a street.

Categories 1 and 2 have had plenty and some media coverage respectively, category 3 has been lumped in with category 1, and it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

We are not asking for less coverage of the Jubilee (though that would be quite welcome, I remember something happening in Syria, and some Egyptians being angry about something, but world news really has no place on the BBC while a party is going on in London), what we are asking for is less generalisation in the commentary. Some of the nation came together, yes, the majority did not. It would be nice if the world knew that, and was not painted a picture of everyone in the British Isles as having decorated their faces, heads and homes in Union Jacks; some of us were protesting against it, most of us ignored or didn’t care about it – and when discussing the impact of the Jubilee, perhaps some questions might be asked of why the majority didn’t join in, as opposed to why a vocal minority had a party.

Just one question on that topic perhaps, rather than presenting a million celebrating as being representative of the actions of 60+million, please BBC, are you listening? Oh, I guess not, well, it’s okay, I know you are busy, lot’s more Jubilee to be broadcast after all…

BBC Excitement Over Cancer Non News Story.

 

Helpful pictures from the BBC, for the idiots out there...

Well, the world can rest easy today, after the BBC have gone to great lengths to bring us the results of exciting new research – lifestyle choices can increase your risk of developing cancer. Yep, we were as shocked as you were no doubt at the revelations of this ground breaking new body of research. Now we have it confirmed from the clever boffins in white coats, that if you are overweight, it might not be good for your health, if you drink lots of alcohol, it might shorten your life, if you smoke you might get lung cancer…and someone was paid to produce this report?

Maybe it’s because Christmas is coming up, the annual excuse to indulge to waste busting excess because someone put a tree in the living room (which is an interesting logical absurdity in its own right), that the BBC and health authorities are being so heavy handed in their efforts to slap society in the face with what they already know. Or, perhaps it is more a case of dismay with the general mental aptitude of the British public at large is such that, despite having heard it a million times before, they simply do not have the cognitive capacity to learn the lesson and stop. Either way, the excitement over this report, which has dominated headlines on television, radio and internet pages supported by the Beeb, has been dramatic to say the least.

Perhaps it is actually the case that the current crop of BBC reporters have only just never heard this news. Having been so distracted by financial crises, Arabian uprisings, decades of battering the crap out of middle eastern nations, and all the excitement that came with the Tony Blair years, that we have a generation of reporters who are, for the first time, realising that the general public in the UK are not simply made up out of slim line bankers and hood wearing rioting looters, and that there is a wider picture to the British social spectrum after all – though I hope the BBC are slightly more in tune with the country than that (hope we stress, not expect).

Of course there have been plenty of shouting voices coming back at the Beeb over this, no shortage of people retelling their tales of family woe, the parent who ran every day and only eat fruit, who was still struck down by cancer, who in turn shout ‘stop scaremongering and nannying us, it gets everyone’; there are those who suggest the same report is telling us that 60% of cancers are indeed unavoidable and that we should just not bother, and then the voice from the other side of the argument, who suggest that those 40% of possible self inflicted cancers should be forced to pay up for the healthcare costs of their self inflicted malaise – following the discussion boards on the BBC, trying to avoid cancer would certainly appear to be a divisive subject.

In short, it’s a daft report, which reveals nothing that we do not know already. What perhaps should more a point of concern is that so many people in the UK are not getting the message, or that they are and simply don’t care. Perhaps one conclusion to draw from this is that, despite being furnished with all the knowledge required to lead a healthy life, there is a statistically relevant proportion of the population who simply don’t care, who will sit on their arses, do nothing, drink ‘til their blood could intoxicate if consumed, whose arms might actually produce donut related jam were they to be squeezed.

Let us be clear, for many cancer is a indiscriminate little bitch of a disease, and we as a race fight a collective game of chance with it, it might get you, it might not. But the warnings are there people, and have been for a very long time. Choose to heed them, or don’t, that is your choice, but there are ways in which it can be avoided, should you wish to. Leading the perfect life is no guarantee, but it can help. The BBC report is no indictment on the lazy, the smoker and the drinker, it just states what we’ve known all along, too much of it, and it might kill you, nothing to get excited about, so will be BBC please calm down.

N.B. While the Beeb is doing its best to spook the unhealthy in the nation into action, they carry on the same day a health warning for marathon runners regarding heart disease…dammed if you don’t, potentially dead if you do. Just remember, smoking can kill you, marathon running can kill you, whether you choose to do either if very much down to you.

The Royal Family is the Single Most Important Thing In the World – BBC.

Staggering really, staggering on a number of levels. Here we are, the world as we know it, buckling under the weight of 7billion hungry mouths, all of them scrabbling around for what remains of the world’s currency, which is not much given that so much of it is being pushed around in Greek wheelbarrows, the eastern world is sinking under successive waves of floodwater, while the middle eastern nations are taking it in turns to cut the heads off of successive world leaders, and the top story, the very top story according to the BBC, is the rules regarding succession to the Royal throne, are being tweaked. So important a story this is, that David Cameron, a man who one might expect to be focused on tackling his own parties internal squabbling, or the fact that the leaders of the European nations seem to be attempting to forewarn the world that the good ol’ days of the Napoleonic Wars are about to come back (presumably led by a host of nations looking to recoup their financial losses by simply invading Greece to take it all back), is flapping around in Australia, kissing the royal arse as if this is the most pressing matter on the world stage today.

It’s hard to gauge which is more disgusting, the fact that the leader of British politics is wasting what seems an incredible amount of time and resources during a crippling period of economic austerity, to reword some mind bendingly irrelevant pages of documentation regarding who gets to stand where when the inbreds line up to sit in a chair and wear a shiny piece of metal the moment the previous inbred drops dead from a well covered up case of hereditary syphilis, or whether it is more outrageous that the BBC should commit so much air time and debate (at time of writing, ‘Girls equal in throne succession – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15492607, is the top story on the BBC website) to a story that surely can have no more relevance to British or World society today than whether or not I put socks on today.

Seriously the BBC, the fact that I chose to put on a pair of black socks as opposed to the blue with green trim socks that I briefly pondered upon this morning, is as, if not more, socially relevant to Britain and worthy of ‘top story’ billing, than the rights of some royal tart to follow in the footsteps of some royal twat. Cameron, the BBC, get a hold of yourselves. The World is on the cusp of falling over itself and crushing us all when it lands, and you think that this is what we all want to hear about?

To summarise, The BBC = Idiots, David Cameron = Idiot, the Royal Family = Socially irrelevant idiots.