We started with the BBC News at 10 with Iraq as the leading story and the kidnap by persons unknown, of a "finance expert" and his four bodyguards or security guards from the finance ministry building on "Palestine Street" in Baghdad. I am unsure as to when Palestine Street received its name but it does not sound very Iraqui to me.
The kidnappers arrived at the building in a convoy of 40 police vehicles and marched in asking where the foreigners were. There appears to have been little resistance to the abduction which seems slightly strange. It appears obvious that they have specfically targeted the "finance expert" and that he must be of some inportance given the quantity of personal bodyguards that he had.
This story again allowed the BBC licence to discuss the various groups who could be behind the snatch. Was it "plain banditry or al-Quaeda" we were asked. It was best if it was not al-Q, as they always kill their victims was the answer given, however, we dont know. Images were shown of war zones, bomb blasts, rebel armies, the usual nightly array.
We saw images of private security guards, apparently receiving training in gun shooting, before emarking for a "lucrative" job in Iraq. Most are ex soldiers and receive around £300 per day for bodyguard duties. Life appears pretty dangerous and we were assured that "it was far more dangerous than being in the army". These guards are really mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, although this was not stated.
On to a minister with morals; Graham Brady has resigned from the Conservative Party over the grammar schools debate. He does not agree with the statement that "grammar schools impede social mobility". However, Cameron was going to sack him so how resigning first gives him morals I dont know. This social mobility (moving within our class structure) to me is nonsense. Even if you earn say 100k per year and have a nice house, car, clothes etc, you are not any more free than a man earning 15k and in a multi storey. Yet the underlying consensus in this country is that the more you earn and the higher up the social mobility ladder you are, the better you are doing and the better the person you are. We (as a society) are mentally conditioned into believing this nonsense and our educational system is structured in order that we believe the myth from an early age.
Images were then shown of some "old tories" discussing the issue over a pint or two and the feature finished by running a short clip of Mr Brady involved in a Tug O War. As expected he ended on the losing side.
Over to the McCanns and their puppet show. For those seeking clarification on the puppets plus more "coincidental" aspects to the McCann story and a wealth of interesting, extremely well written articles, I suggest you link to the the site as detailed below. Anyway they are off to see the Pope, we still dont know who arranged this meeting and have had conflicting reports. Again we were reminded of their faith and the help it has given them through this entire episode and we were advised that this was first stop on their tour of major capitals. Images and short mobile phone camera recordings of Madeleine were shown and we saw Rome and the Pope again. We seem almost to have forgotten about the girl and the McCanns themselves have become the focus, almost celebrity status now. I cannot even bring myself to think about it now, there is something seriously disturbing about this whole matter.
Health next and a story about "maternity support workers" guising in the role of midwifes. There is a chronic shortage of midwives so their juniors are carrying out some roles for them. This story allowed the usual images of mothers and lovely little babies to be shown, en masse. This didnt seem like much of a story to me, surely the support workers know what they are doing otherwise one would imagine they would'nt do it. It is babies after all. The goverment has promised 3000 more ladies will be skilled in the art of midwifery by 2012. What was not said is that the extra 3000 will be busy in new roles inserting identification micro chips and tattooing bar codes.
Migrants are still in the news. Not content with passing flu to Welsh schoolchildren, they are now planning to stay over here for good. 8000 have arrived from Bulgaria and Romania since January. We saw a taxi driver with a deep desire to come to the UK. Obviously they dont have Dick Whittington translated into Romanian then. We saw images of the migrants on coaches and the plane ("see all the people moving"), coming to the UK and were told that "these are the faces of a new Britain". The coach journey is a grueling 2 days and 2 nights although 16 hours is spent in Romania picking up passengers. Furthermore, "pressure and hopes bring 1000's here". This feature, as many similar, insinuated that we are under seige, well almost.
Blair was over in Libya where he is on fantastic terms with Gadafi. The situation is completely transformed from the previous state of affairs where we were almost at War. BP Oil signed a big deal with Libya yesterday. Does every man have his price ?
Tony is going to Sierra Leone next as part of his "world tour", this is a country which was involved in terrible civil war only 7 years ago. However we sent troops over to regain stability and they are still over there, training the army. We were told of rebel child soldiers and we saw images of such which would have "frozen the blood - a sight like this". Sierra Leone is "still looking to its old colonial master for security and protection". I was wondering why till we were bothering until beingreminded that it has vast mineral reserves, including diamonds.
We then saw two ex child soldiers sitting together and then each forgiving one other for their war crimes. One only had one arm, I missed the other's war-wound. Images were shown of a "crocodile river" "rank with waste". Even though we have been over there for seven years, "no one knows where the wealth goes" and the natives live in poverty. The polictical elite are very rich though so that seemed to explain it to me. Seven years, for nothing ?
There was a large feature on a painter but I am running out of time so cant cover it. I will tomorrow though.
I watched ITN only notable additional feature was the Big Brother kidney show in Holland which says it all really.