Just the BBC News at 10 last night, it was enough to think about.
We kicked off with Gordon Brown and his new cabinet, the images shown were of smiling, happy politicians and it was a new Dr. Feelgood for a brief second. Mr Brown has had a tooth-job done recently, a professionally whitened and dazzled up smile, for the purpose of enhancing his public image. With the current state of the global economy and Mr Brown's financial acumen, I am surprised he did not plump for the perennial gypsies favorite; the golden tooth. Maybe they are gold and capped just like Mr Brown's spending.
We got a run-down of the fresh faces, Jacqui Smith was shown at the door of number 10, with Gordon, and we were reminded of her importance in the PM's plans. Images of the rest of the newcomers were shown and then we saw images of the omnipresent paparazzi on the pavement outside No 10. Well, along the pavement a bit. This part of the feature ended by showing us a brightly dressed individual handing in a parcel for the new PM. This was apparently a bottle of champagne which had been sent round by Princess Di's pal, Elton John.
Brown has maybe kept it on ice though because our next story was regarding Iraq. Yesterday, tragically, another three soldiers were killed, two of them came from Fife, home of Mr. Brown. We saw photgraphic images of the two Fife boys (for that is what they were) and then, so we knew how they had died, the BBC had created an animated graphic reconstruction, where we zoomed in from above, firstly on a world map, then into Iraq, then Basra, then the actual spot of the incident, by which time we were looking through a cross at simulated vehicles and a replay of events. Whoever created this obviously used to work at Rockstar North, the "distasteful" computer game designers; coincidentally, another Fife based company. (alright Chink?)
After that, we saw some images of real troops in action, in armoured vehicles, firing machine guns. We were told of the plans to reduce our forces in Iraq and consideration was given to the fact that Mr Brown may try to expedite matters. However we were then told that there was no word from Mr Brown as to that possibility yet. Brown though "may have critical influence over America like some say his predecessor did not have"
Time for Old Nick Robinson though and he ran through the new cabinet again, War Health and the Home secretary were his chosen appointments for discussion. Overall though, Nick reckons that this is a cabinet which shows a "change of tone" and appears to be more mellow, more ambient, more age of aquarius. All we needed was Tony and his new guitar.
More War, this time the one your Grandad told you about, the 2nd World War. We were told that our emergency services have never been so stretched since then; this is due to the flooding in England where we are stretched to breaking point. (as always) Over to Upton on Severn where an outside reporter stood beside some water and told us how it was still causing damage and taking lives.
In Doncaster there are still people being rescued and we saw people in a boat to reinforce this. Then we were told of people still living in shelters. To reinforce this, we saw an elderly, unshaven man, who seemed rather bewildered and, openly crying, told us he had lost his food. Newspaceman wondered if perhaps the BBC crew had mistakenly entered a different type of shelter, perhaps a homeless shelter and that maybe the old man was in the habit of claiming to have "lost his food".
A mobile phone image next of a house falling down due to the floods. The BBC had located the owners and saw we saw them "live" returning to their home. They were obviously quite distraught and they were asked by the reporter "How are you feeling." "Not brilliant" was the reply as they looked at their feet. The camera flashed over to their destroyed home and belongings, as it did we saw a large microphone in front of the couple. How do these "journalists" sleep or do they just not care ?
More flood fear next, this time food prices. We have been warned before recently on the news that farmers were turning to "energy" crops rather than food crops but this does not seem to be the case in the flood zones shown here. Up in the heliopter we went to see herons, "feeding on fish, where crops should be sown." No mention was made of the fact that there will be literally tons of worms at the new "rivers" edge because this used to be a field. This will attract fish and therefore their predator, the herons, not Tony's new green chum. Soon, the waters will subside and the natural cycle begin again.
Anyway, we saw a farmer down in his waterlogged fields and he pulled out a barley plant and showed us the root system which we were assured was pretty bad. We were told that our peas have gone mushy, pre tin and that strawberries were in a bad way too. Better nip down to the scaremongers and stock up before the "price goes up."
Madeleine McCann next and the global search has resulted in the arrest of a global couple, an Italian man and his Portuguese partner. It is some type of extortion that they are being questioned over. It was advised that the man had in fact seen his lawyer as he had some information about Madeleine's disappearance but wished to claim some of the substantial reward monies. We were told that this was exploiting the McCanns anguish.
Coming up - Buckingham Palace is falling down. A rooftop report.
First though, the posties are due to strike today. We saw a reporter outside a delivery depot and were told the background. 130,000 CWU members are expected to strike, their Union believes that 40,000 jobs may go. As the reporter spoke a mail lorry took a corner at breakneck speed; as they do. They drive it every day.
Lockerbie next - Looks like another stitch up job
An American mistake next. They have mistaken some peasants for well equipped and trained al-Quaeda operatives and as such, annihilated them. We saw one survivor interviewed, basically they were slaughtered trying to protect their village from "insurgents". Bandit country, thats for sure.
Time for the Queen next and we were warmed up by seeing millions of flag waving royalists, all crammed in London, whilst the Queen and family sat on the balcony; smiling. Buckingham Palace is falling down though, the roof specifically, and we cut over to BP, where our reporter held a small chunk of mason-ary. (They are everywhere). He told us that "chunks ranging in this size up to the size of a shoebox" have fallen down. Shoebox bomber anyone ?
The "palace is crumbing" we were told and we were told of problems with the Central Arch, through which the Queen travels. However, it appears the Queen does not actually stay in BP and only uses it for entertaining. For example we were told that today it was used for a meeting of "first aiders" from some conflict somewhere. Basically, the Queen wants the money from the Government and they are "reluctant to come to her assistance."
Can we read more into the timing of this. Has perhaps the Queen being trying to obtain the funding from Tony whilst he has simply blamed Gordon, as chancellor, for refusal of funds. Alternatively, maybe Tony has just simply stalled the issue and said to speak to Gordon once he gets the job. Strange how it has been made public the day after Gordon got the PM job. The Queen goes cap in hand to Gordon to get a new cap for her palace? Is maybe all just a big smoke and mirrors operation.
Rio next, a shanty town (self -build urban area, similar to the abode of Stig of the Dump x 10,000) in which an urban war is taking place between drug dealers and the police. It has been ongoing for a number of weeks. We saw urban warfare and the victims of such then we interviewed a lady victim who told us of the ongoing conflict. A gun was heard going off during the interview and we saw the lady, jumping about a foot in the air. Surely, if you live in an area of urban warfare, you would become immune to the sound, to a certain extent. An oscar for the lady and a "long way to go in this drugs war."
Wimbledon, and "despite the usual vocal support" Henman is out. Somebody analyse the effect of that statement on our unconscious please?
Spice girls next, a reunion and a long feature. We were reminded of them all, Sporty, Posh etc and, furthermore, that they "ushered in the Blair years". We saw a bit of an early video. Then we saw them at a press conference; wafer thin Posh said that it "was not for the money." We saw photographic images of them with Nelson Mandela and Prince Charles, both of these seperate images were shown together, side by side, and we were told of the "great and the good". And the effect of this "linking" please?
The last comment on the comeback was that it may be "little more than old spice". The only old spice I remember is the aftershave and its nautical connections. I think it was a 2nd WW thing. Certainly, my grandad had it, I remember the bottle and the advert on TV, the crashing waves and the Galleon. http://www.the-daily-behemoth.blogspot.com/
Do you think we might have to build shanty towns, in the manner of a Brazilian Stig, if the floods get worse? Huts, like those seen on allotments, built with bits and pieces, an old door here,a bit kitchen worktop there and a lovely, perfectly round, deep, porthole window; made out the front of a washing machine?
Oh for the life of an urban hermit.