Fiona Bruce returned to the helm of the BBC News at 10 last night, replacing Hugh Edwards, and fresh in our minds after the previous evenings "documentary" on Cherie Blair.
We started with the increase in interest rates by 0.25% to 5.75% and the potential economic ramifications of this affecting ourselves . This 0.25% interest rate increase will cost mortgage borrowers around £15 per month more, per £100,000 borrowed, and to illustrate this an open wallet was shown with the extra cash removed and sitting alongside. More cash was removed to represent the last two interest rate rises and we were advised that "some believe interest rates will soon reach 6%." No further information was advised as to the who the believers are; that was left to our imagination.
Time for a typical couple. Tonight it was a couple with the surname Parish who were featured. Parish as in birth certificate. Mr Parish said if things got much worse he would have to get a second job, Mrs Parish agreed and they both looked pretty worried. We were told that their payments had recently increased from £391 to £412 and this latest interest rate rise would take their payment up to £477. There is something wrong with the figures quoted though, they don't add up. 0.25% does not equate to a £65 per month increase, that is more like 15%. Lets hope that Mr Parish does not opt for the second career choice favoured by his namesake musicians - Man to Man meets Man Parish. He simply didnt have the physique.
We saw some graphs of interest rates, obviously the line was heading up the way and then we were told that "If rates stay high then affordable housing becomes a problem". We then went to the "battlefields of central England", namely the green belt of Buckinghamshire. Here we heard a local councillor say he didnt want to build on agricultural land when there was plenty available brownfield space. Only 185,000 new houses were built last year and we apparently need 223,000 per year for the next twenty years. However building is being "scuppered by enviromentalists."
I personally do not see the link between high interest rates and affordable housing. Surely, if interest rates remain high then this means higher mortgage payments which in turn means that people cant afford to borrow as much money. Therefore, house prices fall and more people can afford them. Additionally, where are we going to build 4,460,000 houses?
A tragic toddler next who was "unlawfully killed" while in the supervision of a private nursery. She hung herself on the string of a bag. We heard how the nursery, Tiddliewinks, had left her alone for twenty minutes, the legal limit being 10 minutes. We saw her obviously upset parents, her father advised that his childs human rights had been compromised. Images of the child were shown with a backdrop of animated characters, I think from the Disney film Nero. It was a bit disturbing. The interior of a nursery was also shown including a focus on childrens drawings and toys. It is now up to Gloucester police to see what, if any, action will be taken against the proprietors. The nursery has now closed. Charges of scaremongering ?
Time for Terror, an update on the bombings. After the images of the burning car, we turned to Cambridge as it appears that suspects all have links to there. We travelled through historic Cambridge until we reached a kebab shop. One of the suspects used to live above it. Then we saw an Islamic centre. Another suspect used to come here, we were told. The brother of the kebap shop suspect, who is additionally a suspect, used to visit him as well so somehow that proved another link. There were further images of the suspects shown but no actual news whatsoever.
Coming up - The computer that can transform the lives of diabetes sufferers.
Floods first though. Hull again, where 1 in 5 have been affected although to what extent we obviously were not told. Some have no insurance and are looking for the goverment to help bail them out. As such, John Prescott and our flood minister, John Healy have visited the area. We saw a young lady, Jemma who seemed pretty irate. She waved her hands angrily and said "give us the money" in a brusque accent.
Then we saw skips, piled high with flood damaged consumer goods. A family were pictured who are living in their caravan. We were told that the mood was miserable and there are accusations of government "bias against Northerners". We finished with images of some houses, the streets now dry, the waters have receded. The sun was setting and we saw two or three caravans which have been moved in by residents as temporary accomodation. Could this be the first signs of a Brazilian style shanty town, here in the UK ?
Pakistan - Ongoing religious rebellion in a mosque
Nigeria next - a three year old girl has been kidnapped. Quite a long feature, we saw interviews with her teacher and images of her school and the street she was snatched from were displayed.
Student Grants next - We went to Westminster where we were told of the plans to provide more funding to more students.
George Melly, the jazz musician has passed away. He was apparently known for his "hard drinking and squalid digs". We saw an photographic image of him.
The promised feature on diabetes now and we saw a handsome, well spoken young chap called Jeremy who has diabetes. It is not a scientist nor a doctor, who is working on a sensor type device which reads the blood sugar level every fifteen minutes and automatically calculates the required dosage of insulin, but in fact a mathematician. We saw some charts and then we saw Jeremy again, walking to school with a couple of young ladies and a chum, before finishing with some trampoline scenes. Up and down, just like the water and the interest rates.