The BBC News at 10 was presented by Hugh Edwards and we began as I did, with the ongoing investigation into the bombings last weekend in Glasgow and London. It has transpired that alll the suspects work in the NHS and again we had a run down of what we know up to now. Images of a map of the UK were shown, and we zoomed in to the relevant hospitals and then onto suspects. Images of the hospitals, the blazing car in Glasgow etc were abundant and we were told that mobile phones have been crucial in this enquiry.
Another doctor has been arrested in Australia as part of this investigation and a brief report of this was shown along with an interview with a former colleague of Dr Asher, one of the suspects.They suggested that in their opinion, he could not be part of it; they did not think he was capable of such an act. Roll out a former friend of another suspect, Dr Abdullah, who apparently "cheered when any American or Uk forces were killed in Iraq".
"So, are there al-Quaeda sleepers in the NHS ?" was the next suggestion ventured and no real answer was given. In this case though, it "seems likely the suspects "developed" here in the UK." We turned to Scotland Yard to see how they are progressing and it seems likely that our current state of alert will be reduced to that of severe. This means it is "still very likely" though. None of the suspects were under any agencies surveillance and, therefore, the the speed of this operation was "breathtaking".
Time to rerun an old al-Quaeda recruitment video, this one featured an English spoken gentleman, dressed in army fatigues and carrying a gun. His face was obscured as he implored professional muslims to radicalise themselves and join the struggle in Bosnia. It was an old video. There was talk of how it appears many members of al-Q have qualifications, we saw a senior official who has a "masters degree in surgery". Bin Laden popped his head out too.
To conclude this section we then turned to the internet. The camera zoomed into a pc monitor and we saw a forum type screen.The first words spoken were "turning London into Baghdad" however no further reference was made to this statement. We were asked to believe that from the internet it was only a short step to terrorist training camp - the same rationale as employed in suggesting that one cannabis joint can make an individual into a smackhead.
Politics - Old Nick Robinson, the BBC chief political editor was educating us next about the constitution and amendments being sought by Gordon Brown. Nick advised that most other countries just had a single sheet of paper which documented their constitution however we rely on an old fashioned system of thousands of scrolls of parchment. Nick showed us these with a sweep of the hand.
Nick says that the reason that we have such old fashioned methods was that in the olden days, "people didnt trust the monarchy". Now, "we dont trust politicians". He then talked of "limiting powers" of the polticians and this moved into a discussion about the status of Scotland and devolution. The feature finished by means of reference to the Magna Carta and he cheerfully told us that "unlike King John, we can kick Gordon Brown out at an election". Nick, sorry, but it's you I dont trust the most. Are you not also implying or suggesting that we trust the monarchy now. Collectively.
Newspaceman confesses to an appalling lack of knowledge on this matter and promises to rectify this later today, especially the historical monarchy aspect.
Floods next - We saw the images of the interiors of the flood ravaged houses and were told "if this isnt bad enough". We then cut to people still living in makeshift accomodation in a leisure centre. They seemed to be worried about where they will end up and we saw a very young teenage girl advise that she missed "the house where she gave birth."
Back to the submerged houses though and kitchen cupboards were opened to allow us to view the filth being left by the slowly receding waters. An obese boy was shown, he was complaining that all he had to occupy himself was "sit upstairs and play with my toys". Then, it was time for a cute little toddler girl to be rolled out, she had been reunited with her goldfish and was all smiles.
Coming up - Cherie Blair
Saga and AA - Basically, the two companies were merged by some very clever tax mitigators and and such they have paid no tax for a few years; as was their original intention. No laws have been broken though. The end of this advert showed us a cheery AA man towing away a car.
China next. Not content with destoying the world through greenhouse gases, the crafty chinese are running short of oil, coal and copper and as such are turning to Africa to buy (source) these goods. We went to Africa and saw some African miners down the pits. For once, we all looked the same. The chinese have basically moved over and seem to be running the mining operation; the workers have complained of exploitation. A Chinese boss was shown, he didnt think his staff were worked too hard. Mention was made of "China's endless hunger"
And over to China we went, to see a factory in operation. "China is hungry for minerals and Africa has plenty". Furthermore "China does not have enough natural resources for it's own people" so, "China is courting Africa". We then saw a conference of Chinese and African business people, tellingly "none are from the West" and the "West have no say". Over to a Chinese supermarket where "the shelves are full of goods from Africa". This feature concluded by telling us "that's why China does its shopping in Africa". I still dont know what "thats why" is.
Cherie Blair next. The BBC have made a documentary about her which is being shown tonight I think. In it, Cherie is shadowed by a BBC crew for a number of months. We saw a taster last night when Euan came back from Uni and Cherie talked football with him - "Oh, are you watching it with Daddy". Euan said no, I am going to the pub. Anyway, this story was half promotional - the Blairs are normal, really - and the other half simply scratched the surface of Cherie's public speaking fee scandal; which Cherie; as an extremely intelligent and qualified solicitor; should easily be able to turn to her advantage.