I didnt catch the chaps name who presented the BBC News at 10 last night however I dont believe I have seen him before and will perhaps never again. Anyhow, first up we were told how the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, has complained about the "growing gulf between the Army and the Nation". It seems that the General wishes us all to have a better understanding and therefore respect for our military and used the mongrel nation America as an example, images of flag waving buffoons, whooping and cheering at their troops homecoming, were displayed to show us how it should be done.
We saw images of war, well British forces "destroying the remnants of war", as they confiscated abandoned munitions and mortars from captured Taliban positions in Iraq I think( although one war ravaged desert looks very similar to any other) before we were reminded of the welcome-home-heroes behaviour seen after the Falklands war, when it appeared that the whole nation was behind our armed forces. It seems "todays wars are different" though, there is "no clear mission" and furthermore, the man in the street does'nt understand or care.
Talk moved on to the actual troops, it seems they have a "military covenant" but no real covenant with the public. Mention was made of 1500 troops on active operations in Afghanistan, engaged "flushing out Taliban" and so we travelled there with reporter Alistair Leafhead (remember your camouflage hat) on board a Chinook helicoper to drop off vital rations to front line troops; they only had an hours worth left seemingly. Alistair told how it is not only missiles the helicopter pilots have to deal with, there is also the problem of dust clouds. Despite this, it was a successful mission, the rations dropped, and several exhausted soldiers were picked up to return to base. They didnt seem to have too much to say to our intrepid reporter however the Chinook crew confided they had in fact never dealt with so many casualties.
On a similar military vein - the two soldiers killed in Afghansistan on Wednesday were named.
Next up was the tragic story of a boy who jumped into a lake to save his sister and unfortunately drowned himself. The police arrived, in the form of two community officers, unfortunately they were not trained in water rescue techniques and as such, did not enter the pond to save him, instead waiting for a fully trained police officer to arrive. We saw the relevant Chief Constable defend his employees actions, citing health and safety issues along with the fact there was no visible signs of the boy, however the childs mother was interviewed, obviously emotional and extremely angry at the first two officers behaviour. Images of a floating floral tribute were shown.
Next up was worries over the stockpile of plutonium that Britian has amassed in the Sellafield nuclear plant, seemingly one hundred tons, enough to make 16,000 nuclear bombs, is just sitting there, in a heap. Fears seem to be that there may be an accident, or, even worse, that somehow terrorists would get hold of the radioactive material to create a bomb. We were then told that this latter senario was unlikely due to the inherent instability and toxity of the spent plutonium, nevertheless, the obligatory cross references to 9/11 and al-Quaeda were made, as images of Taliban training camps were displayed, it appears al-Q have flirted with chemical and nuclear bomb techniques but not yet put them into full operation.
Coming up - German anatomist and the plastic population.
First though was football as Chelsea FC announced their new manager. It was just as well they proclaimed it because the new boss, Avram Grant, did not have too much to say on the matter. Luckily however, Jose Mourinho, the old gaffer, had arranged his own press conference, and, perhaps displaying work ethics similar to those of our loyal military employees, told how "I am a man of war in football but in life, a man of peace. Afterwards, our reporter advised that "off he went, into the night".
Some sort of explosive device has gone off outside a private school in Merseyside, images of police road blocks were shown, it appears it may have been some type of industrial firework.
The flooding in Africa followed, we met with reporter Will Ross ( I am the eggman, I am the willross) and again, like earlier this week when we saw the same feature, utilised a speedboat to reach the affected areas, this time to meet with a young native girl who, curiously, was travelling by bicycle. She told of no food and a wait for "divine intervention", maybe William or Diana ?; although it seems the worst of the rain is over now and the problems she faces are also health related.
Price fixing in our supermarkets was the next topic for discussion as we heard of farmers losing money on each pig that they sold to the aforementioned multi-nationals. Images of a pig farm with adorable piglets were displayed along with a two dimensional pig which had dotted lines drawn over it, similar to a butcher's cuts. Each section of the pig was then given a financial value, in terms of farmers share etc. At the end there was not enough pig to go round everyone, so the farmers lost out. Talk was of the "long term survival of agricultural industries" before we cut to a supermarket and saw a lady with a trolley full of bleach, presumably we were being subliminally reminded of how much it would cost to clean our own kitchens, if for example one chose to slaughter one's own meat on the worktop. To close, we saw more adorable piglets being breast fed.
Last up was the promised feature on Dr Death, and his plastic population, a similar moniker to the 80's backing band for Yazz, I think. Dr D., real name Guten Von Hagen, preserves human corpses in silicon and then displays them in settings, for example sitting round a dinner table. It appears that these veritable works of art have in fact appeared in the James Bond film, Casino Royale, however the loca church minister did not seem too chuffed about it. Notwithstanding the religious sentiments we were asked to consider this futuristic taxidermy as a viable alternative to burial or cremation, and were further advised that the docs new "Body Factory", as it is aptly named, has given new hope to a degenerated area of Germany. To verify this a local female employee was interviewed, she told how she was lucky to have a job. Maybe that was the point. What happened to Body Shop Roddick's cadavar ?
This little piggie stayed at home