I only watched the BBC News at 10 last night although I watched Question Time afterwards so I will try to write a few words about that programme and the audience in particular.
The first feature appeared to be about the Labour party's policies. We were told that "they were clearing the decks" in Westminster. Curiously, we have had a large number of nautical themes this week, including ice island and the Cutty Sark fire.
Recycling next and we saw the goverment proposals to penalise householders who produce excessive waste. We were told the problems were pressure on landfill sites and the the production of methane gas from the buried refuse. We saw images of dustbinmen in action. We then saw images of Scunthorpe where there was trouble when the council tried to impose fortnightly collections previously. Images of the town square were shown and we were reminded of the poll tax riots which happened there.
We then had a feature on a "typical family". The BBC had asked them to participate in a waste recycling trial. This involved the BBC issuing the family with some plastic boxes for plastic, cardboard etc plus a grey coloured plastic bucket which was labelled SLOPS. We saw the family after day one and mention was made of the slops bucket and the fact that left over foodstuffs and cat food were in it. This seemed to be the problem really. The feature finished by telling us that "even for a keen, green family, this has been hard work". We then got to see the crowning glory as the contents of the slop bucket were held up, mostly rice pudding and stale cat food I think. Basically they seemed to be telling us that this is disgusting and we should go out and riot in the manner of the poll tax rebellion.
We stayed with the Government and moved on to terrorism, in particular the case of the three missing "terrorists" who are subject to control orders. We saw images of their houses, their neighbours have not seen them for three days and they are heavily connected to a "web of terrorism" We then saw an image containing photos of different "terrorists" and lines were drawn between them. Again we had a rendition of all the different groups of "terrorist bombers"and were subected to details of their "plans to kill hundreds". We were told the focus was on Iraq as they planned to join the "insurgents" and fight against "our troops" over there.
How they intend to carry out this "focus" is beyond me.
One third of people on control orders have absconded we were told and we sawthe home secretary John Reid speaking in the Commons where he advised that we were considering opting out of European human rights legislation, something to do with article 5. It is not just us though, France Germany and Poland are also considering this move. It all seems a bit scary to me. Very scary really. They basically wish to take away the rights of an individual and use terrorism as an excuse. What also scares me somewhat is this banding together of countries to justify such a move. Just because F G & P are considering amending their human rights legislation, does this make it right? Also, I spoke before about this alliance of the four UK nations, France, America and Germany (in the form of the "celebrity" Hoff). Is this feature telling us that Poland has joined the amalgamation. As regards the break up of the UK Union, is this not just a lesson in basic alchemy. We must break down the entity (UK) into its base states (Scotland England etc) before we can rebuild this supposed New World.
We moved on to the MP Allan Johnston who was on Question Time later discussing the issue of migrant workers and housing. This seemed just to be an advert for Question Time and a chance to bring up the same story again.
An divorce case next. British man has lost his appeal against his divorce settlement ruling. He must pay his wife 20 million or suchlike. We saw them splitting up, this was illustrated by the BBC special effects simulating a photograph of the couple being ripped in to, leaving one on each side. This is the same sort of technique they use when they focus on another television set and someone watching it. Focusing on images. Anyway, this whole feature was an excuse to roll out some images of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Just to warm us up.
Coming up - The race to piece together 600 million scraps of paper relating to East Germany's past.
First we looked at a refugee crisis, tonight it was from East Africa. 100,000 people live in one refugee camp, the biggest in the world. As with similar features on similar situations, we saw images of women and orphan children. We were told the women in the camp "wont talk openly". The rebels are being blamed and we were told that the refugees are "never sure who is friend or foe". This is another similar theme at the moment. Friends Foes Strangers - Trust no one.
Nightly report from Gaza. Israel have fired more bombs and arrested 30 Hamas politicians.
Madeleine McCann - Its now three weeks since she went missing and we went to the Algarve to see what the progress was. The reporter advised that the police in the UK have obtained 500 images taken by holidaymakers at the time and are studying them. Other than that, three weeks later it is still a mystery. Mention was made of the "suspect" and he was named again. A new photographic image of the girl has been released
A feature on bank charges and the legal fight against them by some customers. The banks are attempting to persuade their customers to drop their cases. We were told that this was a "consumer uprising". Another phrase used was "too far down the legal food chain". I dont quite understand the use of this phrase, no doubt it will come to light shortly. Again this was not much of a story, more an update on a story which will continue for ever. We were told the BBC online service had received 486 e mails about it. It finished by asking us "Are consumers becoming more rebellious or are the banks...".
More rebellion and this time the promised feature on the scraps of paper. This story revolves around the East German secret police ripping up all paperwork before the collapse of the Berlin Wall. We saw images of crowds and the wall coming down. We were told that in East Germany, before the wall came down, the police ripped up all their files on individuals. "Ripping, Burning and Shredding" apparently. We were told that 1 in 7 of the population at the time was a spy in their own country. Anyway, computer experts are trying to fit togther the paperwork and reassemble the files. We saw an interview of a lady who said that people were beginning to forget how bad it was before and had forgotten about the repression, etc etc. Again, one wonders why this feature is actually on the news.
Motto - we live in a free country really, however bad it might seem to be getting. Just look at East Germany. But why all the talk of rebellion and uprising, are the media perhaps provoking social unrest. Look at the Liverpool game it was the same senario.
That was about it, the regional news in Scotland had a fair chunk on the Queen meeting Alex Salmond. She dropped in by helicopter for 20 minutes.
Question Time - If last nights show is reflective of reality, then we are in big trouble. People are genuinely scared now or certainly appear to be so. This "terrorism threat" is getting out of hand. People who are scared become aggressive. This can be directed towards what or whoever the media decide. Watch them stir the cauldron of poison for Mills McCartney and see how far they have already progressed.