Fiona Bruce headed the BBC News at 10 last night where we began with their apology to the Queen. The BBC made a documentary about HRH called a Year with the Queen and somehow, by mistake, a short teaser of this this was shown to BBC staff.
In the trailer Her Majesty was shown apparently storming out of a session with photographer Annie Leibovitz, after a row about removing her tiara. We were told that the claims she had walked off were in fact incorrect and that this had never happened. The BBC accepted that the "film was edited out of sequence" and that this cast a misleading picture of events - in fact, the Queen was portrayed as leaving the meeting when she was actually entering it.
We then saw the BBC Controller, Peter Fincham, who explained how the blunder had occured and apologised further. Reference was made to the recent Blue Peter scandal when it transpired that a recently held phone-in competition was in fact a a fix and we saw a short clip of that programme, including its famous ship motif. Numerous images of the Royal family, including William and Harry, together with clips of the forthcoming programme were shown throughout this feature. Images of the paparazzi were also shown.
What could we say about this. We could follow what is being said as being the true facts. Or, perhaps, we may think that maybe the original sequence of events was in fact correct and that the Queen has pulled some strings in order to retain her dignity.
What if the whole thing was a deliberate ploy. Create a senario where the Queen and the BBC appear to be in conflict. This helps bolster the Queen's popularity and also questions the integrity of the BBC and the media in general. We could go so far as to say that the collective public perception is that our Royalty and media do not in fact get on. We saw another recent example of this in the Channel 4 Diana Death Documentary and the furore over the young Princes which surrounded that show.
Bush, Iraq and America next. Our cousins in the far West are "tired of war". We saw Bush speaking and he claimed that "war fatigue is affecting our psychology." He jabbed his finger to the side of his head to emphasise his point. However, George doesnt seem to hold himself at all responsible and the problem seems to be that the new Iraq Government are not reaching their targets. Apparently, they have only managed eight satisfactory and eight non-satisfactory outcomes in their yearly assesment. Any readers who have ever suffered the indignity of an annual work appraisal will no doubt sympathise.
A long feature then ensued, we saw a gravestone manufacturer in America who is doing great business because 3 troops die per day. We saw a military graveyard. We saw images of troops in Iraq. We saw how some locals in Iraq still "rely on electric fans to keep cool in temperatures of 50 degrees plus. Then we saw a tribal leader, part of the new government, who advised us that the troops cant go. Bush agrees with this. We finished back at Washington for a resume of the situation.
2 sixteen year old girls caught with six kilos of cocaine at Ghana airport. They believed they were getting a free holiday. We saw a run down on the main cocaine smuggling routes and we saw an interview with a friend of the girls. However, "this was an amateurish plan becuase Ghana airport has scanning equipment".
Coming up (and we saw images of war and a miltary graveyard) - Passchendaele
First though, more war, this the case of two military personnel, killed in so called friendly fire. The incident happened on the 4th day of the Iraq war however only now has been looked at in a court of law. A verdict of unlawful killing should have been the verdict, however the assistant deputy coroner cannot record this as being the cause due to the fact it happened during military combat. We were told how the officer held responsible, Lt Col Lindsay MacDuff was now in charge of the entire Black Watch regiment and had recently been promoted to that position.
We then saw a computer game style graphic reconstruction of the incident, complete with various nations flags superimposed on a map. A bit like the start of Dads Army, I think, where the flags are in the shape of arrows, showing the advancing armies. It might have been Colditz. Then we saw a soldier with some severe facial disfigurement and were further advised that there are questions over the condition of the equipment and guns that our troops utilise in warfare.
Another soldier killed in Afghanistan, a map of that country was shown.
A paedophile story next, involving a minor celebrity, Chris Langan, or something like that. Anyway, the aforementioned individual was in court for a multitude of child sex offences. We saw him arriving and departing from court and images of the Ivy restaurant in London were shown, to confirm his celebrity status.
Schools - a new regime is to be imposed and this will give more choice of subjects to our pupils. Cokking was mentioned as were the languages, Mandarin and Urdu. Coincidentally, the latter of the languages was mentioned the other night in a feature on muslims and mosques. The one where we saw a white man praying.
The next feature began with images of a brown envelope coming through the letterbox. We were told this is "not popular". Remember only yesterday, when illuminated Nick Robinson talked of the twenty three brown bills. Or perhaps its all browns that are not welcome.
This was a green feature however and concerned the plans by the liberal democrats to "shift the tax burden", should they ever come into power. We saw their leader, Menzies Campbell, give a short speech. We were told of the super-rich and saw a well dressed man, polishing his massive 4X4 vehicle. Do the super-rich wash their own cars ? Then we saw three different sets of Liberal Democrat political activists with more than their fair share of brown faces. On a pro rata basis. We saw images of pedestrians in a busy high street, in Ealing. Coincidentally, a very badly disabled lady was walking (for want of a more descriptive term) up the street, just at the right time. Comedy for the sick of mind ?
The promised feature now - more war - Passchendaele. This was the 90th anniversary of a World War one battle and as such a commemorative service was held to remember it. We saw red poppies being dropped from an old aircraft. The Queen was there, with Phillip.
I don't normally comment about the regional news but we were told up here in Scotland that our leader Alex Salmond is not happy about the deal we receive in respect of our fishing rights. It appears that trouble is ahead and again this will put strain upon the already fragile relationship with England. We were also told that the lady arrested, on the M6, in the recent terror attacks, has been released without charge.
I didnt take notes on ITN, it was more of the same really. There was however a feature on Lewis Hamilton, the formula 1 driver. We saw the chequered flag being waved as we were told of a corruption type story, involving the McLaren team. Mention was made of a blueprint. Funnily enough, Lewis Hamilton was on Blue Peter when he was still very young. I covered it a month or so ago.
Saddest sight last night. A boy of about 13, weeping over the death of his great grandad in 1917, in WW1. If we keep looking back then we are going to miss what is coming straight in our face?. In fact, is it not already here but no one has told us yet ?