Monday 1st: In the fear-filled society called England a school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events – unless they pass a criminal records check. The Isambard Community School in Swindon insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles. Clearly one subject that is not taught, probably because of it is entirely lacking amongst the staff is ‘common sense’.
Thursday 4th: A really windy day in Tasmania, demonstrating, as if it needed a demonstration, the fragility of humanity’s hold on the planet as the first of the season’s bush fires took hold. Hope abounded as I planted a row of lavenders which will, with luck, grow into a small hedge and give much joy in future years. All this while Mitt was demonstrating to Barack that not only does he have a grasp of economics (well, he has had a real job) but that he is pretty good in live presidential debates. About ten minutes into the debate while Mitt Romney was speaking, the camera showed a President who looked as though he was just waking up to the fact that the challenger not only had a good punch but that he was pretty quick on his feet too.
Monday 8th: Humility isn’t a bad thing. I like to consider myself middle-aged and reasonably good at sports. So when I watch an 85 year old great grannie play carpet bowls ten times as well as I can, I feel very humble. A pity the opposing skipper was such a condescending barsteward though. Commenting constantly on yours truly’s efforts didn’t endear him to me at all.
Thursday 11th: What a palaver politics has become. The media have so much to answer for. If there isn’t news they’ll make some. On the rare occasion a politician holds their hand up and admits they made a mistake they’ll try and hang something else on them. As the electronic media develops and newspapers are under the cosh (who wants to pay for a paper when you can read it online for free) more copies need to be sold for them to stay in business. Editors must daily thank the gods for elections, indiscretions, vilifications, resignations and any old dirt that will sell papers.
Friday 11th: A 14 year old is shot in Pakistan by the Taliban for her blogs while in the UK a young idiot is jailed for his ‘social’ network comments on the April Jones case. Another Facebook troll escapes jail but gets community service for sending a grossly offensive communication about the deaths of British soldiers and today I read that someone has been jailed for 8 months for wearing an offensive t-shirt. Is free speech effectively as dead in the UK as in Pakistan, if for very different reasons? I spent over a quarter of a century defending, amongst other things, what I thought was the right of others to say what they thought in and about Britain – however much I might personally disagree with them. Before the Malicious Communications Act of 1998 we had libel, slander and public order laws which had functioned effectively for decades, now it seems with the reaction to facebook, twitter etc. we are seeing the thin end of a very reactionary wedge.
Monday 15th: While New Zealand will not give a visa to allow convicted rapist Mike Tyson to visit, Australia does. Which government shows the more sense and sensitivity to women? As a citizen I am shamed by the decision to allow this individual into our ‘lucky’ country.
Friday 19th: Not a day goes by without spam. My eye was caught by ‘myupholstereddininggchairs’ which still considers “A dining room is the core part of any house”. Well, I would have thought it more appropriate to use home than house but then, does middle-class America really still sit around the dining room table every day? Or are families becoming more dysfunctional with both parents working and kids concentrating on computer games?
Saturday 20th: A multiple murderer voluntarily leads police to a grave of one of his victims. The police breach his ‘human rights’ by failing to interview him first with a lawyer present. His lawyers successfully appeal that he cannot be charged with that victim’s murder. Any system which puts the rights of the villain before the victim is broken. Any law which promotes this is the responsibility of inept politicians who continue to pass laws without testing all the feasible resulting scenarios first.
Tuesday 23rd: There seems to be a lot of fallen ‘heroes’ around recently like Jimmy Savile and Lance Armstrong. We create a lot of pedestals and then often proceed to put the wrong type of folks up on them. Meanwhile in California (where else) researchers have determined there used to be a white whale that talked. I say ‘used to be’ because apparently it died 5 years ago. Perhaps if it had said “Pretty Polly” or “who’s a pretty boy then?” rather than “get out of the water” it would have been famous within its own lifetime. It would certainly have needed a damned big pedestal.