Thursday 11 June 2009

And Again - Con Brio

Bob Crow's gift just keeps on giving. Another thoroughly enjoyable walk this morning through the 'human awful wonder of God' (as Blake called London - though I don't suppose he was thinking of Kensington), the sun more-or-less out, and another old cassette blasting away in my human awful ears - The Marriage of Figaro (highlights). That's an overture to get you going, if ever there was one - what brio...
Looking back on last night's news, I seem to remember being bored rigid by the depressing return to business as usual in Broonland. One of the things that mystifies me is why both sides assume that everyone is horrified at the prospect of cuts in 'public services' - many of us surely are shouting 'bring it on', especially if we've had direct experience of the bloated inefficiency of so many of these 'services'. And as for public sector pensions... But there we are, that was the 'big story'. The news also featured possibly the most unreal 'threat to the planet' story yet devised by the misdirected mind of man - a 1 percent chance of Earth colliding with another planet in 3.5 billion years or so. Hmm. Even the BBC's David Shukman - a man whose nostrils twitch hungrily at the slightest whiff of ecopocalypse - had a job taking this one seriously. Fabulous graphic though - which was maybe why it got so high up the running order. However, the 'story' was also there on Radio 4's World Tonight, which was disappointing. Over on the World Service, I was glad to hear, the lead was not the latest set-to in Halitosis Hall but news of Ahmadinejad's broadcast. Now that's electoral politics - and it looks rather like panic on his part. With any luck this menace to society might be unseated soon - though whether that will make matters much better is another question...
Oh dear, I wish I was still out there with Mozart in my ears.


  1. Perhaps Shukman struggled because even the deepest green ecopocalyptico can't blame America for that one.

  2. thats a very good point nige - its not only the politicians but also the media who get in a righteous lather about 'cuts in spending', when every single person I know would love there to be cuts in spending...when did the media collude to decide that this was the correct 'message'?

  3. Well I guess the BBC has obvious reasons, being part of 'public spending' itself - but for the others I don't know. I'm pretty sure there have been opinion poll findings suggesting 'the public' has changed its mind big-time on this issue...
    And Sexy, that really doesn't make an awful lot of sense you know...

  4. Caring not one jot about incurring the wrath of the BBCs government employees, the old left, the Guardian, the Post Office workers union or Tony Robinson here's my two pennies worth.

    Overnight reduce every government and local government employee's salary by 10%, the non-jobbers by 50%, the doctors..take them back to the same level as 5 years ago. Make them pay the going rate themselves for their pension entitlements.

    Employee a group of German management consultants to implement proper staffing levels, this will reduce the total number by Ca 40%.

    Sell the post office to TNT with no guarantee of carry over rights for their staff.

    Raze the BBC to the ground and start again.

    A new law, making trade union officials liable for any financial damage they cause to the companies employing their members.

    Stop all grants to green energy companies.

    Introduce a minimum 30% grant against capital expenditure for manufacturing companies.

    Break up the big banks and create the conditions in which old style building societies can once again flourish.

    Oh, and deport Brown to St Helena.

    sexy, you seem to be short of a comma in there.

  5. That should do the trick Malty!

  6. Actually one could argue that this is the moment to increase rather than reduce spending on the BBC. Why not increase it's grant by 50 per cent instead? All these alleged cuts in services and the recession putting folks out of work - more people will have a lot more time on their hands, so some good BBC programmes might help to fill in the hours. I took refuge last night in a fine wildlife documentary on the frisky and elusive red-capped mangabey. Of Gabon, rather than Tehran and its "Expediency Council", a name which could come straight from Broon's house of horrors. The BBC does some things better than anyone, particularly wildlife.

    I don't really believe this stuff about reform. If the politicians were serious about it, then dunderheads like Crow would have been history a couple of decades ago. I suspect it's more to do with blathering about reform while preserving the grip of the party machine and the general gerrymandering behind the scenes. Bob Crow means votes for Tories just as the North-East means votes for Labour.

    Purcell on the 'phones? Hard to resist the titles alone of many of his songs. Nymphs and shepherds come away, the lights are turning red.

  7. Trouble is Mark, if you upped the BBC's budget the extra money sure as hell wouldn't go into making decent programmes but into swelling the ranks (and the paypackets) of its already vastly oversized bureaucracy and 'management'. And I'm quite sure good - even really good - wildlife documentaries would continue to be made without the BBC. Quite a few already are, and a lot of BBC stuff is co-produced these days. We do need the BBC to bring us decent radio - but that's the cheapest thing they do.