Saturday, 10 October 2009


Traditionally the summer months were known as the silly season for news stories. It seems that it's extending into autumn this year. For me the big one is the hullabaloo about Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. I reckon it's a no-brainer. Even if nominations did have to be in a few days after his election, as I remember it even that soon he had changed the dynamic of global diplomacy from one of shooting from the hip to one of human engagement. It might be that the Iranians are not 'evil' and it might not be most productive to threaten to blow them out of existence. And he has redefined the US government's position on climate change. And started movement again on Israel and Palestine. Admittedly the fruits of his vision have yet to be realised. And, as I said when he was elected, there is a danger in pinning too much hope on one man. HE can't change human nature.

And then there's the media storm over Mr Anton du Beke's gratuitous use of a racist term - three weeks ago. First neither he nor the show deserve such media time. Secondly it should have been dealt with by an apology to Laila Rouass on his part, acceptance on her part, and leaving it behind by both of them. And the press hounds being told to get lost.

And there's the Grove Christmas tree, planted three years ago in the centre of the village - which was cut down by vandals, so everyone thought. It turned out in fact that county council arboriculturalists had felled it arbitrarily. Sorry! They've offered to replace it.

On a more serious note, I must say I agreed with Judge James Allen when he said it would be 'unconscionable' if Christine Gill, an only child, were not to inherit her parents' estate - in spite of the will assigning it all to the RSPCA. Apparently her father had bullied her mother into agreeing to the terms against her own wishes. There is a difference between animals and humans, and people should come first. Animal charities in this country are anything but underfunded. And great though the work of the RSPCA is, I'm really disappointed that they have said they will appeal. Have they, I wonder, been advised by predatory lawyers?

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