Thursday, 19 April 2018

DIfferent kinds of problems.

Imagine going to school in a country, growing up, getting a job, paying your National Insurance contributions, because, after all, you do have a National Insurance number, paying your taxes and in some cases pension contributions, and then suddenly they turn around and say you don’t belong here after all! Some of those involved have even had passports in the past but now are held to be not recognised on the system! And now the politicians are arguing about who is responsible for the mess.

You would think that having paid taxes for forty or fifty years would be enough of a contribution to the country for them to let you stay. And yet, when the whole thing is sorted, would you want to stay? Unbelievable!

There I was, thinking I could get rid of some of the piles of paper records I have had cluttering the place up for years. And now I begin to think maybe I should hang on to everything just in case!

 There was a cartoon I saw in which little Princess Charlotte was asking if great grandad was gong to be sent back to Greece. No, of course not. he just gets medical treatment that many another ninetysix year old would be considered too old to make it worth while.

Different strokes for different folks!

Ant McPartlin, half of Ant and Dec, who began their career as cheeky little Geordie lads in Byker Grove on television years ago, has been done for drink-driving. It was very fortunate that he didn’t actually kill someone. He has been fined £86,000, which sounds like an awful lot of money until you read reports that he earns £23,000 per day. Can that be possible? That stops being real money. So even if he is banned from driving for 20 months, he can well afford to be driven around. Maybe the world will be safer that way.

It must be hard being rich and famous!

Then there’s Cliff Richard, or Sir Cliff as I should say now. Once he became a national treasure people seemed to forget that he was once a bit of a British Elvis. Never a real rebel but still a bit of a bad boy, in a very restrained British way. This was, of course, before we had the likes of Mick Jagger, and even he became something of an establishment figure.

Anyway, poor old Sir Cliff is having an argument with the BBC about their coverage of the raid on his home following accusations of abuse. Never proven or even charged in the end, by the way. It seems that BBC journalists knew the raid in advance was going to take place and poor old Sir Cliff only found out about it when he saw it on the television. In yesterday’s paper journalist Roy Greenslade was defending the press coverage of this, declaring thatvit would be a disaster if poor old Sir Cliff won the case.

“The majority of journalists, even those who are hostile to the BBC and all its works, understand why. If Richard’s action were to succeed, the ramifications for press freedom and, as a corollary, for open justice, are awful to contemplate. It could create a situation in which the media would be unable to report the early stages of police investigations, such as revealing the identity of arrested people. They would enjoy anonymity until and unless they were charged.”

Am I in a minority to wonder why the media should be able to report the “early stages of police investigations”? The public don’t really need to know the “identity of arrested people”, especially if they have not been charged. It’s more a case of our having got used to examining the juicy details and making often ill-informed judgements.

I am not defending poor old Sir Cliff. It’s the pandering to basic nosiness that annoys me. In the modern age we have taken peeking from behind net curtains to a whole new level.

Mr Greenslade went on: “It is unconscionable to prevent citizens from knowing that police have taken a person from their home and are holding them for questioning.” No it’s not. It is unconscionable that our politicians get us into a possible war and that people who have paid taxes here for all their adult lives might be threatened with deportation.

Now that IS unconscionable.

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