Look At Me

BBC_Selfie_121aIt’s been happening for years but now it seems have become the norm – as almost every reporter feels the need to put themselves between their subject and their audience.

For many TV stations – not just the BBC – the reporter’s aim seems to be give top priority to their words to camera even if it means blocking out the sounds and images of the intended subjects. In sports events this goes even further; as groups of pundits speak over the award ceremonies or chat live to camera while the actual sport continues out of shot. Here the really BBC excels – for example repeatedly showing recorded British successes while live events involving other nations continue off camera. If someone was allocated to talk over these presenters pieces to camera they would soon get the message.

These days reporters, news readers and presenters have become personalities in their own right. And many programme producers have got into a rut of established formats. So perpetuating an increasingly tired style of output. But wait! Things may change sooner than these stars of TV and radio think.

Some overseas channels already limit reporters and news readers to voice-over roles. Weather reports are handled the same way – and are prerecorded for showing repeatedly on news channels; instead of having live presenters stand into front of a blue-screen and repeat the same script.

Auto_cue_1But in the near future a broadcast-quality version of Siri or Cortana could easily read an auto-cue just as well as a human. Many newsroom cameras have already gone unmanned – and news readers could follow the former cameramen very soon.

But if a studio with a news reader was still felt necessary for some broadcasts then there are already some effective alternatives to those, increasing expensive, humans. Life-like robots are already being deployed in commerce – and ones programmed for multi-lingual speech could front TV broadcasts to regions with many different languages; for example Europe.

So how soon before that 1980’s presenter prediction Max Headroom becomes a TV reality? Too soon for some ..

Unarmed Invaders Get Weapons

The terrible events in Paris on Friday night at first caused a shocked sadness here – but then a feeling that the victims deserve something more. Something to make a difference long term and show that they have not died in vain.

man9So after all the declarations by politicians of their determination to defend free speech and hunt down all those behind these cowardly murders there needs to be some radical changes. Rather than platitudes we need a wide range of reforms affecting social cohesion and public order, strengthening free speech while redirecting the priorities of the police and the legal system.

From now on we should only accept migrants on our terms. And only those citizens, residents or potential residents who are prepared to continue with, or convert to, our common values and norms should stay. Certainly we need no one with little gratitude for our shelter or who is contemptuous of our stupidity for giving aid to those who hate us.

Using English, treating men and women as equals and obeying our laws would be a good start. Hardly unreasonable requirements for living here – yet ones it seems that many object to. But why?

Look at it from the opposite view – why would anyone want to live in or move to a country if the people there had nothing in common? Very few Brits would even consider migration to, say, Zimbabwe or Azerbaijan. Why then move from a different culture to the British one? Is there nowhere with a compatible culture that is safe?

Most of the British empire disappeared because the people wanted independence and their own way of life. Now millions seem to want to leave their independent nations and move to Britain. Have the former colonies really declined so much since the days of empire?

The time has come to dump all forms of multiculturalism as desirable objectives – locking them away in the box of failed utopias never to be let out again. Allegiance to his country is the only culture that any patriot needs.


All Quiet On The Western Front – After the business-as-usual mood at the time of the general elections in Portugal the Eurocrats must be feeling shocked by events since. The new Portuguese government only lasted a few weeks before its collapse – as opposition parties defeated the government in a key vote on Tuesday. Now a new government needs to be formed with anti-austerity and left wing parties leading the way.

This change back to the country’s old ways seems likely to increase state spending, halt plans to privatise services and signal a slide back into financial difficulties. Not good news for Brussels especially with the escalating migration crisis, border controls coming back, Britain’s frequent mutterings about reform – and their hopes of a Nobel Prize for Frau Merkel falling flat. But you can’t win ‘em all …

Grandadz Charity Boost

Carmen_Bataneyelid_240The struggling and little-known charity Grandadz expects a big boost to its fund raising success following the news that Carmen Bataneyelid is to join as its first multi-cultural ambassador, chief executive and accountant.

In a brief interview Ms Bataneyelid explained that her extensive experience in dealing with senior figures in both government and entertainment will be invaluable. And, based upon past experience, expects to raise millions for the charity in the coming months – from both big business and senior politicians. She also proposes to hold a spectacular fund-raising concert in the grounds of a country house near Aylesbury. One likely to be headlined by a well-known group and be covered by a national broadcaster – then followed up with a series of high-profile arts documentaries.

In a strangely familiar statement Ms Bataneyelid said “My aim for Grandadz is for it to improve the end of life chances for many thousands of high risk, older people through the provision of practical tailored multi-disciplinary interventions. Providing seniors with health, social care, support and education in the third-age. Interventions that will reduce their distress and address the issues causing their risky behaviours and poor qualities of life.”

If these plans succeed this will be a big step up for Grandadz – where charitable donations in 2014-15 only amounted to £3.29. However that was enough to buy a nice cup of coffee for an old man stranded at a motorway service station. Under the new leadership the total donations for 2016-17 are predicted to top £20 million before tax. And the old man at the service station, now a trustee, is hoping to join the Grandadz staff in their new offices on the Cayman Islands once the cheques are cashed.