The end of the year so time for a quick review of some earlier stories that kept on running ..
Blatter Splattered – Just days after our article FIFA announced an eight year ban for president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Michel Platini. Blatter claimed afterwards that he was still FIFA president until February 2016 but that must mean very little when he is banned from anything to do with football. And with so many suspect transfers of funds yet to be invested, some reaching back for decades, Mr Blatter may be best advised to head for somewhere safe and far, far away.
Look At Me – a robotic weather presenter, powered by Microsoft’s Xiaoice, is now appearing live on Dragon TV in China; a channel that is part of the Shanghai Media Group. For its part Microsoft have been quoted as saying – As Xiaoice is gradually penetrating into human life, engaging herself in more jobs and playing more social roles, Microsoft expects her to bring more bliss to human beings. But perhaps that quote sounds less sinister in the original Chinese?
Unarmed Invasion – Frau Merkel’s open door policy on migration has backfired so badly that even she has had to backtrack to a more realistic position. But not before she was awarded the accolade Person of the Year by Time magazine – the sort of ironic gesture normally reserved for the Nobel Peace Prize. At least her actions gave the migration issue a boost up the eurocrat’s agendas – and lead to some EU countries taking a clearer stand on the practicalities of moving millions into unsuitable locations.
According to Save The Children – 2.1 million Syrian children are now refugees with 7.5 million affected by the conflict. More than 10 million people have been forced from their homes and 13.5 million need humanitarian aid. So there is still a long way to go if Europe is going to feed, clothe, house, educate and employ a significant number of them. But it could be a social and economic disaster for many smaller countries even if migration was limited to just Syrians. But many more from Africa and the Middle East also want to migrate to western democracies so the one million reaching Germany this year are just a drop in a human ocean.
Powerless UK – someone has pointed out to the UK politicians that closing Eggborough Power Station and losing its 4% contribution to the UK’s electricity capacity could be a step too far. To save a little face Eggborough will now be kept on standby instead.
Missed Gear? – back in June Grandad suggested that the BBC would have been better served by selling the Top Gear franchise while it was still highly rated. Instead the Beeb opted to spend £3 million (more by now?) on a high-risk, new format show with Chris Evans as both its presenter and producer. There is still over four months until the first episode is due to air but already the press has plenty of bad news. The relaunch of ‘Top Gear’ is in disarray after the executive producer, personally brought in by Chris Evans, quits the BBC motoring show … Losing the knowledgeable production team behind the show has also caused teething troubles … They’ve brought in a production team that doesn’t know anything about cars. Writers from Top Gear magazine have had to be called on for .. ideas and advice. If the BBC was stock market listed then its shares would be falling rapidly.
History Repeats Itself – last Christmas Grandad moaned about the quality of the festive TV schedules. This year we could re-hash the same story as even Chas & Dave’s Christmas Special from 1982 is wheeled out again. But you know the story by now so no point in adding to the repeats count ourselves. No wonder sales of DVDs, Blu-rays and download subscriptions are so popular.