Archive of Postings to November 2015

29-Nov-2015

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 ..

tags: selfies, self promotion, robot, humanoid, text, speech, future, news

 

16-Nov-2015

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.

tags: migration, culture clash, fatal consequences

 

12-Nov-2015

Feedback

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 ...

tags: Portugal, Europe, debt, election, bailout, collapse

 

1-Nov-2015

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.

tags: charity, donation, unaccountable, sink hole, gullible, blackmail, lost, millions

 

28-Oct-2015

Kept In The Dark

Today a feedback comment on a British newspaper web site claimed that Austrians were so concerned about the migration situation that they were rushing to buy guns. But with so many false stories on the web Grandad thought that this was so unlikely as to be just another fake.

Cleggy1However a quick search, with the help of Google Translate, found - Austrians stocking up on weapons. The article goes on with - The wave of refugees has brought the arms dealers in the country record sales.  Austrians have always been one of the most armed countries in Europe. But now all the dams are broken. Over 70,000 more weapons were sold than in the same period last year. .. Tyrolean arms dealer Stefan Mair of Fulpmes confirms the sales boom, which has increased since the beginning of September- especially sales to women. (see Austria’s oe24 website for German original)

So the story is not the invention of some online troll - but rather a story being quoted direct from source. Worrying - especially when this is just one of many Euro stories not being reported here in the UK.

tags: mass migration, culture clash, problems ahead

 

27-Oct-2015

Unarmed Invasion

Today the BBC has been headlining a report on planned cuts to mobile (cell phone) roaming charges within the EU by 2017. The basic reporting angle being that this shows just how good the EU is for Britain - and to change the mind of anyone who is not a true believer in a European Union.

Merkel_200Meanwhile Frau Merkel’s statement that all migrants are welcome in Germany is still fueling ever-growing chaos - especially in the smaller EU nations to the south and east of the continent. At first the BBC - and much of the media - was keen to show the plight of refugees or the welcoming volunteers at railway stations. But once the scale of the potential migration issue sunk-in the reporting started to be scaled back.

Instead most of media now seem to be ignoring the unintended consequences of Frau Merkel’s unilateral open door policy. For example tonight’s main BBC TV news made no mention of the migration turmoil at all. But as more and more real world problems rear their ugly heads the media are going to be forced to change sooner or later. And some of these problems are really big problems. With thousands arriving every day how can any local council, school, hospital, housing trust or community possibly cope? And the lack of job opportunities for existing residents can only mean that thousands of those arriving will remain unemployed turning to criminality or violence - or both.

So even though the UK is not on the direct route from the Middle East / North Africa to Germany it will still feel the effects. It’s just that there will be a time delay for the full impact arrives. So we have a little more time to create the new towns / suburbs and their infrastructures that will be needed to cope. But considering that we were already trying unsuccessfully to fit in the 636,000 that arrived in the year up to March that seems unlikely. In fact if it was not for the 307,000 that left the situation here would already be out of control.

So as the Eurocrats attempt to disguise unpleasant truths by cheap promises an unarmed mass invasion is taking place. An invasion that is actually being helped by some politicians, charity workers and those professions / criminals that will make money out of the situation. Don’t forget that even Lord Byron and Karl Marx agreed that .. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

tags: mass migration, culture clash, no plan, sticky end

 

19-Oct-2015

Home From Home

Yesterday we had this headline in The Independent - Bishops slam Cameron's refugee crisis response and urge him to take in 50,000 Syrians. Leaving aside the fact that the Prime Minister cannot physically take in anyone - but some would say has taken in the whole electorate - their point is that Britain should provide more space for refugees. However none of the bishops seemed to have a plan for how that could be achieved on the temporal, rather than spiritual, plane.

In unrelated news last week we had the strong rumour that more British steel-making plants are expected to close soon. This story coming just weeks after the demise of the steel plant at Redcar. And for Redcar this meant that their main employer had gone bust with no prospect of being replaced. The town now seems certain to see an exodus of population, decline in trade and increase in state dependence. The obvious answer was to re-nationalise the plant and sell UK steel to UK businesses at a loss - assuming that cheap imports could not be banned. But that solution has already been dismissed out of hand by the Government.

Redcar_SEZSo rather than seeing this as two problems, one issue could turn out to be a solution to the other. In summary the plan is - make Redcar into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), move out the remaining residents and move in the Syrian refugees. Clearly this would create objections from the local NIMBYs but since they are mainly English working-class they could be totally ignored. And all the Redcar properties / businesses would then be purchased - as they have been elsewhere to accommodate things like high-speed railways.

The practical advantages of this plan over spreading the Syrian arrivals around the country are obvious. First property prices in Redcar are low - one bedroom flats are on the market for as little as 29,000 even before these plans were announced. So every home could be purchased for much less than in most other areas, especially the South East. All the properties would then be set controlled, affordable rents.

Second keeping all the new arrivals together in one town would avoid the cost and delay of teaching everyone English - both the language and standards of behaviour. Just the local signage would need to be changed. A task that could provide a little local employment.

Third this SEZ status would mean that the steel works could be reopened and operated in the same way - with the same economics - as those in China. This would provide the UK with local steel at Chinese prices and without the delay of shipping halfway round the world.

Fourth the town already has the facilities that all new migrants need when they arrive anywhere - homes, shops, schools, hospitals, GPs, dentists, fire services, police, gas, electricity, water, sewage treatment, roads and even a railway. And with the existing, reduced Redcar population of around 36,000 moved elsewhere the new Redcar SEZ should be able to handle at least 40,000 incomers without overcrowding. Apparently many of the Syrians are already trained and qualified as teachers, doctors and such; so could readily fill the posts vacated. Of course the displaced Redcarians would need to housed somewhere else but they would be much easier to assimilate - having lived in the UK long enough not to need language training, etc.

AccountDoctor160So there we have it - that’s another two problems solved. True there are a few details that need to be tidied up and legislation passed. But Grandad cannot take all the glory and would happily let some politician claim credit for this master stoke.

With more steel-making cut-backs expected to be announced tomorrow it is likely that a second Special Economic Zone will also be needed as a solution for Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire. But this is not a problem. With a current population of around 72,000 a Scunthorpe SEZ would have the capacity to accommodate twice as many as Redcar. It could, therefore, cope with both natural growth and the expected arrival of the families / relatives of the initial wave of Syrian migrants over the next few years. Sorted.

tags: mass migration, culture clash, logical, solution, ideas, cunning plan

 

15-Oct-2015

A Whitehall Farce

It is now just a memory but during the 1950s and 60s Brian Rix was the actor-manager behind series of long-running comedy plays at the Whitehall Theatre in London. Their showing on BBC TV followed by movie versions made Whitehall Farces a popular British genre of the time. So in commemoration of this fine tradition we now launch the Whitehall Farce Awards for any long-running bungling ineptitude within Whitehall and its minions.

Brian_Rix_Farce1And the first nomination in the Political Confusion category is the proposed EU Referendum. This nomination excels in its category for a range of compelling reasons. First the single referendum question has had to be changed - the original one was deemed biased. Second the Leave campaign is supported by two separate groups - one backed by UKIP and the other including the only UKIP MP. And only one of them can be the official Leave group. Third the Stay campaign is also split - with the SNP refusing to be in the same group as the Conservatives. Fourth there is no agreed date for the vote; only that it will be held some time before the end of 2017. Fifth there is nothing to actually vote on - through the vagueness of our Prime Minister’s issues with the present EU agreement. Sixth EU members have demoted the British issue to the very end of their agendas given their reduced importance and a lack of any firm proposals.

In short the handling of the EU Referendum by Whitehall meets all the comedic requirements of a far-fetched fictional script - but in real life. For more details and opinions read ...

Details of any further Whitehall Farce Award nominations will be reported as they emerge and the winner will be announced on 13 December 2015 at our glittering awards ceremony.

tags: farce, comedy, Whitehall, UK, unscripted, incompetent, Europe, politics

 

3-Oct-2015

All Quiet On The Western Front

For the third Sunday in a row one of our European partners is having a general election. This time it is the turn of Portugal - another one of those countries bailed-out and still deeply in debt.

FlagPort1But here the economy is starting to recover and none of the EU big players feel under any threat from the possible results. In fact the voting is unlikely to make much impact on anyone except those politicians that are directly involved.

So it’s fine vintage ports and fat cigars all round in Brussels with nothing new to worry about. The Eurocrats can instead contemplate how best to promote Frau Merkel’s case for taking the next Nobel Peace Prize. But things don’t always go to plan ...

tags: vote, Portugal, Europe, debt, election, bailout

 

Earlier postings ...

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FOOTNOTES

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