Thursday, September 30, 2010

Suffolk County Council - save it or lose it

Wouldn't it be great if our politicians used the brains they were born with? How does this make sense to the numpties?

At its meeting on 23 September 2010, members of Suffolk County Council were asked:

  1. to agree the recommendation from Cabinet that the future role of the Council will be an enabling one (focussing on becoming a strategic body with much less service delivery), based on the Council’s New Strategic Direction of transforming public services through collaboration and strengthening communities while reducing costs by 30%.
  2. to approve the further development of a model to reshape the Council to ‘divest’ services; reduce its size, cost and bureaucracy and build community capacity to enable Suffolk citizens to take greater control of their lives.
The motion was passed with 52 members voting in favour and 11 voting against.

If you're in Suffolk, please sign my petition. Just click on the banner...


And if you're really keen, go to my Save Suffolk Services blog to download some petition forms and collect more.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The BBC and the Pope

I've complained to the BBC about its coverage of the Pope's visit -

'The BBC’s coverage of the Pope’s visit has been completely OTT. The tone adopted by most reporters and correspondents on BBC News verged on the obsequious. I agree with the British Humanist Association’s view of the news last Thursday, that there was “no analysis of the Holy See’s destructive policies and no guest talking about them, no balance – only Catholic attendees of the events were interviewed. Correspondents repeated the Pope's insulting views on secularism and non-religious morality with no critical analysis at all.” The Pope aligned atheism with Nazism, infuriating thousands of people like me, and spoke about “aggressive secularism” – there’s no such thing. I wonder how many of the BBC’s staff know what secularism means? There was no attempt to challenge this nonsense. Hitler and most Nazis weren’t atheists. It’s well known that many Catholic clergy were enthusiastically involved with Nazism, while most of Germany’s atheist and free-thought organisations were banned. Was this ever pointed out? No, Pope Benedict was allowed to make any preposterous statement he liked, without challenge.

'Things didn’t get any better over the weekend. I heard BBC reporters, on TV and radio, interviewing Catholic priests and laity about the Pope’s comments on faith without challenging claims that it’s being “marginalised”, which is totally untrue. Robert Piggot, the BBC’s Religious Affairs correspondent, was interviewed today (Sunday 19th September). He ended his contribution by saying that the Pope’s message was, “Do you really want to live without the moral underpinning of religion?” This was left without comment – no mention that a significant proportion of the UK’s population live good, decent lives without religion, and that Catholicism’s claim of “moral underpinning” is debateable.

'So, not only were we expected to watch and listen to an unbroken stream of Catholic PR, courtesy of an inexplicably biased BBC, the news schedules were completely dominated by it. Why was it considered necessary to have simultaneous Pope coverage on both BBC News 24 and BBC 2? And why was this uninterrupted by any other news for long periods, even when all that was going on was someone trying to find something interesting to say while we watched the Pope’s convoy speeding through the streets from a helicopter, or while the faithful congregated in various parks in anticipation of another open-air church service? I was enjoying coverage of the Great North Run, until that too was elbowed aside to make room for the Pope, while other channels covered the Battle of Britain service and the Liberal Democrats conference.

'I can’t help wondering if BBC producers hadn’t been instructed to adopt an uncritical approach to the Pope’s visit. Why else should it have been so nauseatingly deferential? The BBC News team has alienated many previously loyal viewers and listeners, including me. I think we’re owed an apology. I know we won’t get one from the Pope – he’s incapable of seeing his errors – but maybe the BBC might do something to restore its reputation?'

If you want to complain too, go to BBC Complaints.