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My heart sank this past Saturday when I realised that the BBC World Service's Newshour  was being presented by the obnoxious Razia Iqbal. Novelist Salman Rushdie had just been seriously injured in an attack during a book event in New York State. I knew Iqbal would be out of her depth. And right enough, minutes into the programme one of the interviewees attacked the majority of Muslims for allegedly failing to condemn the fatwa issued against Rushdie and then declared Islam is a religion of hate. A tricky situation. But a broadcaster worth his or her salt would have handled it. Iqbal did not. Maybe she should stick to Pony Club News. 

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I heard an item on a German radio news magazine about tourism in Skye. Of the five "local" people interviewed none was even Scottish, never mind born on the island. To  me it's a shame when young local people are priced out of the housing market, and therefore the job market, like this. A friend pointed out that in Lewis the deluge of White Settlers there want to live in somewhere that is more like the film set of Whisky Galore than reality. They want everyone in flat caps and dungarees. My dad says in the 1950s it seemed that most of the post offices in the Highlands were run by English people. I remember how the distorted economy of the Thatcher Years meant a newspaper photographer could sell his flat in London and on the proceeds buy an island in Shetland and pretty much never have to work again. Something Should Be Done. 

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I once knew a guy I thought of as a friend, let's call him So-and-So. I know, ominous start. This guy it would appear wanted to be a legend in his own lunchtime, as they used to say. Part of what I liked about him was that he seemed to be up for all sorts of capers. We had a lot of fun. But I noticed that people started asking if it was true that So-and-So had done such-and- such. Well, yes, he had done some of the things he claimed. But more often I'd played a part that was not credited in the version he was putting out. And sometimes it  it was me , not him, who had done the thing in question. It was hard to know what to tell people. I had no need to be a legend. Not even in my own lunchtime. 

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One  of the disturbing elements that has come out of Covid is the number of masked creepy people prowling the streets in the early hours of the morning. In normal times the police would be entitled to stop someone wandering around in a mask in the middle of the night. Now, not so much. There is no good reason for cycling around in the very early hours of the day wearing a mask. I doubt if these people are the sort who really care about the danger of giving folk Covid. And at 4am there are not generally a lot of people around to give Covid to. But the mask might make it hard for a victim of crime to identify their attacker.

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I've just heard another radio trailer for something calling itself Being Black in Canada. It promises me the "Black Experience in Canada Today". Racist Tommy Rot. The programme can no more encapsulate the life and experiences of all black people in Canada than I can encapsulate the white, or whitish. Or old The White Heather Club on television captured what it was like to be Scottish. Radio should be celebrating what we have in common, not creating ghettos.  PS - I suggested Remembered Memory might be the next example of pointless repetition alongside the likes of Lived Experience. It turned out to be Residential Home. The so-called journalists that perpetrate this nonsense are supposed to be professional communicators.

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