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It would seem that radio programme researchers have gone the way of the dodo. I never hear any mention of them among the team who "helped put the show together". By the way, it seems a news or current affairs programme is now a "show". And "shows" are surely all about entertainment rather than providing information. But back to the topic in hand. No-one is credited as a researcher any more. But there do seem to be a lot of producers. When I was on the radio there were two producers. One was never seen and was the boss of the producer who put the programme together, along with the researcher. I suspect that most of the people now described as "producers" are what used to be called researchers. "Producer" sounds more important. But I bet they get paid what a researcher would have, if any still existed. Most of soldiers here in Canada who would be privates in the British Army hold the rank of corporal. Promotion to corporal is automatic after something like four years in the army. So, Canadian sergeants are section commanders, assisted by master corporals,  and the same rule of thumb goes pretty much up the chain. Knock Canadian soldier down a rank to work out that level of responsibility they would have in the British Army. Maybe it's all part of the "everyone gets a prize/sweetie" culture that's so prevalent these days.

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I sometimes come across folk who make their living as writers. What I've noticed is that the good writers are nearly all nice people and very easy to talk to. I don't know if we've got a chicken and egg situation here. Are they easy to talk to because they are good at their job and comfortable with themselves? Or are they good writers because they are basically amiable people who have little problem making a connection with readers? Sadly, the converse is also true. The snottiest and most unpleasant "writers" I come across are usually also pretty bad at what they do. Perhaps even in their arrogance they still  have an uneasy awareness at the back of what passes for their minds that they are actually talentless. That's why they stand on their pretentious dignity so much and go into such a snit if they feel they are not being shown the respect they somehow feel they deserve. Many of them struggle to even reach the giddy heights of mediocrity. 

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There are just some names I've never had any luck with. People with certain Christian names have just always been trouble from the day I've encountered them until the moment we part ways. I won't name the names because, well, you never know; maybe one day I'll meet one that is a decent human being and I wouldn't want to get off on the wrong foot with them. But so far every single person I've met who has one of these three or four Christian names as been deeply unpleasant and frequently highly incompetent. Now, obviously monsters are not created simply by lumbering a child with a certain, usually slightly pretentious, name. There must be more to it than that. It took a while for me to work it out. It takes years of obnoxious behaviour by the parents to turn these children through both example and training into scum they grow up to be. And obnoxious parents do seem to have a tendency to give their offspring slightly pretentious names. With those kind of parents, these poor kids never had a chance to be decent human beings. But we all suffer when in adulthood they inevitably fall short of the mark when it comes to being human.  

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No-one should be surprised that the New York Times decided to publish what might be evidence in any trial or trials of those involved in last week's bomb attack on children attending a pop concert  in Manchester. The basic fact is that the New York Times does not care if it comprises an English trial. To them, England is some kind of Third World country and "British Justice" is a contradiction in terms. It's called American Exceptionalism. Every American school kid is brought up to believe that the United States is the greatest country in the world; that it brings together all that is best in the world under one flag. The only justice that matters is American Justice. Also, the New York Times, like the rest of the American press, believes in trial by media. They call it Freedom of the Press, or Freedom of Expression, or something like that. I sometimes wonder why they bother having trials and courts in the United States. If a crime is high profile, forget a fair trial. The American attitude to publicizing evidence before a trial is, to say the least, relaxed. It seems the only time US juries don't agree with the media when it comes to guilt is when Race issues its ugly head during proceedings. So, anyway, no surprise that the New York Times has no hesitation in publishing photos of what might be crucial in any trial. "You said in your confession that you packed the explosives into a blue rucksack, you now deny that, but how did you know the colour of the rucksack if you never saw it?" "I saw a fragment of it on the New York Times website".

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Anyone who reads this section on a regular basis will be aware that I like to rant against employers who force kids to work for them for free. This so called "intern" system effectively means that rich and privileged youngsters buy their jobs. Who else can afford to work for nothing? Employers don't seem to care if at the end of the day the quality of the work these kids produce is all too often not that great. In this life you only get what you pay for and if you pay nothing....  But in truth, many of the kids do work and try hard because they believe that doing well at the job will get them a real job. But there are youngsters who lose out. They are ones whose parents live far from where the jobs are. They might then be able to consider working for free while still living with their parents purely for the sake of breaking the old Job Catch22; no experience, no job: no job, no experience. But to do that they need to live within commuting distance of the job. Ordinary kids certainly cannot afford to pay for food and rent while working for nothing. Everyone loses with this intern thing. But the biggest losers are talented kids who never get a chance because they and their families can't afford to participate in this whole working for nothing racket.

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