Search

Paul's Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.

Uncategorized

Posted by on in Uncategorized

What is a “suspected shooting”? Either shots were fired or they were not. And yet the BBC is comfortable reporting a suspected shooting. Sometimes it seems that the world is becoming mired in ignorance and stupidity. How else can the standing ovation for an ex-SS man in the Canadian House of Commons during a visit by Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelenskyy just over a week ago be explained. His acclamation as a “Canadian war hero” also takes some explaining. And how can something be “pretty unique”. It is either unique or it is not. The ignorance extends to adjectives. Why Italy Prime Minister. Why nor Italian Prime Minister. Could be because so many so-called journalists don’t know the adjective? Of course few of the people who cover Scottish matters for the London-based BBC programmes are Scottish. But Our Scotland Correspondent jars for me. Why not Scottish Affairs reporter or something like that?

Continue reading
Hits: 179
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Striking up a conversation with the person sitting next you at the beginning of a long journey can be a risky business. I believe everyone has at least one good story. But maybe the chances of it coming out during a casual conversation on a bus, train or plane are slim. Most often the conversation dies out to the embarrassment of both parties. Many people seem to forestall conversation by putting on headphones almost as soon as they sit down. That's not to say I haven't got lucky a couple of times. Once the Australian woman next to me turned out to be the sister of a girl I was at high school with. When their parents split, one girl stayed in Australia with her mum while the other returned to Scotland with her dad. Another time the guy next to me worked with a former colleague of mine. Sadly my seat mate was flying to Scotland to be at his Dad's deathbed. And there was the rail journey to Inverness. For some reason the carriages were the old fashioned compartments with four seats facing each other and a long narrow corridor down one side, or perhaps doors opening directly out onto the platform . I deliberately didn't start up a conversation with the only other occupant of the compartment until we were only half an hour, 45 minutes, from Inverness. What a mistake. The guy was incredibly interesting and amusing. I have no doubt he would have been incredibly interesting and amusing from the moment we left Edinburgh or Glasgow, I forget which.

Continue reading
Hits: 198
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

Three things struck me when I used to cover Hebburn Magistrates Court. Actually, four things. I decided that if I ever committed a crime I would flee to Scotland and commit another, bigger, crime rather than face England's medieval justice system - magistrates court was only slightly fairer than trial by combat. And I think it was while I was working as a reporter in South Tyneside that I was finally older than most of the accused. Thirdly, the number of crooks who were let off Scot-free provided they fulfilled their supposed "career dream" of joining the Army before their case was called again was noteworthy. If Hebburn Mags was anything to go by, The Light Infantry must have been composed of 80% house-breakers. The fourth thing was how many of my neighbours from north of the Tyne were caught thieving in Hebburn or Jarrow south of the river. It took me a couple of months to work out where I lived was next to a former railway goods yard and for generations whole families had made a living stealing from it. The closure of the goods yard meant the young generation had been forced further afield to pillage.

Continue reading
Hits: 193
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

If you listen only to the BBC you'd think the sole problem Afghanistan faces these days is lack of access to education for females. You might conclude that one of the Bs in BBC stands for Bourgeois. Because what we're getting is bourgeois interviewing bourgeois. The average Afghan villager isn't planning to send his daughter to university. It's an upper middle class and above issue. Here in Canada when we asked what our soldiers were bring killed and crippled for in Afghanistan, the best the government could answer was Girls' Education. In the long run girls and women have lost out because in the minds of the Taliban their education is associated with foreign military occupation. Afghanistan is, as far as we know, at peace. Afghans apparently do not agree that female education is worth dying or being crippled for. Though, that doesn't make what the Taliban is doing right. But let's hear more in the western bourgeois dominated media about all the problems Afghanistan faces and how we can actually help.

Continue reading
Hits: 239
0

Posted by on in Uncategorized

One of the few useful things we could have been taught on the journalism course at Napier, but weren't, was table etiquette. You know, which implement to use to eat which food. This was brought home to me shortly after I started work in Inverness. There was a fancy meal hosted by British Rail to celebrate the launch of a new train service. I was sitting next to a senior executive and we were chatting away quite happily until plates with an avocado in each were placed before us. I had no idea how to eat an avocado in a formal setting and suddenly felt at a disadvantage. Our places had been set with at least nine pieces of cutlery and I had a feeling picking the avocado up with my hands was not the way it should be done. If only we'd been taught this skill at Napier.

Continue reading
Hits: 210
0
Go to top