There’s a lot of excellent reporting on all of these stories, but I don’t think enough people are thinking about them all in one place, as if they may all be connected. To try and argue that they are – my only objective here – I’ve made a list, with links, of the things I think are worth joining up. I have tried to do this without any editorialising (other than the selection process itself) and have done my best to cite only bare facts, in as neutral a tone as I can manage:
a) The BBC are doing some seriously hardcore journalism over in Egypt. It’s not a first-order story in England, and it’s getting out mainly through the world service and the BBC news website, both of which are about to be cut drastically.
b) Rupert Murdoch is coming to England to personally lead News Corp’s negotiation for the full takeover of BSkyB. The British culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, had previously said he was referring the case to the Competition Commission, but has now decided to give News Corp a chance to persuade him.
c) The News of the World, also owned by News Corp, continues to be at the centre of an enormous scandal involving phone-hacking. Today, the Met (who have been curiously reticient to investigate in spite of the scale of the accusations) officially reopened the case.
d) Sky TV, also owned by News Corp, has fired a football commentator for making sexist comments when he thought no microphones were on. We’re talking ‘proper dinosaur sexism’ here, real old school stuff. In an apology statement issued today (read it closely), he has not apologised.
e) The Sun newspaper, also owned by News Corp, responded to (d) by printing pictures of the woman who was the target of the sexist remarks, taken in a nightclub.
Shaking the Old Forest’s every last tree
From the roots to the shoots of the high canopy
A charging wind strom, an impossible form,
Tangles the twigs in its tracks.
What is this terrible silhouette-something
Through the brackeney dew galumphing?
Fast as a hairdryer, legs gimbol and gyre
Shoving the shrubs on their backs.
Max and I slew Goring Unplugged last night, and Goring Unplugged slew us right back. We had a wonderful time and very much enjoyed being out of London for a little while.
And Railroad operations continue apace – check out this new flyer from the pen of the Swindler: