Monday, September 29, 2014

Head over heels

'Look – Izzy is head over heels!'

I followed my friend’s gaze to where my daughter’s feet could be seen waving in the air. Shortly after, they were replaced by her beaming face.  I put my thumbs in the air and silently cheered . 

As a milestone on the hazardous highway of life it’s scarcely on a par with walking, talking, reading, or eating broccoli, but it’s been so painful for both of us, this swimming lesson thing, it’s huge to have her finally break through her fear barrier. Izzy, who for two years has refused to go out of her depth or even lie on her back, this morning did her first backwards somersault in the deep end. Result.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What it means to be British

So, fellow citizens south of the Border: after the Scottish referendum, are we feeling more English, or more British? 

Last Wednesday, my daughter Rocca rang me in a panic. 

‘Dad, I’m really confused,’ she said. ‘I lived and worked in Edinburgh for eight years. All my Scottish friends are voting yes, they’re marching on the streets tonight and keep Facebooking me for support. What should I be thinking?’ 

Put on the spot, I said, rather too quickly: in my opinion, a Yes vote would be good for England and disastrous for Scotland, whereas a No vote would probably be bad for both.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jeremy Hunt's turkey is plucked

This morning [September 16th] the media regulator Ofcom announced that it has rejected London Live’s proposals to slash its local programming. 

This follows a six-week consultation in which several broadcasters, including Channel 4, Channel 5 and UKTV, severely criticised London Live’s plans. My own comments about this, posted here - were subsequently published in Broadcast Magazine last month. 

All of London Love's proposals were rejected by the regulator, including its plan to slash primetime local content, from three hours to one hour a day. Ofcom said the changes "would result in an unacceptable reduction to the number and range of programmes about the area or locality for the licensed area".  Quite.

Earlier this month, Birmingham's local TV dream died with the demise of BLTV/City TVFor the full Birmingham horror story, see here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The British Hero

What ghastly news for a Sunday morning. 

Jo and I shivered in disgust when we heard of the sickening murder of David Haines. Similar emotions would have been felt in every home in the civilized world. 

This was a crime of barbarity, committed against a British citizen, most likely by another British citizen. An innocent man, a simple, caring humanitarian unconnected with government, religion or media, he’d devoted years of his life trying to help other lives destroyed by conflict.