Monday, 17 August 2015

london news

I know, I keep going on about it but it's one of the things that set me up for a day of general grumpiness. There I am, sitting in front of the idiot box first thing in the morning, mug of tea in my hand, seeing what the news has to tell me today. 

After perusing the general idiocy displayed in what is loosely called "World News", I then turn my attention closer to home; this is when it really goes wrong.

As I have said in previous posts on this subject, I believe that the London news section on the BBC News red button is outsourced to India. That's the only possible explanation for the bizarre choice of news items displayed there.

Here are some examples of so-called "London" news items shown over the last few days.

Pancreatic Urine Test Hope

A simple urine test that could detect pancreatic cancer earlier that at present has been developed by scientists. "Cancer Charities", whoever they are, welcomed the study which was published in Clinical Cancer Research.

While that is very good news indeed, I am not aware that pancreatic cancer is a particular problem for Londoners so why isn't it in the World News section. Clinical Cancer Research is an American online publication. Perhaps "Cancer Charities" is in London.

Festival Resumes After Plane Crash

The CarFest motoring event has resumed after the death of a pilot whose aircraft plummeted from the sky during an aerial display. Kevin Whyman , 39, was killed in the crash at Oulton Park, Cheshire.

This is a tragic incident but why is it being reported in the London news section? London is not in Cheshire and Oulton Park is nearly 200 miles away. It's possible that the pilot was from London, if so, this is not mentioned.

Seven Injured in Boat Explosion

Seven people, including two children have been injured in a boat explosion in Buckinghamshire. It happened at Bray Lock, Amerdon Lane, Taplow, close to the Berkshire border.

Taplow is the other side of Slough, 30 miles from London. The story does not mention where the family are from.

Grammar Schools are 'Top Performers'
Eight out of the ten top performing schools in England and Wales are selective grammar schools.

We don't know which schools. London is not mentioned in the report.

A&E Re-opens  as Power is Restored

The accident & emergency department of Reading's Royal Berkshire Hospital has re-opened after power was restored following a flood and small fire.

Reading is over 40 miles away, halfway between London and Swindon.

WI Nimble Knitters Stitch up Town (This was a real headline)

Members of Braintree's Dolphin Women's Institute have stitched some of the town's best known landmarks.

Riveting as this story is, why are they telling us? Braintree is in Essex, a few miles outside Colchester.

Black Cab Firm Starts Work on Plant

Building work has begun on a £250 million taxi plant outside Coventry.

You know Coventry, it's the city in the West Midlands, next door to Birmingham. Roughly 2 hours drive up the M40. The company is Chinese though, perhaps that's why it was in the London news section.

Corbyn: "I'll re-industrialise the North.

In a speech in Leeds, Jeremy Corbyn has called for "the re-industrialisation" of the north of England by boosting spending on the arts, transport, housing and broadband.

The last time I looked, London was in the South of England so quite why would anyone living in London be interested in arts projects in Leeds?

Last Dambusters Pilot Dies Aged 96

The last surviving Dam Busters pilot, Les Munroe, has died at the age of 96 in his native New Zealand. The Dam Busters flew from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

New Zealand House is in London. Perhaps that's the connection.

Body of Missing Hill Walker is Found

The body of a hill walker who was reported missing in Lochaber on Monday has been found.

This tragic story took place in Lochaber which is near Fort William, Scotland, on the banks of Loch Linnhe. That's over 500 miles away. The hill walker did not come from London.

Harrogate Tops UK Happiness Poll

Harrogate has been rated the happiest place in Britain to live in a survey by a property website. Shrewsbury was second with Ipswich ranked third and York and Chester completing the top five. Inverness came highest in Scotland  with Llandrindod in Wales.

Yes folks, we are still in the London news section. 

Three Cows Killed on Railway Line 

Three cows have been struck and killed by a train near Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.

Bishop's Stortford, just an hour's drive up the M11, i.e. not in London

Man Held After Woman Stabbed in House

A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident at a house in Hungerford, Berkshire.

That's the Hungerford that's 70 miles down the M4, not the Hungerford Bridge next to Charing Cross Station.

Britons Rescued Amid Himalaya Flood 

A group of British Trekkers have been rescued  from a remote part of Kashmir after becoming trapped following flash flooding in the Himalayas.

The last time I looked, London was not situated in the Himalayas.

Demolition Order for House Owner

A man in Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire has been told to reduce the size of his bungalow by the council.

Even though Barton-le-Clay is nowhere near London, what with it being over 40 miles away, the BBC thinks that a story about a property dispute between a householder and the local council is of national importance and should be included in the London news section. Having said that, Barton-le-Clay is near to both Milton Keynes and Luton which the BBC also think is in London.

Speaking of Milton Keynes...................................

House Fire Spread to Two Homes.

Firefighters were called to a house fire at Penryn Avenue in Fishermead, Milton Keynes.

Fortunately there were no house fires in London this week so the BBC had to go all the way to Milton Keynes to find one. Milton Keynes is a town in the Midlands, near Northampton.

Six Charged After Jewellers Raid.

Six people have been charged with robbery after a raid at a jewellers in Norwich City Centre.

No robberies in London this week either.

Back to Milton Keynes...............................

Bogus Head should pay Court Costs

The cost of a trial of a bogus business school owner which has gone to court 11 times is "disproportionately high" according to an MP. Milton Keynes Council has estimated the cost against Tina Beloveth Powerful (that's what it says) will cost around £8000.

Nothing to say about this, really.

Screwdriver Attack Man Does Triathlon.

A man who's right hand side was paralysed when he was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver is taking part in a triathlon for charity. Nick Verron, 31, suffered an unprovoked attack in Bournmouth in 2009 and was unable to walk, talk or swallow. He now lives in Aylesbury and is raising money for the Acquired Brain injury Forum.

Stories about individuals who overcome huge obstacles to achieve great things  are always worth reading but Bournmouth isn't in London, neither is Aylesbury. This should at least be on the national news page.

I have a lot more of the same but I will wrap up this piece with one final story about the funeral of Oba Okunade Sijuwade, King of the Yoruba, Nigeria's second biggest ethnic group. His funeral is being held in the city of Ife. Ife is in Nigeria.


To give you an idea of just how stupid people are, this photograph below is a view across a lake in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA taken through a cabin window with a ceiling light reflected in it.

Someone decided it would be a good prank to post it on Facebook, claiming that it was a picture of a UFO in Australia and that everyone should share it as quickly as possible as Facebook were trying to take it down. Of course, no-one could possibly be stupid enough to believe it.

Well almost no-one. Only 314,711 Facebook users were actually that stupid which isn't a lot considering the size of the population of the world.


This is going to happen to us no time soon
There are a number of satirical news sites on the internet which publish spoof stories for the entertainment of their readers. Some, like the Daily Mash take actual news events and put their own particular twist on them; you can find a good example here. Others, like the Onion make up hilariously fake articles, sometimes with a vague connection with reality but often not.

A third variety of the genre are British tabloid newspapers and the best and most outrageous of them is the Daily Express. Anyone looking for a hysterical non-factual story, guaranteed to amuse, outrage, terrify or otherwise brighten up an otherwise dull morning need look no further than the front page of this publication.

It's true that, for crackpot diets, miracle foods and medical advice, the Daily Mail is generally regarded as being the place to look. But for everything else, nothing but the Express will do.

Over the last few weeks they have become completely obsessed with asteroids. Someone on the paper has decided we all need scaring out of our wits with tales of Armageddon in the form of 50 million tons of express (geddit) delivery rock.

Back in March they published a totally hysterical headline screamer about how the snappily named 2014-YB35 asteroid was going to fly past the Earth, totally missing us, resulting in a complete absence of earthquakes, tsunamis or devastating changes to our climate.

Not satisfied with that, only a few weeks later along comes 2012 TC4 (who thinks up these names?) which is also "on collision course to hit the Earth".

If you manage to get past the headline where "experts" tell us that this asteroid "the size of the Statue of Liberty" is on a collision course with Earth  you then discover that what they are actually saying is that it will miss us altogether.

 I suppose a headline reading "Earth not to be destroyed today" isn't going to shift many papers.

Us soon according to the Daily Express
Then in May, they were at it again. This time "experts were warning of mass extinction" as the latest lump of extra-terrestrial masonry (1999 FN3) was set to miss us entirely on the morning of the 14th of May. They gave us lurid descriptions of the devastation that would be caused if this asteroid, the size of Mount Everest were to suddenly defy the laws of physics and gravity and change course, which is what it would have to do in order to collide with the Earth.

It's now June and this time another lump of rock called Icarus was, according to Astronomer Bob Berman, "going to miss the Earth at a relatively safe distance of about 5 million miles. Or, as the Express put it "1KM asteroid Icarus getting CLOSER to Earth and a hit could ravage a continent". Which is exactly what Bob Berman said but put in layman's terms so Express readers would understand. Using technical expressions like "miss the Earth" would only confuse people.

Two days later and we have an "ASTEROID DOOM EXCLUSIVE". This one isn't going to hit the Earth either but the Daily Express isn't going to let than insignificant fact get in the way of a good headline. They are now having to start scraping the barrel a bit for suitably hysterical copy as the more sharp eyed of you will notice that they keep regurgitating descriptions of the Tunguska event.

Bringing us up to date, the Express asks us, "could this asteroid destroy Earth in just SIX weeks?". Actually, no. But it does give them the opportunity to tell us about an end of the world prophesy by a bunch of religious nuts. They also remind us of the Tunguska event again, in case we had forgotten. They also finally admit that despite all their doom laden predictions, NASA have said that "the chances of an impact within the next few hundred years are next to zero".

They then go and spoil it all by reporting that NASA has also taken a picture of a woman standing on Mars. The alien hunters have noticed that the woman seems to have breasts, which suggests that none of them seem to get out much.


Okay, this is the last one, but I couldn't let these go to waste. 
Back to London news.

 A12 tractor driver seriously injured

There has been a collision between a tractor and a car on the A12 in Bucklesham, Suffolk.
Is London in Suffolk? I don't think so.

Three brothers attempt 90 mile river swim.

Three brothers have begun a 90 mile swimming challenge along Cumbria's River Eden. 
 There are also two stories about Reading, Berkshire. 

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