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Linda A | all galleries >> Galleries >> Every Day I Write My Book - 2004 diary > 30th January 2004 - I heard the news today, oh BOY!
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30th January 2004 - I heard the news today, oh BOY!

If you don’t think PBASE is the place for politics – you’d better go look at someone else’s pictures because today I’m mad as hell at the news!

It’s funny, I always seem to go through a really belligerent, grumpy phase whenever I’ve been sick and am starting to get a bit better. That’s never been more apparent to me than today. As always, David has BBC News 24 running more or less all day on the TV in the sitting room. I’ve been flumped on the settee (again) too exhausted to do much and getting more and more angry about three stories. It’s a good job that I don’t usually hear too much news or I might spontaneously combust one of these days.

I’ve told you of my view of our politicians before today and it doesn’t get any better.

Firstly the news of Greg Dyke’s resignation from the BBC over the Hutton Enquiry findings has appalled me. A tragedy if ever I heard one – another decent, honest man, just doing his job now loses his livelihood (though thankfully not his life) over the government’s cover-up of the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ scam.

Dr David Kelly, a decent, honest man was so concerned that the government was making up stories to justify their military action over the WMD issue that he spoke to a BBC journalist about it. He has of course subsequently been proved right by events and as far as I can see the only man on the planet now still saying they were there is our esteemed leader Tony Blair, even George dubya seems to have ‘revised’ his stance on that particular subject.

I expect David Kelly believed that the BBC was an organisation with integrity and that his anonymity would be safe. I also believe people leak stuff like this because they want to see bad things stopped but are unable to speak up publicly because of their position. David Kelly’s wife and family are now without their patriarch because the Government dragged his name through the dirt….and why? Because they were afraid of him telling the truth as far as I can see.

I think that’s enough of a tragedy and a disgrace without the resignation of Greg Dyke. To me, Dyke was a great leader of the BBC. It was clear his staff thought him to be a man of integrity and honour and he did nothing wrong. Well unless you count employing a journalist (whose job surely is to investigate and broadcast stories that he believes to be in the public interest) who investigated and broadcast a story that he believed to be in the public interest. Let’s not forget that David Kelly sought out Andrew Gilligan because he was so concerned – this is a man who had lived and breathed in the murky world of WMD for many years and was regarded as the expert’s expert. He must have seen so many bad things and if he thought this was worse than what he’d seen before? Now if you ask me, if he was that concerned then I’m glad the BBC reported those misgivings. The BBC must never be allowed to become a puppet for whatever political party is in power at the time.

Only bright spot for me in all of this is Dyke’s quote about feeling like ‘a mixture between a politician and Madonna’….oh and the fact that no longer constrained by his job he can write a book telling us EXACTLY how shabbily our Government have behaved. My opinion is they still have the blood of David Kelly on their hands. Go, Greg – don’t leave a single thing about our scummy politicians unsaid.

My second news gripe of the day is the story about the cannibal in Germany who used the internet to advertise for a victim who he was completely upfront with and told ‘prospective applicants’ he would kill and eat his victim. How can that be allowed to happen in a civilised world? What kind of sickness makes people do that and how are they not stopped by society when they are so completely open about their predilections? And his sentence? Eight years? Out in 4-4 ½? Great – I can’t wait for him to be back on the streets, can you?

Finally, bird flu – sorry folks – I told you I was on a rant today and you have got this far so bear with me a little longer! I have this afternoon watched scenes from Thailand of people piling hundreds of small chicks, not more than weeks old into sacks where they suffocate one another and die. I know that chickens have personalities and feel pain. How inhumane is that? If those poor critters were not kept in such dreadful conditions then the spread of these diseases wouldn’t happen. I’m not trying to impose my vegetarianism on others – each to his or her own as far as I’m concerned. I’m simply saying next time you go in a supermarket, check where the meat you buy has come from. If it’s not come from a known humane source, leave it there and chose a pack that has. If people won’t buy meat reared in these horrible conditions then the people who do it will have to change their practices.

It’s not all doom and gloom in my world today though, on the lighter side, I saw a wonderful story about a British Giant house rabbit who saved her ‘Dad’s’ life when he was tucked up next to her on the sofa watching TV and slipped into a diabetic coma – she raced into the kitchen to her ‘mum’ and raised the alarm. Now how’s that for cool. Ra ra to the rabbit I say!

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Guest 06-Feb-2004 02:16
Although I don't live in the UK right now I still keep quite a close watch on the UK news and I also find the whole episode completely disgraceful. The level of control being exercised by the Blair government just scares me sometimes.
brother_mark04-Feb-2004 18:29
Let's hope you're right Bill. I don't watch the news here because I can't take it. Neither the content nor it's over-hyped delivery. I read the paper and get to filter the news better.
mikiruaq01-Feb-2004 01:33
I agree with your feelings. We listen to "The World" on NPR (National Public Radio) here in Alaska. It's the boys in power network. The good people get stomped on but if enough people holler things can change. Just ask Bush E Boy after our November elections are done. Back to the ranch is the message for our election! Sorry if I rambled on :)
Ray :)31-Jan-2004 17:41
Linda, let me add my support to Greg Dyke, a real dynamic leader who took risks to create a better BBC for all of us. I don't think we'll see anyone nearing his talent leading the BBC for a very long time. Did you see those politicians on "Question Time" thursday night? It seems they would have done the same as 'Tony'Hutton so why vote Tory or LibDem next time over THIS issue? Although I realise so many are disillusioned with Blair's attitude over any issue. I want to vote for Ian Hislop of Private Eye instead!!
PS: in case any of our overseas friends don't know the weapons expert David Kelly comitted suicide following the revelation last year - that's what makes this case so tragic.
Chris Brooker31-Jan-2004 00:05
AND Jack Woolley got shot.
David Mingay30-Jan-2004 23:21
And all this in a week where BILL GATES got a knighthood. Of all people... or was that just a (k)nightmare ....
Linda Alstead30-Jan-2004 21:27
See Gilligan's statement on the BBC website:
Linda Alstead30-Jan-2004 21:26
My heart breaks now to see another BBC head roll. Andrew Gilligan himself has just resigned. This is a complete travesty of justice. I quote his resignation statement:

"I love the BBC and I am resigning because I want to protect it. I accept my part in the crisis which has befallen the organisation. But a greater part has been played by the unbalanced judgments of Lord Hutton.

In Greg Dyke the BBC has lost its finest director general for a generation.

He should not have resigned, and I am extremely sorry to see him go."

Who would I rather encounter in a dark alley - Blair and Hoone or Gilligan and Dyke? I think anyone who would choose Hoone and Blair is as scary as they are.
Guest 30-Jan-2004 20:51
Nice one Linda. I am still fumming - and so many people I know have been so pissed-off with this. Greg Dyke was a great DG for the Beeb, and Hutton was such an obvious establishment man to exonerate the establishment. As the 'Independant' so succintly put it "Whitewash?". I know i'll not vote for them next time - time to use my national vote the same way I use my local ones, and vote for another party. At least we have that choice in the UK!
Guest 30-Jan-2004 20:22
Amen, Sister! Nice rant and I'm with you on this too!
Lara S30-Jan-2004 20:04
I soooo agree with you and I want to hear more. And to think, that I have more respect for BBC than I ever had for any of the US TV Channels. Yikes, kinda scarry.
SO? Planning a trip to the States soon? Hope you'll stop by NY :)
jeanb30-Jan-2004 19:42
Not only do I agree heartily with you..I also love your photo :-)
gary becker30-Jan-2004 19:20
A scandal only surpassed by the past 3 plus years of our little emporer.
Beth 30-Jan-2004 17:58
Dear sweet wonderful Linda. I love you. Thanks for being you. xxx
David Mingay30-Jan-2004 17:35
Just a bit more info for those not up to speed on this story, It all started when the PMs office demanded to know the source of Gilligan's story. The BBC rightly refused, but somehow Dr Kelly's name was leaked. Confidentially of journalists sources is vital in a democratic society. The Hutton report effectively cleared the Government and put the whole blame on the BBC. Blair has gone too far and in my opinion should be removed from office.