In common with my correspondent George (see below) I’ve just learned that Ripper Street is being canned by the BBC, because of poor ratings. And I am having a Howard Beale moment.
Does that mean that everything our hugely expensive public service broadcaster does with its annual taxpayer-funded budget of £5 billion, including its much-trumpeted ‘Original British Drama’, is being measured against brain-dead pap like I’m A Celebrity Get me Out of Here? Seems so.
Every household in Britain contributes £145 a year towards the BBC, in the expectation of quality programming. Nobody is forced to watch Jungle Jim on a Sunday evening, yet those who are daft enough to make that choice seem to have been given a right of veto over those of us who prefer entertainment that requires even a small degree of thought. It’s not right, and it can’t be allowed to stand.
How can so much smug arrogance be crammed into one human being?
So we switch off the heating, switch on the electric blanket and stay in bed all day?
Outstanding Ripper Street episode last night, marred only by the casting of Paul Kaye, the guy from those awful Victor Chandler ads, as Gabriel Cain, the crazed villain. All the way through I waited for him to ask for odds on Sergeant Drake surviving to next week.
Man U could still use him.
It’s December and so QJ’s Mo-vember moustache is no more, and my Just Giving page is closed. Thanks to everyone who sponsored my whiskers, and contributed a nice sum to Marie Curie.
I might have kept them for a few weeks longer, but last Friday someone told me that I looked like Hulk Hogan.
This story may sound crazy, but it’s not. When I visited the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid a few weeks ago, they were setting up a stage for a performance event, and one of those things was flying around. They are among us already and they will multiply.
The other side of the coin is that is Amazon develops an ability to make unmanned deliveries right to your door, it will also be able to bomb the shit out of you if you upset it.
Driving through Glasgow last night, on the way home from excellent library events in East Kilbride, then Greenock, I caught sight of a helicopter, and said to Eileen, ‘Hey look, it’s the polis’.
Little more than an hour later, that aircraft . . . there could not have been another . . . had fallen out of the sky and crashed into a crowded pub. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, and with the survivors.
To all my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving.
(Every day is Thanksgiving for me, for being still alive and not being a turkey.)
I read today that the President of the Government of Spain has chosen to chip in to the referendum debate by offering his opinion that an independent Scotland would have to negotiate EU membership from the outside. The right-wing Sr Mariano Rajoy is notorious and deeply unpopular within his own country. He is beset by crisis and personal scandal that would have driven him out of office were it not for the fact that nobody wants his job, and in those circumstances he is seizing each and every opportunity to deflect attention from his own troubles. We have had the Gibraltar harassment for months, and now it seems he wants a piece of Scotland’s action. Of course his interest is driven in part by the Catalan situation, with Spain’s richest province demanding its own independence referendum, having been driven beyond the point of tolerance by Rajoy’s refusal to grant it the same degree of fiscal economy enjoyed by other parts of the country. That being the case he may have shot himself in both feet.
El Presidente has a reputation for being intransigent and authoritarian; he also has a reputation for being wrong. As the pigmies on the Scottish opposition benches were told when they attempted to cash in on Rajoy’s intervention, the Scottish Government has firm advice from authoritative sources that the Scottish state’s future relationship with the EU will be negotiated from within in the event of a Yes vote. But what of England, Wales and Northern Ireland? What would their position within the EU, since the present EU member state will no longer exist as such? That might be a tricky one, since Westminster has damn few friends within Europe at this moment.