Friday, June 16, 2017

...I`m not sure you`re going to like this...

But here goes anyway.   Now, of course, like everyone else I have been appalled by the tragic and horrific events that have taken place at Grenfell Tower in London.  It`s impossible, for those of us not directly involved, to imagine the harrowing experiences of the occupants, their neighbours, families and friends and I have nothing but the most profound sympathy for all those affected.

But the images on television, the accounts on the radio and the reports in the print media have perhaps made it more evident that in this so called United Kingdom, there are at least two quite separate countries - one is called London and the other is called the rest - although I suspect that there are yet more separate countries in the big conurbations up and down the rest of the country.  I feel a bit uncomfortable at this confirmed realisation.

Next, I notice that today`s anniversary of the murder of MP Jo Cox is to be marked by an event over this coming weekend called The Great Get Together.   It must have passed me by in my Dibley-esque Kentish enclave but apparently the event will involve `thousands of street parties and baking competitions` all over the country to `celebrate the life of Jo Cox.`

Now I`m sure I`m missing the point and, once again of course, I have the deepest sympathy for Jo Cox`s family and friends over her tragic and brutal killing.   But - yes, there is always a but with me - whilst I fully understand the need and desire for her family to mark the anniversary I wonder how the friends and families of all those others who have been murdered in what now seems an almost daily occurrence feel.  I suspect they are mourning and `celebrating` the lives of their own loved ones in their own way, perhaps with the private sincerity that befits both them and the occasion.   We seem to be prone to straying into the realms of celebrity mourning?  If so, I`m not sure it`s very appealing.

And lastly, the BBC.  Now being an elderly curmudgeon I don`t have to pay the compulsory licence fee, but if I did I might just be a tad miffed at their obviously biased coverage given not only to the tower block tragedy but also to so many of the other major issues of the day.  It`s time the BBC remembered the words of Johnny Mercer in accentuating the positive, eliminating the negative, latching on to the alternative and most certainly not messing with mister in between.

So there we are - a few things off my chest before I`m afraid I have to close down these pages for a while for what is euphemistically described as `essential maintenance.`

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