All entries for Friday 17 November 2006
November 17, 2006
...and I’ll write a full review in the morning!
Between 1992 and 2005, 229 United Nations workers were killed in conflict zones around the world. The response was an “Optional Protocol to the Convention on Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel”. Snappy title, but powerful implications.
But in the past ten years there’ve been nearly 1000 deaths among journalists, most of them murders. Yet the United Nations is resisting attempts to introduce a similar resolution entrenching the safety of journalists.
And the situation is getting worse. 2005 was the worst year on record for deaths of journalists and support staff (with 147). But 2006 looks likely to be worse. 137 have been killed already, many in Iraq.
The International News Safety Institute – INSI – is working to get the UN on board. According to their director, Rodney Pinder, their arguments are falling on deaf ears in large Western countries. And as he pointed out, for a country which invades Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of ‘democracy’, their avoidance of protecting freedom of speech seems like an appalling case of double standards.
Failing action from governments, Pinder quoted the wise words of Ethan Bronner, the Deputy Foreign Editor of the New York Times who said the way to protect journalists around the world is to:
build up what we do so it is unassailable, so that journalism is seen at its highest
A sound message for the tabloid and lazy journalists around the world.
On Breakfast this morning, a girl gave a novel excuse for her binge drinking.
They only sell cider in big bottles and I have to drink it all because I can’t take it home cos my mum will see it.
Yes, she was from Bristol. And yes, she sounded just like Vicky Pollard.
But surely if drinks like White Lightening were sold in smaller quantities, this problem would be avoided? Vicky wouldn’t have had to ‘drink up’ before going home. And even if she was still thirsty, a second trip to the off-licence would have doubled her chances of being ID’d.
I feel like Mary Whitehouse. There I was, eating my breakfast, when the video to Emma Bunton’s cover of Downtown came on the television.
The lights are much brighter there / You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares / So go downtown
These innocent lyrics, first sung by Petula Clark have been ham-fistedly turned into a piece of filth by Emma Bunton’s video.
Wearing a skimpy maid’s outfit, accompanied by some buff men, Ms Bunton’s eyes and fingers head below her midriff everytime she sings the word “Downtown”.
The dirty ho.
Now in the world of music video, this would be unremarkable. We have Beyonce swimming in champagne wearing little more than a pair of knickers. We have Jay-Z and others smacking their ‘bitches’. And we have Ronan Keating, for whom there is no conceivable excuse.
But this is the official song for Children in Need!
I’m not sure what message Children in Need sends out to our kids. But if Emma Bunton’s video is anything to go by, then it’s: