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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘noble

Ed Miliband

with 6 comments

Family Trauma

I’m rather proud of the two brothers.  Be as cynical as you like, it must have been a dreadful time for both of them.  They have behaved as gentlemen, with great honour and dignity.  They have  risen above the snide provocations of the press.  I thought David’s determination to stand well clear to give Ed a clear run was a noble and sincere act.  He will return as an elder statesman.  He will become an ever more important figure in British politics.

I’m more than happy to see a new broom in Ed.  The Labour Party needs a fresh start.  I think he’ll try to be his own man.  He’ll try to shed all the baggage and forge his own path.  It’ll be interesting to see what happens.  I wish him well because I do believe that a strong opposition is a good thing. The inside information I have, from the heart of Ed’s campaign team, is that in reality he’s way to the right of David.  We’ll see!

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Written by Peter Reynolds

September 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

A BBC Preservation Order

with 6 comments

TAKE NOTICE

This noble institution should be preserved.

It is not perfect but it is better than any alternative.

It contributes enormously to the culture of the nation.

It is our BBC

This notice should be nailed to the door of Broadcasting House and all BBC premises.  Damaging or cutting off parts or branches of the institution is not allowed.  Adequate space must be given to the institution’s roots which must not be interfered with.  Severe penalties will be applied to anyone who knowingly or recklessly damages the institution in any way.

Then David Cameron, Nick Clegg and a heavyweight team need to take Mark Thompson aside and give him a good talking to.   We want to preserve the BBC and its unique qualities but we need a hard pruning of dead wood and unproductive growth.  Preserving the roots and fundamental strength are the most important objectives.   Cutbacks in the right places will stimulate stronger new growth elsewhere.

I agree that Sky should contribute towards those commercial channels that it broadcasts free-to-air.  It ties viewers into its subscription packages because they are comprehensive.  This is gives it an unfair advantage throughout the market, as does its coverage and bandwidth.

Sky is a parasite on traditional TV companies.  Its unfair advantages have enabled it to develop the best user interface and experience in the market.  Even so, it is expensive and has a reputation for appalling customer service.  Its relationship with Newscorp means it is part of a monstrous media empire which requires much more regulation in the interests of consumers and the community at large.  It should be required to invest more in original programming and production.  If necessary, a new media tax should be introduced to enforce appropriate investment and safeguards.

The BBC’s biggest mistake is the level of executive pay.  There is no justification at all for anyone in the BBC to earn more than the Prime Minister.  It is public money.  Anyone unhappy with this should resign today.  No one is indispensable.  The BBC has always been the best in its business at bringing on new talent.

The Licence Fee should remain unchanged.   It is fantastic value for money and shows just how expensive Sky is.   The BBC Trust should be strengthened in its primary role as regulator and it should enforce cost savings, efficiencies and executive pay.  It should also ensure that the BBC becomes more responsive and closer to its audience.  Its complaints and feedback system is fundamental to this.  It needs to be brought back in house and given real priority.  See here.

Britain adores its BBC.  Let’s ensure we preserve it and allow it to flourish.

Obama From Britain

with 15 comments

After Bush, to my knowledge, the worst US President ever, I was excited about the prospect of Hilary Clinton in the White House.  The election of Barack Obama was simply stunning.  For me, it rejuvenated the whole idea of America – the noble principles of the  Constitution, the idea that anyone can rise to the very top based on merit alone.  It updated that dream by transcending race, prejudice and history.

Ordinary And Extraordinary

As it happened, I  watched his inauguration with my parents.   I  wept at Obama’s words, at the huge symbolism of his achievement, at Jesse Jackson’s overwhelming moment.  My Mum & Dad said that it was like Kennedy was for their generation – the sense of new hope and optimism.  The same idea that makes me think of Churchill’s “broad sunlit uplands”.

So what’s going on now?  I ‘m sure I don’t understand a lot about American politics.  I can only see it from my perspective.  That means I get most of my news from the BBC.  I balance that with a daily trawl through the blogs and online newspapers on the issues that interest me.

In some ways I think the BBC is more British than Britain.  In fact, I trust the BBC more than I trust any politician.  Its standards and independence preserve our national integrity better than any political leader.

Going online gives me a broader view, often composed of ridiculous extremes as well as mainstream media.  There are so many highly literate, super clever bloggers who are completely deluded and beyond any reason.  Going online provides an overall summary of all different points of view and sources of information.

I think Obama is a fundamentally decent man.  There is a coterie of bloggers who believe he is a Chicago politician just the same as when Al Capone was in town.  I think he is bigger than that.

There is also a sisterhood (men and women) of Democrats, bitter supporters of Hilary, who are determined to undermine him.  Republicans say he is un-American and claim that he won the election through fraud.

I still have faith in the man.   In the horribly murky world of American politics I don’t think he would have risen to the top unless he was very special.  I detect authenticity.

The oil spill has been his greatest challenge. I feel that when he speaks for himself, from his heart, he speaks the truth.  When he is confused and manipulated by those around him he fails.  Many will say I am naive but how can anyone triumph without support?  We need leaders who can inspire, who can make us believe in them.

From the very beginning Obama has “extended the hand of friendship” towards Iran but it becomes clearer every day now that the current regime must be condemned without reservation.   He has stood up against Israel better than his predecessors and in the overall moral balance that was well overdue.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the attempted kidnapping of Gary Mckinnon  It’s probably not high enough in his priorities to have had his proper consideration yet.

No one was more critical of Gordon Brown and his foolhardy, self-serving government than me but the way that some Americans criticise their leader horrifies me.  Some of the conspiracy theories and charges levelled against Obama are worse than those against Hitler or Mengele.  There are are so many complete nutters in America I really do wonder what they put in the water.

After re-consideration, from my British perspective, I still have faith in this extraordinary man.  I urge him to continue to have the courage of his convictions.  I wish he could put aside short term political considerations.  I think, almost whatever happens,  he will win a second term so he can afford to look at least six years in advance and ignore his critics.  I still believe in him.

Politically Correct Fools

with one comment

griffinspitfire

Come Fly With Me!

It is a crazy and entirely self-defeating idea to protest at the appearance of Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Similarly, to complain of the BNP’s use of World War II images and propaganda is just nonsense. Those who cling to the oily and sticky ideas of political correctness prove themselves to be fools again and again.

I’d rather have some straightforward anti-Nazi nutter chanting in my face than these slimy, unpleasant, dishonest, machiavellian meddlers. These creeps who stir up opposition even to the BNP’s existence, who are so utterly hypocritical in their wish to censor and repress the BNP.  Are they so insecure in their own beliefs that they think the BNP can ever make any real progress?

I applaud the BBC for having the courage to show a pretty young protestor being dragged across a polished floor screaming “This is what they do to protect the Nazis. Shame on you BBC!”.

On the contrary, congratulations to the BBC. Your conduct throughout this affair has been noble and of the highest standard of fairness and equality.

I think Nick Griffin is a pretty dubious and unpleasant character. I would like to hear more from him about his policies and I’d like to see him quizzed by Andrew Marr or Jeremy Paxman. At present I don’t understand exactly what he really advocates. Like millions of British citizens, I do not consider myself a racist but I do believe in Britain for the British. I don’t understand why a Muslim Lawyers or a Black Police Officers organisation is OK but an organisation for white British is denounced and reviled.

This debate needs to be aired.  We need to hear more from Mr Griffin so that we can make up our own minds.  Those who seek to silence him are their own worst enemies.