News - and Views!

Was Prince Harry given any advice before his latest media interview on his experiences in war-torn Afghanistan? If so, I don't think it was particularly wise advice, in all the circumstances.

 

For one who is, by his own frank admission, so suspicious of the media, the third in line to the throne did not choose his words very carefully. Perhaps he didn't actually say "I have killed" as the Daily Mail and other newspapers headlined it - but he did refer to "taking life to save life" which probably comes to the same thing.  Many men, in wars long past, will have made a similar admission - when, that is, they talked about it. Which many didn't, even to their nearest and dearest, let alone to the world press. But then, for no good reason, Prince Harry makes a connection between life as a helicopter co-pilot on the front line of battle - and the playing of warlike games on his PlayStation. 

 

Most of us Brits, Royalist or not, will forgive Prince Harry a great deal. It comes from the memory of that small boy, stolidly following behind his mother's coffin, complete with its heart-tugging floral tribute to "MUM". Nobody then or now doubts his bravery.

 

But many lives have been lost in the conflict in Afghanistan. This is a war - not a computer game.

Sir Patrick Moore, star-gazer extraordinaire, died today at the grand old age of 89.

 

The programme which made his name - and introduced us all to the wonders of the starry, starry night - was The Sky at Night, which ran for an amazing 55 years. He only missed one programme, when he was struck down with food poisoning. That's some record.

 

I love Brian May's tribute to the great old man: "There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one."

 

RIP Sir Patrick Moore - the man who opened up the skies to us ordinary mortals and helped us to see the stars.

None of us will ever know what made nurse Jacintha Saldanha take her own life. We do know she was the victim of a cruel stunt by two Australian DJs who crowed about their triumph in deceiving the hospital in which the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for severe morning sickness.

 

The Edward VII Hospital says that no disciplinary action was being taken against the nurse and the hospital's Chairman speaks movingly of the care and diligence with which she had cared for hundreds of patients over her years at the hospital. What we don't know is the extent of the pressure she felt, in the face of the kind of media frenzy which any Royal story - especially if it concerns Wills and Kate - arouses.

 

What we do know is that there is always help at hand for people who feel, like Jacintha, that leaving a troubled life behind feels a better alternative than sticking with it. Organisations like the marvellous Samaritans are there 24/7 to talk and to listen.  I wish Jacintha had rung them. They were there. They would have listened. Life might have felt worth living again.

 

Thinking of Jacintha and her children. Because life is so cruel sometimes.

Desperate Dan has gone digital! Whatever next, now that Dandy is just another website?

 

Aunt Aggie will be on the Great British Bake-Off with her famous Cow Pie (the one with the horns sticking out of the pastry.) Bet Paul Hollywood won't mess with Aunt Aggie. Korky the Kat will be tweeting Get Well messages to poor old Kate. Dan the Desperate will start advertising razors (cut throat, of course.) If it wasn't so sad, it'd be, well, comic...

 

No more, when visiting Jack and Hazel, will I find old copies of "Dandy" lying around on the bathroom floor.  We will still find the "Beano" littering the lounge of course - but for how much longer? 

 

Will Dennis the Menace (the naughtiest of the naughty) one day join Desperate Dan (the toughest of the tough) in a virtual world? 

Lord Leveson published his report today. It ran to 1,987 pages and no, I must confess I haven't read it. Nor, I suspect have the vast majority of us. We're having to rely on the press to tell us all about it - the same press which is the subject of the report, of course.

 

Lord Leveson is a judge, a legal man through and through. So it's not surprising that he sees a legal solution to all that has been shown to be rotten about some elements of the media.  But on a day when a much-anticipated report focuses on the excesses of some journalists, we hear of the success of the campaign to release Danny Nightingale - a campaign strengthened enormously by the power of the press.

 

We need a free press. I fear that the legal remedy proposed by Lord Leveson will only assist those with the money and influence to take a case through the courts. And the lawyers, of course.

 

My first job was as a journalist. I am sad that my early profession has been so discredited by the actions of a few. The remedy surely lies in the hands of the media - because the freedom of the press comes at a price and that price is accepting responsibility, acting with integrity, standing up for the oppressed and not kow-towing to the powerful.

 

Lord Leveson won't make that happen. Who will?

Latest comments

13.11 | 09:24

As I rapidly approach retirement I'm glad I just read this. Sound words!

...
25.09 | 13:00

Yo

...
25.09 | 12:59

Not helpful at all was trying to teach my daughter how to do it and was dreadful

...
12.08 | 09:53

Very nice, really i appreciate....well done.

and if you are interested for corporate gifts then visit our site www.atamgifts.com

thanks

...
Hi!
Make your own website like I did.
It's easy, and absolutely free.
AD