Tag Archives: bad news

Power Without Responsibility

Power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages

A quote with an interesting history.

I haven’t turned the news on this morning. For one thing, I didn’t need to, as it’s all there on my screen when I switched the computer on. For another, it’s dull, repetitive, negative, depressing, and it’s often not news.

If I turn on this morning the news will be much the same as it was last night. In one case recently, the coverage from South Africa was exactly the same as it had been the night before, apart from the fact that several things had become inaccurate. References to “tonight”, for instance, should have been “last night” by the time it was shown for the second time.

Optimism has been shown to be beneficial to health. This isn’t just some New Age mindfulness wishful thinking – it’s endorsed by years of medical research. Readers Digest tells us that Laughter Is the Best Medicine and, again, this is backed up by medical research. This article probably isn’t the most scientific, but it is the most comprehensive list of the benefits of laughter.

After much thought I actually stopped watching the news as much as possible a few years ago, and have felt much better since. I may be slightly worse informed, but I’m a lot happier.

Let’s look at journalists next. Who are they? It seems to me that they are people who talk about the things other people do. Often, they talk about this with the benefit of hindsight, which we all know is the best way to be right. The opening quote, which I now find to be by Kipling, sums the situation up as well today as it did in 1931. Unfortunately I can’t blame journalists for the bad news bias. They are merely reporting events in a way that attracts the mist interest. It always seems that bad news attracts the most attention, and misery, as they say, loves company. 

It is traditional , in the UK, to run ourselves down. When the Chinese started with coronavirus they built a hospital in two weeks. As someone told me, this is a clear sign of Chinese superiority, as it would take us years to build a hospital.

I pointed out that it’s a clear sign that the Chinese Government shoots people who stand in its way. You tend to have fewer stages to go through in China. In the UK you have planning, public enquiries, NIMBYs, and Health & Safety.

In general I’m sure that China has just as many problems as we do with big building projects, but when it comes to swift and decisive action the Chinese Government model has no equal.

On the other hand, we just converted a conference centre to a hospital in two weeks and the story deserves more prominence. We also have tons of equipment being delivered and Formula 1 racing teams and various engineering companies are gearing up to produce machines to assist with breathing.

It’s looking good to me.

But the main stories are about how we supposedly mishandled the ordering of ventilators, are leaving staff without proper equipment and aren’t testing enough people.

Something I’ve noticed is that they seem to favour interviews with doctors and nurses coming off shift – that’s definitely not going to produce optimistic views.

I’m not going to say that the government is brilliant (I think you may have noticed a few criticisms in recent weeks) or that we should have bad news kept from us. However, the Government does deserve some credit and it wouldn’t hurt to be more positive.

Finally, I just saw a segment about the Medway Queen on Flog It. One of the people who appeared on the TV was a WW2 veteran who had been saved from Dunkirk by the Medway Queen. Compared to Dunkirk, a few weeks locked down hardly counts as an inconvenience.

 

This is the Coronia, another Dunkirk ship, based in Scarborough.

Chaos, Confusion and Corona Virus

Well, I’m healthy again today. I’m not sure what I had, but an early night and a mug of hot Lemsip seems to have sorted it all out.

In the middle of the corona virus, schools are closing, we have our first confirmed case in the East Midlands and my surgery has texted to tell me that if I’ve been to an area of concern, or in touch with anyone who has been there, and if I have any symptoms, I should stay away from the surgery and ring the NHS Helpline.

Stock markets are falling, gold is rising and the world economy is in disarray.

And I’m confused what all the fuss is about. It’s not exactly deadly, as most people seem to recover. It’s not necessarily going to be the biggest killer of the year either. So far there have been 2,800 deaths. Set this against an estimated 290,000 who die of flu in an average year, or the 140,000 who died from measles in 2018, and I’m not entirely sure I need to worry.

The problem is that bad news sells papers, and people love to worry.

I’m far more worried by an article on the news regarding robots making sandwiches. They are taking over…

We also have maintenance work starting on Trent Bridge, just to add to the congestion caused by the work on Clifton Bridge. (You don’t need to know much about Nottingham, just think of any town with two main bridges – both with roadworks on them. It’s not good news.)

Those bridge works are in addition to the local road closure while they renew gas mains.

That wasn’t what I meant to write about, but when I started off this morning I didn’t know I was going to get a text from the doctor telling me to stay away.

It’s not as if we need the extra difficulties that the weekend is forecast to bring – more rain to areas that are already flooded and a selection of high winds. I’m starting to think of the opening scenes of Flash Gordon, where the Emperor Ming pelts Earth with hail and boiling rain.

Picture of the day is a shot of ducks in Derbyshire from a few weeks ago.