Thursday, 29 November 2012

Welsh Government Seeks to Censor S4C on the day of Leveson's Report

You really couldn't make it up.

On the day that the Leveson Report was published, the Welsh Government sought to censor S4C by asking it to scrap a repeat of an episode of the 38 year-old Welsh soap opera Pobol Y Cwm, because of its comments on Bovine TB and the the contested issue of the badger cull.

S4C have rejected the call and the repeat of last night's episode has gone out this evening as scheduled at 6.30pm.

It is incredible, on the day when Justice Leveson delivered a damning verdict on politicians and the press and the often concerning relationship between both, that the Welsh Government could consider such an attack on S4C when in the episode in question, both sides of the contentious argument were made.

Leveson Report
I happen to agree with the thrust of the Leveson Report and its recommendations and am pleased to see Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband do too. I'm not so surprised unfortunately to see that David Cameron has held back from given his support to statutory regulation of the press.

With freedom comes responsibility and elements of the press in recent years have shown a scant moral disregard to the many whose lives they have violated in this time. The system of self-regulation has clearly failed but there is no cross-party agreement as yet, on what should take its place. We await to see if an agreement can be made but I am not wholly confident that there will be. If there isn't, David Cameron runs the risk of showing himself to be more concerned about keeping on side with the same media barons who have brought about so much of the great discontent that has been expressed in the Leveson Enquiry.

In the meantime whilst Cameron seeks to square what for him is a potentially impossible circle, the Labour administration in Cardiff has made itself look incredibly foolish with it's attempt to silence the media from portraying a difficult story-line that has in real-life affected communities across the land. Whatever your view on the issue of Bovine TB and the question of a badger cull, S4C have only been portraying on screen the heated differences of opinion on the issue that have taken place throughout the country.

You really couldn't make it up.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The F1 Torch is passed...

It's been a challenging few weeks.

Having collapsed on the afternoon of Remembrance Sunday and taken to hospital, I have since been told to slow down and rest. Easier said than done. It's been a relatively quiet two weeks of recuperation but I have at least had a productive time in catching-up on much needed housework during these past two weeks.

A young Sebastian Vettel with Michael Schumacher
Today, I took some time off from moving my home office downstairs to watch the final race of the F1 season and am delighted to have witnessed Seb Vettel take a 3rd consecutive World Championship victory to level the mark made by Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.

It is particularly apt that Vettel did so today after an extraordinary race (isn't Brazil brilliant?!) on the same day that saw the retirement of the very same Schumacher.

There is no doubt in my mind that Vettel has all the hallmarks to step into his compatriot's large shoes and as the youngest ever triple champion, he has time on his side to do so. Alonso showed his great race craft throughout the year by tenaciously pulling his Ferrari higher up the grid than the marque merited and at the finale was all so close to spoiling the Red Bull party.

It's been an exciting F1 season and 2013 is set to be fascinating with Hamilton moving sideways to Mercedes to take Schumacher's place. Alonso will be itching to put his near misses right whilst  Button will seek to show that he is the undisputed No.1 at McLaren. Those Lotus' are also looking handy and with Raikkonen at the wheel, it would no doubt be dangerous to underestimate them.

Webber will seek to make a better stab at the title than he has this year and last but before he can beat the rest of the grid, he must defeat his team-mate, that man Vettel. Can the young German make it 4 in a row? I wouldn't bet against it.