View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday 10 July

Those two pictures say it all for today. Wet and miserable. As I type the wind is getting up and it seems to be getting colder only 14C today. We're having a northerly wind, so no surprises there. This week, we are having the Hebridean Celtic Festival in town, and the rush will start by the middle of the week. Enjoying a short lull before mayhem breaks loose. Our wee town of 9,000 will have to cope with an influx of 15,000. The Tall Ships will entice more visitors, so the ferry will be bulging at the seams this week. Sorry if I seem to be moaning, but I wouldn't mind a ray of sunshine up here.

The Press - II

Everybody is wailing, tearing out their hair and grinding and gnashing their teeth in despair at the end of the News of the World. I am pleased the title has been taken off the shelves of the news agents', as it is one of a category of papers we can all do without. I, for one, am not interested in the antics of Z-rated celebrities, people in the news and what not. But it is the people behind the tabloids that really need to be tackled.

I find it wholly unacceptable that a newspaper proprietor, like Rupert Murdoch, can dictate who gets into government. It is the job of a journalist to talk to politicians to elicit their true views on the issues of state. It is possible for a journalist to influence his readers by taking a certain slant in his questioning. However, I am disgusted with papers like the News of the World, the Sun and others, who I do not think carry news. And it is garbage like that which is being gobbled up by the masses in their millions; the NotW used to carry a readership of 7.5 million.

Worse than that, the politicians pander to the likes of Murdoch, who is widely despised in this country, by cosying up to him or his acolytes. An example is Rebekah Brooks, who proudly declared to be a friend of David Cameron, the Prime Minister; and I seem to remember that Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition is similarly cosy with one of the Murdoch empire.

I sincerely hope that a lot is going to change with The Press in this country; it is not just the printed press I am not happy with. The General Election of 2010 saw the Prime Ministerial debates, and it was the inclusion of Nick Clegg that brought us a coalition government, which is widely unpopular. "I agree with Nick", was the quote of the first debate, and it elevated Clegg to the same level as the main party leaders, Cameron and Brown - a level that he cannot be on.

The media, as a whole, have a role to play in society. The demise of the NotW has shown that this role needs to be cleaned up, redefined and polished. The government of this country cannot be determined by a businessman, whose sole interest is making a profit. The government of this country will be determined by the voters, who will be guided by their own judgment, aided by responsible journalists.