Zimbabwe is a disaster: Mugabe and the South African ‘mediators’ claim a deal, but the MDC denies having agreed it and the sorry saga continues. It seems to me that the MDC must not compromise its position or it will be dismissed by Mugabe at his whim.
Meanwhile controversy rages around the UK in the light of the BBC’s refusal to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza. Protestors had to be removed from Broadcasting House and we had the bizarre sight of Director General, Mark Thompson, explaining on early morning TV his reasons for the refusal to broadcast the appeal while behind him was displayed a huge backdrop of the appeal poster and all the contact and donation details. This must have been deliberate as well as canny.
There are war crimes trials going on in international courts and Sri Lanka is in violent turmoil again. In other words, business as usual for a world full of hostility and bad news. The financial crisis rages on, four Peers are being accused of corruption and the economic wallpaper looks pretty grubby. So what?
I went to get the train into London this morning and, as usual, picked up the free Metro newspaper. Its front page headline ignored all of this and proclaimed that a bit of an aspirin taken every day can help your liver.
Is it too much to wonder who thought this was top news of the day? I’m not saying it shouldn’t be – just that I’d like to know why it was thought to be so.
Perhaps it is simply that in the midst of all the bad news, we still find refuge in something small, personal and achievable. It could be that it is sometimes easier to shut out the loud noise of all the ‘big stuff’ and focus attention on the stuff of ‘me’.
Well, whatever the reasons behind this odd choice of priority, the evening papers simply led with the remarkable birth of eight babies to one mother in California. Amid the gloom there is a nice story – though I pity the poor mother who has said she will breastfeed all eight of them. I am not sure whether to be full of admiration … or just avert my attention back to the ‘big stuff’.