The BBC 10pm news on Saturday evening had a brief item on a climate change protest at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire where the headline was that a policeman was injured and fences were pulled down. The film showed a policemen falling, or being felled, by the protesters and the commentary stated these facts. There were no interviews with protagonists nor journalists and no reasons or background were given.
The following item concerned the funeral of Stephen Gately of the band Boyzone which was attended by many stars and celebrities: it was a great deal longer, and did include background and interviews.
I did my grumpy-old-man bit and said that I’d write to the BBC to complain about the imbalance and their priorities.
This morning, I picked up my Observer newspaper (left-of-centre liberal broadsheet) to find the funeral in the centre of the front page and also taking up the entirey of page 3. Was this because the Observer is in financial trouble and needs circulation more than it needs to retain it’s reputation as a serious newspaper? I suggest that it was.
Stephen’s untimely death was a human tragedy (not a national tragedy as stated on the BBC I suggest) and touched many peoples’ hearts and in particular his family, friends, colleagues and fans. It also attracted A-list celebrities which would attract a crowd anywhere. The getting-together of folk in this way is heart-warming.
Climate change protests are NOT heart-warming, and the fact that a thousand nutters were willing to cause mayhem at some powerstation in Nottinghamshire was not going to have anything like the appeal of the funeral. But climate change is a turn-off anyway.
In attempting to get a campaign going locally I feel increasingly isolated and like the protesters: I may (or may not) be right, but I’m a bit of a pain in the arse and lack the pizzazz of a funeral.