Welcome to another edition of ‘Digital World Wired’. As always each edition will bring you the latest news from the worlds of Entertainment, Science and Social Media outlets.
Since its launch on the Evening of the 8th December 2013, Magellan-Fifteen20 (http://magellanfifteen20.webs.com) has received much positive feedback for its aims and ambitions. As laid out in the proposal, 2014 will be spent promoting and building awareness of the Initiative and garnering support via donations from individuals and groups who share the vision proposed, as well as the passion we have for the project. It is still early days but we are in no doubt we have a mountain to climb in getting that much needed support but don’t feel like losers. There is strength in numbers and the more people who support us, the more we can do to get things moving. We can’t do it without you and it is you who ultimately count because it is only you who can help us. We look forward to your support.
I have always said anyone who revels in someone losing their job, not being in work or unable to find employment, definitely has something thing wrong with them. This I had to endure from someone bitter and twisted a couple of years ago so know that feeling of someone revelling in one’s misfortune all too well. The fact that people are still celebrating Piers Morgan’s axing from CNN, leaves a very bad taste in the mouth. Whatever Piers’ pluses or minuses, he was not fired because of his shortcomings as a journalist. We are after all talking about a man who edited two of the world’s best selling tabloid newspapers (The News of the World and The Daily Mirror). His Show on CNN was axed because people weren’t watching. A British Guy debating American issues such as gun control is not going to go down well with an a large section of a U.S. audience who feel it is their God-given right to carry and own firearms, which is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. I seem to recall Piers’ Show was broadcast around the Globe as CNN is an International News Gathering Organisation. So was it just the ratings in the U.S. that depended on his Show’s survival? I wonder. Ian Hislop may well have good reason as most celebrities to hate Piers Morgan’s guts but they are not without sin themselves. We are talking about a man losing his job. I see no cause for celebration.
Talking of situations leaving a bad taste in the mouth, the situation of now former Culture Secretary Maria Miller is the opposite of the Piers Morgan situation. Where Piers Morgan was and is an accomplished Journalist, Newspaper Editor and Broadcaster, it has come to light that Maria Miller was the exact opposite with regard to her position within the UK Coalition Government. If that wasn’t bad enough, she was less than forthcoming with an investigation into her expenses claim. Despite all that, she attempted to cling onto her job in Government with the ill-advised support of The Prime Minister. A Media campaign by the UK Press along with public outrage, forced her to resign from her position. She deliberately attempted to mislead Parliament, the UK Electorate and should have been fired from her position. As with Piers Morgan, there is no cause for celebration in Maria Miller losing her Job in Government but she still draws a salary as a Member of the Parliament (MP,) so I won’t be losing too much sleep over her dilemma.
Bad taste seems to be the flavour of the week and my Editorial as I consider the Trial of Oscar Pistorius. Like the O.J. Simpson Trial of exactly twenty years ago, the Pistorius Trial is a Media Circus that has gone too far. Unlike O.J., Oscar isn’t seen on Camera but unlike O.J. he (Oscar,) has to testify. The sight of Reeva Steenkamp’s parents and their reactions to Pistorius’ testimony and cross-examination is a step too far in the televising of court cases/trials. There are already plans to allow cameras into British Court rooms. Based on the O.J. Simpson trial twenty years ago, the Oscar Pistorius trial now and the televising of Parliament, I don’t think allowing cameras into certain institutions is such a good idea. It isn’t good for justice and in terms of Government, the cut and thrust of the House of Commons and the House of Lords has been lost.
The Case and Conviction of Jonathan Fleming, demonstrates all that is wrong with US Justice System (and the UK’s for that matter). Despite a cast-iron alibi and evidence, Jonathan Fleming ended up spending nearly twenty-five years in prison for a murder he could in no way have committed. He was in Disneyland Florida at the time of the murder of Darryl “Black” Rush which took place in New York! When Fleming was arrested, he had evidence in the form of plane tickets, videos and postcards. And yet police and prosecutors refused to accept the above, maintaining he could have committed the murder – How!? Instead they chose to accept the “eye-witness” account of a woman who claims she saw Fleming shoot Rush. She has since admitted (shortly after Fleming’s 1990 conviction,) she lied to get cut loose from an unrelated arrest. Fleming has lost every single appeal until now, not to mention twenty-five years of his life and liberty. Despite the Police having clear cut evidence he could not possibly have committed the murder. The time has to come for Society to seriously consider who we elect, promote and hire to serve our interests.
The UK is without sin on the above and other related issues. The same week has seen a not guilty verdict handed down in the High Court concerning the murder of Police Constable (PC,) Keith Blakelock in 1985. Four other men were previously convicted of the murder, served prison sentences, only to have those convictions ‘quashed’ due to insufficient evidence. The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 by white thugs and the shooting by police of Mark Duggan, despite not being armed were all cases involving London’s Metropolitan Police. One of their own was murdered on the streets of London and to this day the Family of Keith, Stephen and Mark have consistently failed to receive justice and closure due to the failings, incompetence and institutionally racist behaviour of a ‘Police Service’ meant to serve and protect all those who reside in London, not just those they think should be served and protected in Society. It is a poor day when even the family of a London Policeman murdered in the line of duty, cannot receive justice and closure over the murder of a loved one. What strange bedfellows those who survive Keith, Stephen and Mark make. Just look at the ethnic diversity of all three families. And all residing in London. The Metropolitan Police Service really needs to look at its behaviour, its history and ask itself: How has one of the most respected and top police departments in the world fallen so low?
I have always had the utmost respect for the French. They have a better standard of living, an enviable lifestyle, education, were laidback about most things that we the British get in a lather about. They even had local and national transport networks that ran for the betterment of people and France as a whole and were nationalised because Gaullist and Socialists alike agreed on a consensus that there were just some things you could not leave to the free market. I liked their attitude to relationships, sex and how members of Government could actually have private lives and mistresses and still manage to run the Country without everything going to ruin. How unlike Britain. Now with Francois Hollande, I am beginning to question the wisdom of the French people when it comes to who they elect President. I recall how Francois Mitterrand began his campaign in the mid-1960s and eventually won the Presidency in 1981 and again in 1988. Jacques Chirac began his campaign for the Presidency in 1981, again in 1988 and finally won the Presidency in 1995. From the above one gathers that France doesn’t just hand the French Presidency to just anyone. You have to work for it over decades rather than years. That truly separates the men from the choirboys. So it is somewhat surprising that someone like Francois Hollande now sits in the Élysée Palace. Unlike his predecessors, he had not placed his affairs in order prior to entering the Palace. Even his predecessor divorced his wife and married Carla Bruni and was prepared to do the job of President and stand up and be counted. Hollande on the other hand was not married had a partner in the form of Valérie Trierweiler and no sooner he was elected into The Palace, was conducting a relationship with another woman in the form of Actress Julie Gayet. As a single man, the world is his oyster and he is free to do what he likes. The problem with Hollande, he may be long on charm but short on style and discretion. Francoise Mitterrand had a child by his mistress and no one knew or saw his daughter until the day of his funeral. As I mentioned earlier Nicholas Szarkozy took care of business, married Carla Bruni and worked his socks off as President of the French Fifth Republic. So it comes with some amusement on my part when I read of Hollande banning his ministers from using their ‘phones during cabinet meetings. Now commonsense tells me that if you go into a cabinet meeting (or any meeting for that matter,) you switch your ‘phone off. Don’t bother putting it on silent mode, as that is just as distracting in itself. Social Media and its merger and incorporation into smartphones means we are now walking around with our own personal hybrid tricorder/personal communicator with the world at our fingertips. Me, I no longer have a smartphone or any other kind of mobile. The costs are now too prohibitive for this lowly poorly paid Freelancer so I am once more grappling with the late twentieth Century way of doing things. No more world at my finger tips. The above side, one would think the current incumbent of the Fifth French Republic would have more pressing concerns to deal with, rather than placing bans on certain activities in cabinet meetings. If his ministers are more interested in their ‘phones than they are in listening to him or their colleagues then maybe none of them should hold the positions they currently do. If a President of a Modern Republic such France cannot even command the attention of his cabinet then maybe it is time for President and Cabinet to move aside and let the formation of another Government take their place. What would President de Gaul have made of the current cabinet? I dread to think.
As for David Cameron this week proclaiming Jesus Christ created ‘The Big Society’ I am in total agreement with him but the fact he now realises something I have known since I was ten years old, leaves me baffled. As to his carrying on ‘God’s Work’ all I can say is please roll on May 2015 when I can vote and have my say on who I wish to carry on ‘God’s Work’.
There is plenty more to see, read, and watch domestically and internationally throughout this edition of Digital World Wired.
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