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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lewis Carroll, the BBC, and the Business Secretary

On the 13th of November 2011 the BBC began its daily news roundup with a very important news story. The wife of the heir to the British throne (The Duchess of Cambridge) had been spotted wearing the same hat her mother (or sister) had recently worn.   There was no suggestion that any of the Middleton family was suffering from lice or some other socially disagreeable condition. It did however warrant five minutes in every half hour on the national news program.  OK, it was Haute couture, and some hats are more expensive than others, but please, a hat is a hat.  Was there nothing better happening in our world that this ‘national’ news item, with its subsequent analysis by a dedicated, publicly paid, BBC reporter, warranted a five minute slot in every thirty minutes on our national news? A court correspondent pointed out to every one of us that even the Royal Family were “doing their bit” during this period of national austerity (by sharing their hats).

And on the following day, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary was heard to express the sentiment that “I feel your pain over recession”.  With the greatest of disrespect to the Honourable Mr Vince Cable, words are cheap and feelings meaningless unless they are followed through with action that ameliorates our plight. No government can ‘feel my pain or yours’.

Can you tell me when we fell down Lewis Carroll’s rabbit’s hole? Society does appear to have descended into a theatre of the absurd.

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