We watched in disbelief those terrible pictures from Japan yesterday. The awful sight of people’s lives being destroyed. But you had to be watching the BBC 24 Hour News around five o’clock GMT yesterday to catch this gem because, strangely, it didn’t appear on any other bulletin.

We cut suddenly from those heart rending sights:
‘Oh, Obama is about to say something…’
Live, by satellite, (the things we can do these days…) we heard the President’s sobering eulogy, his offer of help and his exhortation to those who lived on the West Coast of the US to heed any warnings they were given: all very right and proper.
Then, without blinking an eye, without any change in tone or pace, Obama turned his attention to another matter and one that affected everyone – the cost of fuel.
CLUNK

My husband and I exchanged a look of real horror. I swear to you, I shuddered. Shocking, appalling, unconscionable, you’d think he’d have…

Meanwhile the panic in the Beeb editing room must have been palpable.
CUT – CUT -CUT AWAY- NOW!
“And we’ll go back to that speech if Obama says anything else about Japan.” (I paraphrase of course.) And it wasn’t our British delicacy and sense of ‘good taste’ they were protecting (oh no – those have been eroded long-since).
And at that point a second wave of horror hit us.

You see, the cost of fuel in the US is a FRACTION of what we pay in Britain – so naturally this is not the kind of propaganda they want us to see. Especially when the government here is busily trying to dismantle our National Health Service whilst still charging us the highest levels of tax on goods ever 20% VAT now and that all goes on fuel too… That stark CUT, that glimpse of the machinery, really emphasised the agenda.

And as we consider that point, we also have to ask ourselves why, in the middle of that broadcast we had to go live to Obama anyway? We’re not a satellite State of the US, are we?

Miss Ellie, did I miss ever something?

Or if we are – can we have American style fuel costs and goods tax to offset buying the health insurance we’re all going to need?

Do you see how far my attention was drawn from what really matters? Maybe we could just have a return to balanced news reporting? An evolved sensibility does not sit well beside 24 hour sensationalism.

This present world we live in, its attitudes and priorities have to change.