Now, as you know, I am not one to complain, however this is the time of the year known as the 'silly season,' when the media, determined to fill every minute of their overlong news programmes, visit places normally left aside from the daily rush. Cats up trees are often found in such programmes, however at this time of the year such revelations are not considered to carry sufficient depth for the glorious people in TV Land. So one of the most useful time fillers is the NHS! Every local news programme the TV can provide appears to have a camera wandering about a hospital, doctors surgery or pharmacist, daily! Now local news is of course filled with rape, murder, fire and reports of UFOs over the post office, but at this time of the year, when government, local and national, has slowed down for the main part, (not counting when big changes are sneaked out when no-one is looking) when the schools are out, and the brats shoplifting, with the routine broken, crime slipping away as so many criminals are stealing from one another while getting drunk in Spanish seaside resorts (all equiped with the 'Daily Mirror,' 'fish & Chips,' and hordes of teenage thugs chasing scantily clad stupid girls (and where were they when I called?) ) so the TV people rush to the hospitals!
Tonight they spend overlong discussing the cutbacks and staff losses, (Not the 'front line staff' lies a well paid suit, she might well add 'Not me either,' but won't). Tomorrow the waiting list in the outpatients, yesterday, a new discovery blaming our 'genes' for the laziness that afflicts us, on Monday it will be the bugs that can kill (big headline, no story) and so on. Each story has a union man fearing staff loss, a suit lying in his teeth, a fervent doctor reassuring all and sundry that the disease that is ravishing the district is nothing to be concerned over, and an earnest reporter that does not care a bit about his story. He is just annoyed that he has been turned down again by SKY or ITV and misses the big money.
Why not just cut these local news broadcasts to five minutes? The murder, disappearance, factory closure, can be dealt with easily then, the sport, a muttering from a football manager about 'Giving 110%,' or a cricket captain explaining how his side lost 500 runs to a woman's team, can be as informative in one minute as it is in the several usually wasted on local TV. Must we visit hospitals? It is not news, rarely important, only brainless types who indulge themselves on daytime TV watch it and it goes in one ear ad out the other straight away. Do we need local news that much? Radio covers it better, rarely is there a major story, and while it has some interest explaining why the streets were closed off and police helicopters were hovering overhead, in the end it really doesn't matter, does it?