Wednesday, November 12, 2008

National Adoption Week

This week is National Adoption Week (10th – 16th November). I was adopted as a baby and am a huge advocate of the system. I only wish more people were willing to raise a child that doesn’t share their DNA. In my opinion, what makes a parent is the love and support they offer a child and the sacrifices they are prepared to make on the child’s behalf.

Sadly, however, shared DNA is not a sure sign of parental ability. This week has been full of the most horrific stories of child abuse involving parents deliberately harming their own children. The case of ‘Baby P’ suggests that local authorities must be more vigilant and aware that the family is not always the best place for a child. Most social workers do a very good job in extremely difficult circumstances, but something has gone horribly wrong here.
Meanwhile Shannon Mathews’ mother (along with a friend) has been accused of drugging her daughter and kidnapping her, in order to claim reward money for her safe return.

How this can happen is really beyond me.

Despite this (or perhaps because of this?) there are many children being adopted by wonderful parents and hopefully the good work done by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering in helping to create new families will continue.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Entertainment or Education? pt 2

I had to just add, having seen this on the BBC website, how can the BBC justify some of its current content in light of its 6 public purposes?

In order for the BBC to fulfil its mission to inform, educate and entertain, the Royal Charter and Agreement sets out six public purposes.
The BBC Trust has set remits for these public purposes, and BBC management has responded with its plans for delivering each purpose.
Go to the following pages for details of the six public purposes and the BBC's plans for delivering them:
Sustaining citizenship and civil society
Promoting education and learning
Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence
Representing the UK, its nations, regions and communities
Bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK
Delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services

See the BBC Trust for the purpose remits in full.

Entertainment or Education?

I’ve tried very hard to avoid the controversial topic of the BBC-Ross-Brand row, but having come across not one, not two, but three articles on the subject in Marketing Week, I just couldn’t help myself.

Now I’d like to point out that I don’t read Marketing Week for pleasure (apart from this week) but it is necessary for my job (and a very useful resource). I do read the BBC news website, however, and I have been following the row with interest.

While I agree that the BBC is in part an entertainment service and while agreeing that most of the complaints came from people who didn’t hear the original broadcast, I find myself on the side of the people saying ‘how did this happen?’. How did the BBC, an organisation supposed to entertain and educate, allow such puerile attempts at humour to be broadcast?

Yes, ‘cutting edge’ British humour is expected to push the boundaries. Yes, Monty Python did the same. Yes, by clamping down in a knee-jerk reaction the BBC may be more cautious over the content aired during shows like ‘Have I Got News for You’.

Yes, this is a rant.

But I personally have no problem with the people effectively paying for the BBC to be allowed to have some input as to what their money is spent on. I totally agree with Ruth Mortimer in Marketing Week where she says that

“…anger about Jonathan Ross’ salary – reportedly £18m over three years – has a lot more to do with this zeitgeist rage than anything else. He is employed by the BBC, which is funded by consumers paying their licence fees. People resent someone funded with their millions gratuitously offending old men while they worry about the next mortgage payment.”
I also agree with Iain Murray’s opinion that
“..for humour to advance beyond the naughty things that make children laugh, and to enter the realm of adult wit, you need an educated, literate audience able to appreciate allusion to a wider world that that of the nursery and the potty.”

We obviously don’t have that kind of audience in Britain…

Rant over.

Quote of the Day

"Apparently Baz Luhrmann suddenly said, 'this is crazy, we haven't got the iconic sound of Rolf Harris's wobble board on the music, we must be mad'.

Apparently Rolf has recorded a wobble board track for Baz Luhrmann's new film 'Australia'.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain"

William Faulkner

Can I choose nothing please?