So the hacking saga goes on with resignations and revelations galore – with all other news disappearing out of sight.
It’s a shame that everything hinges around this, even though it is important. It just feels like it completely obliterates other news.
Be aware you won’t get away from it tomorrow – Five Live is covering it all day as is BBC TV to name a few.
I’m interested but, let’s get some perspective. This story appears to be so London-centric – there’s a whole nation out there with things to say.
Here in Swindon, a young girl was buried, a girl who went off the rails through drug addiction, left her family home and years later her remains were found. A man is awaiting trial charged with her murder and that of another Swindon girl, Sian O’Callaghan. I doubt the phone-hacking means much to these two devastated families.
There’s also some good news about you know – in Wiltshire RAF Lyneham is going to be give a new lease of life. The little town of Lyneham was poised for devastation as that magnificent air base was due to close.
It’s a place with many great memories for me – I was lucky enough to be one of many journalists who covered the return of hostages Jacky Mann and Terry Waite to this airbase. I also went up in a Hercules once which circled over Bath, opening the doors so we could take fantastic pictures of the city from the air.
But I bear in mind that other areas on the UK have not been granted this type of reprieve and will see bases near them close. Often the effect of such closures is so overlooked – local economies can literally die overnight.
We’ve raised more than £20m as a nation for the crisis in Africa – astonishing given the economic climate but it shows that many people really do care.
But as for charities, a curious thing happened to me today.
I had a call from a lady representing a national charity, Sue Ryder, reminding me that I’d given a bag of clothes to their shop in Swindon. It was true, several months ago.
Why did I choose that shop? I gave the answer. A couple of other questions – the woman then entered this long spiel about what the charity does and would I consider giving £15 a month?
I said no, I didn’t like cold-calling, I would make my own choices about what charities to support and not to ring again.
I even said I was a journalist and didn’t appreciate being misled with the suggestion this was some sort of survey – when in fact it was a pushy sales call.
But this woman was not daunted, she said if I was strapped for cash, I could put off a donation for a couple of months and could give just £8 a month. I repeated my previous comments.
I told her I had been polite but was now going to end the call – whereupon she spoke really fast giving the name of the private company she worked for which would earn about £72,000 for doing these cold calls but the charity would raise hopefully around £190,000 from this sales push.