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Grantham Journal column: It must be cold outside 10 Downing Street late at night

10 Downing Street. PNL-150912-103428001
10 Downing Street. PNL-150912-103428001

In common with many of you, I watch the national TV news late in the evening. The scene often shifts to Downing Street or some other great office of state, palace or even Scotland Yard.

The BBC has a nice warm studio with pictures it can show of just about everywhere as a backdrop to illustrate any story. The reporters could be in the studio and there would be no need for the cameraman and the sound engineer and they would all probably get home a lot earlier and it would cost us licencepayers much less.

But no! The reporters cluster in Downing Street merely to show they are on the scene and reporting live. The No10 door stays firmly shut, there are no comings and goings and no doubt the occupants are safely watching the scene from inside.

All the news channels are similarly fixated by being where the news has come from at the time of the broadcast which is rarely when the news happened.

I imagine this is supposed to add reality or drama but of course they could show the scene hours earlier and save themselves the extra outside broadcast costs. Even the regional TV services cut to their trusty reporter in some lonely place in the dead of night where the action has long gone in order to give us a sense of the realism or excitement of the news story, or just to show that they are on the job on our behalf.

Even the main BBC TV newsreader has to decamp with their crew abroad to read the news from France or Brussels when the story lasts a few days. Whilst this is a wonderfully prolific way of spending money it adds nothing to the news story that could not be told in the UK studio since the BBC, ITV and SKY have a multitude of reporters ready to report when required on the spot if that is really necessary.

The BBC is the worst offender but of course they are a great sacred cow or national institution (bit of both Ithink) which does not have budgetary restraints in the way they present the news. I think it is all a complete farce but of course there are worse things in the world to worry about!

Now a thank you.

Before Christmas somebody threw away eight huge old plants in our cul de sac lane. They had driven up at night being too idle to wait until the weekend and use the council tip. Some kind passerby must have contacted SKDC because their van called a few days later and collected all the plants. So a big thank you to SKDC for being so prompt to collect this thoughtlessly discarded rubbish.

Of course the rubbish and litter droppers do not write letters to the Journal to explain why they do it. I did once call a litter dropper back and said I thought he had dropped a fiver by mistake. There was a moment of panic while he checked. I pointed out the litter bin close by but the look of sheer incomprehension that he should use it was sufficient.

No surveys are done to find out why people behave in such antisocial ways and it may be that such people think someone else will always collect the rubbish or simply do not care.

An update:

Last October I wrote about being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and the change in life style that I felt I had to undertake. At that time I had lost 17 lbs in 10 weeks.

I have carried on through Christmas cutting right down on foods heavy in carbohydrates and have now lost 29 lbs since early August. Those old clothes are beginning to fit again and they are not too out of date!

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