Archive for July 7th, 2008

Odds and sods – a regular feature

What’s Kung Fu?

I don’t admire fifty-four year Jackie Chan (born: Chan Kong Sang) because he is an expert in Kung Fu. (a real one as he studied at the Peking Opera School where he acquired his Kung Fu and acrobatic skills) but I do admire him for his tremendous character and generosity. First of all, it is unusual for someone at the top of his profession (he has been the top Asian actor every year for three decades) not to take themselves too seriously. Just watch any one of his films. At the end you see the out-takes where he often makes a hash of a take and often receives quite severe injuries. Jacky won’t have a stunt man around – he does all his death-defying stunts himself – in fact he started out in his acting career as a stunt man for Bruce Lee. This may change as he gets older though. Generosity? Apart from amassing great wealth – his financial skills are as advanced as his fighting skills – one learns that he has given the greater part away to charities such as disaster relief and children’s charities. He is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and just recently is acting as a spokesman for the Beijing Olympics

The British Isles

I upset a chap from Dublin the other day when I said that we both had one thing in common, we both came from the British Isles. “No” he almost shouted” I come from Eire, we are not in the British Isles.” Alas, the poor fellow was wrong. A lot of people are confused about what is what in these islands of ours. England, Scotland, and Wales are in Great Britain – at the moment! Northern Ireland is not in Britain. If you look in an United Kingdom passport you will note it reads “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. So from this we can deduce that Northern Ireland, although not in Britain, is in the United Kingdom. Southern Ireland, or Eire, is a totally independent state and has nothing to do, whatsoever, with the United Kingdom, apart from the British accepting them as full residents if they come over here and even give them the vote – perhaps because the British have never really accepted the break away and still treat them as British subjects? But whatever the reason, the British Isles are made up of all the island of Britain, including the island of Ireland (including both the North and South) and, of course, all the various smaller islands. So there you have it!

Television Licence

I have mixed feelings about doing away with the television licence and making the BBC take in advertisements to fund themselves. Well, cancelling the licence all in one go anyway. I propose we make the licence a fixed £100, and not increase it at all over forthcoming years. Then I would suggest that we force the BBC to become a commercial corporation, alongside ITV and Channel 5. This second part of my plan will result in the BBC and ITV competing for advertisers’ money. This will involve less advertising and therefore less breaks in the programs. But what about the money the Television licence raises? I would allow grants to the BBC, ITV and C5 to make programmes that educate the public. They can use their advertising revenue for Coronation Street, East Enders, Big Brother and their countless quiz shows, but the funding has to be for period dramas which have to keep to whatever classics they are taken from, or educational programmes that educate people to better themselves in society.



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