Tuesday 30 November 2010

Media Reporting

The view from the hill is a trifle obscured this morning as we have had the first real snowfall of the winter in Sheffield. According to the "forecasts" we were to expect heavy snowfalls throughout the night, but 1-2 inch of snow hardly constitutes  a heavy snowfall. Still more is "forecast" and so there is still a chance.

I have just finished reading The Silent State: Secrets, Surveillance and the Myth of British Democracy by Heather Brooke  - "The most important and entertaining political book you’ll read this year, by the journalist who exposed the MPs' expenses and changed C21st Britain"

I thought the book was a bit patchy in parts, but was enlightening. The chapter on the UK's judicial system made for some pretty grim reading. Many of the articles on my website rely quite heavily on the newspaper reports of the time. Many of these reports are both detailed and informative - in some cases they are basically verbatim accounts of events and testimony. We as a society owe a huge debt to the unamed journalists (and printers) who filed these stories for future posterity.

Sadly over the last twenty to thirty years the standard of reporting has plumetted. Nowadays in all types of media we tend to get a brief summary of events, and a lot of comment, opinion and analysis.And in many cases, information is either "amended" or witheld from the public on a variety of spurious grounds. How anyone can form sound opinions without accurate and detailed information is a mystery to me. But that is Britain in the C21st - give the public inadequate and inaccurate information and you are going to get  inadequate and inaccurate opinion.    

Friday 19 November 2010

A Greater View from The Hill

I've just spent a bit of time updated the article about war graves in Walkley Cemetery. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission there are 44 graves in the Cemetery, and so I'm still got a few to trace.

On a different matter last night as I walked out of the house for a couple of pints down the road, I was surprised to find that the "View From A Hill" was a bit clearer, The reason for this greater clarity was that local Council workers, no doubt on the orders of superiors, had hacked the main spar of my magnolia.off and tossed it  back into my garden.

First of all I admit that the Council were acting totally in accordance with the law - it is right that they take robust action on overhanging branches that threaten seven foot tall people. But it is the way that they conducted themselves that leaves the usual bitter taste. Totally arbitrary with no notification at all to the householder - they just came, hacked a branch off, tossed it into the garden and left. 

The spar had been there many years and never caused any problems and was really nice in spring when it flowered. The tree itself is over thirty years old, and a present from my mother. It does have a strong sentimental value. But to the Council none of this matters - they have decided that overhanging branches are a menace and are to be hacked off. And in hacking off the branch, they have hacked me off!! 

Wednesday 17 November 2010

View From A Hill

Over the last ten years or so I have "ran" for want of a better word THE CHRIS HOBBS SITE

It has expanded in that period, as I have added more and more articles that have a "Sheffield Connection". I am also always looking to add additional material/content to exsisting articles.

Until now I also really did not have a suitable mechanism for notifying readers of additions to the site, and commenting on these additions. This blog will hopefully rectify this shortcoming.

And I also want to comment on more general matters relating to Sheffield and its people and I hope that this blog will provide me with just such a platform.