News Review: Jimmy Saville, South Africa, Fruit Bats & Mines Going Missing…

Silvio Berlusconi, either thinking about avoiding tax or taking a break from avoiding tax

Brace yourself…

Be sitting down.

And do not have your bum exposed (I’m not sure why you would…but still, I had to say it).

Right now, the BBC is a lot like a man begrudgingly performing his own Colonoscopy while the entire nation watches on (and re-watches on, thanks to iPlayer): it’s uncomfortable viewing, with nasty sounds at times, but addictive all the same. And right now it’s not going very well at all, really. Mainly because no man should ever be allowed to perform his own Colonoscopy, even if he does have four arms, and particularly when he cannot be trusted to do it well because he doesn’t really want to be doing it (and who can blame him?!). It’s the head of the probing utensil thing – no, I’m not a doctor, you can Google it – you see. It keeps getting stuck and filthy-political-muck, for want of a better expression, keeps spewing out. Ugh. Oh dear. It’s time to call the experts in…

Fascinating as this is, that doesn’t mean that we should only be watching the man performing his own protracted, acutely-observed Colonoscopy, of course. Since the Jimmy Saville scandal exploded, loads of other things have been going on in the big wide world, such as the following (we’ll go back to the BBCs political Colonoscopy after these things, and for the squeamish I will even stop referring to anal probing, how about that?):

 Belusconi faces jail term. Possibly. Actually probably not, let’s be honest

The man Italian Prime Minister who some say is as naturally predisposed to committing crime as battered-fish is to being eaten with chips, has literally just been convicted of being a very naughty boy indeed where money is concerned. Tax-fraud, to be specific, and tax-fraud on a colossal scale – a bit like what might have happened if Del Boy had been born in Italy instead of Peckham, which almost doesn’t bear thinking about. Think of Berlusconi as a giant squid swimming around in a pool of goldfish (in this scenario, the goldfish represent every-day people who accidentally-on-purpose forget to declare a few hundred quid on their tax-return). Of course, being a naturally gifted liar and deceiver with many years worth of successful theatrical cheating under his belt, not to mention numerous other scandals which are too many and detailed to mention here, Berlusconi – the man who caused outrage in 2009 when he somehow ended up naked on top of an under-age prostitute, as you do – has said he will appeal against the verdict (not predictable at all), which originally saw him pinned with a 4-year-jail-term and was soon-after reduced to 1-year. However, Silvio wasn’t the only one who’d been a bit of a rascal. Frank Agrama the Hollywood producer also got his bottom smacked for adding things up wrong, although his bum is going to be red for a little longer, as he was given a 3-year-jail-term for similar charges. He also has the embarrassment of not having a pizza named after him, which I should think is awful if you come from Hollywood. Before he somehow ended up naked on top of an under-age prostitute, Berlusconi was immortalized forever in Finland with Pizza Berlusconi – a pizza topped with smoked reindeer, no less, which won 1st Prize at the 2008 New York Pizza Show, if you were wondering (I know you weren’t, but still). A fact almost as interesting as this one: when stretched out fully, the wing-span of an Indonesian fruit-bat is the exact same height as facially-savaged film-star Sylvester Stallone. Crazy!

Hurricane Sandy might remind you of Grease, but actually it’s not at all entertaining

Presently making its sinister way to Massachusetts in the USA, this month’s unwelcome natural monstrosity is expected to arrive late tomorrow night, according to the National Weather Service and it’s meteorologist Bill Simpson. Here’s a quick lesson on how rubbish hurricanes are: hurricanes are tropical storms on a massive scale which are a serious bitch. Some reseachers even believe that hypercanes — super-hurricanes formed by a huge surge of heat — may have been the reason the dinosaurs were wiped-out. Sometimes reaching wind-speeds in excess of 160-miles-per-hour and dumping a whopping 2.4 million gallon of rain every single day, when a hurricane strikes, you do not want to be in the area. In the northern part of the Indian Ocean you can call this a cyclone, and if you happen to be extremely unlucky and be in the western Pacific Ocean at the time one arrives, you can call it a typhoon. Either way, it’s no laughing matter.

Even worse, the delightfully-named Sandy is a rather unpleasant Category 1 affair. That means wind-speeds of up to 95-miles per hour. It may not sound too bad, in the grand scheme of things – and it’s certainly not as bad as a Category 5 behemoth with wind-speeds exceeding 155-miles-per-hour – but it’s still a serious arse when your in its path (Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5, with damages for Louisiana said to be somewhere in the region of $91 billion…). That means something along the lines of 14,239,724 people in the New England area are currently preparing for a really bad situation, the range and scope of which is difficult to predict, even using modern technology. The winds may be merely 65-miles-per-hour, but, in fact, that doesn’t mean the potential for damage is much less than a faster-moving hurricane – according to experts, above 65-miles-per-hour and you’re facing a slew of similar problems, none of which are easily avoided. The storm is also wide, adding more weight to the threat, and ensuring that mass power-shortages are likely to be the order of the day, causing bedlam and wreaking havoc. Give a thought to the people out there.

Over in South Africa, things are far from calm…

Never far from the headlines, Johannesburg, where a gigantic science-fiction space-ship hovered over in alien-fest District 9, is where it’s all been going on over the past few days. Well, not all, not nearly all in South Africa terms, but at least some. And some on this occasion means that Anglo American Platinum have agreed to – or been forced to, as the case may more likely be – reinstate an awful lot of workers who were naughty this month and decided to stage illegal strikes, which was a whole ‘nother story in itself, and not exactly a pretty one. 12,000 workers now have their old jobs back, which is much better than being fired at with rubber bullets (as was happening in Rustenberg at the same time, see below). Not that I can say that for sure – everything I know about mining I saw on Zoolander, and most of the time it was bad. But then, he was really good looking, and a model, so…

Located in the North West province — we’re talking real-life now, not Zoolander — trouble kicked-off with a bang when police opened fire on loads of angry Amplats – the name given to Anglo American Platinum workers – near the Olympic Stadium. Their reason? Bone-headedly stupid as you’d expect, of course: to block another rally from taking place, which they had had quite enough of already. No word on any injuries yet – to my knowledge – although the internet is a large place, so I could well be wrong. One more thing: it’s worth noting that at the strikes’ peak, some 16% of the country’s entire mining workforce was pissed-off enough to make a collective stand. Beginning outside Johannesburg in the platinum belts, something along the lines of 80,000 miners stood up to the authorities, before strikes spread to neighbouring gold and iron mines.

 Anti-tank-mines stolen in mysterious circumstances but don’t worry, there’s

probably nothing to worry about…agh…

Tanks sound like fun, don’t they? They do to me, and thanks to lots of in-depth conversations with my granddad, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn many things about tanks and what it’s actually like to really be in one. Right now, from the comfort of my home, I’m imagining me going about in a tank. And it’s anything but boring in here, don’t worry. In the corner I have tea and coffee-making facilities, and in the back I’ve got a hole in the floor should I need to do some business in a hurry (although I will need to wait until I have no enemy following me, as I don’t want to leave tell-tale signs…).

Except, as I turn a corner, something is wrong. Over the radio – I’m not exactly sure what kind of radio I am using, as Granddad never covered that specifically – a terrified soldier colleague is saying stuff I don’t want to hear: “some anti-tank-mines have been stolen!” he is saying, and again like I said before, it’s exactly what I don’t want to hear.

In a fantasy situation, the arrival of such news is worrying enough, but in reality it’s really bad news, as you might expect. This is exactly the case, too, because according to The Guardian, anti-terrorism police are investigating the theft of the outrageously dangerous things as we speak. Or as you read this, really. And not just one anti-tank-mine, either…10 packages were nicked by thieves in Warrington, near Liverpool. Packages containing mines used by British troops out in Afghanistan. Shit…

If you love tanks and are now trembling with fear, or even if you don’t and just live in Cheshire and are trembling in fear, then there is some good news, so don’t worry too much: according to the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, they don’t believe the theft has anything to do with the kind of Jihad which Mitt Romney and others are obsessed with going on about all the time. In fact, they’re as safe as a box of chocolates or a packet of Haribo – providing that they are not at all tampered with. Great that this news has been broadcast to the world and likely seen by the thieves, then. Let’s hope they’re not hell-bent on causing any damage and not the type to get excited when you say DON’T PRESS THE RED BUTTON!

Have some information about this? Maybe you stole the mines and have realised that you have no space for them in the living room, or that they are not IKEA furniture, as you first imagined? Typical, eh? You steal something hoping it’s some IKEA furniture and it turns out to be secret MOD anti-tank-mines! I don’t know. Well, whatever the case, it’s advisable to call police on 0161 856 1027 or, if you prefer, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. By the way, I just read that 7 were found discarded somewhere near a railway in Liverpool, so it’s actually just 3 packages that are yet to be found. Each has four plastic cases inside, by the way, so if you are scratching your head about why your package has 9 plastic cases inside, don’t panic, they’re probably just anti-tank-mines from another dangerously inept government agency department.

More about that Colonoscopy…

Going back to the subject of Jimmy Saville again, the question everyone seems to have is Who else was involved in the Jimmy Saville scandal? Sadly, I don’t have the answer to that particular question (actually that’s a good thing…if I did then you’d have to ask how the hell I got them). Instead, I thought I’d make some predictions about what’s about to happen next:

1: Within the next few days, more names are going to come out. And that may prove to be just the beginning…I also predict that compared to the coming revelations, the Saville scandal so far may end up looking feeble. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see someone known as being very innocent being accused, along with legions of victims coming forward with allegations against many more TV celebrities and stars.

2: The BBC will agree to pay a massive amount of compensation to the victims, as well as to 1 or more sexual abuse charities, as it’s way of saying Woops, we fucked up! How the former might work is anyone’s guess, as I’m assuming it may take a long time for the claims to be verified. If that’s even possible. Which I doubt it is or will be for all the hundreds of cases. Hence why I said If that’s even possible. But you know that, it’s not as if you’re thick.

3: Other victims of abuse to come forward with claims against recently deceased and long-deceased stars, musicians, TV celebrities and political figures, creating a dangerous precedent (Michael Jackson springs to mind…). I can take absolutely no credit for this prediction, as it was made by someone called Rich in a comment about 1 of the recent blog posts on this site. Thanks to Rich for that.

4: Moving swiftly on to more sinister things, could there be video-footage or pictures out there of Jimmy Saville either at a party on his way to being horrific or…coming back from engaging in something disturbing and nasty? (Notice how I deliberately ignored the possibility sitting horribly in the middle of the two.) Logic says yes, almost certainly, but I know one thing: if there is then I for one do not want to see it.

5: The BBCs report, as promised by man-at-the-centre-of-things George Entwistle, will be late and inconclusive and largely pathetic, with few significant revelations that compromise anyone at the BBC. Not that it taking ages is a bad thing, of course. The longer it takes them, the more information they should, we hope, be able to assimilate. As people keep rightly pointing out, this is about the victims of the abuse and victims of abuse in general. Not people covering their own arses.

6: There might be protests outside the BBC.

7: Books capitalising on all this will start to appear. Books from the victims, books from people who knew Jimmy Saville, and books from staff who worked at places were Saville is alleged to have abused. In fact, my guess is that the publishing machine has already started.

8: There’ll be a documentary film charting Jimmy Saville’s seedy past, chronicling his life and concluding with the Newsnight debacle.


8 comments on “News Review: Jimmy Saville, South Africa, Fruit Bats & Mines Going Missing…

  1. Karen says:

    Did you watch district 9? I thought it was pretty good if you take into consideration limitations of filming in South Africa as compared to the US film industry 🙂 Oh and strikes in SA are not news to South African’s. They are an ongoing problem like that annoying rash that doesn’t ever quite leave and manages to do just enough to piss you off but not quite enough to make you do anything to alleviate it. You just get used to it: stay indoors when they march past your house, put your car away, hide your animals and expect to clean up a load of rubbish once they’ve passed – like a day at a festival (so I have heard 🙂 )


    • chrispink says:

      Hey Karen, yes, I did watch District 9 — have seen it a few times in fact. I thought — and think — it’s a great film. And yes, it must have been hard to film in SA, although I suspect a lot of it wasn’t done there to avoid such problems.

      You make a good point about the strikes…I’m no expert on the country, but am well aware that this has been a nagging thing for many, many years. Good analogy about the rash, too. Sounds like a total pain dealing with all that crap that goes with it, I can’t begin to imagine what that must be like…thanks for the comment Karen, very enlightening. Hope all’s well your end 🙂


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