Silly Season

It’s August Bank Holiday. An August Bank Holiday with an uncertain weather forecast. Now whilst it is very welcome after a tough couple of weeks at work, there is always the question of what to do. For me it has been quite productive – I am particularly pleased that I have been able to sort out a few more nagging issues on my new website and learnt a bit more than I thought I needed to about web hosting.

If only the nations media could be a bit more productive in what is commonly known as the “Silly Season”. For this is the time of year where “nothing happens” – the world of politics is quiet – our political leaders are on holiday (hands up if you know that Theresa May is currently running the country – true) and many journalists are away, drinking themselves into a stupor in deepest darkest France.

So how does the Silly Season manifest itself? Well how many column inches and broadcast hours have been wasted on an army office having fun in Las Vegas (despite countless polls saying that the public don’t care)? And this weekend dozens of pointless hours have been wasted by hapless journalists reporting about the sightings of a Lion in Essex, despite it being patently obvious that it never existed.

Why does any of this matter? It matters because of course there are things happening in the world. Important things like the deteriorating situation in Syria, more violence in Afghanistan, significant changes in Burma’s government and the impending nomination of one of the most right wing US presidential candidates we have had in a long time. All of which have the potential to have more impact on our lives than a party Prince and a (non existent) rogue lion in Essex.

With the Olympics dominating the news agenda from the end of July it means that we have effectively been cut off from proper news for nearly six weeks. Did anyone see the story that the UK government unexpectedly had to borrow £600m in July (in July 2011 there was a £2.8bn surplus)?

We have some fantastic journalists in this country and for 11 months of the year we have some of the finest news reporting in the world. As September rapidly approaches, please can we return to these high standards and bring an end to the Silly Season.

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