Saturday, June 28, 2008

Meanwhile, over on ITV...

You could hear the sigh of relief releasing itself from Television Centre a country mile away, as it became increasingly clear that Mandela's 90th Birthday Party was going to have to shift from being solely a celebration of his life to having a political angle as Zimbabwe became harder and harder to ignore. Sure, nobody would suggest that calling for fair elections in Harare should be balanced with getting a spokesperson in to insist that there should be more repression, not less, but having got boiled over Live Earth and Live 8, you imagine that BBC management must have been relieved to not worry about another knees-up turning a little bit op-ed.

As it turned out, though, they needn't have worried, as it fell to Johnny Borrell to be the voice of the world's conscience. "All we are saying is democracy for Zimbabwe" he pleaded. Or would have done, had he not stumbled over the 'democracy' - a bit like Mugabe, really.

Winehouse did make it out of hospital - although, as she apparently substituted "free Blakey my fella" for "free Nelson Mandela" during the finale, perhaps it would have been better if she hadn't done. Unless morality has shifted so badly that we're suggesting political activism and boorish barroom brawls are now indistinguishable. (Mind you, we've only got the Sun's word for it that she sang those words.)

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