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Today In “News That’s Better Than Nothing”

January 19, 2010

Well, I tried to find really cheerful news, and a check through the BBC site came to nothing. But! All is not lost! For I have decided to take comfort from the news that’s better than nothing. Think of it as the Kinder Surprise* of cheerful news – that is, the kind you wouldn’t say no to, but is never quite as pleasing as you think it should be.

Like, for example, that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee is demonstrating common sense by pointing out that getting domestic households to recycle is all well and good, but since business waste makes up around 90% of landfill, now might be a good time to be focussing on them instead.

Or that the BBC is reporting on midwifery in a positive way, quoting Baroness Cumberlage, a former health minister, as saying “[Midwifery] is very different, it is very woman-centred, and that doesn’t always fit nicely into a trust policy or hierarchy”. Indeed.

In politics, Nick Clegg of the Lib Dems is continuing his theme of sounding sensible by pointing out, effectively, that a) immigrants do work that we don’t want to and b) actually, quite a lot of British people emigrate to find work, and we could probably do with not antagonizing those other countries by “pull[ing] up the drawbridge”. On the other hand, and equally pleasingly, David Cameron of the Conservatives is still having to defend his increasingly ridiculous plans to return to the 1950s – er, I mean, give married heterosexual couples tax breaks.

Interestingly enough, Nick Clegg appears to be occupying the politcal space traditionally associated with being a whinging leftie these days, while David Cameron dances around virtually on the spot somewhere on the right, pleasing nobody as usual, which leaves Labour to the space in the middle. High on my list of “things I never thought I’d see” would have to be Labour ending up to the right of the Lib Dems. What happened there?!

Finally, sometimes people do good things. Specifically, a woman intervened when she saw a man being deeply, deeply creepy – so creepy in fact that the Scottish police are now hunting him down. Yay for women being taken seriously!

*Kinder Surprise – once described by Bill Bailey in the following way:

“Horrible chocolate; nasty little toy: a double-whammy of disillusionment! Sometimes I eat the toy out of sheer despair.”

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