Then we moved on into June – the month in which the 2012 Olympic logo was revealed too much derision. The video of it was even banned from being broadcast again, as it caused some to have epileptic fits. Let’s hope the Olympics themselves turn out to be more successful.
This was also the month when Paris Hilton kept getting sent to prison, but it always seemed to be one with a revolving door, as she was very quickly returned to the free world. She might have wanted to ensure that she stayed in the US because President Putin threatened to point his nuclear weapons at Europe. Charming.
Obviously taking a leaf out of Tony Blair’s book, Michael Parkinson announced that he would be stopping being a chat show host at the end of the year. His successor might like to take not of the tasks that greeted Gordon Brown when he took up office as Prime Minister in June. Floods hit the UK and there were also failed terrorist attacks on a night club in Central London and on Glasgow Airport.
Bernard Manning also died in June and the world of comedy may well have given a collective sigh of relief.
The floods continued into July and spread from the north of England to the South and West. After 114 days captivity, Alan Johnston was finally released. He might have wanted to have a celebratory cigarette on his return, but in July England joined the rest of the UK in banning cigarette smoking pretty much anywhere apart from your own living room (give them time).
The controversy surrounding TV continued. This time the BBC reported that the Queen had walked off in a huff during the filming of a programme. However, it turned out to be another bit of fakery and it’s fair to say the Queen “was not amused”.
In the world of politics, there was a brief moment of respite from George Bush when he handed over power to Dick Cheney while he had a check up for colon cancer. He could also have taken the opportunity to have some plastic surgery carried out, but it seems that going under the surgeons knife was no longer the preferred option, as it was reported that there was a rise in “do it yourself” plastic surgery. Why, oh why?
Also during July, a plane crashed in Brazil killing 200, Nigel Dempster died and so did Mike Reid – EastEnders will never be the same again.
In August it was once again dangerous to travel by road. In Minneapolis a bridge collapsed killing about 7 people and in the UK a biker was shot dead on the M40. It seemed to be the month for shootings because Rhys Jones, an 11 year old boy, was shot dead in Liverpool.
Also during August, prison officers went on a surprise strike, there were climate protests at Heathrow and the Chinese started to more closely monitor their citizens use of the internet, which included a ‘policeman’ appearing on the screen every 30 minutes to remind them that they were being watched. Here we have google to do that for us…
During September another National Express coach crashed but fortunately this time no-one was killed. There was also a plane crash in Thailand that killed about 90 people. Northern Rock borrowed some money from the Bank of England, which caused mass panic and led to savers forming queues outside the bank to withdraw their money.
It also seemed to be the month for a lot of famous people to die. Jane Tomlinson finally lost her battle with cancer and died aged 43; Pavarotti died aged 71; Anita Roddick died aged 64; Colin McRae was killed in a helicopter crash; Marcel Marceau died, as did Lois Maxwell (Miss Moneypenny).
During October, there was more changes for smokers when the minimum age for buying them rose from 16 to 18. I guess the teenagers will just have to carry on buying crack cocaine instead then. It was also a month of losses doe some people, Britney Spear lost custody of her children, Marion Jones admitted to taking steroids during the Olympics and was tripped of her medals and Gordon Brown couldn’t bear the thought of potentially losing and decided there would be no election. This then led to some blood-letting for the Liberal Democrats whose leader Menzies Campbell resigned as their leader.
There were also losses in the sporting world when England lose on the final of the Rugby World Cup and Lewis Hamilton was pipped at the post and narrowly missed out on winning the Formula 1 racing title.
The more bizarre stories on the month seemed to involve people with only one leg. Heather Mills launched an attack on the media, seemingly suggesting that they were out to get her. So the media responded by digging up even more dirt on her. This was also the month when a feud broke out over the ownership of a man’s amputated leg. But it was decided non-one had a leg to stand on.
This month Deborah Kerr died aged 86.
In November the Metropolitan Police were found guilty of a breach of health and safety over the death of Jean Charles de Menezes. There were calls for the resignation of the Met Commissioner but he hung on in there.
England was knocked out of Euro 2008 and Steve McClaren was sacked. Perhaps for once we won’t see lots of people driving round with England flags hanging off their car. Every cloud…
HM Revenue and Customs admitted to losing 25 million people’s details, which was just the tip of the iceberg as it turned out, since then DVLA, the NHS and many others have held their hands up to losing people’s data.
This was also the month where we learned that you should choose the name of your teddy bear very carefully, particularly if you live in a Muslim country, as a British teacher was arrested for allowing her pupils to name a bear Mohammed.
Also this month, the founder of the Samaratins died, as did Norman Mailer and in Finland a student killed some of his fellow pupils in a school shooting.
Then it was December and the British teacher was given a pardon in Sudan. This was month when a man presumed dead reappeared after five years, seemingly having lost not only his canoe but also his memory. However the story began to unravel when a photo of him and his wife was found on the internet and all did not seem to be quite as it appeared. Both he and his wife are currently on remand in prison. They were perhaps rather more fortunate than many, as it seems to have been another month of deaths. Evel Kneivel died; there was another shooting at a school – this time in Nebraska; a tiger escaped from San Francisco zoo and killed one and seriously injured two others; and, Benazir Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber in Pakistan.
As years go, it seems to have been one filled with a lot of bad and sad things. Let’s hope 2008 is a bit better. Tomorrow I might attempt a look back forma more personal perspective.
London’s weekly railway news #198
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