COMMENT: Westwell of Ely

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Credit: Archant

Will the real bully stand up please?

At last some action is being taken against bullying in the political arena and Grant Shapps has fallen on his sword in response to the suicide of political activist Elliot Johnson. There is just one hitch, however noble Grant Shapp’s gesture is, it was not he that was named as the culprit.

The chief protagonist in this affair denies that he has done anything wrong. Perhaps it is now time that all our politicians were sent on courses on how to avoid being a bully, instead of the weird and wonderful ones that our taxes pay for at the moment.

Those guilty of bullying (and there are many at large in all fields at the moment) should take note that to force, threaten or intimidate someone into doing something is by definition bullying, and most people would agree that it should not happen. At least our Prime Minister is trying the art of persuasion to get our government to agree to bombing fundamentalist murderers in Syria. If only there was a clear plan about what will happen afterwards.

No violence please

It is probable that the British Board of Film Classification will follow the similar one in the USA and make it impossible for children to view The Star Wars latest film: ‘The Force Awakens’ without an adult present. What difference does it make having an adult there? – For surely the film is just as violent, with or without a parent?

How many of us admit when we watched Dr Who as children, we always hid behind the sofa when it got too frightening – no question of our parents coming to rescue us then. One parent I know used to say that children should be able to watch anything, as long as a parent was in situ and could explain the rights and wrongs of what was happening on screen.

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One visit to Hong Kong cured that belief for while staying at a hotel, the TV was switched on during the day and a most inappropriate film began. That parent immediately switched the TV off and decided they should do some other activity.

Our TV watershed is a blessing and extreme violence should not be shown to children. However, have you seen a couple of young brothers fighting? It’s a wonder one of them comes out alive, and the violence in cartoons - films meant for children – what about that?

While we’re mentioning TV, why on earth does the BBC want to upset family routines all over the country and extend bedtime from 7pm? Are none of them parents or grandparents? Do they not know the havoc they will cause?

Not Wi-fi but Li-fi

A professor at Edinburgh University, Harald Haas, has invented a new form of broadband that is a hundred times faster than Wi-Fi and our LED lights could be used to produce it – all that is needed, he says, is to add a chip to the devices already in our homes.

While there are still problems with making it adapt to our current infrastructure, he is sure it will be possible in the future. Li-fi is more secure, because it functions on light and, as you know, light cannot go through walls. It is being developed in pilot schemes in Estonia as I write. The painful truth rises yet again – why is it Estonia that is exploring this new option and not somewhere in the UK?

A crime is a crime, but you have to smile

Hacking into someone’s website is a crime and is wrong - I think we all agree on this. However, you have to smile when ‘hacktivists’ took down one of the most heinous websites put up by fundamentalist extremists and replaced it with their different material, telling them to calm down and putting up an advert for a company selling Prozac instead.

Be careful how you react

Emergency calls have often been made mistakenly, but these Aussie policemen had every reason to believe that murder was about to be committed when they arrived at a house to hear furniture being thrown across the room, a lot of banging and someone yelling they were going to kill.

Neighbours could only be congratulated for saving someone’s life by contacting the police when they heard it. However, there were a few red faces when the victim turned out to be nothing but a large spider. As the bloke admitted, he simply hates spiders. So take care.