On a topic that isn't me, I read the other day about the BBC Trust uncovering a hole in the BBC budget to the tune of £24.9 million. This was specifically attributed to (over)spending on websites. This was also specifically attributed to the 'don't know how that happened' pile. Now, a slight overspending by a large corporation, perhaps, a million over, one might smile and nod and accept that these things happen, and after all, they're quite good websites.
But almost 25 million? I'm intrigued as to the outcome of this - having read the report, it seems to be suggesting that they got a little ticking off and a 'must do better next time' type remark. Which seems quite generous, if you ask me.
The largest publishing houses in Britain have come up with a scheme to 'help parents'. This idea is one that seems to be a good idea gone wrong. It is where books, from next year sometime, will have 'age guidance labels'. Yes, that's right. A child's book will no longer be at the parents/childs discretion, but we will be told as to what kind of age range it is appropriate to. Taken to an extreme, it would be amusing to see a spotty Woolworth's trainee enquire of a young child's age - 'Sorry, if you're not above 7, you can't read the Famous Five'. I would have been in serious trouble. I was devouring any book I could from a ridiculously early age. If we want our children to read, surely the best solution is to let them read the books they find interesting. If a 9 year old wants to read Shakespeare and is told to stick to Jacqueline Wilson, something has gone horribly wrong. What next, banning children from smoking?