From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (2nd September 2015).
HAVE YOU ever noticed how sections of the media seem to become obsessed and fixate on certain subjects? We have the Daily Mail’s current obsession with migrants, the Daily Express’ bizarre obsession with Britain’s erratic weather and Channel Four and Five’s obsession with benefits.
They first gave us Benefit Busters, Benefits Britain and Benefit Street and these were quickly followed by a whole raft of similarly themed shows like Britain’s Benefit Tenants, Gypsies on Benefits and Proud, Too Fat to Work, Me and My 14 kids and now – and of course it was only a matter of time – Dogs on the Dole. Continue reading
A feature article written for Dog World (14th April 2015) looking at how the media portrays dogs and dog ownership.
Years ago, when still at college, I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a journalist. Then, in the autumn of 1991, by a series of strange coincidences, I met a lady that would completely turn that idea on its head.
She was an American soul singing megastar and we were to be friends for the next ten or so years. Whenever she came to the UK I would hang out with her, go backstage at her shows, go to dinner, to rehearsals and travel to swanky hotels in the shiniest of stretch limousines. A pretty fantastic experience for an impressionable youth and from the outside it did indeed look like the perfect lifestyle however one only had to dig not too very far beneath the beautiful veneer to uncover a world rife with paranoia and the irritant of constantly being watched, the bane of this woman’s life were journalists and the media – especially the British media who, back then, were notoriously brutal. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (11th September 2013) where I discuss the need for a common sense approach to the issue of dog fouling and litter in general.
It’s a subject guaranteed to provoke a storm of response, so it’s no great surprise to see the perennial problem of ‘dog turd’ once again raising its ugly head in the media.
Recently, Rochford Council announced that it was going to tackle the problem by giving the poo deposited on its streets ‘the Essex spray tan treatment’ by spraying it a tangerine shade of bright orange. It is hoped that the bizarre project will shock owners who fail to pick up after their pets into changing their bad habits. The press proclaimed it as a ‘novel experiment’ but, of course, dog owners know different.
A town near to where I live attempted a similar stunt back in 2010 but their colour of choice was a dark Phthalo green (which I thought was a rather strange choice for faeces deposited on parkland) and they also had high hopes that the ‘shock value’ would persuade errant dog owners to ‘pick up’.
On a recent trip to the town it was clearly evident that the headline-grabbing gimmick hadn’t worked as one had to assume moves that would make any ballet star envious simply to avoid stepping in the many doggy deposits. Continue reading