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Happy New Year?

It has been a week of twists and turns in communications terms. Japanese Olympics Chief, Yoshiro Mori, grudgingly resigned over alleged sexist comments. He apparently complained during a meeting of the Japanese Olympic Committee early this month that talkative women tended to make meetings “drag on too long”. Meanwhile, at a Parish council meeting in Cheshire, to a nation’s delight, the now world famous Jackie Weaver was putting a stop to a bunch of dreadful men from doing just that.

The UK boss of KPMG Bill Michael, might wish he’d kept his counsel, too. He is stepping aside while the accountancy giant investigates offensive comments he allegedly made at a meeting where he told consultants to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on people’s lives, and to stop “playing the victim card”. Really? In this day and age of instant trial by social media?
It’s worth a closer inspection of the context of his outburst – which was aimed at KPMG partners who were “moaning” about the drop in their incomes. And, given they’re all pulling in an average of over half a million a year, his admonishment, though clumsy, might be forgivable.

While what both men said was at best unguarded, we got to hear about it. 
In news that’s unlikely to take the edge off their 16-day New Year celebrations, not to mention  the greatest single movement of humans at any one time, the BBC World News has just been banned from broadcasting in China. The Beeb has angered China with its coverage of the Uigher people’s oppression, and its reporting about the source of the coronavirus.

The BBC isn’t perfect, but it does at least try to balance its reporting with a high degree of self moderation.

What on earth have the Chinese to fear from Auntie’s broadcasts?
The truth it would seem. Totalitarian regimes like China, North Korea and Russia are all controlled by regimes who fear the threat of insurrection from their own people far more than from invading armies.
Hearing about your own country’s appalling behaviour, even if it’s fact, doesn’t ring well

Censorship is highly topical as social media now gives a voice to millions. In the “free” world, so-called Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Google (are they platforms or publishers?) are under growing pressure to censor “misinformation”, particularly as it pertains to Covid.

But, it’s a thorny issue because if there is one universal truth, it is that one person’s misinformation is another’s Gospel.

While the words happy and Chinese do not appear together much these days, Friday marked the Chinese New Year. 2021 is the year of the Ox. Come now. Is Insight the first to note this amazing coincidence? Year of the Ox…ford AstraZeneca vaccine that will save us all? 

Further investigation reveals that “Oxen are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the centre of attention. This often hides their talent, but they’ll gain recognition through their hard work. They believe that everyone should do what’s asked of them and stay within their bounds. Though they are kind, it’s difficult for them to understand persuasion using pathos. Rarely losing their temper, they think logically and make great leaders….” 

Which, like any horoscope could apply to just about anybody. But if these attributes don’t describe the work of some very clever scientists who have been working their socks off to try and find a Covid vaccine, it’s hard to know what would. 

It’s a wonder the WHO was allowed to step foot in the country on their mission to find the cause and source of the Covid outbreak. It is less of a wonder that their “findings” were strictly non-controversial. Some might say censored.

Anyway, once again, it appears that bats are the scapegoats. And that got us thinking: how is the animal rights organisation, PETA’s, campaign to eradicate “species-ism” going down in a country whose control of media is vice-like – but whose national Zodiac is based on animals including pigs and snakes?

新年快乐 – which we hope means happy New Year.

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