Dull Tuesday thoughts

14/06/2011 by Christopher Buxton

I’d like Martin Karbovski to go to Lom – a Danube port town in the poorest area of Bulgaria and report on how successful the town has been in integrating its Bulgarian and Roma populations. While there he would enjoy the opportunity of talking to Lom’s Roma ex-deputy mayor, who speaks flawless Bulgarian and English, to discover why with such few resources, he is heading up such a successful integration programme.

Hey, Martin, if you were positive for a change, you might even get the next TV journalism prize.

Repetitive coughing – the result of some wild-boar flu, I caught – has forced me to watch some strange late night TV lately. SKAT TV would be so much better if they trained their comperes to shut up. I watched yet another wise philosopher lecture a panel of young people, pausing only occasionally to ask them loaded questions. The youngsters tried to answer but their kind compere would quickly interrupt them and answer for them. This clearly ticks the box for youth appeal. Another night I witnessed a similar attempt at dialogue between a retired teacher and an articulate Roma lad. The poor boy could not get a word in edgeways. This ticks the box for racial integration.

SKAT did pull off a significant coup in bringing cmeras into a lecture in Germany by Dr Baleva, the Bulgarian woman who in her Doctorial thesis on the relationship between art and patriotic identity, has tried to cast doubt on the Batak massacres. The cameras showed Baleva’s German colleagues casting considerable doubt on her assertions – one even making a comparison with hollocaust denial. This along with evidence that Baleva’s dubious doctorate may have been financed by Turkish interests could have made for a significant sccop. This scoop might have been even more effective if the main commentator had been a little more temperate in his language.But SKAT works on the principle of I can’t stay quiet.