Travelling the same old route

PUBLISHED: 11:21 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 May 2010

WORKING for a local paper, it s not uncommon to get bouts of déjà vous. If you stick around long enough then the same stories come up time and again, often perpetrated by the same characters. And of course there are some good news stories - the Pink Rib

WORKING for a local paper, it's not uncommon to get bouts of déjà vous.

If you stick around long enough then the same stories come up time and again, often perpetrated by the same characters.

And of course there are some good news stories - the Pink Ribbon Run/Walk for instance, which seems to grow and grow every year - that you're happy to report on again.

Other recurring issues are less welcome, such as this business of travellers' sites for, which has reared its ugly head again this week with the news that Bassingbourn and Whaddon could house new traveller pitches in South Cambridgeshire.

The lengthy list of potential sites announced by South Cambridgeshire District Council made me shake my head with despair. Not because travellers' sites are inherently bad, but because they same to be making the same mistakes their counterparts in North Herts did last year when naming the locations of their own pitches.

That is to reveal a lengthy list of sites, many of which will turn out to be wholly unsuitable due to the lack of appropriate infrastructure. You wonder what sort of process they use to come up with these locations, is it completely done at random?

But now they're out there in the public domain, and will be for several months as the council undertakes a consultation process. So people will panic, house prices in the affected areas will undoubtedly suffer, and enmity towards gypsies and travellers will increase through no fault of their own.

It is a shame our local authorities seemingly don't put much thought into the consequences of their actions.

Did anyone see the Panorama programme on Monday about the rise of privacy law suits?

As a journalist I found it quite interesting, and although I'm obviously biased, I did find it shocking how much celebrities can get away with nowadays by claiming breach of privacy.

To hear Max Mosley, who makes no attempt to deny the fact that he romped with five prostitutes, try and blame the News of the World for ruining his family life struck me as deeply ironic.

And moreover, most of these celebrities continually court publicity to further their careers. That they can now essentially decide where coverage begins and ends seems wrong to me, and would appear to be a blow to the notion of the free press in this country.

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