We’re Skint

Good morning – it’s Monday 8th January 2024. Happy New Year.

London’s tube network is set to grind to a halt this week as thousands of TFL workers who are members of the RMT union go on strike.

Again, Happy New Year.

The rest of the week ahead…

Monday: First commercial lunar mission Peregrine 1 launch scheduled

Tuesday: Copernicus publishes 2023 Global Climate Report

Wednesday: First PMQs of this election year

Thursday: Hunter Biden arraigned on tax charges

Friday: UK GDP monthly estimate

Sunday: Closely-watched presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan

“I think this means BBC News is skint.” 

One BBC journalist’s verdict on the New Year message sent to all staff by Deputy CEO Jonathan Munro and seen (inevitably) by Broadcast.

Here’s the killer line:

“Undoubtedly more of our cash is earmarked up front than in any year in recent times…We are going to need some patience. We won’t be able to back every idea or service every request. The bar for discretionary spending will have to rise.”


“Praised and pilloried.” (Press Gazette)

Journalist John Pilger has died at the age of 84. (READ MORE)

“A role model of rare value”.

Professor Paul Rogers

“There is no diplomatic way of saying it but, in his journalism, Pilger was a charlatan and a fraudster.”

Oliver Kamm

“I admired the force of his writing, even when I often didn’t support what he wrote, and he was always warm when we met.”

John Simpson

A stat which would have interested Pilger enormously:

779 journalists were jailed at some point in 2023, and 547 spent new Years Eve in prison.

China, Myanmar, Belarus and Vietnam were the 4 biggest offenders.

Source: @AlexCrawfordSky

One of my favourite quotes of 2023:

“One lesson I learnt on April 26 was don’t give an interview on the BBC on only two hours of sleep”

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft


And without question my favourite Breaking News alert from the Christmas period:


The papers may be packed with predictions for the year ahead, but what about predictions for 2024 made back in…1924? (My favourite being that the car will cause human legs to atrophy from lack of exercise). Archivist Paul Fairie works through some crackers on Twitter/X.


A Boeing 737 airplane crashed onto the M1 motorway near East Midlands airport, killing 46 people on this day in 1989.

Highs today of 5 degrees in London and 4 degrees in Hexham.

That’s it. Just time for the obligatory dog photo. Snoozing into 2024. Start as you mean to go on, lads…

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Have a brilliant week.

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