I wasn’t going to write about the subject of the Daily Mail‘s horrible journalistic instincts, but this piece from Left Foot Forward this morning deserves a thoughtful link and read.
In the light of its thesis – it talks about how newspapers such as the above-mentioned treat the miseries of the poor compared to the miseries of the rich, as well as how very wrong wild polemic is in both cases – I’d like to quote something I posted on Facebook last night, explaining as I was the situation in question:
“Vile Product of Welfare UK”, I think the headline runs, on man and woman found guilty of manslaughter of six kids. I felt someone should write a companion piece on corporate negligence: “Vile Product of Corporate Britain” – start with the Cabinet, eh?
Of course, neither the former nor the latter is a correct response to crisis. Not all corporates are dens of iniquity; not all poor people are repositories of good. But there are two thoughts I’d like to leave you with, before I finish this morning’s post. The first on partiality in one’s political points of view, as enshrined in this tweet:
So when people rioted, wasn’t society but personal responsibility. And when a man kills kids, not personal responsibility but society. Huh?
And the second on propaganda, as enshrined in this tweet:
Bet you after lurid stories of pre-privatisation NHS improprieties, we’ll now get accusations the Welfare State eats kids for breakfast. Oh.
It’s kind of true – and it’s kind of sad. When the blessed Fourth Estate, a supposed pillar of our representative democracy, becomes corrupted as a result of its extension into representing the interests of government or opposition, then a questioning tool of real significance becomes a propaganda tool of miserable inhibition.
And I sorry to make such casual observations, but – at least as far as the effect of the propaganda process is concerned – using events to take the focus off something you don’t like, as the Daily Mail would appear to have done this morning, is about as close an equivalent to spinning news about the Jews as an allegedly civilised society could engineer. By damning a whole Welfare State for the actions of two parents, we are rapidly arriving at a point where anything and everything becomes possible to argue.
Only media like the Daily Mail and its hangers-on would ever find it in themselves to do any such thing. And it’s such a shame really: whilst the debate is about this number or that, it could really be – should really be – about competence: in the case of Iain Duncan Smith, our beloved Minister for No-Work and Haircutted-Pensions, we should be talking about his lack of leadership, his inability to manage change and his absence of real ambition for his adopted country.
But no. We must – instead – all choose to use broad brushstrokes in our callous and unyielding descriptions of each other, as we – almost criminally – prefer to lose the arguments in political hullabaloo.
Not a good day for our democracy.
Not a good day for our future.
Not a good day, the day that propaganda was outsourced.