Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Let's not get hysterical
With the second episode of Benefit Busters not even aired yet, there are a lot of opinions out there. The One Show on BBC1 linked it with the programme about the Duchess of York's visit to a Manchester estate, and did a piece about how the "working class" is now being portrayed negatively. Lots of figures are being bandied about, and today we're told that the number of people of working age who live in homes where no one has a job has gone up by half a million in the past year. The Conservatives have siezed on this, calling the figures "scandalous". But there's an interesting blog comment by the BBC's Nick Robinson which gives a more measured interpretation. It's obvious from BB episode 1 and the clips from episode 2 that the phrase which the producers want us to commit to memory is, "The unemployed get too much money", so that we will then go on to substitute "workshy" for "unemployed" and condemn the lot. What's also worrying is that this sort of manipulation pitches one lot of unemployed people against another lot. I'm genuinely unemployed, they say, really looking for work, unlike that lot who are workshy scroungers. Guess who the winners will be in that contest.