Sunday, 11 July 2010

Unemployment as entertainment

I've decided that I'm not going to watch "The Fairy Jobmother". I am sick of televison companies treating the unemployed as entertainment.
"Benefit Busters" was a gallant attempt to raise some important issues. We saw lone parents being "persuaded" into what have become known as poundland jobs, a synonym for the worst kind of mimimum wage work. We saw disturbing scenes at an A4e office, and what happens to people on IB who are being "assessed". But there was no further interest from the media in any of these issues. The only outcome was that a controversial individual in the first programme got a contract, because her methods make good television, supposedly. BBC's "Famous, Rich and Jobless" was a disgraceful mix of celebs and distress which proposed no solutions. The Panorama programme gave Digby Jones a platform to spout ill-informed nonsense and obscure the real issues facing the young, unemployed men. Now we are to be treated to another series which seems set to paint unemployed people as lacking in motivation, confidence and "life skills".
I have nothing against Hayley Taylor personally. The interview with her on the Channel 4 website shows that she came into the work in the same way as did many other people working on New Deal. She got lucky. But I don't feel obliged to watch any more of this.


  1. I too shall follow your example.

  2. I was in two minds whther to watch myself. What is needed is real solid investigative reporting and solutions not, voyeurism.


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