Thursday, 9 June 2011

Saudi Arabia and here

I don't know why I was initially surprised to read that A4e is seeking business in Saudi Arabia. Roy Newey arrived there on 4 June and tweeted that he was " looking forward to meetings with government to support skills and employment programmes." Why should I think that this is a step too far? After all, it's just business, as it is for many other companies and governments who regard the nature of the Saudi regime as irrelevant to trade and profit.

There has been only one more review (that I've seen, anyway) of The Fairy Jobmother, and that's in the Independent. The writer, Laurie Penny, calls it "possibly the ghastliest piece of poverty porn ever made" and she doesn't get any more complimentary as the piece goes on! One could almost feel sorry for Hayley Taylor. If she had stopped after the US series she would have retained some dignity. This new series was obsolete before it began. There has been no reaction from those papers (the Mail and the Express, for instance) which have demonised the unemployed; perhaps it embarrasses even them. Most of the media have become bored with the concept and are turning to more intelligent examinations of the problems of poverty and unemployment.

There has just been another reminder of how history gets rewritten. Iain Duncan Smith has been on the radio defending his government against the criticisms of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He described the Work Programme as if it's a wholly new idea to involve the private and voluntary sectors in getting people back to work. Don't ever ask how well, or badly, the private sector has performed; just forget the last contract and give them the next one.

1 comment:

  1. As I did not watch Ms T in action, I can only go via 3rd parties also such as the Indy article highlighted on this blog.

    However, if she is brandishing a copy of the Daily Mail with headlines to bolster her ‘get tough philosophy’, she is being rather simplistic and two dimensional. After all, I could just as easily produce a copy of last week’s Sunday Mirror which talked of a “lost generation” of young people out of work increasing in numbers due to the budget cuts.

    It sort of reminds me of a Ch4 program a few years ago concerning the proposed building of a centre for asylum seekers. Perhaps not surprisingly, most were against this proposal. This included a school teacher who used an A4 binder full of cuttings from the national press to back up her claims. The newspapers used: The Daily Mail (naturally), The Sun (not surprisingly), The Daily Star, The Daily Express and The Daily Telegraph. All papers with a strong anti immigration and asylum seeker bent. She did not have a single newspaper giving an alternative viewpoint such as The Mirror, The Guardian or The Independent.

    Of course Ms Taylor was using a highly biased source. By saying the £87bn welfare bill is too high, she and the Daily Mail conveniently makes it sound like the whole amount or the majority of this sum at least goes to undeserving ‘scroungers’ on the dole. What about pensions, child benefits, carers allowance, wages and overheads?

    Considering the less than flattering headlines and comments, one has to wonder if Ms Taylor has passed her sell by date.


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