Posts tagged: British politics

Scroungers, Benefit Cuts, and the Tory Media

This morning I was listening to LBC radio and the radio presenter, John Stapleton (who was sitting in for James O’Brien), took a call from someone that said the Tories don’t care about benefit cuts and people in poverty:
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Stapleton called the caller “harsh,” then parroted the government line. I had a brief conversation with him on Twitter, of which there was little response. I’ve noticed that when callers hit pay dirt on talk radio, the presenters don’t like to talk about it.

You can logically argue what banking practices caused the financial crisis in 2008 that still haunts the global economy, but you can’t say it wasn’t the fault of bankers.

When I read Howard Zinn’s “The People’s History of the United States of America”, I often wondered how people could be duped into supporting policies that actually suppressed them. I now understand how that can happen, because I’m seeing it happen globally today. In the United Kindgdom some will blame the floundering British economy on immigrants, some will blame the fiscal malaise on the NHS budget, but still others will blame the UK benefits system. The media willingly promotes this myth by producing shows like Benefits Street, that seek to build a narrative. But that narrative is simply fiction when applied to the majority of people claiming benefit. If you look at the benefits pie as a whole, a solid majority of it goes to pensioners. Do you see UKIP/Tories going after pensions/pensioners? If they really were concerned about the economy, they’d focus on the majority of the burden. But that wouldn’t win them any elections. Pinning immigrants against the poor, has always been a tool of the wealthy ruling class to keep the lower classes busy. This war is no different.

It’s hard to form policy around the actual data that shows the rich will get richer, and the poor will get poorer, because that won’t fire many people up. It’s all rather glum. It’s a much easier task to blame those who can least defend themselves. The poor, disabled, and the disenfranchised don’t have friends in places of power to advocate on their behalf, but the rich do.

Apparently they also have their mouthpieces in the media, as well.

Another example of this use of poor to forward an agenda:

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