UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Media vilification – the modern day stocks

An orgy of abuse and character assassination has been unleashed by the media in the wake of recent civil disorder:http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/aug/12/london-riots-national-newspapers

The article’s author Roy Greenslade notes that the papers tend to ‘obscure the wider and deeper social problems that gave rise to the unprecedented phenomenon of mass mayhem with vandalism, looting, arson, assault and four murders.’

Such problems were largely off limits for Labour MPs in yesterday’s emergency Commons debate on the riots. A Labour self denying ordinance limited any criticism of Con Dem cuts to police numbers only. Numerous Labour MPs demonstrated their authoritarian credentials by berating Cameron for a lack of commitment to CCTV – presumably it’s not enough for them that the UK is already a world leader in surveillance of its own citizens?

Nick Wright, writing in today’s Morning Star, attempts to make sense of the riots and the reactionary response of the political elite: “the pattern of disturbances over recent days are an index of poverty pay, unemployment, housing need and urban misery. But they are represented by politicians, pundits and premier as pure "criminality" and "thuggery."

David Cameron (Eton and Oxford) appeared on Channel 4 News to denounce the "criminality pure and simple" of young people with little prospect of a well-paid job, a decent higher education, a house of their own, the chance to raise children in comfort and security or a proper pension. Primitive ideas of inherent, innate and inborn criminality are surfacing, expressed overtly by some, covertly by the more sophisticated.”

See all posts in this debate here http://unisonactive.blogspot.com/search/label/Unrest%20Debate