Last night Channel 4, broadcast again their programme Benefits Street in what appeared to me, to be blatant tory propoganda and poverty porn. The programme focuses on the lives of hard-up families on James Turner Street, in Winston Green, Birmingham, but so sensational is its approach the only thing that Channel 4 seems to be concerned about is their lazy attempt at boosting its ratings, Channel 4 after all is a 'public service broadcaster' but has not got the luxury of the BBC's license fee, so instead relies on advertising, and cheap programmes like this. A programme condemned by many organisations for being damaging and grossly unbalanced, whose only true intention is to demonise the poor. It seems to be suggesting that all benefit claimants are like the poor people of Benefit Street, stigmatising and hunting down the most negative examples in an attempt to stir up some controversy, or carry on the tory's agenda of trying to lay the countries economic problems on the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
I guess the programme has fulfilled Channel 4's intentions, divide and rule, target audience achieved, as the tories continue reducing millions of people to abject penury while their friends, much better off, cheers them on, and the bankers still wave their wads of cash at us and laugh. As M.Ps spend £250,000 of taxpayers money on portraits of themselves, in the real world, the governments cruel welfare cuts, have led to people taking their own lives, and the fact is that tax fraud and error outweigh welfare claims by some 20 billion pounds!
I confess I only watched the first programme in it's entirety, because after the first 20 minutes of the latest installment I just couldn't bare to continue, and was forced to switch it off, there was something cartoon like, about its lazy pigeonholing, and its editing, leaving us with images and lazy stereotypes straight out of central casting from any mainstream right wing media outlet.
Meanwhile the government has suffered a major defeat on Michael Meacher M.Ps motion to establish an enquiry into the impact of welfare reforms on the incidence of poverty. One of only a handful of M.Ps with a little conscience. So perhaps the tide is beginning to turn.
Programmes like Benefits Street, which I usually manage to avoid are designed to stir up hatred and divide communities between the rich and poor, and more dangerously, the 'deserving' and the the 'undeserving' poor. Designed to set sections of society which face the same problems, upon each other.
There is a petition people can sign about the programme, if any visitors to this site, could add their name, it would be much appreciated. Together we must stop this war on the poor and disadvantaged.