Tuesday 16 May 2017

Media does Groundhog Day with old, white depressed men in industrial decline zones.

How many programmes have you watched where depressed and saddened men in their late 50s or older are sitting in a half-empty pub saying that the area round here used to be a flourishing industrial place and then following that up with the observation that Labour have deserted them? (or in the US, the Democrats)?

It's clearly 'true' in the sense that this is what some real people are feeling and saying. However, it fascinates me why the TV always seems to show this as a story about how these men's views end up with them levelling the blame at the party that appears to have deserted them even though a good deal of the reason why their world has crashed is to do with the 'other side' just as much, if not more ie the Tories and/or the Republicans? 

Maybe it's the perceived betrayal by Labour/Democrats that hurts most. In which case, why vote for the other lot instead - if that's what's happening in, say, Sunderland or Hartlepool or Pennsylvania? 

 We shall see if that really is the case in the UK or just a media confection.

Meanwhile, the TV programmes of course can't propose any alternative, on account of their own brief. (This is an example of how the media create the 'field' of the discussion and can't break out of it.)

So, for example, under a capitalist system, where there is poverty, which then creates bad housing, capitalism ('the market') can't swing round, change tack, employ and pay people to improve that housing, even though that this is the need. Unless there is state or local government investment for need, the system can only create these pools of poverty and loss.

We are left, then, with news item after news item after news item of old, sad men in empty pubs saying that they won't vote Labour/Democrat.