17.1.14

Benefit Street

I haven't watched Benefit Street. I do not intend to watch Benefit Street. This does not stop me having an opinion on Benefit Street.

One would have to be blind, deaf, living in another country and have no access to any news, to not know about the Channel 4 show Benefit Street.

I have not watched it because the title tells me all I care to know. It cries 'let us be disparaging of those scroungers that lay around all day living on benefits'.

And it seems from the discussions on Radio 4 and elsewhere that I'm not far wrong. Sold to those that 'star' in it as a 'show about community spirit', it appears to be far from that.

I feel sad that the people in the show were so used and so naive to let it happen.

Why did they not guess that a TV show would have an agenda? Why did they not realise that it is negativity that the world loves? Why did they not think to get something in writing as to what would be the tone of the show? Why was the street identified so that now people (and children!) that live there are being bullied?

I'm disgusted that while thousands condemn the show, a huge number of people watch and believe what they see. Disgusted that many who don't believe it, watch it anyway, (adding to the viewing figures) and then mutter their disgust after each episode.

I don't suggest for one moment that all people everywhere are saints. But I do suggest that skewing results is an unkind and deeply cynical thing to do.

I await with some glee a "Politician Street" looking into the lives of a more upper class of 'benefit' claimant. But I'm not holding my breath.

9 comments:

  1. I was looking forward to "Tax Evading Banker Gambler Who Nearly Bust The Country Street" but I doubt the title will catch on.

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  2. I'm on benefits at the moment. I haven't seen benefits street but my 15 year old son watched an episode and his response was confusion. "It just shows loads of people sitting around committing crimes and doing drugs" he said with a WTF face. "But we're not like that."

    He couldn't understand the wish to depict all benefits claimants as dysfunctional low level criminals. Then he twigged. "Do you think the government likes Benefits street?" he said. "Because that's how they want people to see us?"

    My only consolation is that if a child can see through it so easily, maybe others will too? Doubt it though.

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    1. Thank you for the comment, it genuinely made me a bit weepy :-(

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  3. I've watched just so I could have an opinion and to be honest parts of it have broke my heart. I to would love to watch the tax evaders summer homes or the day in the life of an MP.

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  4. Oh dear, not only have I not watched it, I hadn't even heard of it!!
    I'll stick with Father Brown.

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    Replies
    1. well you do live in another country....

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  5. I haven't watched it either, I won't - same reasoning as you. I will not be a part of such bias crap. What happened to Channel 4? The cHannel 4 I used to tune in to to watch real TV with real points of view? Oh yes....it joined up with the other channels that follow the lives of MP's that get paid to jump in swimming pools on Saturday NIght TV, I don'y give a toss if she is donating her 'fee' she shouldn't be doing it. Wouldn't have seen Dennis Healy in a pair of Speedos (Thank Heavens) xx

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  6. A clean and objective fly on the wall documentary is a thing of the past. Media is all about sensation and attracting readers and viewers. SO when I saw it trailed I decided it wasnt something I wanted to watch, so I didnt. Having read what is being said about it, I dont think I missed very much. Viewing figures suggest I am in the minority and therefore TV companies will continue to produce stuff like this with their own slant on the truth.
    As for Dennis Healey in Speedos, Why not? His body, His money, His choice. You dont like it? dont look.!

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  7. I haven't watched it, nor will I! I'm currently on ESA, employment support, because I CAN NOT work! I do not sit round like many people think people on benefits do. If we use benefits its because we have hit on hard times, we are not evil drug taking monsters, we are human! Just like everyone else. X

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