Media savvy

Who’s been saying what..? DDN’s round-up of what’s being said in the national papers 

The economic commoditisation of human pain is dangerously close to victim-blaming. Such an approach can send the destructive message: see how much money you cost everyone, you broken person? Its dark heart is that the state’s only interest in its citizens is as economic units, occasionally broken and in need of quick and efficient repair, in order to slot back into the corporate design.

Alex Andreou, Guardian, 10 September

Stephen Fry, BBC favourite and darling of the new Establishment, noisily confesses in a rather sad and attention-seeking new book to possession and use of cocaine in Buckingham Palace. The official penalty for this offence is seven years in jail and an unlimited fine. Could there be better proof that the elite know perfectly well that the laws against drug possession haven’t been enforced for years, and exist only on paper?

Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 28 September

Fry’s world is not the dark estate alley, his confreres are not the ten-year-old runners, the swaggering gang boys who will cry in prison cells for their wrecked futures, or the girls they trade and rape as part of an urban social ecology intimately entwined with the drug trade.

Libby Purves, Telegraph, 27 September

I’m pretty sure it’s a political confection, the visceral hatred of criminals this government exhibits. It doesn’t indicate any serious reflection on who is actually in prison, what happens to them during their sentence, or what it will take for society to reabsorb them when they’re released… The problem is a government that can write off some of its citizens as beneath its care. It’s a dangerous cruelty with implications far beyond the prison walls.

Zoe Williams, Guardian, 15 September

Prison is not meant to be comfortable. It’s not meant to be somewhere anyone would ever want to go back to. But the language being used by some pressure groups and commentators to talk about prisons bears little relation to reality.

Chris Grayling, Guardian, 18 September 

It is too easy for GPs to write a script for a benzodiazepine when confronted by a patient who is in distress, or suffering with anxiety or insomnia. But the pills barely provide a sticking plaster for the real problem and can do far more harm than good in the long run.

Max Pemberton, Telegraph, 15 September

Like a mutating parasite, tobacco companies respond to public health efforts by exploiting weaknesses and compromising the global response… If tobacco corporations stopped resisting public health efforts, we could end tobacco use in a generation with a range of well-known, widely endorsed and effective measures.

William Savedoff, Guardian, 1 September 

No matter that e-cigarettes are used by people to help them give up smoking; the WHO likes to imagine that they will lead paradoxically to more people doing it. Although, as the organisation admits, there is no evidence of children being tempted to take up cigarettes after trying electronic ones, it fears that this may not always be the case… You would think that the WHO had enough real health problems to deal with without needing to protect the world against imaginary dangers that may not even exist.

Alexander Chancellor, Spectator, 6 September






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