Media Savvy

Who’s been saying what?

It appears that those who have the biggest budgets shout the loudest, as the supporters of minimum pricing cannot be heard over the red-faced rants from the multinational drinks corporations.

Katherine Brown, Guardian, 8 May 


Tellingly, the Queen’s Speech excluded a host of politically correct bills that had been demanded by progressive campaigners, such as minimum alcohol prices and the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes. Both proposals highlight the finger-wagging spirit of the public health lobby at its worst, devoid of any understanding for the concepts of personal responsibility.

Leo McKinstry, Express, 9 May


The mistake ‘health experts’ make is failing to understand that general pleas asking people to moderate their drinking in a vacuum, regardless of the personal situations or pressures they feel offer justification for alcohol use, are just too big an ask.

Deborah Orr, Guardian, 10 May 


An offender might be turfed out of jail somewhere in the North of England at the end of his fifth short stretch inside… We buy him his train fare back and put £46 in his pocket before he leaves prison, in the vain hope that he will use it to get back on his feet. Within days he’s living rough in London, the money has gone on drugs and he needs his next fix. So he mugs an old lady in the high street, creating another needless victim.

Chris Grayling MP, Telegraph, 8 May


After decades of the welfare state merry-go-round, people look to the state to pick up the pieces. (By the way, what is wrong with a cut in housing benefit for people living in state-funded homes with rooms they do not need or use?)

Nick Ferrari, Express, 19 May


TV commissioners tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds, and are interested in sensationalism to attract viewers. And so we’ve ended up with poverty porn – the latest being Channel 4’s Skint – that helps build the image of an undeserving, beer-swilling, drug-taking poor, sticking their fingers up at the taxpayers they’re living off. The reality, tragically, remains far from our screens. 

Owen Jones, Independent, 24 May


John Humphrys chortled through a Today programme ‘debate’ as two think-tank spokesmen both advocated decriminalising drugs… But isn’t the BBC supposed to be impartial? Aren’t lives hideously damaged by illegal drugs? Don’t many people still want them banned? Yet the giggly item gave no space to their views. Why should we pay a licence fee to be treated like this?

Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 12 May


At the time of the initial invasion in 2001, Tony Blair insisted that one of the reasons for occupying Afghanistan was because ‘the Taliban are causing the deaths of young British people who buy their drugs on the streets’. But clearly some people misunderstood what Blair meant. They were saying that the Afghan heroin trade wasn’t fulfilling its potential, and with the right management they could treble it.

Mark Steel, Independent, 2 May