Media Savvy

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

Is there a link between life on welfare and the vile crimes which appear on our daily news schedules?… Of course the vast majority of welfare claimants are genuinely in need of help and would prefer to stand on their own feet. But for some it’s a lifestyle choice that puts them outside the norms of conventional society. Not having to work frees up time, which, for those with few intellectual resources and low self-respect, sometimes leads to a reliance on alcohol, drugs and pornography. Killers [Mick] Philpott, [Stuart] Hazell and [Mark] Bridger were all, to some degree, assisted in becoming monsters by the welfare benefits system. Peter McKay, Mail, 3 June


Drug use is a morally neutral subject in the British press. It’s the identity of those concerned that dictates the tone. When aristocratic models are involved, it’s glamorous; when powerful politicians are, it’s youthful folly, and when anyone else is, it’s a serious criminal offence. Working-class-girl-done-good Tulisa [Contostavlos] belongs to a group which the press takes particular relish in taking down a peg. Ellen E Jones, Independent, 3 June


The saga of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has progressed from tragedy through scandal to farce, and has now plumbed astonishing new depths of moral and political squalor… But the CQC cannot now be put right because the NHS cannot be put right. For the root of this moral and professional corruption is that the entire bureaucracy of the NHS – up through the secretary of state to the prime minister himself – conspires to tell the public the big lie that the NHS remains a national treasure because no other system matches it for decency and compassion. In fact, the opposite is true. Melanie Phillips, Mail, 24 June


Specialist care can pull people back from the brink of the most devastating consequences of alcohol misuse, especially alcohol-related liver disease, give them back their self-respect and restore them to their families and communities. The development of high-quality, integrated prevention and treatment services for those with alcohol-related disease would be a wise investment for the future health of our nation, especially that of our young people. Kieran Moriarty, Guardian, 3 June


All the evidence is there that we as a nation have a drinking problem, and we cannot handle it. Visiting tourists, including those from the US, gaze openmouthed at our heavy drinking culture. And yet the government, for fear of being branded nanny statists, has failed to take action. Jane Merrick, Independent, 4 June


After 50 years of prohibition, drugs are cheaper and more available than ever before. The collateral damage – particularly to countries that produce the drugs and those through which they pass – is devastating. Surely the governments of the world can do a better job of limiting harms than the cartels, whose only motivation is profit, and who are the principal beneficiaries of the present approach? Amanda Feilding, Guardian, 14 June 


Sometimes, I feel as if the greatest barrier to ending the nightmare is political inertia maintained by the hunger of political leaders to dip into the billions of dollars in funding earmarked for drug-war operations. Javier Sicilia, Observer, 2 June


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