Media savvy

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

Have you been stopped and searched by the police recently? If you are a white, middle-class resident of, say, Tenterden or Totnes, then almost certainly not. If you are a hoodie-wearing black teenager, often to be found out on the streets after midnight in Tottenham, then the chances are pretty high that you have. So, is this a function of ethnicity or of relative crime rates? Common sense would suggest the latter.

Philip Johnston, Telegraph, 1 July

Azelle Rodney was a violent drug dealer on his way to rob a rival gang at gunpoint when he was shot dead by police. Oh dear, how sad, never mind. …Naturally, the usual suspects are lining up to turn this vile little gangster into the latest cause célèbre to bash the Old Bill. BBC London, Channel 4 and the Guardianistas are filling their boots… In his line of work, getting shot is an occupational hazard. If it hadn’t been the Old Bill, it may well have been a Colombian hitman. Or one of his closest associates, off his face on heroin.

Richard Littlejohn, Mail, 8 July

Why Theresa [May] takes advice on drugs at all is a mystery. I suppose it’s nice to get out and have some meetings with experts, even if their input is superfluous.

Grace Dent, Independent, 3 July

While tabloid coverage of the mephedrone craze focused mainly on the risk of death, the less extreme side of the story – that people who wouldn’t have touched illicit chemicals began hoovering up legal ones with gusto – went largely unreported… Perhaps legalisation remains the best solution for society as a whole – but, at least through my anecdotal periscope, it won’t result in nirvana. British people like to boogie, and aren’t too good at stopping.

Memphis Barker, Independent, 1 July

In a complete inversion of morality, modern welfare punishes the diligent and rewards the feckless. That profound unfairness is why the coalition has been so right to embark on a major programme of welfare reform under the combative Iain Duncan Smith, through sanctions on the workshy, limits to housing benefit claims and the withdrawal of subsidies for spare bedrooms.

Leo McKinstry, Express, 18 July

Criminals will not stop their crimes, change course and become honest tax-paying citizens if drugs were legalised. Although there may be freedom of choice to use dangerous substances there can be no freedom from the consequences. International drug control is working; fewer than 6 per cent of people globally use drugs regularly and legalisation is not the answer.

Ian Oliver, Herald Scotland, 16 July

How many times do we keep trying to save people who don’t want to be saved? How many times do we bring them back from the brink to show them what a decent life is, only for them to vomit all over it after yet another bottle of gin?

Carole Malone, Mirror, 14 July


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