Yes, the expenses story is a big sticky, juicy one for the media. When there's blood in the air and a scalp (or fifty) on the horizon, then journalists are going to chase that story until the cows come to their main or second home.
But whether it's the mainstream media's fault or ours, one thing for sure is that our priorities are out of whack. The Budget was labelled 'the Unemployment Budget' because unemployment is supposed to be the biggest problem that's going to hit this country throughout the recession.
And last week, it was announced that unemployment had reached 2.2million people, and growing.
Today, after a quick bit of searching, what do we all think the main story is? Not a tough one...expenses. But when unemployment is due to become the biggest social crisis this country has seen in decades, you would expect more coverage.
Today's main UK newspapers...
Stories with the word "expenses" in the headline - (at least) 15.
Stories with the word "unemployment" in the headline - 0.
Yes, there will be talk of unemployment in today's press. But again, having had a quick check, it is only mentioned in the stories about... expenses. Unemployment is no longer an issue to tackle, it is a stick with which to beat those who have claimed extravagant expenses, to shame them in comparison. Will the MSM begin to crucify Parliament (not just the Government) for not tackling the issues and being too focussed on saving their own skins? Will the MSM start running articles shaming the Government and all parties, for not devoting their energies to tackling unemployment, our national debt, repossessions etc? Probably not for a long, long time. This story's far too juicy.
And I could happily make out that the media should take the rap.
But really, Parliament should have agreed, at the very beginning of this mess to do what the Speaker suggested yesterday... stop claiming immediately until we come up with an interim system, all leaders and interested parties to meet in one room and thrash out an agreement. Spend more of your time (which, as we pay for it, our time) on the real issues, becuase we need to be talking about unemployment, the national debt, the REAL stuff that Parliament is supposed to be for...but alas, I'm living in a fantasyland where the media give a shit and politicians are in it for the right reasons, if I think that's going to happpen.
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