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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Spoon-fed reporting distorts democracy

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

Under-staffed news desks lead to superficial repackaging of Government or corporatist press-releases, leading to improperly informed voting
Watching BBC Breakfast recently I have been horrified at the lack of depth given to reporting matters important to KUWG. On not one of their news reports regarding the current General Election have I come across an item of great relevance to disabled people and their carers regarding that voting occasion in the murky gloom of skeletal plans to cut a further £12bn from the Department for Work & Pensions budget — horrific though that prospect is in itself.

Reports of the scrapping of UK involvement in the Human Rights Act does appear on the BBC website's review of the Conservative Manifesto, but only apparently in the smear story spinning terms offered by Tory HQ.(1) My late LLB (Hons) friend and McKenzie Friend for Work Capability Assessment retests Anne McArthur did warn me of Tory plans to repeal the Human Rights Act and the erosion of human rights for disabled people.(2) She also affirmed that UK involvement in the EU had been instrumental in the creation of, say, the Disability Discrimination Act (1995).

Though Anne died in October 2014 it is great that we have John Pring's Disability News Service to continue reporting on what would otherwise be reported without reference to the relevance to disabled people.(3)

And so it was at the Disability News Service website that I saw

ELECTION 2015: Conservatives confirm plans for £12 billion welfare cuts

By on    

The Conservative party has made it clear in its election manifesto that it plans to make further sweeping cuts to social security spending, and scrap the Human Rights Act.
The manifesto says that the party’s approach on the economy is “focused on reducing wasteful spending, making savings in welfare, and continuing to crack down on tax evasion and aggressive avoidance.”
The party would cut social security spending by a further £12 billion a year, but has yet to say how it will find most of these “savings”.(4)

 Questioning as part of a 'right of reply'

Also at Disability News Service I saw
DWP carries out threat to ban questions from Disability News Service(5)
Disability News Service (DNS) is a major element in a form of 'early warning system' for disabled people and their carers, friends and families. Living with disabilities and caring responsibilities is time-consuming hard work and so DNS is
  1. vital to such people while also 
  2. a major irritant to the bullying decision-makers and only-following-orders Civil disServants who would rather such people and their potential allies — including, of course, the electorate in a General Election where a further £12bn cuts is being outlined but not really discussed — were left uninformed and therefore less able to mobilise against such cuts.
I shall leave this blog piece here for now, while pointing out that it is important to see beyond the 'spin' of the messenger. Also realise that there is a major difference between spoon-fed reporting and proper investigative journalism.

See also

Notes (all these links accessed Sunday 19 April 2015)

(1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=%22conservative%20manifesto%22%20%22human%20rights%20act%22
(2) An LLB (Hons) is a Law degree with a special Honours project attached to it.
(3 )http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/
(4) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/election-2015-conservatives-confirm-plans-for-12-billion-welfare-cuts/
(5) http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/dwp-carries-out-threat-to-ban-questions-from-disability-news-service/
(6) https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A9mSs2oQ3zNV_icAQvZLBQx.;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcxNzAwMwRfcgMyBGZyA3lmcC10LTkwMwRncHJpZAMEbl9yc2x0AzAEbl9zdWdnAzAEb3JpZ2luA3VrLnNlYXJjaC55YWhvby5jb20EcG9zAzAEcHFzdHIDBHBxc3RybAMEcXN0cmwDNTAEcXVlcnkDImNoZWNrbGlzdCBmb3IgY2FyZWZ1bCB0aGlua2luZyIgImVsZWFub3IgbWFjbGVhbiIEdF9zdG1wAzE0Mjk0NjI5MzE-?p=%22checklist+for+careful+thinking%22+%22eleanor+maclean%22&fr2=sb-top-uk.search&fr=yfp-t-903
(7) https://uk.search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A9mSs23z3zNVclgAUrNLBQx.;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcxNzAwMwRfcgMyBGZyA3lmcC10LTkwMwRncHJpZANudkdBaUtqb1FQcXFtaDc2aWdXQUZBBG5fcnNsdAMwBG5fc3VnZwMxMARvcmlnaW4DdWsuc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMxOQRxdWVyeQMiY3JpdGljYWwgdGhpbmtpbmciBHRfc3RtcAMxNDI5NDYzMTU5?p=%22critical+thinking%22&fr2=sb-top-uk.search&fr=yfp-t-903
(8) http://www.katebelgrave.com/
(9) http://z2k.org/
(10) http://www.taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/
(11)  http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Manufacturing_Consent.html?id=18IWX4hxHNUC

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