Anorak | Checking The Mail: Sherlock And Bashing Benefits Claimants

Checking The Mail: Sherlock And Bashing Benefits Claimants

by | 13th, January 2014

A misspelled sign on the house of 'Fungi' on James Turner Street in Birmingham, as residents of the street appear in the controversial Channel 4 series Benefits Street which has been attacked by a senior MP, who described it as a "misrepresentation" of life for people on social security. Picture date: Friday January 10, 2014. The documentary, which aired on Monday night and depicted the lives of residents of James Turner Street in Birmingham, sparked hundreds of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and Channel 4 about the way it portrayed people on benefits. Some residents have claimed they were tricked by film-makers into taking part. But Channel 4 insists that it was "very clear and transparent" with those taking part about the nature of the programme it envisaged.


CHANNEL 4’s documentary Benefits Street has been an absolute boon for The Daily Mail. The sound of the boners popping up must have been audible in the office as the hate-filled shitstirrers of The Daily Mail’s crack Poor People Hating unit grew aroused at the thought of some easy targets. And lo, as it was foretold, the stories of “odious” benefits ‘cheats’ have been spewing out of the Mail’s collective maw faster than crumbs flying out of Paul Dacre’s gob at lunchtime.

The latest is today’s energetic destruction of a family that The Daily Mail says features “a drug dealing dad [and] 22 children including an armed robber and a murderer”. And there’s lots of the Mail’s usual framing of benefits as “state handouts” coming to the conclusion that “Britain’s lost its marbles”. Remember when The Daily Mail speculated about whether Ralph Miliband hated Britain ? We don’t need to guess when it comes to the Mail : it actively hates modern Britain. It it could press a button and go back to 1950, it would in a heartbeat.


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In the first few paragraphs of its story on Raymond Hull [the drug dealing father], the Mail hits all of the required beats to make its readers froth into their fry ups. Hull lives in a Cumbrian village ( Mail Reader: WHY DON’T I LIVE IN A CUMBRIAN VILLAGE? I PAY TAXES!) and walls “proudly displaying several generations of the Hull family” ( Mail Reader: WHY DO THESE PEOPLE BREEEEEEEEED!). Then the kicker: “Hull appears to have won over a judge who spared him from jail last week after he was convicted of drug dealing…”

And it goes on, Hull’s partner is a 26-year-old woman, he has 32 convictions and 22 children, ranging from 39 to his baby boy pictured in the story. A former labourer, Hull hasn’t worked for ten years (according to  The Daily Mail ). It doesn’t, of course, give any suggestion of why work might have become scarce in that period of economic upheaval but that’s by-the-by because Hull is the father of a “feckless” brood and so any mitigating circumstances are merely frippery distracting us from our hatred of this man and his children “a poster boy for Broken Britain”. Are we still using that one? I thought that went out with “we’re all in this together”.

The Mail then does its usual trick of blaming all of the sins of the children on the father and vice versa while brazenly stealing pictures from Facebook profiles and using status updates to build a picture of nastiness. Unsurprisingly, Hull’s son who was found guilty of murder is not the worst of the children in the eyes of the Mail . That’s his daughter, a single mother!!!!

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Posted: 13th, January 2014 | In: Key Posts, News, TV & Radio Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink