Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working

Yeah, but which government?

We had lunch at Sainsbury’s today, which has free newspapers, so for balance I read The Sun and then The Daily Mirror.

The Daily Mirror editorial was fairly motherhood and apple but ended with the following classic (in print, it was bold, underlined italics):

Mr Duncan Smith should be focusing on how to raise the skills of British workers rather than chasing a few cheap headlines. What’s holding people back is a lack of jobs and investment in training – which is down to the Government’s economic policies.

They get an extra minus mark for “should” instead of saying “it would be nice if”, what riles is the implication that lack of jobs and investment in training can blamed on the current lot’s economic policies. Their economic policies are indeed awful, possibly marginally worse than Labour’s, but even if they were perfect, there’s not much they could have achieved after one year in charge.

If they’d made it clear that the lack of jobs etc. is down to the cumulative effect of successive UK governments’ economic policies or education policies for the past few decades (or even centuries, I wasn’t alive at the time) regardless of whether they were Tory or Labour, then fair enough, but the Mirror is supposed to be a Labour-supporting paper so this is a bit of an own goal either way.

The standard of propaganda pushed out by The Sun is just far more sophisticated, the conclusion at the end of the Sun Says comment on the same issue is as follows:

Britain needs skilled migrants and must not shut them out. But we also desperately need our young back in work. What’s the answer? We must improve education – which Michael Gove is doing – so our young can compete in the world, particularly in science and technology.

And we must create more jobs. That calls for a low-tax, low-regulation economy encouraging entrepreneurs to start businesses here. Good jobs for all must be our aim.

That’s far more stirring stuff. The discerning viewer will note that they say something positive about a Tory minister (probably deservedly so, Gove’s heart seems to be in the right place) and the rest is Indian Bicycle Marketing.

They pander to the widely held notion that the Tories are the party of low-tax, low-regulation, when nothing could be further from the truth. And it’s also pretty ironic that The Sun, the organ of dumbing down, should make a po-faced plea on behalf of “science and technology”.

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