If confirmation were needed that establishment media is fundamentally broken, no finer example could be found than the latest outburst from self-promotion specialist Julia Hartley Brewer, frequently invited to perform her poorly-informed punditry by broadcasters who really ought to know better. The revealing meltdown happened on Ms Hartley Dooda’s TalkRADIO show during an exchange with Labour MP Liam Byrne.
We know who you are, thanks
“Food bank usage in Birmingham is up 12%, but many of the people they’re seeing are people in jobs” told Byrne. But what the Birmingham Hodge Hill MP should have known was that Ms Hartley Dooda knew far more than him about the subject.
“That’s the second time you’ve said that Liam. This is [an] ongoing thing, ‘this is terrible, the working poor’. They’re not working in the same way that most people think of people working. The people who are going to food banks because they can’t make ends meet even though they’ve got a job, between a couple, they’re working three days a week, what they’re legally required to do to [be] entitled to various benefits”.
Liam Byrne MP
See, she knew all about it. And, sadly, there was more. Rather a lot more. “They’re not working a full day … they’re not doing a full week’s work then not being able to pay their bills … because people working in benefits offices have told me [Byrne tries to get a word in edgeways] Liam, Liam, there are people who don’t take full time work because they’d rather be on benefits”. Bryne countered that this was “utter nonsense”.
Ms Hartley Dooda was having none of that. “I know people personally who have done that”. Byrne tried to reason with her and discuss restructuring the economy, without realising that she had made the decision that she knew better. “Liam, you know perfectly well that less than 2% of … Liam, Liam, I’m speaking … less than 2% of people in this country are on zero hours contracts … a tiny percentage”.
She then ordered Byrne to be cut off so she could listen to deeply unpleasant Tory MP Ben Bradley instead. But let’s pick the bones out of that. Ms Hartley Dooda ponied up no evidence, other than “people working in benefits offices have told me”, to counter Byrne’s worries about increased food bank usage. She infers that no-one in full time employment has problems making ends meet, merely those “on benefits”.
This is the kind of hearsay that would get laughed out of any court, and indeed out of any newspaper at the quality end of the spectrum (well, apart from the Telegraph and Times, perhaps). Worse, 2% of the workforce being on zero hours contracts - that’s around 650,000 people. And that is before considering the self-employed in the so-called “gig economy”, many of whom are putting in a full week for less than the minimum wage.
Poverty is a subject which deserves proper, reasoned debate. Instead, we get the likes of Julia Hartley Dooda using it as a way to promote Herself Personally Now. Her wilful ignorance of reality is bad enough, but worse is that broadcasters and tabloid editors are prepared to indulge her. Now you know why the establishment media is broken.
To solve a problem, it has to be admitted that the problem exists. Poverty is one of those problems; its reporting, or lack of it, is another. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Help me out here......Which national newspapers are considered "quality"?
Long ago when I worked in a benefits office, you had to sign the Official Secrets Act to say you wouldn't go blabbing information about claimants like what Ms Dooda imparts to anyone, let alone her! I wonder if that is still the case?
Yes Mark, it's still the case.
Another thing you hear is people with neighbours that have a couple of holidays a year, an enormous TV, always eating out etc. and they are on benefits. When someone says that to me I always ask them how they have such intimate knowledge of these persons finances and if they think they on the fiddle why not report them? That usually shuts them up.
@Ann, thanks for clarifying! So Little Miss Dooda was effectively a step away here from getting a civil servant the boot for breaking official secrets if she'd have named him/her. Of course, because she's talking such complete and utter bollocks you have to take it with a pinch of salt, but even so, her stupidity on both levels is staggering.
Does she not consider the fact that many people are working p/t because f/t jobs are especially hard to come by?
"less than 2% of people in this country are on zero hours contracts … a tiny percentage”.
That's less than [tappity tap] 1.3 million people. Not worth worrying about. And probably not even Tory voters.
liam byrne speaking up on behalf of those using foodbanks, like he sympathises with them?
My arse. I'll just leave this here. THIS is what you need to know about liam effin' byrne.
Arnold at 10:28.
Yes, but did Dooda mean 2% of the total population or 2% of those of working age*? If it's the latter there are obvious implications......
*Not that Dooda would actually know the difference.
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