[mediawatch] Fundamentally Decent Citizens

So on Wednesday there was a protest at Parliament about the bill to ban fox hunting. Quite apart from the issue at hand, it has been disturbing to see how it was covered.
There has been a lot of comment about the protest. Ten to twenty thousand people were involved and it turned nasty, with some violence and blood flowing. Most importantly (in the eyes of the press) a bunch of protestors breached the House of Commons.
Luckily for all, these protestors were fundamentally decent citizens who have been treated appallingly and are sticking up for themselves. In fact, here are some fawning profiles of these brave citizens.
(Trust me, it was worse in the print media – loads of snazzy photos of handsome young men looking upstanding, with royals in shot if possible.)
Hmm. I seem to detect a slightly different flavour to the coverage of this protest than that accorded a certain other protest in recent memory. That one against the Iraq war?
It almost makes one suspect that, here in the UK, there are unresolved issues of class.

2 thoughts on “[mediawatch] Fundamentally Decent Citizens”

  1. The issue of the hunting ban was discussed this last week on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? I appreciated the panels view that the fox hunting issue is perhaps one of the least urgent in terms of animal rights. It was suggested that intensive farming practices for instance remain possibly the greatest and most widespread transgression of the humane treatment of animals, not to mention being one of the best economic reasons for vegetarianism. NOnetheless the hunting debate has clearly found its place in public discourse as a powerful symbolic issue. Political pragmatists will also note the timing of the vote- an election-time sop for the liberals? -as well as some of the abstaining Members, notably the PM and many of his senior ministers.
    Another question raised on the show was Kofi Annan’s recent and definitive labelling of the Iraq invasion as illegal. The panel was asked what difference this statement may have made if it had been made prior to the war. I actually thought it had been – but apparently not? Can any of you clear this up for me? Morgue?
    If you have the time give Any Questions? a listen. The panel was a good one this last week. David Starkey is interesting and Tony Benn, as always, is full of humour and insight. Its this kind of British media that I enjoy and continue to enjoy through the wonders of the WWW. THe show should be on this link until Friday.

  2. Given all that is going on in the world at the moment, wars, famine, large scale ecological disasters… poverty, homelessness and near-slave labour in Britain even… it seemed odd to me that fox-hunting and GM food seem to be the issues that most concern the British public.
    Frankly, I think protesting for the right(?) to pursue an animal with a pack of hounds and watch while they rip it into a bloddy rag shows a singular lack of decency, but on the scale of appalling crimes being committed by humans at the moment, it barely even rates. As a NZer I can understand that there’s a need to cull or eradicate certain animals (mice rats, possums, deer, gypsy moths, mosquitoes, even hedgehogs and horses) when populations get out of hand. I don’t understand why this can’t be done by humane methods, but hey.
    In terms of class issues… its probably best if I don’t start!

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