Friday, May 14, 2010

Tonight show stitch-up

Following Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas’s courageous self-outing there is an interesting television documentary to be made about the reasons that professional sport lags behind the rest of society in its toleration of homosexuality. Unfortunately, last night’s Tonight programme, Afraid to be Gay wasn’t it. The ITV show instead attempted to prove that society is still intolerant of homosexuals by using precisely the same disingenuous tactic employed by Panorama to prove that Britain is still racist.

They took a couple of pretty gays, dressed them in tweedy boyband suits and Jedward haircuts and with hidden cameras followed them parading about the streets holding hands and snogging, until they had collected enough footage of name-calling from male teenagers to ‘shock’ us. The ITV producers performed this stunt not in London or another metropolis where the sight of a gay couple wouldn’t raise a single eyebrow; but in Wigan town centre, carefully selected for being a chav hotbed. In other words, they went fishing for idiots in a pond swarming with them and, not surprisingly, they caught a few. In Wigan town centre, merely sporting spectacles and wearing anything other than trackie bottoms and a crew cut will be more than sufficient to elicit name-calling from teenage male chavs; the snogging was quite unnecessary.

The treatment of the lost British white underclass is a national disgrace. Ignored by the political class, especially Labour which should be its champion, it has been left to stew and turn septic in a hopeless, inescapable swamp of welfare dependency and lawlessness. I hope this is what Cameron-Clegg mean when they talk about ‘deep social problems’. The chav-fishing method employed by Panorama and now Tonight says precisely nothing about our national attitude to race and sexual orientation – which by any reasonable comparison either to previous decades or to other nations, is exceptionally tolerant – but everything about the media class’s attitude to the white poor. They are either exploited and dehumanised by Jeremy Kyle or vilified by the London hipsters for hate crimes, and every year the chasm between the underclass and the rest of us widens, and the prospect of any particular poor boy or girl successfully leaping it diminishes.


malty said...

Ignored by the political class, especially Labour which should be its champion, it has been left to stew and turn septic in a hopeless, inescapable swamp of welfare dependency and lawlessness. Or Liverpool as it's sometimes known.
Were I Davick one of the first priorities would be to bulldoze the BBC and C4 into the ground.

Willard said...

LOL. Yes, I can't think of any town in the North West where that would be less appropriate. I only live about five miles away from Wigan and it's a different world. You head that way and it's like you cross an invisible border where the accents before extremely strong.

That said, Wigan people tend to be extremely generous. Sure, lots of chavs but astonishing kindness too.

Willard said...

'before' should have been 'become'. Sorry.

Brit said...

I know W - half my family is from Wigan or St Helens. Just as the Panorama programme didn't represent Southmeaders, never mind Bristolians or, as the producers implied, Britons; the Tonight show didn't even represent Wiganers.

worm said...

'documentary in lazy one-sided sensationalism shock!'

one of the reasons why I dont watch TV!

malty said...

Over at Bryans shack he expresses amazement at the voting habits of certain sections, here you have the root cause of the problem. Those areas most in need of therapy are the very ones who keep in power their tormentors. South Shields is a classic example, a town that has never left the nineteen forties, ran locally using the old socialist model, bad housing, hospitals and local services, industry virtually non existent, it has noticeably deteriorated in the last forty years. The ballot papers might as well be pre printed with a cross in the labour candidates box, as we know, it is not unique.
Asked why and you are told "vote Tory? the Liberals? never, we've voted labour all of our lives." When pointed out that these lives may be shorter than other parts they just shrug.

Willard said...

Sorry if my comment sounded a bit like reverse snobbery, Brit. Wasn't intended like that.

I just wish I'd seen the programme. I can't think of a better place to get a reaction. I think there's a difference between people with genuine hatred and what I think you'd get around here which is an abundance of common sense, the love of stating the obvious bluntly, and a delight in not having that cosmopolitan sophistication.