#Orwell Prize: othering our fellow citizens

When will the educated in this country stop treating poor people like an insect under the microscope?

And I use the singular advisedly!

Yesterday evening the Orwell Prize shortlist was announced at a drinks reception at Westminster College in London. There was a wide diversity of journos there, including visitors from India.

While we held our breath for the shortlist, Stephen Armstrong (@roadtowigan) spoke about his #Unreported Britain series published @theguardian.

One story was that one in five people don’t have access to broadband. Another was that in Paisley a lot of people don’t go to the dentist, for fear of having to pay charges.

A man in a smart white shirt stood up and shouted (with authority, because he grew up on a council estate in South Wales) that lots of men are scared to go to the dentist anyway and people on council estates in Paisley don’t need anyone’s pity.

At which Stephen @roadtowigan hastily denied feeling any pity, only admiration for people’s courage and community in the face of adversity.


1: Not going to the dentist ain’t a story in Paisley. So why is it a story for the Guardian?

2: Why the f**** can’t both Guardian journos and readers alike put 2 and 2 together and work out that lots of people, especially poorer people, won’t have computers or internet phones? Why is that news to them?

3: ie Whence this carefully crafted ignorance leading to a carefully crafted innocence? – which is in itself surely a designer item akin to the real Gucci handbag or having one of the first iphones?


The Nice Lady, by Asbjorn Gundersen, in Adventures in Tory Land

The Nice Lady, by Asbjorn Gundersen, in Adventures in Tory Land

To buy Adventures in Tory Land by Katie Barron, click here: http://amzn.to/1GpXY1F


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