Humiliated and Embarrassed

For decades The Sun has paid its rent by demonising the unemployed. Whenever it feels the need, it labels them as layabouts, scroungers, and generally does what it can to ensure that anyone not in work feels humiliated and embarrassed by their misfortune.
So it is hardly surprising that someone raised in that culture, and unable to find work, should feel like a worthless loser. Especially if they were a sensitive, intelligent young person who had worked hard at school, and who expected some return for that effort and commitment.
And today the Sun splashes that one young woman felt humiliated and embarrassed enough to kill herself. On the day after official figures report a rise in unemployment, which naturally makes the government look bad – in the middle of an election campaign which has seen the shine taken off the Sun’s candidate.
So what looks like an expression of sympathy for a
bereaved family is in fact nothing more than a cynical exploitation of her tragedy for political ends. ‘Brainy girl’ Vicky Harrison will not have died in vain if she can help get David Cameron elected. What parent could wish for a fitter memorial for their child?
It would be an interesting exercise to wade through the Sun’s archive to find a similar report on one of the many suicides caused directly by Margaret Thatcher’s sabotage of the mining industry. Or even among the 3 million dumped on the dole by her mad Utopian experiment. And especially today, it would be very interesting to have access to the Wapping darkroom store for images of the police thugs who killed Blair Peach.
Every government deserves a kicking for rises in unemployment. But the unemployed do not deserve to be made to feel like scum and blamed for economic forces beyond their control. This does not make them Get On Their Bikes, but it definitely drives some of them to kill themselves.
But this suits the Sun perfe
ctly. It humiliates and embarrasses the unemployed and stigmatises unemployment itself as a personal failing. The Sun demonises the unemployed and benefits from every unemployed person it drives to suicide , just as it benefits from every gullible recruit to the army it kills by glorifying war.
It makes money from generating contempt, then is rewarded by the resulting tragic stor
ies. And if those accounts can be used to further Rupert Murdoch’s political ambitions, so much the better.

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