Friday, November 14, 2008

The Numbers speak for themselves

The nagging thought that people in this country have their priorities wrong seemed to be confirmed by two stories in the newspaper yesterday.

Very different stories, but both involving the outraged public using online petitions to voice their concerns.

The story of baby P, perhaps the most harrowing disturbing story to hit the news in a long time. Something went terribly wrong with the system so social services failed to step in to prevent the awful abuse that led to the child's death.

5,000 people have signed a petition demanding an inquiry into how this happened.

The story of X Factor Contestant Laura, perhaps the most inane story to hit the news in a long time (or since something similar happened). Something went terribly wrong with the system so the wrong person was kicked off the television "talent" show.

50,000 people have signed a petition demanding an inquiry into how this happened.

9 comments:

Hotter Than... said...

Dear God!

I'm so stunned I can't actually write anything except to say what is the matter with some people? People who have the same rights to breed and vote as me.

Mellifluous Dark said...

I think the numbers making a stand about Baby Peter's death are soaring now – thank God. The case might give people a sense of perspective, with a bit of luck.

SandDancer said...

Yes, I heard on the news that they were higher now, although the X Factor figures may also have gone up in the last 24 hours.

M said...

More proof of the 'dumbing down' of society by television. And not just our intelligence but also our our priorities, values and morals. What a shame, because it had such potential. Given what's on it, I can't help but think we'd all be better off by just shutting it off...for good.

Claire said...

I agree that the numbers you cite seem indicative of very different sets of priorities, but the stories did break at different times - the X Factor on Sat night and the Baby P story at the start of the week which might partially account for different statistics.

I can't imagine anyone with an ounce of humanity really thinking that a reality show result is more important or worthy of action than a horrendous child abuse case like the current one, even The Sun readers who probably voted in the online petitions. I watch the X Factor and felt sorry for the girl that got kicked off as it seemed rather unjust in the circumstances, but I was also absolutely horrified at the unfolding Baby P case. I haven't lost my sense of perspective, they're just different cases.

I also disagree with the generalisation made by M - I certainly don't feel my intelligence, morals, priorities or values have been dumbed down by watching TV, as they are shaped by a wider set of influences than just TV. There may be crap light entertainment shows on, but there are also good documentaries and news programmes.

Claire said...

PS... not sure whether my above comment sounds like a rant, but it's not intended as such. I guess I live in hope that a larger proportion of the population of this country is less morally bankrupt than your post suggested and has a sense of injustice that is proportionate to the circumstances.

SandDancer said...

Claire - I don't mind the existence of light entertainment but I was mainly struck by the way the newspaper reported the stories in a similar way as if there wasn't a difference. The media is probably as much at fault here as the population.

I agree that there is some great intelligent stuff on television too, but it isn't those programmes that people become obsessed with to the exclusion of other more important things.

SandDancer said...

Claire - I don't mind the existence of light entertainment but I was mainly struck by the way the newspaper reported the stories in a similar way as if there wasn't a difference. The media is probably as much at fault here as the population.

I agree that there is some great intelligent stuff on television too, but it isn't those programmes that people become obsessed with to the exclusion of other more important things.

Roses said...

I was pretty gobsmacked when I read your post. I'm with you on this one - I think it's not a good reflection of the society in which we live.