Evening Post: Soft on (real) criminals

Oh to be a well paid middle-class Evening Post editor; sat moralising, judging and damning the poor to sate your middle class readers’ appetite for bigotry and vengeance.

“Have you noticed how few benefit cheats get sent to jail?”

This Post editorial (Cheats prosper, Jan 9th 2009) was the paper’s considered response to the case of master criminals Tracey and Anthony Eddolls. The Post’s report in the same edition screamed “£24k benefit scam couple spared jail” (Although the headline has been changed for the online version: A common practice by the Post where they don’t want their hysterical headlines and comments available to the world for eternity.).

The story is about a couple from Hartcliffe who were dragged off to court for benefit “fraud”. They were both found guilty of falsely claiming £24k in housing and council tax benefits over a period of six and a half years; about £300 per month.

Mrs Eddolls works part-time in a supermarket and is raising the couple’s three children. Her relationship with her husband is described as unstable; he “comes and goes as he pleases”. Basically, this sounds like a fairly typical state of affairs for millions of people in dysfunctional relationships trapped by economic circumstances.

Mrs Eddolls’ crime was to not inform the council every time her on-off husband stayed the night. Then, of course, she would have had to reapply for the benefit every time he left again. Have any of the Post’s editorial team been through the process of applying for benefits? Have any of them had to rely on benefits because of their shit wages and fucked up relationship?

If only we all lived in nice, moral, stable, cereal-packet families where Daddy goes out to work to provide for the family and earns a nice regular wage in his nine-to-five job. If only we all lived like the moral middle classes of newspaper editors’ imaginations.

But we don’t. And so Mike Norton and his Post cronies want to put this couple in prison, bang ’em up. 150 hours community service, a suspended sentence and the stress of a court case just ain’t enough for these blood thirsty shits. They want to ruin these people’s lives; ensure they’ll never get a proper job; fuck their kids up so they become dysfunctional. The Post demands vengeance.

What the fuck do they think prison would achieve? Set an example? Force people to stop being poor? Fuck off.

Have you noticed how few bankers get sent to jail?

And where are Norton and gang when it comes to the real fraudsters? Those bankers, traders and other corporate pigs who are bleeding us dry and destroying lives? What about those fraudsters and cheats, Evening Post? The ones who look like you and talk like you and went to the same public fucking schools as you? Those cheats really do prosper.

Have you noticed how few corporate killers get sent to jail?

Compare and contrast. Here’s the Post’s editorial from January 8th, the day before the frothing rant above was published (the Post’s frothing rant, not mine). The story is the death of a pensioner at the Concorde visitor attraction in Filton, Bristol. Mr Livall’s death was caused by multinational aerospace corporation Airbus (annual turnover £1.8bn) and its contractor BAC Trading Ltd who admitted installing an unsafe gantry walkway to the Concorde.

71-year old Mr Livall, a Concorde enthusiast, was killed in September 2004 after falling seven metres to his death through a gap in the gantry. The companies both admitted breaches of health and safety laws in court.

The Post report quotes the judge,

“Airbus should not have let the exhibition open without a safety assessment which would have made the risk glaringly obvious.

“They provided an unsafe structure in the first place and then handed it over to BAC, who were lulled into a false sense of security, expecting that what Airbus provided would be safe.”

The judge said the tragedy was “an accident waiting to happen” and Airbus could and should have done something about it after concerns were raised on three occasions about gaps in the gantry.”

The judge then handed Airbus (annual turnover £1.8bn) a fine of £200,000 with £58,000 costs. He also fined the group involved in running the attraction £10,000.

So, what does the Post say? Does it demand jail for those responsible for this pensioner’s death? Does it decry the injustice and the soft-touch court system? Does it ask why so few corporate killers get sent to jail?

No. The Post says that the investigation and prosecution were unnecessary. It says that Mr Livall should have accepted before he visited this attraction that there was a risk he could end up dead.

They say that a fine of £250,000 won’t make any difference to a multi-billion-pound company like Airbus, so they shouldn’t be fined at all.

Corporate killers prosper

That’s right, the Post thinks that if you are a rich corporation not only should you be able to get away with killing people, but you shouldn’t even be put through the hassle of an investigation.

Anyway, we couldn’t possibly bang corporate killers up in jail. We need the cell space for all those benefit scroungers, don’t we.


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One Response to “Evening Post: Soft on (real) criminals”

  1. westsideclimateaction Says:

    Three very different and apparently unrelated housing stories appeared in yesterday’s (22nd Jan) news. The biggest, and most worrying for most people who are feeling vulnerable to the effects of the recession, is the fact that house repossessions are up by 92 per cent in the last year, according to figures from the Financial Services Authority.

    The promise of home-ownership for the majority of people, including a large proportion of the working class has been the ruling classes’ most successful ‘divide and rule’ tactic to date. The fact that, for those people who are not all that comfortably off, home-ownership in reality means mortgages which are a struggle to keep up with in the ‘good times’, and impossible to do so in the bad, seems to be irrelevant to the psychology of those who now consider themselves ‘property owners’, but are in fact, in the main, only owners of large debts.

    Squatting of course, for many of those struggling to keep up with their mortgage repayments seems unfair: Why should these “freeloaders” get something for nothing ?

    Another of today’s housing stories was that a couple of The Duke of Westminster’s properties have been squatted. Of course, the fact that they have been empty for 20 years or so, and the injustice that property distribution is so uneven that one person can own most of the West End of London, will not be included in the undoubtedly splenetic editorials which will accompany the story.

    But how did the Duke come to own all this prime real estate, and his resulting £7 billion fortune?

    Duke – Trustafarian and heir to padeophile fortune

    Well, the story starts in 1066 when a grateful William the Conqueror grants estates (which now comprise much of the Present Dukes’ estate) in London to Geoffrey de Mandeville, for services rendered. Between then and the late 17th Century it passed through many hands, until Sir Thomas Grosvenor, an ancestor of the current Duke married the heiress Mary Davies in 1677. As London grew it was developed into the fashionable areas of Mayfair and Belgravia. So in a phrase, the current Duke did sweet fuck all to obtain his property and his fortune. Which must make him (to use a favourite “Daily Mail” phrase) the king of all “freeloaders”, not to mention the daddy of all trustafarians. In fact, you could say that his fortune is based on pedophilia since Mary Davies was only 12 years old when Sir Thomas married her!

    Those who have tried to avoid the property trap, generally come in for the most stick, like squatters and even more so – Gypsies and Travellers. Their transitory way of life forms the basis of hundreds of years of unreasoned hatred.

    While Roma are currently persecuted in Italy, it is Irish Travellers who are often the vocal point of this ceaseless prejudice in the UK. None more so than the groups of Travellers who live at Dale Farm, Basildon, Essex. Irish Travellers (and Gypsies) traditionally lived outside the property trap, either squatting land, or using land provided by law from Local Authorities.
    However, in 1994, through the Criminal Justice Act (the same act that outlawed raves, for those too young to remember) combined with new local authoriy legislation removed the ‘legal’ sites and turned those on squatted site into criminals who could be moved on constantly without need for those pesky courts. Travellers were told they should now buy their own land instead and assurances were made that they would be allowed to settle it, despite suggestions that Travellers find it difficult to secure planning permission approval.

    So, this is what they did. However, as most Travellers expected, local authorities were reluctant to give planning permission. The most openly unjust previous decision of this kind was at Woodside Caravan Park, Bedfordshire which not only owned by the people evicted but was previously a Caravan Park. Therefore the refusal of planning permission can only been seen as racist one, as the Commisson for Racial Equality suggested.

    Similarly, in Essex today the prohibition not to build on “Green Belt” land has been used against the Dale Farm Travellers. Whilst it is not in dispute that the land is within the greenbelt, the reality is that the previous use of the site was not a pristine water meadow, but a huge scrap yard, containing hundreds of car bodies. Nobody, it seems, complained during the forty years this was in operation, despite the heavy lorries and noise. Now today’s High Court Decision, which reverses a previous court decision, means that Basildon Council can evict the families of Dale Farm without having to provide any alternative places for them to go, to applause of many of the locals, not to mention the rabid local Tory MP.

    So the Duke and his ilk can sit pretty, comfortable in the knowledge that any resentment and anger resulting from the struggle to keep up with mortgage repayments, will not be be directed at them but on those even further down the ladder of this property-based and obsessed society.

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