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Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Selling Newspapers to the Great British Public

The popular taste has again been demonstrated on a massive scale: the upcoming royal wedding has dominated all but one newspaper for the past few days. The Grauinad  has equally pandered to its constituency by keeping the news off its front page. The rest of the press has at least had large photoshoots, and some papers have had multipage pull-out supplements. The papers would not do this unless they were sure that the public wanted it.

The recent announcement of a National Industrial Strategy has stimulated rather bored comment from industrial and business correspondents, largely emphasising that there is little new thinking in the large document; and very little new money from the government to give effect to the strategy. One of the saddest aspects of the strategy is that it is an 'industrial' strategy: while above all the UK needs a new Economic Strategy.

The Thatcher era created millions of hereditary paupers who, in the past decade have been steered into low-paid jobs that achieve low productivity while the 'workers' receive subsidies in the form of state benefits to maintain their modest standard of living. This is not a sustainable system - but it is not addressed in the strategy.

Nor does the strategy address the key issues of the century: climate change , the supply and salubrity of water and the availability of food [both on a global scale and in the sad little world of an economically isolated United Kingdom].

No wonder the redtop tabloids have had little time for this latest effusion of governmental thinking-in-the-box.

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