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Jun
2015
Tuesday 2nd
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

SOCIAL realism pioneer Ken Loach has branded a new benefit-bashing BBC show “fascist TV.”

“Poverty porn” show Britain’s Hardest Grafter will see benefit claimants and those earning poverty wages compete in a series of workplace tasks.

By yesterday evening over 24,000 people had signed an online petition calling for the show to be axed and newly elected left-wing Labour MP Louise Haigh said the programme would pit the poor against each other for pure voyeurism.

“I am uneasy about middle-class BBC executives finally giving up on any pretence they serve the public interest and instead rushing to become part of a steady demonisation of working-class people,” she wrote in a blog for the Huffington Post.

“There’s a nastiness about programmes that seek to divide people into the deserving and undeserving poor.”

Contestants will be eliminated in the style of hit pro-business show The Apprentice, but only to win a paltry cash prize of £15,000 — equivalent to a year’s living wage outside of London.

Britain’s Hardest Grafter has been described as a cross between Channel 4’s notorious show Benefits Street and the violent Hunger Games film series, in which destitute kids fight to the death.

Mr Loach, who made his name directing for the BBC’s Wednesday Play series, said: “It’s fascist TV where poverty is seen as entertainment.

We have “BBC programmes targeting the poorest people.

“It shows the depths to which our public sector has sunk.”

The BBC has said that the show is a “current affairs commission” and that criticism had been based on a “misinterpretation” of events.

But one former BBC staffer told the Star that the decision to make the programme reflected the BBC’s increasing reluctance to fund serious fare.

“All these cheap quiz programmes don’t cost them a penny,” he said. “That’s why they do it: quiz shows, talk shows, nature.”

Ms Haigh said that the BBC risked losing its integrity as a public-service broadcaster if it aired the show.

“With our media dominated by right-wing outlets, it isn’t hard to find content that attacks those at the bottom of society,” she added.




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