From the Guardian:
- The government is in talks with ITV about spending almost half a million pounds on a television series aimed at getting people off benefits and back to work, fronted by Jeremy Kyle, the controversial talk show host.
A decision to approve a series presented by Kyle, Britain's chief practitioner of so-called 'car crash television', would raise questions about the government's judgment coming after several recent high-profile court cases that raised criticism of his show's confrontational style.
Raise questions about their judgment? That's a polite way of putting it! Has the Home Affairs Editor at el Grauniad ever actually *seen* the king of pitbulls in action? Judge Alan Berg didn't call the show 'human bear baiting' without due cause, you know. I am ashamed to admit that as an unemployed lemming, early last year, I watched rather a lot of daytime television, and particularly Jeremy Kyle. I found myself repulsed yet unable to look away as he tore into downtrodden, depressed people. I also found myself astonished that every weekday he managed to line up yet another two or three families (in Britain!) who were prepared not only to air their dirty laundry in public but also to take his particularly cruel brand of verbal flagellation and public humiliation for fifteen minutes or so in return for dubious favours such as free-of-charge lie detector tests for their partners and DNA tests on their children.
Yes, I can agree that the chronically unemployed need more help in accessing the assistance to return to the workplace that is available, and more information on benefits. But I cannot believe this has even been mooted as a way to do that, let alone reached the stage of talks with the television company and press reportage.
Back on November 21st 2007, I was watching Prime Minister's Questions and I wrote the following on my personal LiveJournal:
- David Cameron has been watching Jeremy Kyle for tips and hints on how to conduct himself at PMQs!
"To try to blame the opposition is frankly pathetic! What the people want from their prime minister on a day like today is for him to stand up, broad shouldered, like a big man and take responsibility!"
So when the next election rolls around we now have a choice between Jeremy Kyle in partnership with government, or a Jeremy Kyle imitator in Number Ten. Never has there been a more compelling argument for everyone in the country to vote Liberal Democrat.