Saturday 19 May 2012

The Public's cheese and whine party

The Metro is one of these papers that I, and doubtless many other people, read for one simple reason - it's available free on the buses. I certainly wouldn't pay for it, as its politics are horrendously right wing. And they plumbed new depths on Wednesday 16th May, with an article about the closure of The Public nightclub which made up for in vicious scapegoating what it lacked in accuracy ...

To start with, it's very convenient for the Metro to bring the Royals into the story, at a time then the mainstream media have been fawning over the Royal family and too many people have bought into the pro-Royal hype. As it approaches, the Jubilee is already starting to feel like an anti-rabies injection - long and drawn out, excrutiating and absolutely inescapable !!!

Yet, for better or for worse, the closure of Public had nothing to do with 'Toff haters'. The article admits people had "complained about people fighting, being sick, urinating and swearing in the street outside" - the kind of anti-social behaviour which, understandably, attracts complaints in a very much un-posh, post-industrial village like Clowne!

Then the article takes a tone bordering dangerously on being disablist, when it implies that people with disabilities were killjoys whose complaints led to Public's closure. Well, I - and the vast majority of people with disabilities - have no problem with able-bodied people having fun, conditional upon the 'fun' not being at the expense of people with disabilities or any other oppressed minority. Besides, many night clubs nowadays are accessible to people with disabilities, and there is a thriving art of wheelchair dancing - both positive effects of the inclusivity which right wingers bemoan as 'political correctness' (whether 'gone mad' or otherwise).

Then there's the comment which would be hilarious if it wasn't so toxic: "If someone with a disability complains, it has ten times the weight of an able-bodied person’s complaint." Yeah, right. In the same parallel universe, the sky is orange with purple dots, Cameron is the most popular prime minister ever, Atos Healthcare are in charge of Army recruitment, and we're all listening to the current number one hit ("Those Were The Days Of Our Lives" by Eminem feat Michael Jackson) on cylindrical CD's :P

At the end of the day, the council didn't actually shut Public down anyway, the owners decided to do that for whatever reason. What the council did was cut the permitted opening times, so Public could only open until midnight, instead of 2:30 am. Considering some of their clientele were acting in a way which would get working class people decried as 'chavs', it could be argued that Public actually got off lightly.

Ah well, they would probably argue, it is an irresponsible minority of customers who are being anti-social and spoiling it for everyone else. They may well have a point there. But the same is also true in many other cases; when pubs and clubs are forced to stop under-18s nights or stop admitting young people, due to anti-social behaviour or even just 'under age' drinking, you never see the mainstream press up in arms about freedom to have fun!

But why let the truth get in the way of a good story? Especially one which helps brainwash people into prejudice against people with disabilities, at a time when the government, supported by the capitalist Establishment, have declared war on disability benefits, Remploy, and many important services for people with disabilities.

Not that we can really expect any better from the Metro, which is run by the same company as the Mail - the same Mail that, in the 1930's, supported the British Union of Fascists with the headline "Hurrah for the Blackshirts" :/

For news from a working class viewpoint, which supports unity across the class - not the scapegoating of minorities - you are best off reading the Socialist Worker. This is free to read online, and paper copies can be bought in many large towns and cities on Saturday mornings. You may even wish to join the SWP, and help us sell our paper and get the truth across to a wider layer of people.

Socialist Worker is your paper - Buy it, read it, sell it!

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