Sunday, September 07, 2008

The government should not

Headlines that should not even need to be written:

The government should not look to Jeremy Kyle for answers.

It could be part of a series. The government should not drink bleach; the government should not base its economic strategy on the belief that something will turn up; the government should not go into that tiger's cage with a packet of Whiskas saying 'here, puss, puss'; the Government should not expect sympathy when it is taken to hospital with a vacuum cleaner shoved up its arse claiming that it slipped while doing the housework in the buff.

Okay it has – kinda, metaphorically – done all these things already. But one really should draw the line at Jeremy Kyle. His audience may have a higher than average proportion of hopeless deadbeats, but many of them would not be foolish enough to look to the man for answers.

As the Observer helpfully reports elsewhere in its a pages a government agency, Learndirect, had sponsored the show to the tune of £500.000 a year until it noticed rather belatedly that the show was a little exploitative. Let's lay aside the justifiable suspicion that this apparent obsession with spending public money on Jeremy Kyle is based on the lazy, asinine and patronising idea that a man who is watched by so many feckless layabouts is the very man to hector said layabouts into changing their ways. Instead, let's remind ourselves of another bit of sound advice that really should not need to be pointed out at all.

The government should not, if it feels the need to waste public money on humiliating pieces of idiocy, trumpet this idiocy as part of its plans to turn around its fortunes.

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