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SALFORD PEOPLE SPEAK OUT AGAINST MEDIA STIGMA
 

Star date: 21st July 2014

BENEFIT STREETWISE SALFORD PEOPLE HIT BACK

As the ConDem Government and its media chums try to bracket everyone on benefits or in poverty as `a drain on society', a new group called NICE has got its voice and is hitting back.

Last Friday members of the group held a media briefing and panel discussion where some truths were told by those hardest hit by welfare `reforms' and Salford Council cuts. As ex-offender Tony said, "If no-one says nowt, nothing's going to change."

Full details here…


STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD
STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD
STIGMA STORIES IN SALFORD
click image to enlarge

Legendary journalist, John Pilger, is very, very good on exposing world attitudes towards what he calls `media unpeople' – victims who exist below the radar of tv, radio and print news. They're found in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Here in Britain, victims of the system are just not sexy enough for the media and remain `media unpeople', until they're targeted and the radar homes in on examples of the grotesque…in the Benefit Street mode.

Now a group of people in Salford – including a single parent, immigrants, a disabled woman and ex-addicts and offenders - are fighting back against being stigmatised and have undergone media training to tell their stories.

Last Friday, the NICE group told their stories down at the Beacon Centre in Charlestown. A dozen people took to the floor one at a time to tell of the problems they've had, the problems they face and the positive contribution they are making to the city.

There was Kay who has severe spina bifida but provides voluntary advice on disability rights. She tearfully told her tale of how Salford Council had cut her care package by 70% and the devastating impact it's had on her life.

There was Fred, described by neighbours as a `community champion', who spends hours every week cleaning his street. He's a Bedroom Tax victim who has to pay £26 a week, leaving him with just £10-£15 to buy food. And, at age sixty and suffering with arthritis and gout, he has to walk up to five miles to attend Work Programme.

There was Kasia from Poland, who speaks fluent English. She has only been able to find zero hour contract work in hotels which is impossible to do with two school age children. While Kasia is waiting to find work she's volunteering at Church Action On Poverty, which organised the session along with Oxfam.

NICE stands for Non-judgemental, Integrity, Compassion and Equality…

"It's become a project because marginalised people are basically getting sick of being stigmatised, whether you're a single parent, on the dole; whether you're part time working, or ex offender" Tony told the Salford Star

Tony is an ex offender and a campaigner for the rights of prisoners to get better support. He's helped write a handbook for them called Break The Chain and last year won a Heart of Salford award for his voluntary work.

"You're getting labelled straight away before the public even get to know who or what you are, not everyone's a waste because they've been a criminal or on benefits" he explains "I've been in the Positive Change group in Salford to show that ex-offenders can do something for the community."

Everyone in the group is incredibly open about their issues and about how authority has treated them. Greg's been out of prison for six years and is now clean of drugs…

"I'm just getting myself back normal" he says "I still have a lot of trouble with my anxieties and the group gets me seeing people and has done a lot for me - a lot more than sending me to interviews in Broughton about jobs for 15 months which I got nothing out of. They're pushing me too hard, they don't understand your health situations and things."

Greg's getting behind with Council Tax payments because the water company, United Utilities, is taking half his money off him... "I can only just survive buying my food and electric, that's the lot gone" he explains.

"I don't know much about politics but they need to listen to how people are struggling, they're getting threatened with losing their houses because they can't make ends meet" he explains "What this is about is getting it all out there so people know and hopefully someone's going to listen."

The Salford Star, which tries to give Salford's community a voice, constantly comes across fear amongst people. Fear that, somehow, speaking out will have repercussions. A dangerous state of mind in a so-called democracy. Indeed, John Pilger's concept of `media unpeople' came in a review of a stage production of George Orwell's 1984.

These top NICE people have overcome their fears and are standing up against the mainstream media's patronising, condemning, ConDem-ing attitude by giving it an option of an alternative. They are refusing to be `media unpeople'…

"If no-one says nowt, nothing's going to change" Tony explains.

Hopefully this is just the start and people are inspired to speak out against what is really happening in Britain 2014.

* After the NICE talk at the Beacon Centre, there was a panel discussion with Salford councillor Peter Wheeler, Hannah Dobrowolska (Head of Corporate Services at NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group), Julie Jarman (Church Action on Poverty) and Inspector Steve Gerrard (Salford Police).

To read the group's stories in more detail and for further information on the project – click here

Photos by Helen Clifton

Bernard Brough wrote
at 1:27:56 PM on Monday, August 4, 2014
Dave, I don't hate anybody, I'm a limp wristed tree hugger am I not? I'm afraid your one eyed subservience to your masters blinds you to what socialism is all about and this really is my last post on this subject.
 
David cameron wrote
at 6:55:23 AM on Monday, August 4, 2014
@bernard. You keep replying because you know what I say is true, you need to try to shoot me down, for which you constantly fail to do. Your socialist idea's are a thing of the past, as is socialism and this is why you keep coming back. Believe it or not Bernard, around 15-20years ago I was what you could call a socialist, hate the rich all that crap, then as life went on, I found that socialism was every bit as bent and corrupt as capitalism. I'll give you an example, salford council, which I knew someone who worked there, the socialist unions stood by whilst the council took 10-25% of people's wages off them during job evaluation and did absolutely nothing, and now those same unions are taking people out on strike for 2-3%. Where the logic, the'll strike for 2-3% but not for a 10-25% reduction in wages and also Bernard where's the strike for the people who are loosing their jobs on the buses at the council, typical unions strike for money but not for jobs, unions a waste of space.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 12:28:10 AM on Monday, August 4, 2014
The reason I keep replying Dave is that your post make me laugh, you really are a comedy genius. Though I'm not sure how using the term "white man" is being racist.
 
David cameron wrote
at 3:59:31 PM on Friday, August 1, 2014
@bernard. On the blow j*b didn't realise Bernard was short for Bernadette, if your 6'2" tall long legged blond/brunet prepared to leave your high heels on and got change of a fiver, I'm game. frustrated, yes you must be, one minute your riding round in your open top convertible listening to Gary, singing along to, do you want to be in my gang, then you hear he's got lifted for for letting little kid join his gang, so what do you do, the Gary glitter greatest hits goes in the glove compartment and out comes the greatest hits of good old clean wholesome Rolf, your sat there, driving around singing along to two little boys when he get his collar felt for showing kids his didgeridoo. But never mind Bernadette or Bernard. I'm sending a set of headphones and cd of max bygraves greatest hits, the headphones so you can carry on listening to Garry and Rolf and the max cd because I'm sure you'll be pretty safe with max. And has for not replying to me any more , you got more last posts than the Hamas military wing in gaza. Ps stop being racist, using the term white man.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 5:58:17 AM on Thursday, July 31, 2014
Dave, "you are in more dire need of a blow job than any white man in history". Relax baby, the world is not full of paedophiles and rapists. Come on really are you now comparing the sick and unemployed with Rolf Harris and Gary Glitter. This has to be a wind up. Well done, you really had us all going there.
 
David cameron wrote
at 1:23:56 AM on Thursday, July 31, 2014
@bernard. Do paedophiles and rapists deserve a second chance and if so would you volunteer to have them living next door to you, thought not. This is what being a lefty is all about, putting Vermin like Rolf Harris before the victims, this scum only got six years, the scum should die in prison, but he sits in prison, happy in the knowledge that when he gets out some limp wristed lefty like yourself Bernard will be fighting his corner to have another chance to destroy kids lives just like that other scum, Garry glitter. How many kids died using the drugs these so called ex drug dealers were dealing in, think about them not the drug dealers, one springs to mind peaches geldoff, killed by some low life drug dealer to make money , do's he deserve a second chance, then square that with the parents and family of the victim.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 12:48:34 PM on Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Just one last post Davey boy. Either you are a great wind up merchant or you are the nastiest, most bitter not to mention stupid person it has been my displeasure to come across. Now spend less time posting here and go and learn to tie your shoe laces.
 
David cameron wrote
at 11:31:45 AM on Tuesday, July 29, 2014
@sarah whitehead. These people you say deserve a second chance, do you include paedophiles and if so do you want one living next door to you, fought not, another limp wristed lefty, any where but my doorstep. You want to wipe these peoples arses, then you do it, don't expect me and the other 99% of the decent people in this country to pay for it, you put them up and you care for them, may be Bernard can give you a hand, once he's fixed his limp wrists.
 
sarah whitehead wrote
at 1:16:06 PM on Monday, July 28, 2014
As the article states these people are no longer drug dealers, drug users or criminals and many have not committed crime for over 12 years. At what point will you allow them to try and change their ways?? Or would you rather they stayed involved with the drugs and crime because people like Onion and David will not allow them to be part of mainstream society??? These are valuable people who deserve a second chance.I am a participant of the NICE group and I am not a scrounger, Salford is not a scroungers City!! Salford is a divided City with nasty narrow minded people who are lacking in compassion and empathy. Id be interested to know what Onion and David contribute to their communities??
 
David cameron wrote
at 8:46:37 AM on Sunday, July 27, 2014
Only one problem Bernard, the vast majority of people in this country think on the same lines as I do, but until recently had no one to represent them, now we have, in UKIP. It will take a couple of general election for them to get bigger, they are here to stay, remember Bernard they came second in a lot of the elections and this from basically a standing start, there still a new party. For far to long the country has listened to much to the leftwing socialist minority groups and not listened enough to the majority of decent people of this county who want a stop to the spending of our money on lowlives like drug dealers/users and thieves, the only good drug dealer is a dead one.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 4:57:58 AM on Friday, July 25, 2014
Dave I've already said in another post that I see no point in trying to discus anything with you. I can only conclude that you really are a bitter, twisted little man or that you are just trying to wind people up. I don't really care which.
 
David cameron wrote
at 1:02:20 AM on Friday, July 25, 2014
@bernard. Compassion for the people who deserve it, not drug dealers/users, not the type of criminals who target the elderly and vulnerable, I've no compassion for these low life scum, there's only one organisation to represent the victims in this country, victim support, but there are hundreds to represent the criminal scum, time society put the victims of crime first. Bernard, you keep putting criminal first, this is why they never change, because they know some leftwing, limp wristed, yogurt knitter like yourself will come wipe their arse for them when they make yet another criminal act against some other vulnerable person
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 5:56:18 AM on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
So everybody on benefits is either a criminal or a drug addict or both? You know that is not true. Don't be fooled by the nasty propaganda. As for Davey boy, he's off with the fairies in his nasty wonderland. Where the sick and unemployed are put in the stocks. I'm starting to think that this is wind up, nobody could be so devoid of compassion and basic human decency.
 
Salfordonion wrote
at 11:16:52 PM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Bernard, look at the participants then convince yourself that thi is not a reality checks stereotyping comes from fact salford is a scroungers city.
 
David camwron wrote
at 11:16:16 PM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Well said salford onion, this is the type of country we are fast becoming, where we care more for the plight of criminals than the victims, remember salford onion we have to understand the hardship of a person who's put a bar over a 80 year olds head to feed his crack habit or the drug dealer selling death to kids on the streets of salford. Really salford onion, get with the leftwing socialist programme, criminal scum come before victims when it comes to limp wristed, yogurt knitters like Bernard. People like Bernard can only see good in scum like these, till he gets a bar over his head by one of them, then he might have a different train of thought. Or maybe Bernard is one of these lefties who gets a turn on being around these criminals.
 
Bernard Brough wrote
at 3:39:58 PM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Well done Salford onion, you help illustrate the point perfectly. You fall for the nasty party's bullshit stereotyping of people on benefits.
 
will latham wrote
at 4:07:47 AM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Just getting ready to close the day off when the NICE article appeared.Best thing for many a day.Nobody enjoys being invisible.The media deal in stereotypes and stereotypes are false images.None of us fit into a mould especially a mould crafted by warped imaginations. There must be lots of considerations most of us do not take into account when we come across people whose needs and problems have not been given sufficient attention.This means we could deal with them unfairly or unsympathetically. I like the attitude of the Salford Star towards those who have suffered from neglect.
 
Salford onion wrote
at 4:07:26 AM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Unfortunately there are too many scroungers in Salford far above the national average. This story just adds to that perception. I really don't want to hear about the self inflicted hardship of drug dealers and criminals even though their tales may be sexed up by a journalist.
 
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