The Benefits Street thing is probably best left undiscussed by someone who hasn’t seen it. However, I’d like to think myself capable of a career in politics so I’ll go ahead with some vague but condescending proclamations about something I know very little about.
Channel 4, or at least the production company who made the show, seem to have almost spun it round so that the show is given credit for starting a debate about the demonisation of people on benefits. Only the conversation had been formed by the people who have the interests of people in their life. And the people who are having the conversations already had the awareness and didn’t need oversimplified narratives formed by television production companies with motivations other than social improvement above social improvement on their agenda.
That said the platform is there because people have made entertainment out of portraying people as scum…that’s not fair. Perhaps they are being portrayed as lovable rogues getting by in a difficult situation: only with occasional breaks to sell products and services to viewers.
But yeah, so the people talking about what improvements needed to be made have been saying these things anyway. And the people who are saying these people are scum were saying that anyway. They just got to say it on some current affairs debates for a few days that people weren’t watching.