Sunday, June 18, 2006

You know, I don't believe there's a "liberal elite"...

... but some things really do give you pause.

I give you a story from today's Observer. The first thing you will notice is that it's absolutely enormous: it spreads across 3 pages in the main paper. The second thing is that it's about a journalist called Urmee Khan, orgininally from Reigate, who went to live in Beeston, Leeds (home of two of the 7/7 bombers) for a month. She's Muslim, and so are most of the inhabitants of Beeston.

So... was she going to interview locals about the bombers, to get an idea of what they were like? No. Perhaps she was going to perform some secret undercover mission to see if she could find a terrorist network? No.

No, what the whole article is about, is how Beeston is full of normal people. She tells us, at the end of her month:

"In Beeston I found kind, decent people: young mums, bored kids, community cohesion, an interfaith set-up which was the pride of northern England. I came looking for mullahs bent on destruction. All I found was mothers."

What, really Urmee? A working class district of Leeds actually has people in it who are just as nice as mummy and daddy's neighbours in Surrey? Wow, Pulitzer for you, I'll sign the nomination papers myself.

Next week in your leaves-no-stone-unturned Observer, we send another person to another suburb, where they find some more nice people. Hey, I could really get the hang of this investigative journalism lark.

Seriously though, what I want to know, is who on earth that story is news to? All over the country, people of all colours, in all states of affluence and poverty, try to get on with their lives as best they can. And if the Observer thinks it's going to come as any surprise to its readers that this is the case, then maybe there's something in this "liberal elite" gubbins after all.

But let's hope not, eh?


Blogger Renegade Eye said...

I'm really happy hard hitting expose' is returning to journalism.

7:07 PM  

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