a Quick Look At The Papers

As you may be aware, I recently spent six weeks on the other side of the world in New Zealand, a trip that both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed, although the flights involved were tedious and tiring in about equal measure. But it’s interesting to get back and see what is making the news here and in the UK. The difference is really quite striking; whether it has any deeper significance or not, I cannot say. In Spain the general consensus in the media and among people talking generally, is that all politicians are corrupt, along with a large proportion of top-level executives in industry and commerce. Every day the papers publish the latest twists and turns in one scandal or another. These matters are not easy for a foreigner to follow, since each of them is know by a name, usually the name of one of those implicated, and this gives the Spanish reader more than enough background to allow them to follow the story without detailed explanations. Names like Nóos, Bankia, Malaya, Bárcenas, among others. The British press on the other hand, appears obsessed with sex abuse, Rochdale, Oxford Jimmy Saville, Cyril Smith, Bryn Estin Children’s Homes, primarily but not exclusively concerning the abuse of children below the age of consent. As a psychologist I am deeply suspicious of racial stereotypes, and as an old cynic I’m inclined to think that we are looking here not so much at a difference in behaviour by those in positions of power, as at a different preoccupation on the part of the media readership.

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