An Observation on Benefits Street

I’m going a little off-piste for a short post today but it’s hard to ignore Channel 4′sBenefits Street at the moment. Having not watched either of the episodes of the five-part series in full so far, I’m in no position to comment on the value or otherwise of the programme, although I did a double-take at the blurb on Channel 4′s website:

This documentary series reveals the reality of life on benefits, as the residents of one of Britain’s most benefit-dependent streets invite cameras into their tight-knit community.

“Invite the cameras” – really? Did the residents know Channel 4′s intention when they offered such a kind “invitation”?

But, as I say, this isn’t a review of Benefits Street. I’ll leave that to others, but two thoughts are jostling for attention in my mind.

Firstly, as someone born in Birmingham and still living in the West Midlands, I’m fed up with the region I love taking another kicking. National coverage of this region often seems unnecessarily negative.

Secondly, wouldn’t it be refreshing if a programme about the other side of the coin, about people who care for loved ones at home at their own expense for example, was to attract as much attention as Benefits Street? These people often save the country a fortune, not to mention easing the strain on an already creaking care system.

That really would be worth watching.

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