Burying bad news? The stories you might have missed…
This morning news broke that David Cameron had chosen to axe two members of his “vanity staff” after he reversed his decision to employ a personal photographer and camerawoman at the taxpayers’ expense. In a difficult economic climate, it is perhaps heartening to hear that Cameron has found both members of staff alternative employment – at CCHQ. Both will now be employed (once again) by the Conservative Party.
Whilst in ordinary circumstances this abrupt and swift u-turn from the Prime Minister might have been expected to make the front pages of tomorrow’s newspapers, the news that swiftly followed Cameron’s decision meant that tomorrow headlines (and indeed, all of today’s rolling news coverage) will be dominated by the upcoming royal wedding. Early reports suggested that the Prime Minister may have learned about the wedding announcement prior to the announcement about his sacked snapper, but No. 10 later denied that these reports were true. Nearly a decade ago, spin doctor Jo Moore resigned after an email was leaked that appeared to suggest releasing bad news on 9/11, so that it would be overlooked by the media.
Whilst there is nothing to suggest that anything similar has occurred on this occasion, there are certainly a number of announcements that have been made today that might have made tomorrow’s front pages were it not for wall to wall royal coverage. Even the announcement that former Guantanamo Bay prisoners will receive payments from the government (in return for dropping claims that British secret agents knew they were being tortured) will struggle to break the Will/Kate monopoly of press coverage.
This afternoon, we’ve scoured the internet – with the aid of many helpful people on twitter – to bring you the news stories that might have been deemed important on any other day:·
- Children’s centres in deprived areas will no longer be obliged to offer full daycare or hire staff with both Qualified Teacher and Early Years Professional status – Children’s minister Sarah Teather announced today at the Daycare Trust conference.
- Aimhigher, the national programme to get working-class youngsters into England’s universities, is set to be axed by the government – at the same time as fees for university students are trebled.
- 3000 jobs are set to be cut from the Greater Manchester Police Force, representing a 23 per cent cut in the workforce over the next four years – contrary to promises to protect frontline services.
Of course the internet makes it much more difficult for these stories to be buried, and also enables stories released during busy news cycles to be dredged back up at a later date. But the axing of a 3000 police jobs in a single authority, a national programme to improve university access (at a time when such measures are particularly important) and the downgrading of children’s centres could all have been front page news stories.
Thanks to the media obsession with the royal family, and some skillful media management/convenient scheduling of announcements, these cuts will be overlooked, when they should be significant news stories.
Oh, and Vince Cable will be appearing on Strictly Come Dancing at Christmas. Oh dear…cameron, conservatives, royal wedding
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