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Brutality, cynicism and unequivocal incompetence

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2022 - 4:57am in

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On 21 May Anthony Albanese led the Australian Labor Party to a historic victory, winning government from opposition at an election for just the fourth time since the second world war. Labor appears set to form majority government with at least 76 seats and several seats still in doubt, taking 10 seats from the Liberal Continue reading »

Media Watch and the Election 2022

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 25/05/2022 - 4:29am in

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Media, Politics

After what has been described as a turbulent campaign, often devoid of vision, ABC’s Media Watch dissected the coverage and behaviour, and whether it swayed the final result. From live technical failures and fascinating robot whacking departure of lost seats, this episode provides an overview of the campaign and how the (Murdoch) media mis-read the Continue reading »

The Punditocracy and the Subversion of Progress

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2022 - 7:30pm in

How is the modern media environment emboldening people who want to destroy popular social justice campaigns for their own personal gain?

Political debate across the broadcast media is being destabilised by the presence of knowledge-bereft ‘personalities’, particularly drawn from the right.

Our democratic conversation has been raided by self-serving actors who use the space not as a forum for nuanced analysis, but as a means of burgeoning their personal brand. They are masters in stirring up conflict, consequently blocking the path of progress – particularly for the young.

These media personalities range from former tabloid journalists, such as Piers Morgan, to figureheads affiliated with largely failed political projects – such as Laurence Fox, founder of the Reclaim Party – to young commentators seeking their moment in the spotlight, like 19-year-old university student-turned occasional Good Morning Britain panellist Sophie Corcoran. 

Twitter is an intrinsic factor in the rise of these political personalities. A 2021 study by the Guardian found that algorithmic bias on Twitter favours right-wing politicians and personalities. This head start, alongside the clickbait-reactivity of the platform – encouraging the speedy and the sensational over the calm and the judicious – has allowed previously little-known loudmouths to gain inflated levels of public notoriety.

Fox is a classic example. The former actor and unsuccessful 2021 London Mayoral candidate told The Times in 2019 that he had been “totally radicalised” by watching YouTube videos about ‘woke culture’ and ‘political correctness’.

Since then, his standing as a political figure has mushroomed, triggered by an appearance on BBC Question Time in January 2020 and helping him to gain 300,000 Twitter followers. 

Fox is now something of a regular across mainstream broadcasting, spouting his vague anti-political-correctness agenda across the airwaves. Just last week, he appeared on the BBC's Politics Live alongside Ellie Mae O’Hagan from the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) think tank, discussing the proposed windfall tax on energy companies.

Fox’s laddy delivery, mixed with a painfully evident lack of prior knowledge, epitomises what Otto English has described in these pages as ‘politainment’ – the rise of “ridiculous diversions into colourful stories about bells and fireworks overshadowing the real issues of the day”.

A Depreciating Asset

The mainstreaming of angry, right-wing media pundits is yet another act in the UK’s long-running ‘culture war’, which pits different demographic groups against each other for cynical political purposes.

The outcome has been deeply corrosive to democracy, elevating the unevidenced ramblings of online agitators above the wisdom of certified experts. Politics has become commodified, even and especially on the BBC, which propelled Fox to stardom in the same way that it did Nigel Farage – another serial electoral loser – during the decade prior. A lack of seriousness therefore pervades modern British politics, from Downing Street to the dimly-lit studios of GB News.

Younger personalities such as Darren Grimes and Sophie Corcoran in particular seem to embody a brand of extreme cynicism. Their primary function seems to be destructive: using poorly-formed opinions and tabloid catchphrases to tear down the cause of progress. From environmental activism to racial equality movements, these commentators both undermine the young activists who represent the body of young-progressive opinion in the UK, and neuter their social causes.

The strand of thinking that aligns these personalities is the ‘war on woke’.

The word “woke” originated in the 2010s from African American vernacular, meaning to be “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination”. It has come more recently to colloquially mean awareness of a broader range of social justice issues – and has been framed in a negative context by the right.

Andrew Doyle, the GB News presenter and right-wing comedian, has recently published a book entitled, ‘The New Puritans: How the Religion of Social Justice Captured the Western World’.

Fox, Doyle and their acolytes fight against this perceived ‘woke’ enemy, without a tangible sense of who actually constitutes that enemy. As the education policy expert Sam Freedman has written – in relation to the hard-right outrage over the alleged cancelling of Shakespeare in schools (something that has not happened): “A new trend I’ve noticed, when you run out of real culture war issues, you just imagine ones that might exist in the future and fight them.”

Theirs is a perpetual battle against social justice – fighting against a contrived present world of aggressive ‘woke snowflakes’ in order to return to an imagined past.

And this has been the stated aim of right-wing upstarts in the broadcast media – notably GB News, whose co-founder Andrew Neil said that the channel would take on the woke establishment – and Talk TV, whose flagship presenter Piers Morgan used his opening night monologue to say that: “I want to issue an urgent trigger warning for all ultra-sensitive, permanently offended woke snowflakes who may have accidentally tuned into this show. You are not going to enjoy my show. It’s going to really annoy you.”

Yet, despite their continued prominence on our screens and social media platforms, the appeal of right-wing culture warriors appears to be dwindling. While posters and banners could be spotted around many of the UK’s major cities promoting Morgan’s new show, his daily viewing figures have plummeted. Last Wednesday – some three weeks after launch – just 24,000 people tuned in.

The posters in question stated “love him or hate him, you don’t want to miss him”. It has quickly been made apparent that, whatever the public’s personal opinion of Morgan, the majority did, in fact, want to miss him. And for all the attempts by professional provocateurs to stoke the culture war, perhaps the nation does value experts – and unity – after all.

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Sky News Calls On Its Viewers, All 6 Of Them To Storm The Capital

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 24/05/2022 - 7:00am in

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Niche news network Sky News Australia have called upon their viewers, all 6 of them to storm the Nation’s Capital city Canberra and protest the fall of the Morrison/Joyce/Murdoch regime.

”It’s time patriots to hit the road and show the new Government that the resistance is here,” bellowed a face painted Paul Murray. ”If Albo thinks he’s gonna pack up his craft beer and record collection and just stroll into the Lodge then he’s got another thing coming.”

”Why, with my viewership alone that’s at least 2 car loads of people ready to storm Parliament house.”

When asked why the Station was against Democracy, given the new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese won a fair election, a defiant Paul Murray screamed: ”We told people to vote for Scott and they didn’t and it’s just not fair.”

”The people of Australia need to realise that they are not in charge, we, I mean our dear Lord Rupert is in charge and what he wants he gets.

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m meeting Andy Bolt and Rita Panahi at the fancy dress shop. If I don’t hurry up one of them might pick up the Sharman costume.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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Werleman’s Worldview: The Murdoch Media’s Masterplan Didn’t Work on Australia’s Voters This Time

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 23/05/2022 - 8:52pm in

The Murdoch press' reaction to Prime Minister Scott Morrison's defeat shows that it sees itself as the media arm of Australia’s major right-wing political party, says CJ Werleman

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Millions of Australians went to the polls in the country’s federal election on Saturday to not only punish the hubris and complacency of the country’s two major political parties, but also deliver a hammer blow to the politics of right-wing populism and the global minister of propaganda who drives it – Rupert Murdoch. 

This was the election Western democracy so badly needed.

Gone is Australia’s 30th Prime Minister Scott Morrison – also known as 'Scotty from Marketing', a moniker earned because of his ties to the advertising and lobby industries.

In the end, it was his refusal to tackle the climate emergency and failures to effectively manage the Coronavirus crisis that ultimately cost him his job.

Voters hadn’t forgotten that he disappeared on holiday in Hawaii as his country battled its worst ever global warming-induced bush fires. They needed even less reminding that he failed to procure enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as the Delta variant ripped through the eastern states in September – a catastrophic failure that was exacerbated months later by a failure to procure enough testing kits as Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland reopened after months of lockdown.

Morrison was a pass-through Prime Minister who had zero policies, zero principles and zero interests in the day-to-day business of governing. He assumed office in 2018 as Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia and earned an unlikely election win the following year because of the power and persuasiveness of Murdoch’s News Corporation, which controls more than 70% of Australia’s newspaper landscape, along with its only national broadsheet – The Australian – and it’s only 24-hour cable news programme – Sky News.

There was nothing subtle about Murdoch’s efforts and strategy to win Morrison a second term. In editorial after editorial, News Corporation writers defended his conservative coalition, while attacking independent candidates in traditional right-wing constituencies, particularly where former Liberal Party members had broken away from the Morrison Government for its inaction on climate change and women’s rights.

In the final stretch of the election campaign, The Australian’s top opinion columnist Greg Sheridan wrote that “the most destructive, harmful and dangerous vote anyone can make in the forthcoming election is for a teal independent or the Greens... They are both a direct threat to our national security”.

Hardly subtle, but Murdoch’s plan ultimately failed. Voters swept Morrison’s opponent, Labour Party Leader Anthony Albanese, into power – along with an unprecedented number of newly elected independent and Green Party members.

“The singular story of election night was how News Corporation, with all its recourses and all its outlets, from newspapers to subscription TV news, couldn’t convince voters to follow its course, at least not in the numbers needed,” observed the Guardian. “Right-wing media no longer wields power as it once did.”

It was a view shared by award-winning journalist Margaret Simons, who asked whether this “could be the election in which the impotence of its [News Corporation] skewered reporting is exposed?”

Australian voters also rebuked the kind of anti-intellectual, right-wing populism long parroted and propagated by Murdoch’s cable news media organisations in Australia, the UK and US – with anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine political parties One Nation Party (ONP) and United Australia Party (UAP) receiving a far lower share of the primary vote than expected. Notably, mining magnate Clive Palmer invested $100 million in UAP adverts only to earn fewer votes than the obscure Legalise Cannabis Party. 

But as Albanese is sworn in today as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister, Rupert Murdoch’s media machinery telegraphed its mission to scuttle the newly elected progressive Government by offering baseless and hyperbolic diatribes warning of socioeconomic Armageddon. 

“Now we are faced with three years of hardcore left-wing government that will destroy the fabric of this nation," warned Sky News’ Rowan Dean. "We will see our living standards crash, our livelihoods damaged, our cultural institutions devastated, our kids' future prosperity decimated... because the conservative bedwetters [independents] betrayed their base."

Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi told viewers of the same channel: “The very first thing [Labour] said was concerned with race, identity politics, division, and this is what it’s going to be like for the next three years. So, strap yourself in. It’s going to be an interesting period.”

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Sky News’ Paul Murray said that Morrison’s loss had caused him to feel “overly emotional” – then again this is the same guy who proudly boasts that his nightly programme is devoted to “stopping the mad left”. On Sunday, he told viewers that “the resistance starts now”.

This is the Murdoch media admitting that, not only does it see itself as the media arm of Australia’s major right-wing political party, but that it is also ideologically and culturally distant from most of the Australian population – given that voters strongly repudiated the politics of right-wing populism and extremism in this election.

Through its reactionary, unthinking loud mouths, Murdoch media is urging the Liberal Party to tact further right-ward – which means more airtime for white nationalist tropes, climate change denials, transgender hate and odes to 'traditional Christian values'.

“[Former Prime Minister John] Howard kicked out most of the moderates and Morrison kicked out the rest,” said Simon Holmes à Court, founder of Climate 200 – a ​​community crowdfunded initiative established in 2019 to support pro-climate, pro-integrity and pro-gender equity candidates.

Rupert Murdoch's media is readying itself to finish off whatever remaining claims the Liberal Party had to being a responsible centre-right political party. It will fall upon Australian voters to further reject the politics of right-wing extremism in 2025.

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Cummings Exposes More Details of Boris Johnson’s Pact With Right-Wing Press Proprietors

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 19/05/2022 - 12:20am in

As the Prime Minister’s former chief aide reveals the direct line between Johnson and billionaire media moguls, Sam Bright explores how they may have shaped Government COVID policies

Fresh revelations have emerged about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cosy, corrupting relationship with the right-wing media, via his former chief aide Dominic Cummings.

Following last week’s allegation that Johnson negotiated COVID relief “bungs” directly with newspaper proprietors, without officials present, Cummings today claims that Johnson “gets direct repeated calls” from press proprietors and editors, telling him that working from home norms are “killing” the newspaper industry – and urging him to “get commuters back”.

The Daily Mail’s front page on Wednesday suggested that the Bank of England is struggling to address inflation because some staff are still working from home, while a number of other right-wing outlets have splashed on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s insistence that civil servants should return to the office full-time.

This has been a consistent campaign of Conservative-affiliated newspapers during the Coronavirus crisis. Faced with declining sales as fewer people pick up a copy on their way to work, they have regularly lobbied the Government to prematurely relax restrictions.

This has operated in public – as their front pages attest – and in private, if Cummings is to be believed.

The Government doesn’t release the minutes of meetings held between ministers and external individuals, but we do know that Johnson and his acolytes have regularly played host to senior right-wing media figures in recent years.

Indeed, the autumn of 2020 is instructive – the period when COVID case rates were rising rapidly, and the Government’s scientific advisors were urging Johnson to implement a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown.

Below is a list of all the meetings that the Prime Minister held with the representatives of right-wing media outlets from the beginning of July to the end of September 2020. As Byline Times has previously revealed, Johnson’s media meetings are overwhelmingly held with right-wing journalists, and the period outlined below is no exception.

Boris Johnson’s meetings with right-wing journalists, July to September 2020

2 July – Gary Jones and Mick Booker, the Express and the Sunday Express
7 July – Tony Gallagher, the Times
9 July – Geordie Greig, Daily Mail
13 July – Victoria Newton, the Sun
22 July – Charles Moore, the Telegraph
18 September – Rupert Murdoch, News Corp
18 September – Rebekah Brooks, News Corp
21 September – Aidan and Howard Barclay, the Telegraph
21 September – Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail
21 September – Victoria Newton, the Sun
21 September – Geordie Grieg, Daily Mail
21 September – Tony Gallagher, the Times
21 September – Chris Evans, the Telegraph
23 September – Fraser Nelson, the Spectator

Johnson also met with Tim Davie and Fran Unsworth, two senior BBC executives, on 21 September, which suggests that he was doing the media rounds. However, the fact remains that he met pretty much exclusively with right-wing publications on this date.

Alongside these meetings, we know that senior Cabinet ministers Michael Gove, Priti Patel, Rishi Sunak and Jacob Rees-Mogg all held summits with Rupert Murdoch during this period, while Gove also rubbed shoulders with Daily Mail owner Lord Rothermere.

Murdoch – who owns the Sun, the Times and TalkTV – formerly employed Gove as a journalist at the Times.

Indeed, the Government’s accord with the right-wing press goes back a number of years. Johnson himself was a former journalist at the Times, editor of the Spectator and columnist at the Telegraph – holding the latter two positions even after entering Parliament.

According to Cummings, the Prime Minister has referred to the Telegraph as his “real boss” – a fact that was seemingly confirmed when Johnson flew back from the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November, a crucial event in deciding the world’s climate change priorities, in order to attend a reunion party of Telegraph journalists at London’s prestigious Garrick Club.

“He sees his job as just to babble to the media every day,” Cummings has previously claimed.

Real Consequences

But this liaison with the billionaire press barons is not an abstract concern – it has seemingly influenced Government decisions and therefore the lives of millions of Brits.

Whereas on 31 August there were 1,406 new cases of COVID-19 logged in the UK, this figure had climbed steeply to 4,422 on Saturday 19 September. The Government’s official experts – the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) – recommended on 21 September a rapid, time-limited ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown to restrain the growth of the virus.

It said that “not acting now” would result in a “very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences”. SAGE warned that “a package of interventions will need to be adopted to prevent this exponential rise in cases” and “single interventions are unlikely to be able to reduce incidence”. At the top of its shortlist of “non-pharmaceutical interventions that should be considered for immediate introduction” was a “circuit-breaker”.

However, Johnson and his ministers failed to apply this recommendation.

Instead, the Prime Minister and his Chancellor held a meeting with three lockdown-sceptic scientists on 21 September. On the same day, two of these scientists – Professor Sunetra Gupta and Professor Carl Heneghan – had co-authored a letter, published by the Spectator, calling on the Prime Minister to “urgently rethink” his Coronavirus strategy. The letter said that Johnson’s approach, of suppressing the virus until a vaccine became available, was both “unfeasible” and would lead to “significant harm across all age groups”.

This matched the lobbying campaign mounted by the right-wing tabloids, that explicitly urged the Government against implementing another lockdown.

The Daily Express, 17 September 2020 The Daily Mail, 18 September 2020

Rather than favouring a short, sharp lockdown, Johnson spoke to the nation on 22 September and announced peripheral alterations to the Government’s rules – banning more than six people from meeting and announcing a 10 pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

Even still, however, the right-wing press accused Johnson of going too far.

The Daily Mail, 22 September 2020 The Daily Mail, 24 September The Daily Mail, 25 September 2020

A month later, by 21 October, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the UK had reached 26,687 – compared to barely 4,400 a month earlier. A new variant of the disease also emerged during this period, in mid-September, pushing daily deaths up to more than 1,000 a day by early January and forcing the country into a full-fat lockdown.

Some 180,000 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID test, while the period from November 2020 to February 2021 proved to be the deadliest phase of the pandemic.

Speaking last year to a parliamentary committee investigating the Government’s actions during the pandemic, Cummings said that he heard Boris Johnson say that he would rather “let the bodies pile high” than hit the economy again, when he was ramping up COVID restrictions in the autumn of 2020. MPs asked Cummings to prove this assertion, though no tangible evidence has yet been produced.

“He was cross with me and for others into what he regarded as basically pushing him into the first lockdown,” Cummings claimed. “His argument after that happened was literally, quote, ‘I should have been the mayor of Jaws and kept the beaches open’. That's that’s what he said on many, many occasions.”

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Sky News Polls Their Viewers, All 6 Of Them And Declares ScoMo Will Win

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 7:00am in

Niche news network Sky News Australia has released polling that they’ve done with their viewers, all 6 of them, that shows Prime Minister Scott Morrison will comfortably win this Saturday’s election.

”Our polls indicate that over 83% of our viewers plan to vote for the Morrison/Joyce/Murdoch Government,” said a Spokesperson for the network. ”Admittedly that figure means that 5 out of our 6 viewers will vote ScoMo with the other one, Fred from Gympie planning to vote for Clive.”

”But, if you extrapolate that out it will surely deliver a massive win for Morrison.”

When asked if they seriously believed that polling conducted in their little echo chamber was representative of the whole community, the Spokesperson said: ”You mean to tell me that Andy Bolt, Paul Murray or Piers Morgan don’t speak for the average man?”

”Come on, all 6 of our viewers tuned in to see Paul Murray the other night as he fellated Barnaby Joyce on live TV.”

”Now, if you’ll excuse me, Fred from Gympie needs his gutters cleaned out and he says if I don’t do it he’ll stop watching Credlin on Wednesdays.”

Mark Williamson

@MWChatShow

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I have not seen an Australia so bereft of trust in its politicians, so cynical of their motives and their promises as it is today

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 4:55am in

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Media, Politics

A strong, independent public broadcaster, with its governing board appointed at arms-length from executive government, and funded by and accountable to a healthily functioning parliament, is a gift to democracy. When Australia achieved nationhood in 1901 it had already become a land of newspapers and has retained a ubiquitous mainstream presence ever since. But for Continue reading »

Election coverage: ridiculous questions, irrelevant answers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 18/05/2022 - 4:07am in

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Media, Politics

There has been justified criticism of journalists’ fondness for gotcha questions. But there is a broader and more costly crisis in the way that election campaigns are structured and covered by media. For very good reason there has been much said recently about the role of the media in the election campaign. Special criticism has Continue reading »

New Report Challenges Media Mockery of NHS Translation Services

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/05/2022 - 11:41pm in

Public spending on translation and interpreter services was reviled by the anti-migrant media. But new figures show the real extent of spending and need, reports Sian Norris

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Spend on translation and interpretation makes up an average of 0.057% of an NHS Trust’s total expenses, Byline Times and the Byline Intelligence Team can exclusively reveal, challenging a media narrative which has previously accused the NHS of wasting money on translation services.

A new report, published by Inbox Translation and shared with this paper, found that total NHS spending on translation and interpreting services for Trusts and Health Boards in the UK was £65,962,418 in 2019/2020 – this included British Sign Language, braille and Welsh language materials.

The report authors understand there was a 20.1% drop in spending in 2020/21, based on a small set of sample data. This may be linked to the pandemic.

The Inbox Translation report was designed to put right misconceptions about translation and interpretation services in the NHS, updating data released a decade ago in the 20/20 Health Report. 

That first report was greeted with shock and horror by a British media that criticised “ridiculous” sums of money being spent on “helping immigrants who can’t speak English”.

The new report’s authors sought to challenge the media narrative that expressed outrage at money being spent on making healthcare accessible to people for whom English is not their first language. It did this by breaking down the spend on interpreters, braille and British Sign Language interpreters, and written translated materials. 

Of the money spent, they found the vast majority went on interpretation services, which made up 84.8% of the total spend. 13% of spending went on British Sign Language interpreters. In contrast, only 2.2% of the total was spent on translated materials. 

Despite this low percentage, the 20/20 Health Report had recommended that Trusts could save money on translation services by using Google Translate instead of professional services. However, this new data reveals that such a move would fail to make savings, seeing as written translations only make up a small fraction of money spent to make medical services accessible. 

This article was produced by the Byline Intelligence Team – a collaborative investigative project formed by Byline Times with The Citizens. If you would like to find out more about the Intelligence Team and how to fund its work, click on the button below.

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Challenging the Media

The 2012 report failed to separate out spending on interpreters and translated materials, leading to problems with understanding exactly what was being spent on what when it came to making healthcare accessible. Instead, the right-wing press complained that a “staggering £59,000 a day” was spent on translations across the public sector – rather than recognising that much of this money was likely used to pay interpreters.

Outraged media reports claimed money was being wasted on translating written materials for patients for whom English is not a first language. 

The Daily Express called it “ridiculous” to spend “£100 million on translators for 128 languages in six years”; while the Daily Mail referred to “shock figures”. The £100 million referred to translation spends from police, hospitals and councils. The paper led with the message: “how you pay £100 million a year to aid immigrants who can’t speak English”. 

“This is despite repeated Government attempts to save money and improve social cohesion by making new arrivals take English tests, and by telling councils not to waste money on translating leaflets”. The Government cut ESOL services – designed to teach English to migrant people – by 60% between 2010-16, reducing funding from £203 million to £90 million

The Daily Mail continued: “critics said that, at a time when budgets are being slashed by the Government, key public services can ill afford to spend millions of pounds to help immigrants who have not learned English”.

The narrative suggested that migrant people who struggled with English should somehow be penalised by the public sector.

“There were three main reasons for doing this research: lack of recent, reliable data on the topic, biased reporting from the media – which always use words like shocking, wasteful, staggering when talking about the amounts spent on translation and interpreting – and personal interest in the area of medical translation and interpreting, though all the work we do is for private companies or individuals,” said Alina Cincan, who authored the report. 

Fair and Inclusive

Despite press accusations that spending money on translation and interpretation services is “ridiculous”, ensuring people have access to healthcare is a human rights issue.

Translations and interpreters help to create fair and accessible public services so that everyone can get the information and treatment they need when they are sick. 

Research published in the Oman Medical Health Journal into language barriers and healthcare found that “language barriers are responsible for reducing the satisfaction of medical providers and patients, as well as the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety”. This causes health disparities in patient outcomes.

Little wonder then that 2015 data from the Office for National Statistics found that poor levels of English led to poor health – only two-thirds (65%) of people who could not speak English well or at all were in good health, compared with nearly nine in 10 (88%) who could speak English very well or well. The researchers suggested this “may be due to lower proficiency in English making it difficult for people to access suitable healthcare, which may have a longer term impact on health”.

As such, making healthcare accessible to non-English speakers is vital to ensuring equity in health outcomes, no matter what someone’s first language is. 

“A person's health should never be put at risk by asking someone untrained to interpret,” Cincan said. “Family and friends may not understand or know the correct terminology, and they also may be tempted to gloss over or even omit some unpleasant details in order not to cause upset. Having professionals handle this is, plain and simple, vital, nothing more and nothing less. When people's lives are at stake, no risk is worth taking”.

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