Keep talking

February 16, 2014

It saddens me when people share links to outrageous stories as if they were pure fact when I can spend two minutes googling up facts which take all the air out of said story.

Case in point: this Daily mail article claiming benefit tourism is real.

I am not sure when it became pronounced, but nowadays I am aware that I have become very jaded when it comes to news and information of any kind. I always assume that there are more sides to a story, that facts have been accidentally or purposefully twisted along one or more lines of bias. This has gone so far that my initial reaction to any sensational headline or sharp call to action is actually "no, they're wrong", followed by reading and thinking.

When it comes to issues around equality, immigration, racism and the like I have found an entertaining outlet: when I read some fear mongering I can get something good out of it by taking the extreme opposite position in my mind and arguing for it. Sadly, these positions often end up looking like a very desirable world, especially when compared to the one the stories are trying to present.

So, this Daily mail article states that people are actively coming to Great Britain to live off of generous benefits? I find the statement dubious to say the least, but let's get to the fun part. Taken as true, it means Britain has managed to become the United States of old: a land of new opportunities, riches and fresh starts. We should adopt this in seconds! With our ageing populations, the thing we desperately need - in Sweden as well as most of the rest of western Europe - are more young people. The article even states these families have more children in Britain than they had at home. So, double win! Almost as a side effect, it seems the main man in the story also got out of crime in the process. Talk about money well spent.

In all seriousness, I doubt there's much of any truth to be had in an article like this. I wonder about the agenda of the writer. Can you be proud producing work like this? We must not take trash as fact, and the best we can do is bring it up for discussion. Keep talking to each other.

People you talk to can't remain strangers, much less enemies.