It’s great to see yesterday’s budget demo getting some coverage in the msm. It’s just a shame though that all that coverage amounts to is the regurgitation of a press release.

Here’s the text of the press release I received in my inbox yesterday:

ACTIVISTS BLOCKADE CHANCELLOR’S CAR  IN ATTEMPT TO STOP BUDGET

In an audacious attempt to stop George Osborne delivering the budget this afternoon, 20 women blocked the five main exits of Downing Street. They blocked Osborne’s car from leaving, but were dragged away from the car. One member of the group was arrested, and later released without charge.

The group was trying to stop George Osborne from delivering the budget because the government’s cuts agenda will decimate the Welfare State, harming the poorest and most vulnerable people the most.

At 11.15am, a group of protesters arrived at Downing Street carrying placards in the shape of red briefcases reading ‘Block the bankers’ budget’. Minutes later groups of three women lay in front of each of the four vehicle exits of Downing Street, and locked themselves together inside arm tubes, which makes it difficult for the Police to remove them quickly.  The groups remained in position until 11.52, when the vehicle carrying George Osborne broke through one blockade.

The group of women pointed out that the cuts will have a devastating impact on the lives of women, citing examples such as the closure of women’s refuges, cuts to child, disability, carers and housing benefits, the roll back of maternity rights and that women are thought to make up 80 per cent of the expected job losses from the public sector.

Sara Ayech, one of the women lying outside the main gates of Downing Street said:

“We are stopping George Osborne from delivering his bankers’ budget because this budget has been written for the benefit of big business and the banking sector, not for ordinary people. The banks destroyed the economy and in return received the bail out and bonuses. But the government is choosing to make everyone else pay the price through unemployment, the decimation of the Welfare State and the NHS.

“The Welfare State was fought for and won by ordinary people only 64 years ago. It’s now under attack by the coalition government and we are here to defend it and show that people will resist the injustice of these cuts.”

Here’s the text of the release that went out from the UK Press Association:

Group tries to block Downing Street

“A group of women has tried to block Downing Street ahead of the Budget to protest at its “devastating” impact on the welfare state and poor people.

They carried placards in the shape of the Chancellor’s red briefcase, reading Block The Bankers’ Budget, and sat down in the road outside the main exit.

They said that the cuts will have a huge impact on the lives of women, such as the closure of women’s refuges, cuts to child, disability, carers and housing benefits, the roll back of maternity rights and public sector job losses.

Sara Ayech, one of the protesters, said: “This Budget has been written for the benefit of big business and the banking sector, not for ordinary people. The banks destroyed the economy and in return received the bail-out and bonuses.

“But the Government is choosing to make everyone else pay the price through unemployment, the decimation of the welfare state and the NHS.

“The welfare state was fought for and won by ordinary people only 64 years ago. It’s now under attack by the coalition government and we are here to defend it and show that people will resist the injustice of these cuts.”

And now here’s the Daily Mail’s take on the story – see if you can spot the difference:

Women lie in road in bid to block Downing Street exit in protest at ‘devastating’ Budget

A group of women tried to block Downing Street ahead of the Budget to protest at its ‘devastating’ impact on the welfare state and poor people.

They carried placards in the shape of the Chancellor’s red briefcase, reading Block The Bankers’ Budget, and sat down in the road outside the main exit.

They said that the cuts will have a huge impact on the lives of women, such as the closure of women’s refuges, cuts to child benefits, the roll back of maternity rights and public sector job losses.

Sara Ayech, one of the protesters, said: ‘This Budget has been written for the benefit of big business and the banking sector, not for ordinary people. The banks destroyed the economy and in return received the bail-out and bonuses.

‘But the Government is choosing to make everyone else pay the price through unemployment, the decimation of the welfare state and the NHS.

‘The welfare state was fought for and won by ordinary people only 64 years ago. It’s now under attack by the coalition government and we are here to defend it and show that people will resist the injustice of these cuts.’

See also The Morning Star, the Blackpool Gazette, the Batley and Birstall News, the West Sussex County Times, the Londonderry Sentinel, the Ripon Gazette and I could go on. And on. And on.

Click here for the analysis from Churnalism.com

Like I said, it’s good to see the demo getting some press coverage (and well done to all the women involved!) It would be even better though if newspapers could actually be arsed to send reporters out to cover a story, and if those reporters then reported on what they saw and wrote up their stories with their own individual take on things. Or is that asking too much?

For more on churnalism, see Flat Earth News by Nick Davies

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