Monday, 8 October 2007


Never let a fact get in the way of a good story, the adage goes. Metro took this to another level this morning - never let the story get in the way of a fact. In an article entitled 'young use 'sharks' to buy booze', they wrote:

Young people are using loan sharks to find pin crawls and pay for new clothes. A total of 77 per cent of young adults have been in debt by their 24th birthday and 20 per cent have been left with £50 a month or less to live on after their debt repayments, a survey by young people's charity Rainer showed. Spokesman David Charter said: 'Significantly, 15 per cent
said they had "other" debt aside from normal sources. This could be from loan sharks.'

Yes, David, it could. It could also be from friends, from credit unions or a number of places. We don't have any definition of what you define as normal sources. Nonetheless, your comment is valid - it could be from sharks. You and I are fine, we have no quarrel, David. My quarrel is withMetro. There is sensationalising, and twisting facts, and then there is this. Such is the contempt for your readers that you haven't even bothered to disguise the doubt that your own quote casts on the 'fact' that you so confidently assert.

The attempt to portray the young in this light is becoming depressingly common. Yes, young people drink and many outlive their means. When was this not true? They're young. But they also have to cope with debts like never before as they try to get through university or buy a tiny place to live.

Forgive them a but of fun now, because when they (and everyone under 30) are paying the price of the wealth transfer to the baby boomer generation for the next 40 years, they will be able to have none.

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