Opinion: Glad to see back of Kyle’s ritual castigation
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 May 2019
The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed last week after 14 years on the air following the death by suicide of one of the show’s guests.
My thoughts are with the family of Steve Dymond and I will not miss the show.
The Jeremy Kyle Show was a symptom of a distasteful national pastime which Owen Jones described in his debut book, Chavs: the Demonisation of the Working Class.
One of the more depressing (but sadly not surprising) things that I learned about the show since the tragedy is that the participants were lent clothes such as tracksuits if their own clothes were insufficiently stereotypical.
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As for Kyle's own behaviour towards guests, "a human form of bear baiting" is certainly an apt description.
Also apt was the coincidental release of an Institute for Fiscal Studies report, highlighting widening inequality in the UK, which, it said, was leading to "death and despair".
Britain has always been one of the most class-conscious countries on the planet, but the widening wealth gap is exacerbating the class divide by way of social exclusion.
Jeremy Kyle's ritual castigation of some of the most vulnerable in society is the most vivid example of this exclusion.
Studies such as the extremely well researched The Spirit Level have shown that more equal societies almost always do better according to indicators of well-being including health (both physical and mental), crime and education. It is high time that government prioritised solving poverty and the wealth gap as a public health issue.
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