This story was published in the Metro newspaper on 21st April 2015. The above image was taken from their E-edition (found on http://e-edition.metro.co.uk, email address required). The same story was published by the Metro’s parent company’s other newspaper – The Daily Mail.
Both look pretty bad: EU migrants come into this country, making us lazy and, at least in the Metro’s story, are potentially damaging the business model. Kudos to The Daily Mail, however, for stating that Travis Perkins, parent company for Wickes and a number of other hardware stores, are planning to open over 60 new stores, so it isn’t all that bad. Especially in light of closures from other hardware chains such B&Q and Homebase. But, both stories allude, there is blame to be given by the statement – Metro makes no effort to change the focus from the migrants, The Daily Mail implies that it is because we are in “Generation Rent” – where those in their 20s, 30s and 40s are renting property and landlords are hiring professionals instead of letting us loose with DIY jobs.
Now, the Telegraph. Their story sounds slightly different:
In their story, to which The Daily Mail refers to, talks about growth for the company and how this influx of migrants has been nothing but positive. In fact, it isn’t 60 stores they are planning, but 400. And they are planning to hire 4,000 new members of staff. In fact, this story doesn’t really mention blame for the death of the DIY industry, only for the fact that we’re losing the skills because we’re paying other people to do the work for us, so we don’t have to learn how to put up shelves or lay flooring.
In fact, even the most Eurosceptic (and UKIP supporting) news outlet – The Daily Express – only featured it as an opinion piece from the Editor, and that focussed on how DIY wasn’t dead, it was just that we were lazy, and it only took one spark of success to ignite our desire, just as he had done recently, so huzzah!
Full disclosure: I can’t stand The Telegraph (read ‘Torygraph’), The Daily Mail (read ‘Daily Fail’) or the Daily Express, and truth be told I pick up the Metro because it’s free and it gives me something to read on the bus. My newspaper of choice is The Independent or the i, and I couldn’t see this story reported in either of those papers. I won’t question their judgement as newspapers report to their readership, and to their editorship. But it does highlight one thing that I am astounded at – the outlets reporting the same story (Ok, I’m focussing on DM / Metro and Telegraph here) are so different in their focus, despite The Telegraph being the original source for the Daily Mail story, and the Metro (I think) making The Daily Mail’s story into nothing more than a bitesize chunk for the masses. I really am astounded at the difference. If anything, given the sources, I would have been less surprised if both were inherently against this change in dynamic. And, given the angle from Daily Mail / Metro, I am very surprised that the pro-UKIP outlet in the Daily Express didn’t make the same attack.
Personally, I’m happy that we are enjoying our lives more. If one can afford to spend however many hundreds on employing the services of a professional, or even a just a skilled worker, why shouldn’t they? Not only does it save them the trouble of having to do the job themselves, but it also saves the job from being botched up on a regular basis. We’ve created the environment of high standards of living and enjoying our little, precious free time. And if EU migrants are performing the services for next to nothing, we have one of two options:
- Take them up on their offer
Not a difficult choice. We are all adults, we are all responsible for our own decisions and our own actions. What’s the point in quaffing our Pimms and devouring our tiffin whilst employing the services of a perfectly capable individual, if we’re then going to complain about said individual affording us the luxury of quaffing our Pimms and devouring our tiffin by taking away the very job that we employed them to do? That’s like pouring boiling water into our lap and then complaining that we have third-degree burns.