Monday, January 28, 2008

Another Side Of 2008

Local news is today dominated by the experience of BBC 5Live Liverpool-born presenter, Shelagh Fogerty: .
The presenter had a gun pointed at her while filming in Croxteth, where she grew up. She was also confronted by bottle-wielding & stone-throwing teenagers in Norris Green on Friday.
The fact that she was filming for ITV Tonight With Trevor McDonald is, however, a cause for caveat. ITV's "journalism", as opposed to Channel 4's, is decidedly downmarket &, at times, sensationalist. This is confirmed by the premise of the programme:
"She had been asked to return to the area she grew up in to see how safe she felt walking around after dark."
Presumably, this refers to the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, who recently remarked, much to her spin doctors' alarm, that she felt unsafe in most parts of London after dark.
However, the fact is that a media presence in that part of Liverpool has been met with hostility. Norris Green-born BBC journalist, Winnifred Robinson, was made to feel uneasy as she walked around the area where she was brought up for a BBC Radio 4 documentary late last year. A BBC Newsnight crew, covering the area in the wake of Rhys Jones' murder, was attacked by local youths.
Away from the city centre, this is the sour reality in this year of culture for such parts of Liverpool. There's something about areas such as Norris Green & Croxteth which ensures that gang warfare isn't seen as an abnormal, subcultural phenomenon. Rather, it is viewed as an ineradicable feature of local life. Merseyside Police's claim that there are no no-go areas after dark doesn't stand up to the day-to-day reality.
Given the subcultural stranglehold on districts like Norris Green & Croxteth, it seems depressingly clear that the killers of Rhys Jones will not be given up, the heavy police presence notwithstanding.

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