A few weeks back, Der Spiegal came to Nottingham to report on the poverty in our country – the UK with the sixth biggest in the world – and they found the homeless, the starving, the food banks (including one in The Meadows).
I was asked to give the German magazine an hour a few weeks back and I know focussing on the poverty is why they came.
The article has been published and the photos are bleak. And they were a tad naughty when they wanted a photo of me – could I stand next to this painted plywood works box in the Square? (No – next to the left lion, please.)
But the N Post have taken exception to the bleakness and first rounded up a “pleased to be proud of Nottingham” response – a bit out of kilter with perhaps other N Post pieces (we should be more ambitious etc.).; and then that the feature “deliberately makes our city look bleak“.
Perhaps we can be critical of ourselves but the Germans (who by the way, keep showing us the way on industry, the environment and green energy) can’t be.
Or perhaps the N Post journalists are feeling a bit betrayed – it was them who asked me to meet Der Spiegal.
One friend wrote to me saying “It looked ok to me and only incidental reference to Nottingham. They were highlighting the inequity of our benefits system, sanctioning and the role of food banks. It just happened to be in Nottingham.”
Other advice I’m getting is that the situation of the individual featured is exceptional amongst the people who seek help.
And the contention that “there’s no getting away from the extent of deprivation in Nottingham” is debatable.
TO BE FINISHED