Two Caerleon Labour Party members have been challenging tabloid journalists in London over the way they write about the Welsh NHS and the EU.
Max Perkins (Caerleon Labour Party chair) and Steve Howell are both former journalists living in Caerleon with well over fifty years journalistic experience between them.
Steve is a regular columnist with the Western Mail and his latest piece exposes the way the right wing press manufacture nonsense stories about the EU. He quotes a typical example from one of the tabloids.
‘Hairdressers will be banned from wearing high-heels and jewellery under nanny state proposals being drawn up in Brussels.’
“But on further investigation I found this was a classic case of a paper with an axe to grind not letting the facts get in the way of a good story,” says Steve.
“There was no proposal expressly to ban high-heels and the document in question had not come from any state, nanny or otherwise.”
To read his article in full see:
Max Perkins is a former Political Editor of HTV Wales who also worked as Director of Communications for the Welsh Labour Party.He was invited by BBC Wales’ Good Morning Wales programme to debate the state of the NHS in Wales with the consultant editor of the Daily Mail Andrew Pierce.
The Daily Mail has been attacking the Welsh NHS day after day on the grounds that its waiting lists are much longer than in England and that it’s in a state of meltdown.
Their coverage was branded as “garbage” by Max Perkins who went on to tell
BBC Radio Wales that there was something “pretty fishy” about the paper’s claims.
But the newspaper’s consultant editor Andrew Pierce said the state of the NHS in Wales was “shocking” and it was doing its job by challenging the Welsh government on the issue.
Max Perkins went on to point out that hospital waiting list times in Wales were counted in a completely different way from England and that it was unfair to make comparisons. He said Welsh patients had for many years been sent to hospitals in England (at Welsh expense) for specialist treatment, and more and more patients were now coming from England into Wales for the same reason. The suggestion that Welsh patients were going over the border as “health refugees” was totally untrue and he said that there were many other inaccuracies in the Daily Mail’s reporting.
Welsh Government ministers have been battling to expose what they describe as a ” tissue of lies” being put out by the Daily Mail.
For the opening stages of the debate see:
A fuller version is available for a short while on BBC : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04ld5r4 ( 2 hours 10 minutes into the programme)