As is my habit, I popped in to the BBC Website this morning to catch up on what’s been happening in the world and saw this article, with the link headline from the front page of ‘Why globalisation means you are less likely to be burgled’. Hmmm, I thought – interesting. As I expected, the article led on the fact that globalisation has driven down the price of consumer electronics such as DVD players and computers, and has indeed reduced the chances of being burgled. After all, is it really worth running the risk of breaking and entering someone’s house to steal a DVD player that costs £20? I think even the most desperate criminal would suggest not.
So far, so good – then the not so good news. Apparently the same criminals are now taking to mugging and other crimes against the person. So, another headline that could have been drawn equally validly would be ‘Why globalisation means you are more likely to be mugged.’ I’m used to the more tabloid end of the media doing such biased headlines from stories, but to be honest this BBC selection of headlines from the story was breathtaking in it’s bias.
The link headline at first glance looks like Globalisation good news; the conclusions being drawn from the story are only good news if you value a £20 DVD player as being more important than the physical and mental well being of someone being attacked in a personal mugging. is this what a BBC sub-editor truly believes, that in the name of Globalisation material goods are more important than the well being of a person?
Of course, this IS the point of view adopted by many apologists for globalisation – after all, the cheap goods and services offered by globalisation is usually afforded at the cost of poor and frequently unsafe working and living conditions in the developing world. To anyone unaware of what goes in to cheap goods, take a look at ‘No Logo’. There is no doubt that globalisation has, over the last 20 years, created the consumer friendly, consumption oriented world we live in; after all, in order for large scale multi-national corporates to thrive we have to be encouraged to keep buying the crap they produce, whether we need it or not. But we’re now beginning to see the wider cost of these cheap goods.
For most of this time the true cost of these goods and services has been hidden from us; unless you bothered to read books like No logo or study the reports of the impact of globalisation on local economies in other parts of the world, the only impact here in the UK was cheap stuff. The cost to people’s lifestyles in the rest of the world was hidden from us. But in this article, the research quoted has shown that there is now an emergent threat to our own lifestyles from globalisation – an increasing possibility of violent crime.
Not that you’d guess form that first BBC headline.