Who\’s to blame, and what might be done? Culprit number one is undoubtedly the media, more virulent than in almost any other western democracy, with too many newspapers competing for a shrinking readership. The Mail\’s doom-laden poison pretends to speak for an imaginary "middle England", just as the raucous Sun pretends to speak for a fictitious "white van man", reflecting back to the nation mythical caricatures of itself. Mercifully, real people are nicer. Three maverick rightwing owners controlling most of the press set the tone and the agenda – bullying the BBC to follow them in the name of "balance", which the BBC too often does, uncertain of its own compass. Rabidly anti-European, socially penal, xenophobic, anti-state, they spread the simple message that nothing works except markets mitigated by punishment. Instead of breaking away, the dominant voices of the blogosphere often echo and intensify this pessimism and malice.
Sadly, she\’s still under the misapprehension that newspapers shape their readers\’ prejudices rather than follow them.