It’s probably fair to say that since going free in Manchester city centre, the Manchester Evening News has become a more reasoned, less populist, newspaper – there was a time when it appeared to be written by would-be Daily Mail types – so it’s all the more disappointing when it runs a rubbish front page splash like Friday’s, ‘Prisoners let out of jail to empty your bins.’
The print headline talks of convicts being let out ‘for the day’ as if working on the bins is some special treat, while a not-online editorial thunders, ‘Binmen prisoners are a step too far.’
This populism is always disappointing as its obvious even from this story that convicts who are emptying Manchester’s bins are men near the end of their sentences who are soon to be released back into the community where they can do as they please.
Yet what is most cringe worthy, is that the Manchester Evening News knows better than to whip up populist hysteria in the hope of giving away a few extra copies. According to the editorial one in ten ex-cons will go on to reoffend within three months of release, a re-offending rate this scheme halves. Without schemes to reintegrate prisoners into society, the totally confused Manchester Evening News says, ‘…the law abiding public are more likely to become victims. No one wins.’
It seems the Manchester Evening News wants to have it both ways; to run populist rubbish on its front page and then come over all reasonable in its editorial.