An online survey on a widely read media website has stirred resentment amongst the public and the fairground community. The paper got more than it bargained for.
Highly regarded online media site Yorkshire Live must have been surprised at the fierce response to its readership survey about the return of a local funfair. Posing the question ‘Should fairs still be going ahead in Kirklees?’ the paper added a note alongside saying: ‘The area has worryingly high infection rates at present.’
Some 235 comments were posted, a large number of which were angered at the steer. “The press are so dam negative all the time!!!!!! Getting sick of it an even the bbc want everyone living in fear of the outside world… time to save jobs an live with it !!!!!!!,” wrote one respondent. Another criticised the direction of the questions: “Let’s cut to the chase here. How about being a little more investigative.”
Meanwhile down at the fair, visitors were delighted at the return. One visitor, Katie Taylor, wrote: “I visited my local fun fair at the weekend & was temperature checked on entry & have to give my name & number, there was sanitizer available at every ride/stall. All staff where wearing masks or visors & customers had to wear masks on rides. They was 2m marks on the floor for queuing. I felt safer there & in a supermarket or pub. & my daughter loved every minute of it after such a long winter of not doing anything.”
Her views were supported by a strong contingent of other attendees who were quick to praise the safety measures implemented. And videos were posted of rides being cleaned, masks worn and social distancing all in place.
But there was a strong sense of anger at the tone of the question posed by Yorkshire Live and a feeling amongst many of the respondents of discrimination. Lisa Nail Ayres wrote: “Been reading the comments on YL’s post & 99% of them are positive comments from members of the public I do think it’s a very loaded headline with the soul intention of causing prejudice & discrimination against showmen & funfairs in general.” Future 4 Fairgrounds were also quick to respond and address the point of prejudice. “Very concerned about the discrimination shown by this post. Our industry is on its knees and our community is struggling with financial difficulties and mental health issues. As a business our sector has been included in Step2 by government and can open from April 12th. So why are local authorities still not following this guidance from the council? Why is there so much prejudice and discrimination against our industry and community? That’s what you should be reporting on.”