Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The political system in the UK is in turmoil due to a wave of public anger. The Speaker of the House has just resigned, and there's even talk of calling a General Election. What is it that's stirred up such outrage? We didn't see such a storm when it was revealed that the then Prime Minister Tony Blair had orchestrated a campaign of deceit, and had deliberately lied to parliament and the country to take us to war; we didn't see it when age-old liberties were abolished - freedom of assembly, the right to silence, the freedom from imprisonment without due process. There was no such public clamour when police arrested an opposition MP and raided his offices without a search warrant. No, what's whipped us into a fury is the revelation that some MPs have exagerated their expense claims.

Last week it was the fabled Swine Flu pandemic, this week MPs' expenses, next week... Surely it can't be that the entire course of public debate in this country is dictated by the media industry's need to sell more newspapers and maximise TV viewing figures, while never really threatening the status quo. No, that's cynical...

3 comments:

AidanSemmens said...

Actually, I don't think the media is that concerned one way or the other with maintenance of the status quo. Circulation figures, now, that's another matter... and of course the Telegraph, being a branch of Tory central office, has an interest in hastening the next election.
What I find sad and a little scary - and it's been the case throughout the "Labour" administration of the past 12 years - is the extent to which the government allows Fleet Street to dictate the agenda.

Alan Baker said...

Yes, you're right. Since activists, local party field workers, trade unions, local government and politicians with idealogies have all been either neutralised or abolished, the Media is the one thing Government has to fear in terms of influencing how people vote.

John B-R said...

Isn't it also possible that people don't care about being lied to, about the loss of their rights, etc? But they do care about gov't spending, because they think that's money they could have spent themselves? Perhaps it's a debased citizenry that's the problem - who else would be willing to so willing to lap up that media's uh not so subtle promptings but a citizenry that's spirit's already broken ... of course, the media has done its bit in the debasing process, but it wasn't *just* the media ... it's century upon century of acquiescence to lives as wage-labourers, a relatively slave-like existence (and don't get me started on how a millennium+ of adherence to the judeo-xtian-muslim slave-religion has contributed (it doesn't matter that the churches are empty, it's all been internalized) ... of course, I may be wrong, but what I say is true in my country and yours doesn't seel all that different ...