Oligarchy and Populism
“Since the 1970s it’s almost become a taboo to talk of conflict – we’ve become a society geared around consensus, and co-existence – and this has domesticated politics in a dangerous way. The media have been too busy finding consensus with the Brexiteers and Trumpeteers to fight them. This is a political struggle and there is no politeness or kindness in this. It is very clear what one has to do if one has to defend her right. It is to fight back when there is oppression.”
She is spot on.
The multiple reasons for media failure: rapid changing technology, lack of investment, concentration of ownership, have gone hand in hand with a category error about “objectivity”. This is most obviously seen in the climate debate, where as the planet burns broadcasters pit reasoned scientist patiently explaining the reality of the predicament against frenzied front-group spokesman spouting denialist drivel. And this, all in the name of “balance”.
News programmes become entertainment and the most wildly stupid and provocative statements are allowed to pass on the basis that they have been repeated often.
Only a radical constitutional revolution can stop the union from unravelling and end the alienation felt by voters in the UK’s poorest regions, Gordon Brown warned us in dark foreboding terms (very similar to the previous time he uttered such terrible prophecies).
Writing in the Observer, Brown argued that the huge election victory secured by Boris Johnson, with big wins in Midlands and northern seats, does not represent “a newfound unity or even an emerging national consensus” but rather a “plea for radical change”.
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