George Monbiot has news for us all. The world’s in a terrible state because the wrong people get onto the tellie. If only those buffoons with their extremist views didn’t in fact get to infect all the current affairs programs then we wouldn’t be doing these silly things like Brexit.
That is, George thinks that we’re all loons easily swayed by whatever demagogue gets to speak into the microphone. How’s that for faith in democracy then?
On both sides of the Atlantic, the unscrupulous, duplicitous and preposterous are brought to the fore, as programme-makers seek to generate noise. Malicious clowns are invited to discuss issues of the utmost complexity. Ludicrous twerps are sought out and lionised. The BBC used its current affairs programmes to turn Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg into reality TV stars, and now they have the nation in their hands. My hope is that eventually the tide will turn. People will become so sick of the charlatans and exhibitionists who crowd the airwaves that the BBC and other media will be forced to reconsider. But while we wait for a resurgence of sense in public life, the buffoons who have become the voices of the nation drive us towards a no-deal Brexit and a host of other disasters.
The thing is I have actually worked as a press officer for Ukip. Back in the days when we were seen as a minority interest of fruitcakes and closet racists. Who really had no general support in the country at large. All of this in the run up to the euro-elections in which we came second, beating the then ruling Labour Party into third.
We found it extraordinarily difficult to gain media time. We were arguing against the general wisdom of EU membership and that view was largely frozen out of that media. We weren’t promoted at all. I even did the BBC radio interview after the results came in. We’d just come second. I was relegated to being interviewed with the Green bloke who had just come eighth or summat (after Con, Ukip, Labour, LibDem, SNP, DUP and possibly P Cymru). The main interview, the important one, was for those who had come first, third and fourth.
That’s how the media treated such not establishment views. That our views were indeed popular, but ignored, is shown by that referendum result. The plurality went for the Ukip, not establishment, view.
Which does lead to an interesting question. Who is the extremist here then? The person, like Nigel, enunciating the views of the majority of those who vote? Or the person who insists that he shouldn’t be allowed on media to say such things? Who is the elitist who doesn’t trust the people?