Amusing Ourselves to Death
The thing about UK politics in the latter stages of 2022 is that hardly anyone pays it any mind.
And why would they? There’s a World Cup on and only so much information the nation can imbibe.
Were you to have been raised to believe in gravity, that the earth is round, or other such scientific theories, you might also have come to expect a certain minimum level when it comes to debate from your country’s elected representatives.
Sadly such a stance would now be magical thinking.
We are encouraged via our media to be more realistic, to accept the status quo, and to not complain even though some of us might want to. That would not be British. The thing to do is to wait and allow the right people and the system to come good in the end, because it always does.
But this is where the problem lies. There’s only so much anyone can put up with from the BBC. It might occasionally tell you something exactly as it is, but there will always be high levels of distortion to the point where the emphasis is misplaced and the viewer is ultimately demotivated and distracted. This is why I so love the title of the Neil Postman media explainer Amusing Ourselves to Death.
There is no level of evil that cannot be disclosed to us that cannot somehow be converted into docile acceptance from the Great British public. We are just very good at being told that nothing we do will make any difference to anything. That is why when the rare reports of widespread violence and fraud against the most vulnerable members of society are aired they never result in anything more than very well contained outrage.
The rape and murder of Sarah Everard by the Parliamentary policeman Wayne Couzens sparked outrage but even the protests resulted in further police violence against innocent young women.
The police in London are supposed to be overseen by the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Mayor of London, but the policing Minister and the Home Secretary also all have a role to play.
The current Police Minister is Chris Philp. He was recently at the Treasury.
He made a joke about Michael Gove last week.
Gove is in charge of Local Government at the moment and will be overseeing further cuts just as country needs help like never before.
Chris Philp’s boss is Suella Braverman who he also mocked for having breached her security clearance.
Of course the government remains expert in rigging and delaying inquiries into its own misdeeds. The Greensill Scandal of 2021 was forgotten about very quickly despite a whole host of inquiries. Of course all the recommendations, themselves suggested by complicit investigators, were long forgotten the moment they were announced.
There was apparently a rebellion over the planning proposals in the Levelling Up Bill yesterday. It was mentioned on the front of the i newspaper and on Twitter but so far I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere.
Former PM Liz Truss lives on both in that her honours list is being honoured despite her short tenure – and her “anti-growth coalition” lives on – in her own party.
George Freeman was recently appointed Science Minister by Rishi Sunak.
I filmed him a couple of times for WIlliam Kedjanyi of Star Sports Bet – I think Mr Freeman has a fair chance of becoming PM at some point – or to take one of the big jobs at least.
Chelsea Manning was in town last week – and Stefania Maurizi is releasing a book on WikiLeaks:
A TikTok vid from earlier today:
@financialeyes FT NEWSFEED Novmber 23rd 2022 #ukraine #brexit #catholicchurch ♬ original sound Financial Eyes