Friday, 27 May 2011

Hacked Off

First they are told that they cannot publish absolutely anything about anyone, and now the media have to put up with an Official Opposition which is politically distinct from the Government.

That latter point is genuinely beyond their power of comprehension. Entry level positions in the media are now restricted to people who can live in central London on little or no pay for several years after university, and those relating to policy are strictly reserved for people with absolutely no interest in policy or philosophy, but who assume, if they think about it at all, that all these questions were decidedly permanently half a generation or more ago.

So they honestly do not know where to begin in reporting a government-in-waiting which would at last bring to an end the wasted generation that began with the death of John Smith. Their ineptitude is increasingly apparent, and they know it. Hence their obsessive covering of the backs of a Cabinet which in former years would have been mercilessly hounded from office one by one. Think back to the Major years and that point is made.

But those days are gone. The media have to protect Michael Gove, Andrew Lansley, Chris Huhne and all of the rest of them, precisely because there is a real alternative rather than David Miliband's continuation of the last Parliament, in which there were almost no votes on the floor of the House of Commons because no one could be bothered to stand up and demand any, the parties being in absolute agreement, thus enabling the press pack to concentrate on such matters as the colour of Peter Mandelson's socks.

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