Sunday, June 24, 2007

Democracy Inaction

Today is a huge day in UK Politics. Most of us may not feel that way. But it's true.

This pm, we get a new PM. And a new mini-me DPM.

The first we get by default. The second by some sort of vote that I had little interest in, which may explain why I had little influence over it, even if I would have been allowed.

The Westminster Village (a collective term for those who feed off being in, and reporting on, the political establishment) has wet more kickers over it all than the ladies' loo queue at a Tom Jones concert. The rest of us seem to be less than agog.

Personally, I am positively affronted by what I am getting served up by supposedly independent media to ease into power a person whose only statements of note seem to be surrounding the oddly conflicting notions of listening more whilst 'not allowing' a heck of lot.

But most tellingly, I note that the person who will be this unelected (at least by me) 'leader's' offsider is likely to be decided by 10% of those eligible to vote. As mandates go, that is pathetic.

Yet we are talking some of the most powerful positions in our country. But our media seem more concerned by the prospect of fine dining at a some gilded tables than the provenance or quality of the fare.

Maybe we get what we deserve. But maybe we are served such poor options is it any surprise most can't bear to stomach them. But that, is a BIG problem.

ADDENDUM: I am not very party political (the current crop all disappoint me) , so I don't propose to go on much more on this. But in terms of media reaction just take this: New Labour, new era

'Gordon Brown hailed the start of a new political era' - what was he part of for the past ten years?

'In his victory speech...' - 'handover' or 'acceptance' would seem more accurate. What victory did he fight and win?

'...Mr Brown has pulled it off.' What? Doing nothing for long enough? A rare, but useful talent to succeed in today's UK.

"With a man and a woman elected leader and deputy it is Labour that leads the way." Suddenly Labour felt different.' - So meritocracy based on no more than ability is not what it's all about then?

'The aim of the speech was to challenge the misleading caricature.' - Which may have some foundation in fact, maybe?

Sod it... I can't wade though any more of this travesty under the banner of a name that claims it is Independent.

Will Gordon let her speak? - Ok, I couldn't resist. Look at that title. And this from, if not a supporter, one who has a certain empathy with New (and now 'improved', apparently) Labour.

Something for another time

I was idly watching (is there any other way?) BBC Breakfast 'News' this morning, when an innocuous little piece came on about some Eastern European state whose capital has become a City of Culture.

So far, so what. But my ears pricked up when it was introduced in the voiceover by mentioning the fact that such places had been 'opened up' as weekend short-hauls by the explosion in budget airlines. 'Interesting,' I thought, 'I wonder where this is going?'.

Well, for the majority of the next 5 minutes it went there with a full crew to have a very good time, seemingly without irony.

Then we were back at the studio, with one of the BBC's 'experts' (folk who are a) a mate, b) next door and c) On a Sunday prepared to get up at a silly hour. So I have no idea who she was) to discuss it all.

And then, near the end, we had the eco-tilt.

'I suppose we should acknowledge the environmental aspect of all this', she said.

Well, that would be a plan, considering all that has preceded it, both in the BBC's corporate contribution simply by making the piece, but also the consequences of 'selling' the notion so well.

I don't pretend it's an easy one, but I found the jocular bouffant-du-jour anchor chain's final comment so very telling 'Well, yes. But that is something for another time.'

Er, when? And if not by you, who? And why?