Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Even at this distance I can't ignore the impending UK election (much as I'd like to). Yesterday I caught the 'interview' - for want of a better word - with the Conservative MP Priti Patel & Eddie Mair on Radio 4's PM.

Parliament - let's remember - derives from 'parler' (to speak) & Western democracy enshrines the idea of discussion (think Plato's dialogues etc.). The ten minutes - although it felt longer - consisted of Patel delivering a monotonous regurgitation of party misinformation interrupted by Mair's 90 degree attacks & insinuations. To what end?*

I am not sure whether I prefer to think that Patel feels she is compelled to reel off the rehearsed sound bites or that she genuinely believes them. Likewise, whether Eddie Mair congratulates himself on a 'tough' grilling or frankly doesn't give a toss but this is what the producers want. (Oh how old-fashioned to expect integrity from either side ...).

The main issue is that any form of intelligent debate has collapsed. What we have is state sponsored errorism (no, not a typo) in which both politicians & journalists are complicit.

Is it any wonder that the frequently evoked 'younger generation' don't bother to vote or seem so apathetic? It's not simply that there's no party fit to choose but the very forum in which options should be aired has become so thoroughly compromised.

Who cares? (That's an actual question, not a shrug). Whatever.

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* note her repeated use of "Eddie" which only served to confirm the absence of any attempt at exchange or dialogue whatsoever. On both sides a remarkable display of un-listening. Patel knew what she was 'tasked' to say; Mair had his agenda set before the programme went live. Factor in the listener - wherever/ whoever they may be - & who felt included in this exchange? Campaign talk as living room carpet bombing - with the collateral damage that the electorate simply switch off mentally & physically.

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It seems my crystal ball was not so grubby ... ... resisting the temptation to say "told you so".