Monday, April 24, 2006

Spiked in 'deregulate now' shock

There is an unwritten rule in some righty-libertarian circles: Never criticise journalists - they just do what they have to do. Take Brendan O'Neill on Spiked: (please! Take Brendan.... oh, never mind....)
"The Electoral Commission represents politicians' own doubt and distrust in themselves. After all, this body was set up by parliament in order to keep a check on the parliamentary parties' antics. Unlike the Lords and the monarch, which stood aloof from parliament and very often clashed with it, the Electoral Commission was voluntarily created by parliamentarians who seem to agree that they are involved in a shady business: politics."
He goes on to say...
"Like the Electoral Commission I, too, am 'unsatisfied' with the political parties - but for vastly different reasons. The problem with politics today is not that there are more shady goings-on than there were in the past, but that it is pale and uninteresting. It is anaemic, lacking in vision, and a generally debate-free zone. The last thing we need is a Commission that aims to make such a political landscape even flatter."

As with much of the output on Spiked, the core concern appears to be a demand for less regulation. In itself, a reasonable argument. I've argued again and again that The Standards Board (and ancilliary bodies) should be scrapped. I'm happy to engage in a witch-hunt of bureaucrats whenever anyone wants to call one.

But I never read anything on Spiked that calls for more constructive intervention, more regulation, more of an expression of consensus about the way that public debate contributes to this. Being anti-regulation on principle, Spiked will never demand, for instance, that the media should play a part in the cultivation of a more critical openness.

Because Spiked never demands that anyone should ever DO anything. Just that they shouldn't do whatever it is they are currently doing.

The reason that politics is such a shady business, and that it is dull, homogenous and risk averse, is that no-one is prepared to deal with the cause of this dullness: That public life is reported in a shrill and largely hysterical way by a largely useless and dishonest press corps. That politicians, bureaucracies - and most damningly - journalists - are unable to adopt any position of critical openness, preferring instead the well-rehearsed narratives of spin, sleaze, and 'embarrassments.'

Court politics is boring. And it's chroniclers are damn mad. Mad mad mad. When will Spiked turn it's beady little eyes on that one then?

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