Saturday, October 28, 2006

The pantomime, continued...

I've just listened to a programme on the wireless called 'Corridors of Power', presented by Sir Christopher Mayer.

It contrasted the way that - in the US - the most popular TV show about politics that has ever been made (The West Wing) presents a sympathetic, largely benign portrait of how the political centre is managed. Commentators such as Ian Hislop told us how programmes like Spitting Image were impossible to get off the ground in the US. He recounted how an outraged producer called him into an office to demand "...are you trying to say that The President of the United States is an asshole?"

What followed was, I suspect, a fairly simplified binary in which we have 'Yes Minister', 'The Thick of It', 'Have I Got News For You' and 'Spitting Image' made over here by bold crusaders in contrast to the pussies and lickspittles in America who just don't have the balls to Speak Truth To Power. To demand 'why is this lying bastard lying to me?'

And who were the commentators? Well, there was Ian Hislop... (I've mentioned him already). Oh yes, there was Nick Robinson as well. Great bloke, Nick! No-one better at painting the whole business as an exercise in mendacity. And then there were a few other satirists and the usual clowns from the press gallery.

Any politicians? Anyone looking at how accurate and proportionate the portrayal of politics is in this country? Or any of the journalists that sometimes step a little bit out of line on this bullshit. Hacks like John Lloyd perhaps?

Well, you wouldn't want those lying bastards queering a perfectly good pitch, would you?

And in the meantime, we have a relentless drip-drip message that we somehow live in a corrupt country. It effects the manner in which public discourse happens and it has an impact in turn-out during elections.

But, to anyone who DOES think that we really live in a corrupt country, could I respectfully suggest that you just fuck off and live in ....
  • Italy
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
... for a while. That should cure you of that particular dillusion. I'm not that familiar with the political settlement in any other EU countries, but I know those four reasonably well, and any fool knows that they are much more corrupt - by any measurable metric - than the UK.

And if that's now far enough for you to fuck off to, then you can try...

(I know, lets make this easier. Why not fill in a list of the countries that are demonstrably less corrupt than the UK?)


Cassiopeia said...

Well I'm going out on a limb here, but I'd say Nigeria.
The brother of their finance minister just emailed me out of the blue and they're sending me $4,000,000 to look after. Very trusting chap, obviously an honest bunch over there.

Wolfie said...

But the question is : "Is Britain getting more corrupt or less so?"

I'd say more so but not sufficiently that I'm going to leave, in fact my Spanish wife wants us to move there but the level of corruption there is one of the major factors that keep me in Blighty.

NuLabour said...

"(I know, lets make this easier. Why not fill in a list of the countries that are demonstrably less corrupt than the UK?)"

According to the 2006 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index that might be:

Finland Iceland
New Zealand

but not by very much.