I've seen a few things I've wanted to comment on lately, but I'm too busy to post anything properly argued, so I'm going to resort to unsupported assertions for the next few days. Here is the first.
Adam Curtis's thesis (in BBC 2's 'The Trap') is actually quite good in parts but his conclusions weren't. He's right about the replacement of conviction politicians with the perceived electoral necessity to poll people, find what they think they want, and then give it to them.
This development isn't only a consequence of crude market fundamentalism though. It's partly the consequence of a political structure that has been centralised by the growing power of the mass media. It isn't the neo-cons who are the only ones to blame for this. At the risk of being smart-alecky, one reason governments behave the way they do these days is because journalists simplify everything to fit their pre-prepared narrative. When politicians try to over-respond, opinion polls aren't the only explanation.
Did you see it? What did you think?
PS: Dave commented on this as well.