Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Political advertising on TV / lump of power?

Thankfully, I'm too busy to write my entirely predictable responses to these questions about the rules on political advertising and TV.

I am, however, working on a new theory - and perhaps a tool that can answer all of these questions.

You know the 'lump of labour fallacy'? Well I'm kinda wondering if there is a 'lump of power'? An indivisible figure that various groupings compete to exercise.

Is there a fixed amount of coercion in any state - where we seek to defend ourselves from manipulation while pushing others around as much as possible?

And does this exist at a state level? Do...

  • lobbyists / pressure groups,
  • individual MPs,
  • civil servants,
  • Parliament as a whole,
  • House of Commons / House of Lords
  • media-owners,
  • private individuals,
  • foreign powers,
  • Select Committees,
  • political parties,
  • journalists,
  • trade unions,
  • management consultants,
  • Cabinet Ministers,
  • Prime Ministers,
  • PMs flunkeys,
  • 'the core executive',
  • councillors,
  • councils,
  • local government officers
....and so on (have I left any out? And I will delete any tosser who puts a comment to the effect that "it is very telling that you have omitted ..... from this list...").

It would be a very interesting 3-D organogram that would show these relationships - and how they have shifted in recent years. It would be a very useful thing to whip out and slap on the table every time you overhear a conversation about 'liberty'. And surely Chris's regular thesis would show that management consultants have engineered something of a coup d'├ętat lately?

Waddaya think? Am I on a hiding to nothing here?


Chris said...

I think you're definitely on to something. Because, look you, every year Time magazine has a list of 100 people who shape the world, and nobody gets on without someone else dropping out.

More seriously, I suppose you could use those lists to see how power shifts - if, for example, there are more bloggers than journalists in the top 100 than there used to be. But apart from that I'm not sure how you could quantify it.

The Plump said...

Is an organogram the male version of a mammogram?

Paulie said...

I did say 'whip out and slap on the table' though I'm trying to wean myself of that particular practice.

stephen said...

Is there a fixed amount of coercion in any state - where we seek to defend ourselves from manipulation while pushing others around as much as possible?

So what would be the units of the coercion you seek to measure? 1 Blunkett is the amount of coercion needed to threaten one unmarried mother into one day of mnimum waged scrubbing of toilets? How many Blunketts will be needed to be applied to Brown to get him to do the decent thing?

Paulie said...

Oh dear. Now you've really made me piss myself.

You're wasted here stephen...

peter said...

The fixation on negative political ads was heightened recently with the publication of Going Negative, based upon a four-year study conducted by Stephen Ansolabehere and Shanto Iyengar. The authors argue that attack ads are subverting democracy by polarizing the electorate and by reducing voter turnout, particularly among nonpartisan, independent-minded voters.

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