Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Politics in the media and in reality

Britain is in a fractious, ill tempered mood.

Discontent with the political class festers, and every mountebank, from Alex Salmond to Nigel Farage is being seized on as someone who can break the perceived corruption in Whitehall and Westminster.

Politicians are held- especially in the media- in widespread contempt.

That, of course is the problem. It is not that politics is necessarily more negative or even more corrupt than it used to be, but rather that we have grown used to a mocking chorus from journalists who are guilty of even more egregious corruption than the politicians they condemn so loudly.

MPs are paid a fraction of the sums given over to the self important blow-hards whose oleaginous faces adorn the top of their columns of angry and often surprisingly badly informed copy. Those who happily take their living from such dubious newspaper owners as the sinister and bullying Barclay brothers, the tax-avoiding Rothermere family, a Russian oligarch, a pornographer and of course Rupert Murdoch still presume to make moral judgements over those who have often made substantial sacrifices in order to serve their country.

So as I read yet another load of twaddle from these people, I find it hard to suppress a very hollow laugh. The scandal that haunts Britain is not in politics, but rather in the media, which picks and chooses its stories to fit a biased and immoral agenda.

So as a further storm of hypocrisy echoes across the op-ed pages of the British press, I find myself wordlessly turning the page and passing by such drivel.   

Across all political parties are people of genuine integrity and honesty, working to improve the country according to their lights. I may not agree with them, but I respect them. It is time for the media to accept that politicians are not all rogues or fools and to engage with the political process with a skeptical, rather than a contemptuous, eye.


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