Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Things to be thankful for.

It's been a joyous few days for those of us whose opinion of politics and politicians had descended so low they were now firmly resident in the great London and Metropolitan.

Let's take for granted that the departure of someone whose job appeared to be a cross between Goebbels and Himmler is a good thing: something which has been backed up in a truly wonderful article by Alice Miles in the Times.

Some of the words that tumbled yesterday from the mouths of Labour former victims of the No 10 briefers were more suited to people subject to chemical attack than to mere political hostility.

“The most lethal attack machine in the history of British politics,” said one; “they have polluted the core of British politics for years.” “Licensed to kill, by Gordon,” said another.

“Red-on-red action,” muttered a third. “These e-mails are the minutest tip of the iceberg. For years and years and years it has not been the Labour Party’s political enemies who have been on the receiving end, it’s been people in the Labour Party."

Why did they let him get away with it for so long, and will anything truly change? Aren't whispers in corridors the life blood of political hacks, without which a paper's political pages consists of tweaked PA copy almost identical to its rivals?

In economics, the model which would take place in our utopia is one of perfect competition. To reach this ambrosial economic situation requires unhindered access to information. Such a thing is hardly able to happen in the world of politics and yet, knowing what is happening, what the people we pay are doing with our money and what MPs and the government actually get up to is something that everyone should be able to access.

The developments of last weekend really have hit the establishment hard. It follows hot on the heels of the internet informing the main stream media that, actually, we did rather like the speech made by Dan Hannan in the European Parliament and perhaps they'd wake up?

The not-so-whispered concerns among hacks is that how did Guido get the e-mails before they did? Why was he the first port of call? Sunday papers in particular need those big scoops brought about when someone calls them with a scandal, or a video or some e-mails. They pay thousands of pounds for them knowing that it will draw in the punters to buy their weekly rag. It's their life blood.

And now some upstart blogger who hasn't done a graduate trainee scheme or worked on a regional paper has been running rings around not only the seemingly terminally foolish Dolly Draper and the political editors of the nationals but magnificently called the bluff of these spin doctors.

I can see why they're concerned, but the running of this country and the actions of the people who do it is too important for the information not to be published. How dare people being paid from the public purse spend their time thinking up such deceptions? How low must one sink to try to divert democracy in such a way by seeking to alter the view voters have of an opposition party with such lies?

The internet has many pitfalls, but the quick, cheap dissemination of important information is one of the reasons we should revel in our new found power over people who seek to control the information we have access to.

If economics flourishes with information, then politics - an industry where the abuse of power can dominate opinions, actions and pay cheques, will surely benefit as people realise that they aren't safe from the voter finding out.

And with the internet and blogs in particular, those who stand to lose the most can't lunch or bully everyone.


The Penguin said...

Spot On.

The Penguin

James Higham said...

Why did they let him get away with it for so long, and will anything truly change?

You've almost answered your own question.

subrosa said...

Well said trixy!

Malthebof said...

The MSM drink & dine at the same trough as the politicians, attend the same parties, events etc. It takes an outsider like Guido to show the Emporer has no clothes. We will never be rid of crooked politicians while the fourth estate is always in bed with them.