July 20th, 2011
|09:33 am - What really matters|
I think staged formal events like the light grilling of Rupert Murdoch yesterday by the Culture Select Committee are relatively insignificant. MPs who were interviewed afterwards were triumphant - 'he said it was the most humble day of his life' - well, he would, wouldn't he? It was a pantomime. Murdoch will fake anything, Alzheimer's or despair next, if he thinks it will get him through this crisis. He conceded nothing, and I may be wrong but I don't think he's said anything which will increase the vulnerability of his holdings in America.
I think the last few days have been quite frustrating. Yes, a lot of senior people have resigned, but if they are simple replaced by other people occupying the same niche within the same overall ecosystem, this is a meaningless change. The ecosystem itself needs to alter, and that will only happen if there are changes in the controls or limits on the system.
People are interested in people - that's the way our brains work - but it's the overall system which is significant, and that is harder to see. I still think there's a chance that Cameron will go, but ultimately, as the law is being changed to prevent the Tories facing election, the loss of a single spiv is relatively insignificant.
For example, I tell you what is significant that happened this week: The NHS is to be opened up to competition from private firms. And Eric Pickles has announced changes to local government finance which will massively increase inequality between the British regions (with Nick Clegg's personal support incidentally). I know - local government finance - what a bore. But the Poll Tax was local government finance. Those two changes are dry and abstract not personal, much less interesting than Wendi Deng slapping that guy in the face, but in the long run this is what is changing the lives of British people, covertly, and for the majority much to the worse. Much to the worse, really things are going to get bloody awful in England.
|Date:||July 20th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC)|| |
The usual problem: the left/liberals/progressives don't know how to communicate based on values and people. Local gov finance, for example, is a bore. But if you personalise its effect and talk values, then - voila - you have a human story.
Look at the debacle over reforming the voting system. The reforms talked about the system, the against campaign made it about people trying to cheat to win even if they'd lost.
There's this book called "The Political Brain". If I had the money, I'd send a copy to every single reformer and progressive in the UK.
I read a story the other day about Winston Churchill. During WW2 he presided over the internment of Italians living in the UK. But he personally intervened to rescue the one Italian shop assistant who sold him his cigars - saving him from the camps. This leaves Churchill looking compassionate and human, while interning thousands of innocent people. It's illogical, but it's how people feel about events, they can relate to 'save a single Italian' better than 'harm a thousand Italians'.
Edited at 2011-07-20 11:42 am (UTC)
The one truly human story of the day was plucky Mrs Murdoch tackling the custard pie man. So the Murdochs win on points, unfortunately.
Yes, precisely right. It's a great story, it wasn't faked, and we can all relate to it. Shame really.
|Date:||July 20th, 2011 11:00 am (UTC)|| |
Totally agree. It's rather depressing.
Also depressing the amount of feigned gullibility. "Murdoch and son looked sincere and genuine." Really?
I get the impression the MPs kind of want to believe they totally ruled.
Yes - it reminded me of being at previous job, where the sentence 'the meeting went VERY well' always seemed to make me feel like I'd been at a totally different meeting, and senior people were trying to convince themselves. I thought the Committee's performance was pretty dire - unfocused and lacking in a sense of pursuit.
Good comparison. The meetings seemed to go better and better, until the day we were abolished :-)