‪#‎SluggerReport‬ – Post ‪#‎Brexit‬ we need serious politicians not media whores and clowns…

Today’s SluggerReport I argue that over time (at least 20 years and probably 30) there has been a flight from political seriousness in which servicing the needs of the media has come a poor second to the actual needs of the country.

The now critical state that the UK finds itself in, requires some sort of return to political adulthood, not simply within the Tory party but in Labour also…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • terence patrick hewett

    Dead right I think political seriousness is a function of the infantilisation of society in gerneral. But at least now in crisis we are going to have to confront and solve the problems of sovereignty, technological change, demographic change, constitutional change. The massive black hole of London and the South East which sucks wealth and developement from everywhere else needs to be confronted. Just about everyone is going to have up their game.

  • chrisjones2

    “The massive black hole of London and the South East which sucks wealth and developement from everywhere else needs to be confronted. ”

    Pray how? A centrally planned economy? That will work well

    No, imperfect as it is the market works best

  • ted hagan

    Is that intro not about face? Surely the needs of the country have come a poor second to serving the needs of the media?

  • Peter Doran

    I think we have to ask ourselves bigger questions about why the political class have retreated to the politics of spectacle. It seems to me that this has largely coincided with the era of neoliberal globalisation, which has undermined the fundamentals of the social contract between the state and the citizen. In the wake of this destabilizing experience politicians feel compelled more and more to rationalize and cover over the cracks in that social contract as their world views lose all purchase on the reality of the lives of voters. The globalization story – post cold war – has also been accompanied by an explosion of media technologies and narratives, which have intensified the experience of narrative fragmentation that has followed hot on the heels of the apparent collapse of the metanarratives of the ‘left’. New oppositional movements are finding their feet, thankfully, through novel movements such as the ‘commons’ movement in Italy and through a resurgence of old left champions such as Jeremy Corbyn and Eamonn McCann for whom history appears to have turned full circle. While the left recovers, however, media products of the crisis in political agency (Gove and Johnson were formerly journalists) convert their expertise into crass opportunities to offer deformed political responses by targeting ‘others’ and all forms of scapegoats rather than those in control.

  • Zig70

    I’d agree and it looks like shaping up to be a fight between Murdock’s dark prince and the common man

  • mickfealty

    It’s also the fault of marketeers, speaking a language which assumed ordinary people don’t have their own experience of the same matter/issues the ‘experts’ try to be definitive about.

  • Declan Doyle

    It politicians refuse to pander to the needs of the media, they are destroyed by the media. Sensationalism and hyperbole are the ingredients used to entertain the masses, served up through naked black propaganda and bought off corruption. It’s a joke to think our elected reps have any choice but to serve the Dennis O Brien’s and Rupert Murdocks of this world at the point is a sword.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Churchill started as a journalist and used those skills with formidable effect.

  • ted hagan

    Well wasn’t it Churchill who said history would be kind to him because “I know, I’ll be writing it.”

  • Reader

    London has the power and population that it has because of historical forces, not market forces. It would work better as a business centre if Government and administrative functions were removed elsewhere.

  • terence patrick hewett

    Yes: radical constitutional change.

  • Jonathan Mccullough

    Mick, I take it you meant to say that servicing the actual needs of the country has come a poor second to servicing the needs of the media?

  • Granni Trixie

    I think that it is a false dichotomy – Corbyn- McCann ‘champions’ versus the big,bad media focused political sphere. The real world is more complex. Politics is not just about getting power but the exercise of power. This is where pragmatism and skills and knowledge come in (including emotional intelligence) . Also, once media theory talked up the top down effect of media (hypothermic needle theory) now there is more emphasis on processes where there is space for media consumers/Public’s to input into the process of creating ‘news’ – in its own way a redistribution of power.

    What is exciting presently is that the chaos in politics is producing space for redefining what we mean for example by ‘progressive’ which for me has advanced beyond the notions of lefty hippies.

    To bring the point back (and I mean backwards) to our little world – even McCanns most ardent supporters do not seem to believe he will actually achieve much in terms of change of policy etc. Although like Corbyn he has made a virtue out of being out of step with the majority, in advocating Brexit he demonstrated he had not his finger on the pulse of the majority of ‘ordinary people’ in NI. His influence is minimal however not just because he is but a lone voice but because of a lack of willingness to work with other people and compromise. Politics is still the art of the possible.
    Though I welcome the roles of Corbyn and McCann in rattling
    everyone’s cage, in the case of the former I do not think the ‘novel’ project was worth trashing Labour in the Public’s eyes at a time when the Torys too are in disarray. Words like POwer and Responsibilty come to mind.

  • wild turkey

    TPH. you nailed it with your comment on the infantilsation of society.

    hope the link to Bill Maher below is accessible. if not google Maher self esteem

    note to Mick: i think it was the late Dr Hunter S Thompson who wrote re George Dubya Bush to the effect that the political class and indeed the wider polity were reduced to the choice of pimps or whores.

  • John Collins

    I think it is very disappointing that you mentioned ‘whores’ and ‘media’ in the one sentence. Whores deserve much better.

  • aquifer

    Mick’s link between proportional representation and a more responsive political class is interesting. The Westminster first past the post system gives us a series of ‘elective dictatorships’ based on one of two parties. This gives the party machines and their media people a huge role in choosing how political conflict is presented, which marginalises the electorate. Street election campaigns are fought in a few swing constituencies by parties without the resources of their European counterparts.

    If this is not yet a constitutional crisis it should probably become one.

  • Mer Curial

    I propose we move parliament to Oxford.