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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the political tango of the executive and media « Previous | |Next »
April 21, 2010

Peter Osborne in The Observer highlights the nexus between politics and the media in a liberal democracy:

One of the defining features of contemporary politics is the presence in the leadership entourage of a behind-the-scenes fixer and thug. George W Bush had Karl Rove, Bill Clinton the dreadful Dick Morris. Tony Blair benefited, at various stages of his shining career, from the near permanent availability of Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell.These doppelgängers play an essential part in the construction of the public identity of a prime minister or president. Most top politicians need, as far as possible, to remain fragrant and project a picture of unsullied virtue. They almost invariably conclude that this can best be achieved if someone else carries out the function of striking background deals, terrorising subordinates and menacing opponents.

Osborne's central concern is with Andy Coulson, the former editor of Murdoch's News of the World, acting as the doppelgänger for David Cameron, the Conservative leader in the UK. He advises Cameron to have nothing more to do with his close aide and accomplice and to sever all relations with him should he win the election.

This is one example of the political tango of the executive and media in which government and media together are happy to collude in the continued collapse of parliament. The hollowing out of democracy is a big issue.

Tasmania points the way forward: make the shift to proportional representation as this gives the public genuine representation and that should also break our current system of “executive sovereignty” by creating a House of Representatives that is more free of single party dominance controlled by the executive.

Of course the two major parties in Australia would act to kill this movement to a hung parliament: --as Tasmania shows they would belittle the Greens, intimidate the public and insist that the only choice is Rudd or Abbott. And the media would be their willing partner in the fear tactics and distortions that will be used to try and destroy the Green challenge.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:52 PM | | Comments (5)


Does the Tory leopard ever change its spots?
Beneath the confected photo- op pixie face of Cameron, the truth is likely a very nasty Mr Hyde, I'd suggest: Thatcherite to the core!
Not conclusive Gary, but a big circumstantial clue they've inadvertantly dropped, that ought to give no comfort to any British voter.

One of the Conservative's new posters says "Let's cut benefits for those who refuse to work," next to a picture of Cameron.

I assume that the the right-wing press (the Sun or the Mail) in the UK are doing the attacking for the Conservatives? I understand that Cameron is trying to decontaminate the Tory brand so that they appeal to more than their own core voter-base.

Tell the truth, I couldn't say.
You know their press makes ours look like a kitten compard to an mangy ally moggy.
You caught a glimpse of the notorious debate on teev, too?
Weren't they pathetic, Brown and Cameron; the lib democrats young bloke stood out like a diamond in a cowpat?
Fingers X'd for a quantum change in the Brit political landscape, but how often do third parties look the goods and then fall over on the day.
But the blue mooner looks exponentially closer this time and if it happens it will be good for our politics as well as theirs.
It would prove to Australians that given the right circumstances, substantative change is possible, even in this country.

The right-wing press in the UK --the Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Express and Times---has decided to circle the wagons around his Tory party. It cannot stomach the idea of a hung parliament, especially one in which the Lib Dems may favour Labour as a partner, thereby leaving Gordon Brown in power.So they will attempt to destroy the Lib Dems and their leader Nick Clegg.