It’s election day here in the UK. I’m dreading the outcome with the expectation that the people will give the keys to 10 Downing Street to someone who has taken the art of lying to a completely new level. I have worked for, with and alongside politicians, of varying abilities and talents, for 35 years and at times I have been party to misrepresentations, spin and efforts to deflect and distract – to some extent it has always come with the territory.
But Johnson is the first of a kind – someone who can stand in a room full of people and say things that he and everyone present knows to be absolute nonsense. We are hours away from confirmation that you can win an election by lying and lying and lying and lying and lying without stopping.
And then I remember that Trump achieved likewise in the USA and that the PM of Australia seems to have a similar reputation. It’s despicable.
Just before flying off to the recent holiday, I bought a magaine that looked back at the life and work of R.E.M. through the various media interviews they gave over the years to the music press here in the UK. It’s a fascinating read as there’s no effort to edit anything that was said (or asked) at the time, and there’s a few moments where the views and opinions do leave the band members looking or sounding a little bit odd and quite removed from reality. One thing said by Michael Stipe in 1988, on the eve of the election of George Bush Snr, that hit home in response to a question about apathy when it comes to politics and politicians:-
“It’s a real problem because the country is so huge that things can’t really be focussed on except through the media, which completely abuses or overdramatises events according to their whim.”
30 years on, and while the media is now much more than newsprint and TV, it is even more of a problem about the abuse of its power and the way it overdramatises events. Just google the words ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ and ‘Election 2019’ to get the idea.
mp3 : Billy Bragg – Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards (2019 version – live)
Taken from footage of Billy lending his support to striking university lecturers on a picket line in Birmingham, England on 5 December.
Tomorrow could well be the blackest of all black Fridays. This blog won’t be reflecting at all on the election outcome. It’ll be in the hands of a guest with a very good ICA.