Are we really too stupid to be interested in Leveson?
Even by Labour Uncut’s standards, this is pretty poor:
People are suffering out there. Families’ finances are under pressure as prices rise while their incomes remain static……
So imagine how you must have as you realised that there was still a couple of weeks to go until pay-day and the kids needed new shoes or the tax on the car was due. And then you flicked on the news and saw that once again the entire political class appeared to have its collective head stuck up its own arse once again!
The Leveson Inquiry is a political geeks fantasy. I have to confess to being addicted to it and avidly consume every titillating morsel……But I suspect that for many, many more, the vast majority, it is barely noticed, or is a hugely embarrassing waste of time and money.
So let’s get this right.
Someone who acknowledges that he is in the “Westminster village: (he says ‘out there’, not ‘out here’) “suspects” the proletariat are not interested in the Leveson Inquiry, and therefore suggests that those in the Westminster village should stop covering it.
As someone most definitely outside the Westminster village but also interested in Leveson, I find pretty damn patronising Watt’s insinuation that I’m not really up to such intellectual demands. So, I more-than-suspect, would plenty of my friends, who may not follow every minute of Leveson, but would object pretty strongly to the idea that the questions who controls the papers, and in whose interests, is nothing for them to worry their pretty, skint little heads about.
(As Andreas has pointed out on twitter, malign media ownership was actually the subject of a James Bond film not too long ago. I don’t remember too many people leaving the cinema early complaining that it was all a bit hard to get to grips with, and that they’d be better off discussing the price of nails in the pub.)
In the way that Labour Uncut’s Peter Watt thus reduces those beyond ’the village’ to voting fodder, at whom more ‘relevant’ messages are to be directed by those in the know, I’m reminded of an old post by Dave Understanding the politics of intellectual snobbery:
Extreme religion, anti-statism and even fascism are motivated by the lumpenization of the working class. At that point, it doesn’t matter who is objectively “correct” and who is objectively wrong, any more than it matters when armies meet on a battlefield who has the better ideological justification.
But the further this process of lumpenization goes on, the more shrill the liberal denunciations of the unthinking masses.
Which is counterproductive and, yes, patronizing.
Politics as telling the masses what the political elite thinks it’s important they hear, or politics as telling people what might be important? I know which I prefer.