The Futility Monster

He'll pointlessly derive more enjoyment out of your resources than you

And The Press Did Spin

Posted by The Futility Monster on August 10, 2009 @ 09:45

He's Just A Loveable Pussycat Really. So he says...

He's Just A Loveable Pussycat Really. So he says...

Can anyone possibly be serious when they suggest that Peter Mandelson could soon become the leader of the Labour Party? Or worse, Prime Minister?

I certainly can’t utter those words without breaking out into a smirk. Because, as we all know, Mandelson is probably the most hated member of the Labour Party. Even surpassing Blair, though we don’t know whether he is indeed still a member. One would have thought so or it could be mighty embarrassing.

However, there is one lesson to be learned from all the headlines surrounding the noble Lord Mandelson’s return to high politics, and reputed visions of gaining the top job.

And it’s one of my old favourites. One I may just possibly have mentioned before.

Never trust the media.

Why? Well, this story is actually one of a tedious, abstract nature.

The issue: whether life peers should be able to resign their peerage and leave the House of Lords behind.

On the face of it, this is totally open and shut. It is madness to suggest that, once made a member of a legislative body, that you should never ever be allowed to leave of your own free will. The only escape basically being when you’re six feet under.

After all, an MP can resign. Indeed, even a hereditary peer can resign. That’s what all that fuss over Tony Benn was all about decades ago. And we managed, somehow, to lay that ghost to rest. The law was changed.

So why shouldn’t a “life” peer be allowed to move on? Such an odd constitution we have thanks to its piecemeal nature.

But wait! How can we make this tedious piece of news into a long-running saga that now even has the Tories excited because they get the chance to enjoy headlines like this: “Tories pledge to block law allowing Lord Mandelson to return to Commons” ?

Well, it’s simple, isn’t it.

Personalisation. The human interest angle. Make each piece of news, no matter how individually worthy or necessary for updating an antiquated constitution, into another piece of the petty partisan battle that will then, inevitably, make people oppose something merely for the sake of it.

And that’s exactly what’s happened. There is actually nothing in the article where the Tories explain why they would oppose such a move. But, after all, that’s not necessary! Why wouldn’t they oppose sticking one over Mandelson! Who wouldn’t?!

And do you know what else?

This is exactly why nothing ever seems to get done in politics.

The media are just as complicit as anyone.

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