Saturday, 9 February 2008

Rowan Williams: Media Stooge

The Archbishop of Canterbury has attempted to say something sensible about the status and future of Muslim culture in the UK. Unfortunately, he has said it publicly. About Muslims. Big mistake.

This entire issue is an excellent example of what's wrong with Britain at the moment, and why so much of Britain's government is being carried on behind closed doors. The new reality, it seems, is that whatever you want to do, just do it, but for God's sake don't try and talk about it.

Anyone who wishes to propose mature and serious debate about an issue in Britain has to have an army of spin doctors to couch it in terms which won't send the mass media off wetting themselves in a blind, hysterical frenzy and misrepresent the hell out of whatever was said. So people stop bothering. What *is* the point of bothering? What's the point of trying to talk about things, when the media will just tear you apart and splatter you all over their pages in their hysterical attempts to sell papers. It's what they do.

If it was necessary for the media to roll in the gutter p*ssing themselves and grovelling for our money in order to sell papers, they'd do it. It's nothing to do with news - it's the hysterical production of equally hysterical demand, nothing more. And our democracy has it as a terminal disease. The mass media is collaborating in screwing our country into the ground. Cui bono?

A lot of issues need discussing in modern Britain: global warming, joining the Euro, immigration, corporate corruption, decentralisation, and many, many more. But they won't be. They're perceived by the media as boring, stick-in-the-mud topics which require at least a small exercise of the grey matter to contribute to, and therefore f'all use in selling papers. And in our increasingly uneducated and asinine culture, it's so much easier for the media to scream their heads off with easy-to-swallow knee-jerk meaningless soundbites before tuning into wall-to-wall Eastenders and celebrity dancing / hiking / cooking / what-the-frack-ever programs than actually trying to get people to concentrate on an issue for more than five minutes. Which suits the shadowy backers of the shadowy government which *really* runs the show just fine.

And so democracy dies. Not to the sound of tumultuous applause, but to indifference, and the frantic changing of channels...

...and the lighting of cigars, and satisfied smiles, in oak-panelled rooms far, far, from public view. Nemo custodiet ipsos custodes. And they like that just fine.

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