Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Television”

Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

The internet was at one stage hailed as a major democratic tool – allowing us “voters” to have a direct input into the democratic purpose (beyond that of putting an “X” on a piece of paper every few years).

But now we are not so sure. Read more…


Unwitted Consequences

Single man meets single woman on dating site – nothing salacious, no story even for the gutter press.

The man is a cabinet minister – again no story just sympathy for someone in the public eye trying to form a relationship.

The woman has a chequered professional past – again no real story; dating websites are said to be full of profiles that don’t exactly tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Relationship ends – again no story just sympathy for someone in the public eye trying to form a relationship.

So why are we abuzz with stories of hypocrisy, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest? Read more…

Bigger than the BBC

The BBC seems damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson initiated the BBC investigation which prompted his suspension, after he informed BBC bosses of the alleged “fracas”.
BBC News Website 13 March 2015 : Jeremy Clarkson approached BBC bosses about ‘fracas’

This is a man who it is widely reported was on a “final warning” following a number of instances when he “pushed the limits”. But then we see:

An online petition calling for the star’s reinstatement – set up by political blogger Guido Fawkes – has accrued almost one million signatures since the presenter’s suspension.
BBC News Website 20 March 2015 : Jeremy Clarkson alludes to ‘BBC sacking’ at charity event

So Clarkson knew he had probably over-stepped the mark and initiated a process that he knew might well lead to his sacking. Possibly he was getting bored and wanted an exit – albeit a rather arrogant one.

Or he thought that he was such a big star that he could create a situation where the BBC would have to back down. He probably holds employment disciplinary practices in the same contempt as he holds “elf ‘n safety”.

Where before have we seen a situation where the BBC believes that someone is such a big star that indiscretions and complaints should be ignored? Read more…

Sordid and rather Sad

Two more MPs have been caught behaving, shall we say, “injudiciously” by a sting team working for Channel 4 Despatches. This time they snared “big beasts”, Jack Straw – former Labour Foreign Secretary and Sir Malcolm Rifkind – former Conservative Foreign Secretary and (until this morning) chairman of the Security Select Committee.

Sir Malcolm has now decided to join Jack Straw in retiring at the election in a few weeks time. They say political careers tend to end in death or failure and for both these politicians it is rather sad that well-respected careers should end on this note.

It is also slightly sordid. Read more…

UKIP: Naive or something less savoury?

UKIP have been on the TV quite a bit recently specifically:

To be honest telling which one was fiction and which one was factual was difficult! Read more…

Undercover Boss

Channel 4 has just finished a re-run of the American version of Undercover Boss, the TV programme based on a senior executive donning a disguise and going to work on some pretext in his (or her) own company and getting new insights into the organisation.

The format is a touch artificial but the contrast between the UK version and the American version is worrying. Read more…

Electoral Debates – One out; all out?

We know that the parties are motivated by self-interest when it comes to who they think should take part in the General Election Debates.

But what do the voters think? Read more…

Electoral Hypocrisy (part 1 of goodness knows)

Will the TV companies “empty chair” the Prime Minister? Will the Greens be subject to the pressure of the leaders’ debates? Will they even take place?

It is all about ratings and political self-interest. Quelle Surprise! Read more…

Anachronisms – windmills for political bigots

something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, especially a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time
Dictionary.com : Anachronism

If you hear a politician saying “it’s anachronism – it should be abolished”, beware the political zealot. Read more…

Parallels 100 years on

100 years ago a conflict started that brought death to one household in 6 in the UK. That we should mark this event would seem appropriate, but what is an appropriate mark?

Read more…

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