“I feel sorry for journalist’s having to report on this stuff because it’s a tiny bit complicated.”
by Pseud O'Nym
Yesterday was momentous day of incalculable significance for this and future generations but one that resulted in…what exactly?
Now I like to flatter myself that I’m slightly more politically aware than the average Josephine, capable of understanding some of the basic concepts of political posturing and gamesmanship. That I can hold my own with. Good. But for everything else, a bit a sunshine to burn through the fog of bullshit and spin is needed and so, it was with no little sense of high expectation, I watched BBC2 ‘Newsnight’ special yesterday that ambitiously promised ‘Newsnight dissects Saturday’s vote in Parliament on Brexit. What exactly just happened? ‘
It didn’t, and if anything, made it more confusing for the vast majority of people watching. There was the slanging match of an interview between arch Brexiteer Steve Baker MP and Emily Maitless – which is where the title comes from – followed by two interviews with people who had taken James Browns dictum of ‘talking loud and saying nothing’ to extremes. I reflected on the fact that one of the reasons for Nigel Farrage’s appeal is that he gives straight answers to questions, doesn’t seem to give stock responses and communicates in an easily understandable way.
This is a huge bugbear for me, the way that political reporting is unnecessarily complicated, when actually there is a responsibility to the viewer or listener to make it less so. Anyone who can understand the dynamics at work in a large family, the shifting loyalties and temporary alliances, the pursuit of competing interests and grievances, achieving one’s own goals whilst thwarting others, has all the intelligence needed to understand politics. Noam Chomsky makes a similar point using sport.
And there’s more political reporting onanism to cum, with more votes, more legal wrangling and yet more obfuscation in the next few days.
But will there be in the any clarity in it’s reporting? There’s about as much chance of that as there is a sudden outbreak of peace and harmony in the country about Brexit!