Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Battle That Never Was

In 1992 after the General Election, the Sun told us it was the Sun “Wot Won It” . This week as nominations for David Davies’ seat close it will be the Sun “wot didn’t try to win it.”

I must admit to a slight sense of disappointment that Kelvin McKenzie will not stand as the Sun Newspaper candidate for David Davies’ seat as I have long held the belief that the media if not actually running the country, would like to – and it would be good to make that transparent to all.

Many journalists become MPs but Davies-(politician) versus McKenzie-(media pundit and Murdoch proxy ) could have been fascinating.There is a very interesting account of a previous Media Moghul v Politician by –election in Jonathan Calder’s House Points

Davies’ resignation took us all by surprise. The news of his resignation broke while I was in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill Committee. The whisper went round the room and people (including whips) kept leaving the room to find out just what the heck was going on.

We do though live in strange times.We have just had a journalist, Boris Johnston with no previous government experience elected Mayor of London ,vigorously backed on a daily basis by other journalists on Associated Newspaper’s Evening Standard. They had a special “get Ken” unit.

So Kelvin could have been optimistic. I doubt very much though if Boris has a coherent programme for government but he’s entertaining and good copy. It all fits Jay Leno’s famous description of politics as ‘ show business for ugly people '. Since it is ‘ celebrity’ and ‘personality’ that nowadays gets people reading papers, tuning in etc, reducing politics to show biz for ugly people makes business sense to the media– either that or abandoning covering politics altogether.