Monday, July 11, 2011

The new silver bullets

I have long thought that eventually the establishment will clamp down on the internet and that public panic over some issue like child abuse will be used as the excuse. The last few days have perhaps shown how it will be done.

What the phone voice-mail default password scandal shows is that some stories just don't move until the heart strings of the public are plucked in a certain way.

John Prescott ( he of the affair with a civil servant and cheating on his wife ) has his voicemail listened to - we all think its funny.

Celebrities ? Well if anyone cared about them then certain newspapers wouldn't sell and they'd be no Heat magazine.

The last Labour cabinet decided not to inquire any further about people listening into other people's voice-mail, less its upset newspapers who's support they were still courting. ( A Gordon Brown side kick one #RedEd is most likely to have been in the cabinet meeting that took that calculation ).

So what's the silver bullet in this affair been ? Public sympathy for a murdered school girls, and dead servicemen.

The ground of public opinion has opened below News International with that magic ingredient. The new silver bullets of public debate and political combat have been found, and you can be sure they will be used again. ( In some ways this was the lesson of Bigotgate. )

So what will the political world have learnt ?

To phrase its arguments in these terms.

Expect the bonfire of the vanities to be built up with harrowing stories and the cult of victim hood as each side tries to trump the other with the story that generates the most outrage to allow it to defeat its opponents in the cage fight of public opinion.

Welcome to America.

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