Do we have a representative democracy? In name, yes we do, but it’s changed. In case you haven’t noticed, our political class has been quietly working to weaken our much cherished representative democracy. How? By replacing the ‘oh so annoying’ parliamentary and judicial mechanism for keeping the executive in check with an alternative: an alternative that offers direct and unfettered engagement with the electorate. The British media is that alternative.
The political class’s impatience with the old system has allowed the media to assume an almost constitutional role. Memoirs of recent political leaders have illustrated the extent to which government decision-making is now dominated by the media. No surprise then that one of the most powerful people in government is now the press secretary, a Mr Andy Coulson.
As a result of our politician’s deceit, Rupert Murdoch, who is not a British citizen, who pays no British tax, but is head of a News organisation that controls nearly 20% of the British media, and is planning on obtaining more, is in a position to influence political decisions and election outcomes – and he does just that. British democracy has been compromised and corrupted all because of the impatience and crass stupidity of our political class.
The evidence of this corruption is a telling silence. Despite widespread dishonest and illegal practices at the News of the World, hardly a condemnatory peep has been heard from any politician afraid as they are to criticise the mogul Murdoch’s empire lest his empire strikes back.
Select committees have been cowed and quietly dissuaded from inquiring too far into the activities of News International for fear of reprisals. Many MPs tremble that past personal indiscretions will surface in the mogul M’s red tops should they dare to raise their voices. Hardly an objection has been heard against Murdoch’s attempt to buy the remaining shares in BSkyB, a deal which would severely reduce the plurality of the media and increase his power and influence even further.
Silence betrays how stupid our politicians have been. Silence demonstrates that we have a deep-rooted corruption in our politics. Silence is a signal that our trust has been betrayed.