A really remarkable one here, asking: What created this idiotic and wildly destructive politics? then instantly answering “It was newspapers like the one I work for, and people like me” and embarking on a long chin-stroke about the real causes.
All kinds of bizarre chin-stroking here on topics as diverse as historic anti-Catholicism, social liberalism in the 60s and the Yuppie explosion, all of which seem pretty redundant when you started by acknowledging it’s your editors and senior pundits who are to blame.
What caused horrors as poisonous and diverse as the PC Gone Mad scares of the nineties or the current front page gender panic? I don’t know, maybe indie bands
What happened “about a decade ago” that might cause an “exponential explosion of newspaper articles about the culture war”? Well, in a weird coincidence, that occurs alongside the televised Leveson Inquiry into criminal and unethical activities in the British press.

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More from @flying_rodent

9 Jun
Exactly the same! It’s mostly the same people! The McCarthyism would just have been even more vicious, stupid and intense because they’d all be sharing posts by At-Socialists4Saddam or whatever in that offended-but-determined tone the lot of them - left and right - used to do.
Jesus, the Iraq War didn’t happen as it did because of poor quality public debate. There was very little debate, and most of what passed for it was just the worst people in the country screaming at folk who correctly told them they were horribly misguided at best.
The Iraq War “debate” in Britain played out exactly as all our “debates” over austerity, Brexit and our other disastrous wars did - incredible shitheads in public office, on TV and in the press screaming at people who were correct about them, until they got what they wanted.
Read 7 tweets
8 Jun
I’m sure there’s something to this but I’d just point at Britain, where public debate in my lifetime has generally amounted to a small number of people in and adjacent to the government shouting until they get what they want, and has got more so as those people fucked up harder.
We might quibble that there was loads of complaining about the wars, the austerity, Brexit and so on but the key thing to note is that the right of those arguments won them all, and the common denominator is “whatever the Mail and the Sun wanted, won”.
If the tone of public debate seems harsher, it’s just that the trend for openly bullshitting in public and screeching allegations of treason to get whatever jingoes and crooks want has now widened out from a narrow tranche of the public to include up to fifty percent of it.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
It took the Conservative Party, half the Labour Party and the overwhelming majority of the British press five years working full time at maximum nastiness to tank Corbyn into the same position Starmer and his team managed, just by being themselves.
I don’t know if this means heavily choreographed political hate campaigns coordinated by the press in close conjunction with MPs battering their own party just take a long time to work effectively, or whether Sensible business suit centrism is astoundingly unpopular. Maybe both.
Anyway, it’s another reminder - not that we need one - that every time noisily moderate Sensible centrism has encountered the public, it has almost instantly exploded like a balloon full of hot sewage bumping into a pin, no matter how patriotic it is.
Read 6 tweets
7 Jun
I’d add that Johnson *absolutely has* to be a sly genius because if he wasn’t - if he’s just a shit, unconvincing crook - well, why did the Times endorse him and why did everyone else either get right behind him, or do everything they could to nobble the only possible alternative
Johnson didn’t surge to victory through his own genius - his election campaign was actively comical, a series of open insults to the electorate. He got there because half the press made him the patriotic hero and all vilified his opponent, and nobody ever wants to say so.
So Johnson has to be a genius, a man who tapped into the zeitgeist. Because if he’s just a cheap crook who can’t even lie convincingly, well, that suggests there’s something badly wrong with the institutions that put him where he is. And it can never be that.
Read 7 tweets
7 Jun
It’s not even slightly baffling, and anyone pretending they don’t know exactly how and why this happened is pissing on your leg and telling you it’s raining. Image
In general, the openly evil political and media types are a lot easier to deal with than the great squidgy middle pretending not to understand things they do understand. The former couldn’t do what they do half as effectively without the daily acquiescence of the latter. Image
Bluntly: you don’t end up with e.g. fans booing the England football team as unpatriotic radicals in a tournament they’re one of the favourites to win unless something deeply poisonous is going on, and a lot of people who do know better have reluctantly played along with it.
Read 4 tweets
29 Apr
It’s been a hell of a decade for people accidentally creating monsters they can’t control or corral, isn’t it.
As I’ve been saying for a long time: people know exactly what the Tories are and they’re absolutely fine with it, as long as they’re getting what they want - maximum viciousness, raw spite, idiotic flag-waving, cruelty and crackdowns on people they don’t like.
Here’s the thing about the news/entertainment industry creating a monster backlash electoral bloc that only wants the dumbest, meanest, nastiest motherfucker it can get to crack the skulls of people they don’t like: you can’t make it stop if their stupidity gets your gran killed.
Read 6 tweets

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