An Idiot’s Guide to Politics – interview with Jolyon Rubinstein

Rubinstein had a petition going on one of the internet petitioning organisations to make lying to parliament illegal as a way of tackling public cynicism. I think he’s right, though it actually means confronting the fact that not only do MPs lie in parliament, they need to be called out on it. At the moment, I think, it is one of the 200 or so prohibited ‘unparliamentary’ terms of phrase for one MP to accuse another of lying.
Well, they have. They do. Blair lied, people died, and Cameron, IDS, Clegg, Osbo and McLie are so crooked they have to screw themselves into their clothing in the morning. Unless radical action is taken, nobody is going to trust a word any politician says.

As for reaching out to youth, when politicos try it all sounds very false and patronising. Some of us can still remember when Tory MPs appeared to have had a three-line whip to tell the world what their favour pop stars were. As a way of appealing to da yoof. So you had the spectacle of Tory peer Lord Onslow describing the Spice Girls as ‘perfectly delicious’, while one of the first open gay Tory MPs said that the Scissor Sisters were his favourite band. That particular MP, you suspect, either listened to very 60s-80s stuff, if he listened to pop music at all, or else was far more at home with works of Elgar and Vaughn Williams. There isn’t anything wrong with liking either of those types of music. And he may have genuinely been a fan of the Scissor Sisters. But as it stood, it looked highly false, very patronising, and rather embarrassing, like Dads dancing at parties.

There’s a very interesting bit over on Youtube where Charlie Brooker attacks Yoof TV for being patronising. It’s worth looking at, but be warned: there’s an act there that’s so vulgar there was an entire South Park episode devoted to how revolting it is. At least to certain delicate sensibilities. He shows the various efforts at Yoof TV to an audience of Young People, who really aren’t impressed with it. When asked what programmes they like and would like to see more of, instead of stuff that made The Word look like a disquisition between A.J.P. Taylor and Sir Isaiah Berlin on the Two Treatises of Government, they wanted programmes like Inspector Morse. They enjoyed pretty much what their parents and older relatives enjoyed.
Instead, they get really vulgar, patronising bilge.

Pride's Purge

(not satire?)

Here’s part of my interview with comedian Jolyon Rubinstein (The Revolution Will Be Televised), who has just completed a documentary to be shown tomorrow on BBC 3 – An Idiot’s Guide To Politics – about why the Facebook generation is so disengaged from politics:

Tom Pride:  Is it true that David Cameron refused to meet you during the making of your documentary? If so, what reason did he give? Did any other MPs refuse to meet you?

Jolyon Rubinstien: All three leaders of the main political parties declined our invitations to sit down for interviews. Cameron’s office flirted with us for a while, there was some back and forth. I thought he was just playing hard to get, but then he finally said no. Even when I said I had a £50K cheque for him (which would have bounced) he wasn’t having it. I think…

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