Tag Archives: British Media Ethics

The Despicable Art of the Politician

George Osborne suggested last year that there were only six weeks to save the Euro. You have to wonder what his motives were:


You have to wonder whether he was trying to make a subtle contribution to the pessimistic outlook attaching itself to the single currency, in order to hurry along a particular political agenda.

Particularly when both Osborne and Cameron recently criticised those who were guilty of open speculation about the Eurozone and its potential break up.


Politicians, intertwined with their media friends and public relations experts, are highly skilled at engineering situations that serve the ends of some of the world’s most powerful and wealthiest individuals. And that is quite sickening, but real.

It makes you cynical. It makes you question the underlying motives of politicians – the democratically elected puppets who pretend to be there to serve us, whilst their strings are being pulled by others behind the scene.

Thinking about the Eurozone crisis, you begin to wonder whether the countries that would have been damaged most by its break-up – UK, USA, Germany and others – understood that the only permanent solution, and one which would have benefitted their own economies anyway, would have been greater fiscal and political union.

A highly contentious issue for many countries and probably not wanted. But to plant the seed that there were only weeks to save the Euro, and indulge in the open speculation that they subsequently criticised, suggests that, for whatever reason, political union was perhaps the underlying motive.

After all, the ratings agencies, the men in dark suits, who ultimately control the interest rates that countries are required to pay on their debts, are perfectly positioned to nudge the figures up or down to engineer a crisis in the sovereign bond markets.

Given everything we know about politics, power and corruption, how easy would it be to create the perfect storm? How easy would it be to create the conditions which would either lead to global economic disaster – which nobody in their right mind would opt for – or a new political arrangement heralded as solving the crisis, but which actually served the elite particularly well?

Only a few well positioned individuals ever stand to gain from the political manoeuvring that takes place behind the scenes. We watch the pantomime play out in front of us. We get drawn into it. We live it. We cheer when we see the ‘hero’ triumph, and we boo when the ‘villain’ of the piece turns up.

And when things look like they are taking a dip, when our enthusiasm falters, there is always a large event of national importance conjured up to get everyone back on side. It is just like freshening up the cardboard scenery on the stage.

The pantomime is played out by very clever actors, masters in the art of deflection and distraction. We are all trained to clap and boo in unison, it is programmed into us – we are all in this together, after all.

And in politics, the villain of the piece is very rarely the character we are encouraged to boo with theatrical gusto. We are just made to think that way because it suits the underlying plot.

It is the despicable art of the politician, honed through years of working the circuit, playing the game and taking the standing ovation when it all appears to come together in the end.

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