I'm reading Peter Oborne's excellent “The Triumph of the Political Class” and it probably couldn't be a better time to be reading it as Parliament continues to dig itself into a deeper hole. I wish I could quote whole swathes of the book on this blog, but I shan't. It is a shame more of Mr Oborne's work isn't readily accessible online – there is an excerpt of the book here on the Daily Mail website which doesn't seem to be that reliable at the moment.
Anyway one thing that struck me in the book is Oborne's absolutely searing yet precision attack on the relationship between the new political class and the media, he argues that they have in many cases become one. For example Sky’s Political editor Adam Boulton being married to key Blair advisor Anji Hunter.
Oborne argues that, along with the increasing disregard for Parliament, a situation arose where politicians and reporters colluded in reporting unreal events as being reality – statements never really said, actions never taken, figures based on no facta and so on.
The Tories were not doing well in this Blairite environment where so many connections, lunches and favours intertwined the media and New Labour people. So, in the same way that Blair outdid the Tories to win office, now Cameron is trying to be the Better-Blair. Like Blair, Cameron comes across well on TV, but he also is not honest about his policies or values. A Blair mimick is the last thing we need right now. Blair was in many ways a disaster for this country, leading as he did an assault on our democratic system, human rights, civil service, position in the world through ill-advised wars and undermined the status of MPs in our mode of governance.
Cameron offers nothing new and I just hope more people will realise that Cameron is not an alternative to Labour. It's the same kind of thinking, the same kind of new-politico-media people with the same dishonest values which got us into this mess.
There are honourable exceptions but Parliament as a whole has failed to hold the executive to account, to prevent expenses abuses or to stand up to the epic scale of dishonesty being perpetrated by our politicians. Oborne has documented so many huge mistruths and inexcusable omissions that one is left to believe the entire culture of Parliament is rotten – and they have got away with it.
Cameron, Brown, Clegg and their lot have been party to these acts for a long time. They are a disgrace to politics and we deserve better.