The media are getting themselves into a right old strop about the on/off political debate.
Journalists, broadcasters and the politically aware are disappointed that those in power are not rolling over and doing what is asked of them. I’m the same.
The world has changed, leader debates should be mandatory in these times. Of course, it may not drive the audience numbers of Eastenders or Saturday Night Takeaway, but this stuff is important.
Do the public care
I don’t want to admit it but I don’t think they do in general.
There are reasons for this and those working within media have to take some of the blame here.
I had the joy of meeting Brian and Mary today, one came to fix my gas boiler and the other was delivering the mail. (Already I sound like Miliband). I asked for their view, it was not a positive one. They had little interest in all the fuss. Yes, they believe people should account for themselves but the bottom line is that they simply have more important things to worry about. They’d watch if it was on but don’t really care if it’s not.
Yes, there are thousands who will say otherwise but I suspect the truth is much closer to my two people survey. Their stance is that politicians have perfected the art of never answering a question so what’s the point? They never learn anything anyway. Nothing changes.
Presenters who do make a stand are accused of being bias or perhaps overly aggressive.
Where is the next Brian Walden?
I want real debate, not a shouting match. It’s hard to do. Watching Question Time is hard work and few people at the top table ever go on it. This game of cat and mouse has gone on far too long and the nation is bored with it all. Cameron knows this better than most which is why having 7 people on a debate will be nothing but a farce.
If you want younger people to get involved with politics you have to change the way we work. That means changing the format, the way it works and asking questions in a different way. It also means politicians answering the questions. Things have got to change and the debate as planned will be nothing but a borefest. It is the people who avoid politics that we need to engage with, not those who love it right now.
As is so often the case, radio listeners provide the most amusing content. They had a couple of ideas on how to make these events more appealing.
Ask them 10 questions where they can only answer yes, no or maybe!
Each participant to drink 10 Jagabombs an hour before the debate begins
Jeremy Vine had a female caller on who claimed it was 90 minutes of her life she wouldn’t get back.
Whatever happens, shouting matches, PMQ’s or no one answering a question is what a great many people believe politics has resorted to and that is a shame, for all of us. Sadly, politicians are right down there with Estate Agents, but slightly higher than bankers. Hardly a badge of honour.
Broadcasters, journalists and the media itself is as guilty for the apathy in politics today as any politician if you ask me.
The say that we get the politics we deserve. The same goes for media too.