Wednesday 9 February 2022

Political journalists don't understand Chaotic Evil

I've written a little something for The Critic about the verbal assault on Keir Starmer which political journalists have (willfully?) misunderstood.

Political journalists have a habit of assuming that what matters to them matters to everybody. They also tend to assume that they are dealing with rational actors. And so when they see Keir Starmer accosted by a mob and hear the word “paedophile”, they immediately make a connection to the story that has preoccupied them and the rest of the Westminster lobby for the last week and to the broader story of whether the Prime Minister can survive. Here, it seemed to them, was cause and effect. It was proof that the story had “cut through” to ordinary people and that Johnson’s fake news had inflamed their animal passions. 

But the “protesters” are quite obviously neither rational nor ordinary and they cannot be understood by journalists who think the world revolves around Prime Minister’s Questions and cabinet reshuffles. They are a tiny group of people on the fringes of mental health with no coherent political views who are understandably ignored by the media most of the time despite their frequent visits to Trafalgar Square. Their obsession with paedophile rings has no more broader political significance than their obsession with “clot shots’, the World Economic Forum or, er, low emission zones.


If you've been following this story, you may also be interested with this interview with some of the protesters. 


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