Monday, 15 January 2018

You couldn’t make it up

Just imagine a fictional drama which featured the leader of a right-wing, anti-European, populist political party deserting his (third) wife and children in Austria, then entering a new relationship with a model, half his age, who specialised in sending racist messages to her friends about the prospects for the royal family which, when made public, resulted in the leader ditching the model in a desperate bid to keep his position.
Just imagine a drama which suggested that the same party’s elected representatives in the Welsh Assembly had decided to prevent the latest representative – only elected this month – from being a member of its group because they don’t like the staff she has appointed.
Just imagine a drama which suggested that the former leader of that same party had claimed that his principles had “cost him a knighthood”, just two weeks before the European Parliament – following an investigation – announced it was reclaiming £35,000 from him because of his mis-spending.
Now, just imagine If the BBC had broadcast these dramas as radio plays.
Undoubtedly, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph would be publishing editorials condemning the state broadcaster for its disgraceful abuse of its position, followed by demands for the BBC to be broken up and privatised.
They would be supported by the alt-right commentators on social media and President Trump would be busily retweeting the demands.
Hundreds of members of the party would be writing angry letters to The Star and Yorkshire Post and be ringing Toby Foster on Radio Sheffield to demand retribution.
Of course, no broadcaster would treat you seriously if you wrote plays with content like this.
Why should they? You couldn’t make it up.
Except, of course, that I didn’t have to make this up. It was what made the news this morning and…… no…… it wasn’t fake news.
It should provide a cautionary tale to recall next time you are asked to cast your vote.
As Churchill once commented “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried”.
We can all make mistakes and we should learn from them.
So, next time, make sure you look well behind the populist rhetoric before you put your X on the ballot paper.