Baroness Casey's report on the Met and Boris Johnson's appearance before the Privileges Committee lead to a brief and illuminating bout of noticing.
Thanks for taking this seriously, Mic, unlike our joke of a media. It’s all just a parlour game to these people. Meanwhile, unchecked - hell, actively encouraged - police brutality has wrecked how many black and brown lives? Conservative austerity policies have killed something like 300,000 people? And that’s before you get to the 200,000+ Covid dead (including my dad) and ministers’ rampant profiteering off the pandemic. This is a joke country governed by Etonian con men, white collar criminals - Sunak was a Goldman Sachs banker - and sociopathic xenophobes. They deserve prison, but will be rewarded handsomely by the private sector. And instead of a Labour government worthy of the name, we’ll get a bunch of craven, amoral bank managers in thrall to far-right press barons, who will change nothing and simply mark time until the Tory scum get voted in again... 🤷🏾♂️
“Journalism, boiled down to its first principles, should be the act of noticing things; stories emerge from observing what is happening in the world around you; listening to what people tell you; and discerning what is out of the ordinary; seeking what goes on behind assumptions and beneath the seemingly prosaic.
Bad journalists are people who do not notice things they should or indulge in a kind of strategic ignorance that means they don’t ‘notice’ until it suits them, the political faction with which they aligned and/or their bosses. Day in, day out, the anglophone media — but especially the British media — engages in a process of active not-noticing combined with sudden am-dram surprise at things that other people recognised a very long time ago” -
superb piece of writing this - lots to think about and you’ve encapsulated it
‘Strategic ignorance’ is a wonderful, if damning, phrase. It permeates our society and promotes self-interest, a lack of empathy and compassion for others, and, ultimately, ends in widespread corruption.
Manish’s comments are spot-on: the U.K. is fast becoming a tinpot country where, quite literally, none of our essential services work as they should, and personal freedoms are being steadily eroded.
And that’s why it’s so important that you continue to pull back the curtain to expose the hypocrisy, unfairness and corruption.
It’s a bloody lonely path sometimes, but your writing is building a community of people who hopefully care about more than just house prices and pension fund values. Ideas can spread exponentially, so let’s hope that meaningful change will too!
As an aside, it’s interesting to see how the French are protesting against Macron ripping up the social contract. Perhaps a comparison of French vs U.K. media would make for a good article.
Keep writing Mic! You’re making a difference 👊
Your intro and much of what you say here is absolutely superb, but then you zone in on one of the only consistently eagle-eyed columnists in the broadsheets atm. Just as you pinion journalists, Hyde pinions politicians… I always regarded her as one of your soul twins in terms of her writing style — even if her targets are different — and have never noticed her being anything but absolutely and 💯 percent scathing about Boris Johnson or anyone else in the clown car at number 10. She is not a fan, her columns have often been searingly angry as much as they are descriptive, so why is she implied to be enjoying this stuff?
🤔Is this because she roasted Corbyn? Surely there were a few more progressives who saw that a personality cult was springing up around him in the mid’2010s (& still exists for many). Why would anyone on the Left build such a strict ideological hierarchy where you cannot criticise the top dog? Politicians are people, not saints. Corbyn is a person. The focus should have been on policies, the real solutions and alternatives to austerity, & not in him as an individual.
But I found that whole reaction (the idea that anyone who criticised him was a ‘centrist’ by default) more than a bit disturbing. Ofc maybe Hyde is ‘centrist’ or an idol for centrists, and you are the kind of rigorous reader who could dig up examples of her political views if they have been concretely expressed. I simply do not know where she actually stands on policies, but would question that assumption. She certainly didn’t like Blair (who was ‘centrist’ whatever that means), & warned against Corbyn’s automatic-denial reaction to the antisemitism row (that there couldn’t possibly be antisemitism in his party because he in himself was not antisemitic. Well Jeremy, that’s not how it works.)
Suggesting that Moran might have *invented* a really weird column (which you’re bang-on in ridiculing) is shooting from the hip. Why suggest it? Her colleague is Giles Coren and her surname rhymes with his but that’s as far as the similarity goes — isn’t it? Coren is a complete unmitigated wanker without a soul. Moran is, kind and, blossoming, self-lacerating, unpretentious and, maybe occasionally a twat, idk, but you might have found the first example of that now.
Journalists need to be critiqued or praised based on their own words and not by proximity to anybody else’s. Women being given a false equivalence to the men they talk about (eg Hyde & Johnson) or men they happen to sit in proximity to (eg Moran & her soulless colleague), has a looong looong history and no Mic I’m not accusing you of being an Unfortunate Member of the Patriarchy (don’t worry!) but 70% of history is written by men & men dominate online spaces & discourse. Men rarely seem to boost or retweet their female colleagues on social media (while the reverse - women boosting words by men - happens a lot). Women are often still denied amplification. I am wary of writing this comment in case I get hate mobbed or ridiculed.
Hyde and Moran are among the few exceptions who can walk around with media megaphones and the world following what they think. It’s popular to snipe at prominent women and there is a burgeoning Paranoid Incel fanbase of ‘alternative media’ where women are supposedly too loud and opinionated, which wdn’t suit you at all!
Your overall point is absolutely sound that there needs to be much more serious reporting and far less cuddling up to power … I am sorry if I am being too defensive of powerful women writers (after all, they could always do more), and wary if this comment is annoying or, reading too much into it... but that is my reaction - Hyde’s the opposite of a a Johnson cheerleader, Moran isn’t at all like Giles Coren. **I’ve never met either of them, or you, & reacting purely as a broad reader & not as a histrionic friend to anyone in the media...** Keep keeping on.
I love riots, me (just not of it knocks-down house prices in our postcode)