R.F. Wilson writes from London: Practically all politicians are liars, cheats and are incompetent in everything they do. Period. Otherwise they would have had a proper job. But no, the weasels actually try to make it look as if they joined politics driven by desire to improve things while sacrificing careers that would have otherwise allowed them to make tons of money, had they not become servants of the people, the creeps!
And keeping this in mind it becomes imperative to mock and ridicule politicians as often as humanly possible, concentrating on the ones who are in power but sparing no ammo on the ones in opposition either, as they can always weasel their way into government at any time. And who better to do that than all sorts of funny men and women who call themselves comedians and satirists and entertainers. The media should be doing that as well, but modern hacks are too deep in the pockets of the money men who are, in turn, friendly with the politicians, so it sort of rules the press, and the news on the box, out of it.
But do we see comedians giving a hard time to all politicians all the time? We most certainly don’t. It so happens that most of the mainstream funny men and women are of a progressive disposition these days, so what they do is either produce lame and timid jokes about political rulers, who brush them off as totally irrelevant, or concentrate on the conservatives mostly. They never dare have a go at the leftie politicians and it really looks odd when incompetent past and present leaders like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Nick Clegg get away with the unbelievable rubbish that they say and do while lots of jokes are told about right-wingers who don’t decide anything or have become irrelevant. I mean, how stupid can it get when comedians crack jokes about Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, who are dead, or John Major, George Bush and Sarah Palin, who don’t matter any more.
Political satire and comedy generally lose their relevance if politicians in government get away with murder, while the irrelevant ones become the target of mockery. You only need to look back at Britain under Labour, who got into power in 1997 and desperately clung to it for 13 long years. The moment Tony Blair had moved into 10 Downing Street, political satire in Britain ceased to exist. In the sense that the government was no longer the butt of the jokes and it was the opposition that became the object of constant ridicule.
And that was at a time when the New Labour cabinet, with Blair in charge, proved to be totally incompetent and corrupt, resembling a bunch of characters from Spitting Image. Comedians could have simple taken any statement or any speech by a government minister, including those of the saintly leader, and recited it to an audience as a long sketch. And it would have sounded comical and absurd. Even the appearance of most Labour frontbenchers was comical. Not to mention some of the backbenchers.
But did the comedy industry switch priorities? Nope, nothing like that happened. Just as in the past, comedians continued to mock the Tories. Take that flagship current affairs comedy show on the BBC Have I Got News For You? I have watched several of the old shows recently, taken from different years since 1998. Guess what I noticed? I noticed that the two ‘giants of comedy’ Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, and their sidekicks, were having a go at the opposition most of the time, carefully avoiding Blair and his cronies. I am not even going to mention Mock The Week, a show that is so on the left that if it moves an inch it will fall off the perch.
In America it’s no better. The Clinton presidency was one big joke but for most of the time he was spared ridicule. And now we have Barack Obama presiding over a mess in the economy while coming up with one politically correct stunt after another, and yet he is beyond parody. That Nobel Peace Prize that Obama received for nothing should be the subject of endless jokes. Not to mention his close relatives who lived in America as illegal immigrants for decades. But no, these and many other subjects are deemed to be unsuitable for ridicule by the likes of the Saturday Night Live crowd or Jon Stewart of the Daily Show and others.
The American funny crowd is still having a go at Bush, Cheney and Palin – as if they decide anything. That’s so obscene that it makes American political satire look distinctly stupid and useless while the current President orders more drone attacks abroad and has now managed to shut down the US government altogether. It’s absurd, yes, but it will continue until something goes very badly wrong. And then it’ll be too late.
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