Monthly Archives: September 2012

People’s budgets or the same-old unaccountable ones?




The basic message of Fraudcast News is pretty simple, you sort of can’t miss it in the subtitle – How Bad Journalism Supports Our Bogus Democracies.

Working from back to front – the bogusness of our democracies is that ordinary citizens get nothing like the influence implied by the word “democracy” – which the Ancient Greeks defined as government by the people.

The UK  budget process is a case in point, consisting of rounds of closed-door horse trading between government departments and ministers. The latest City-loving Chancellor then waves about a battered red briefcase for the media before delivering some crowd-pleasing stunts at the Dispatch Box to hide the fact that most ordinary people are getting stiffed while status quo money holders carry on swimmingly. Gross over-simplification, of course, but it covers the last 30 years of British government relatively well, save for pre-election sweetener budgets and some of Gordon Brown’s giveaways.

The problem is, ordinary people get not a look in on what is the most important function of elected governments. The same problem occurs at lower tiers of government and let’s not even talk about the European Union.

It doesn’t have to be this way, which is why I’m excited to be going along to report on a People’s Budget event in Kingston-upon-Thames on October 8.

This clip explains why such an approach can transform local governance, improving its accountability, transparency and the fairness of its revenue raising and spending.

So rather than “bogus” democracy – we get something more like real democracy.

And bad journalism? It’s all journalism that ignores the bogusness of our current governance systems, at every level, which is pretty much all mainstream journalism.

After that build up, I hope it’s a good night.

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Artful self satire? I fear not

Face to face: satirist and journalist debate the state of British politics. Photograph: Suki Dhanda for the Observer











I couldn’t help but feel the Observer political columnist Andrew Rawnsley was totally arse-about-face in his line of questions and comment during this interview with TV political satirist Armando Iannucci.

I read the piece and commented on the website, as per below. What do you think?

Is Rawnsley brilliantly satirising his own work in this piece? I fear not.

What a lot of tosh, as per this…

I want to investigate whether he feels any responsibility for the fact that so many of the British do hold politics in a deep contempt, a contempt that is often richly deserved but which can also be indiscriminate, lazy and ultimately poisonous for democracy.

I want to investigate whether Mr Rawnsley feels HE has any repsonsibility for the same, he and a landslide majority (which means 3 men and a dog under UK first past the post system) of mainstream political journalists.

The deep contempt people feel for “democracy” is because anyone who thinks for a moment about our system of government knows it offers us only joke influence over the people who run our lives. If we like a satirical TV programme it’s because it reflects the true, sorry state of our political systems, local to global, far more than anything Rawnsley and friends ever produce.

Iannucci can have his OBE as a comedic act if he wants though it’s no way his funniest.

Satire is a weak weapon if you dream of radical political change, which I do, but at least you get a laugh.

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