Saturday, 12 October 2013

Letts, Question Time, Ideology, The Establishment

Watching Question Time last week was a fascinating experience.  The audience spontaneously burst out laughing - not just some sarcastic sniggers, proper belly laughs - when Quentin Letts insisted that the Daily Mail (the paper for which he is a columnist) was an 'anti-establishment' paper.  He was visibly shaken by that, almost like he couldn't get his head around it.

I think in their own little mental universe the country really is run by Beeb socialists and pinko trade unionists (whereas in reality these are a dying breed, if they ever existed at all).

It's probably true that Rupert Murdoch, for example, was an outsider to the establishment when he started out (see this brilliant work from Adam Curtis) but he's certainly not now.  Times change, often for the worse!  But the DM were never in that position at any point in history, as far as I can see.

I'm not a Marxist but when the ol' beardie weirdie is right he's right: "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force."

The DM may not represent the 'centre ground' of establishment ideology but they do represent its worst excesses, its dregs, its most toxic sludge.  They are its gutter.  Gutter press in the truest sense.

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