Monday, January 10, 2011

Gated minds

Yesterday, in the Mail on Sunday I accused the political classes of living in a "gated community" – behind their barricades and machine-gun toting police. But what is perhaps as significant is the comment piece in the Sunday Telegraph authored by William Hague, on the faux EU referendum Bill. What made it stand out from the other comment pieces of the day was a simple omission – there was no comment facility. (For a critique of the piece, you'll need to go to Autonomous Mind. I can't bear to do it myself.)

On a parallel news piece, however, there were comments permitted. One read: "I don't believe William Hague exists, I think he's a conspiracy theory. No one could be that stupid could they?" But one of the most pointed simply said: "I notice the Hague piece has comments turned off. What a disgrace; I would have loved to have given this sell-out a piece of my mind. He is obviously a coward as well as a traitor and a liar."

That is as good as it gets. It serves to confirm that which we already knew. Communication with our politicians, and especially Conservative politicians, is a one-way street. They talk, we listen. That, at least, is the theory. They are very slow in learning that, if it is not two-way, then it is nothing. People are in no mood to be lectured by those they despise.

Therein lies a serious problem. The politicians have not only retreated physically but spiritually. We are seeing gated communities and gated minds. And if the politicians don't yet realise how dangerous this is, they will soon enough find out.