The Corner

BY THEIR ADVISERS SHALL YE KNOW THEM

Here’s Matthew Taylor, Tony Blair’s outgoing “chief strategy adviser” on blogs, voters and all the other obstreperati: “We have a citizenry which can be caricatured as being increasingly unwilling to be governed but not yet capable of self-government.”

Yes, yes, he’s careful to put in the weasel verb “caricatured”, but it’s pretty clear what he and his master think. Taylor continued:

“At a time at which we need a richer relationship between politicians and citizens than we have ever had, to confront the shared challenges we face, arguably we have a more impoverished relationship between politicians and citizens than we have ever had. It seems to me this is something which is worth calling a crisis.”

The internet, apparently, is part of this “crisis.”

“What is the big breakthrough, in terms of politics, on the web in the last few years? It’s basically blogs which are, generally speaking, hostile and, generally speaking, basically see their job as every day exposing how venal, stupid, mendacious politicians are.” Part of the problem, thinks Taylor, is something that he refers to as “nethead” culture, which is, horrors, “rooted in libertarianism and “anti-establishment” attitudes.”  That, he argues, is a bad, bad, bad, thing. “It’s important for people who understand technology, to move from that frame of mind, which is about attacking the establishment into one which is about problem-solving and social enterprise.”

To which whining and sense of entitlement the only appropriate response is best expressed with a useful Anglo-Saxon verb that is not so welcome in this family-friendly Corner, so I’ll leave it to the ever-eloquent Guido to say pretty much the same, except more elegantly:

“Guido intends to be a thorn in the side of corrupt politicians for a long time. There is nothing the vermin can do about it, no media proprietor for them to brandish baubles to, no job you can offer, no bribe we will accept. They deserve everything they get, the crisis has been brought about by their lies. In an age where all can be journalists and information is freely available they have lost control of the media. That is their crisis and our victory.”

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