Why are politicians so eager to sell our souls to the media industry?

13Mar10

In answering this question I want to move beyond the obvious – that the politicians sold their own souls years ago, and that the media industry is the devil incarnate, and thus hungry for more.

This is of course another post about the Digital Economy Bill (and ACTA). Pieces of legislation that will trade our freedoms in exchange for securing the business models of the incumbent media distribution industry. Pieces of legislation that will put the felony into felony interference of a business model.

It should surprise only the most naive that this legislation is being penned by the representatives of the media industry (as we have seen from leaks here and here). I find it quaint that we have an industry association called the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) – for real – a trade association that supports the makers of phonographs. I wonder if they have a museum somewhere that I can see a phonograph (I vaguely recall seeing such things in old people’s houses when I was a youngster). There couldn’t be any clearer link between this dangerous law, it’s potentially catastrophic consequences, and the analogue world of yesterday.

The people that make these want to turn off the Internet

Back to the politicians, the ones selling our souls. Why are they doing this:

  • The media industry are gatekeepers to spin. Politicians need TV, they need the papers, they are utterly dependent on the media industry to get their carefully manicured message in front of a celebrity obsessed public. There’s no point in having an army of highly paid spin doctors if the media won’t play along. Giving the media people exactly what they demand is just part of the quid pro quo.
  • The media industry are the gatekeepers to celebrity. Politicians are typically ugly and loathsome creatures. We don’t really want to see or hear from them. But if they’re up on stage with our favourite band then that changes things. Whilst the bands might have some say in which party they get to support, the industry as a whole has the whip hand.
  • There is no longer an effective public service counterbalance. Since Gilligham/Kelly/Hutton the BBC has been emasculated. First it became the Blair Broadcasting Corporation, more recently the Brown Broadcasting Corporation – too terrified of having to give up another radio station, or digital TV channel or chunk of web presence if the political overlords tilt the balance further in favour of commercial media.

Of course with this in mind it should be no surprise that people haven’t heard of the Digital Economy Bill and ACTA – how would they without the media industry to spoon feed it to them – the same media industry that’s behind all this. They may be backward, but they’re not stupid. If you do one thing beside writing to your MP today about this scandal then tell a friend, a relative, anybody about what’s going on, because the papers and TV certainly won’t.

The message is clear. The politicians value the media industry more than they value you (and your vote). They’re sure that you’ll just suck it all up as part of your all sugar diet of celebrity. Prove them wrong.



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