Alexander Nekrassov writes from London: All politicians are liars and cheats and are incompetent in everything they do. Period. Otherwise they would have had a proper job and made some money out of it. But no, the weasels actually try to make it look as if they join politics driven by desire to improve things while sacrificing their careers that would have allowed them to make tonnes of money, the creeps!
And keeping this in mind it becomes imperative to mock and ridicule politicians as often as humanely possible, concentrating on the ones who are in power but sparring no ammo on the ones in opposition as well, as they can weasel their way into government at any time. And who better can do that than all sorts of mainstream funny men and women who call themselves comedians and satirists and entertainers. The media should be doing that as well but modern hacks are too deep in the pockets of the money men who are friendly with politicians so it sort of rules the press and the news on the box out of it.
But do we see comedians giving a hard time to all politicians all the time without exception? We most certainly don’t. It so happens that most of the mainstream funny men and women are of progressive disposition these days so what they do is either produce lame and timid jokes about the political rulers, who brush them off as totally irrelevant, or concentrate on the conservatives mostly. They never dare to have a go at leftie politicians and it really looks odd when incompetent past and present leaders like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Barack Obama and Nick Clegg get away with unbelievable rubbish that they say and do while lots of jokes are told about conservative politicians who don’t decide anything or have become irrelevant. I mean how stupid can it get to hear jokes about Ronald Reagans, who’s been long dead, or Margaret Thatcher, who is dead as well, or John Major or George Bush or Sarah Palin, who don’t matter anymore.
Political satire and comedy generally lose their relevance if politicians in government get away with murder while the irrelevant once become the target of mockery. You only need to look back at Britain under Labour that had weaselled its way into power in 1997 and desperately clung to it for 13 long years. The moment Tony Blair had moved into 10 Downing Street political satire in Britain seized to exist, in a sense that the government was no longer the butt of the jokes and it was the opposition that became the object of constant ridicule.
And that was at a time when the New Labour cabinet, with Blair in charge, had proved to be totally incompetent and corrupt, resembling a bunch of characters from Spitting Image. Comedians could have simple taken any statement or any speech by a government minister, including those of the saintly leader, and recite them to an audience as a long sketch. And it would sound comical and absurd. Even the appearances of most Labour frontbenchers was comical. Not to mention some of the backbenchers.
But did the comedy industry switch priorities? Nope, nothing like that happened. Just like in the past, comedians continued to mock the Tories. Take that flagship current affairs comedy show on the BBC Have I Got News For You? I have watched several of the old shows recently, taken from different years since 1998. Guess what I noticed? I noticed that the two ‘giants of comedy’, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, and their sidekicks, were having a go at the opposition most of the time, carefully avoiding Blair and his cronies.
In America it’s no better. The Clinton presidency was one big joke but for most of the time he was spared ridicule. And now we have Barack Obama presiding over a mess in the economy while coming up with one politically correct stunt after another, and yet he is beyond parody. That Nobel Peace Prize that Obama received for nothing should have been a subject of endless jokes. Not to mention his close relatives who lived in America as illegal immigrants for decades. But no, these and many other subjects were deemed to be unsuitable for ridicule by the likes of the Saturday Night Live crowd of Jon Stewart of the Daily Show and others.
The American funny crowd is still having a go at Bush, Cheney and Palin, as if they decide anything. That’s so obscene that it makes American political satire look distinctly stupid and useless while the current president orders more drone attacks abroad and isolates the US from the rest of the world generally. It’s absurd, yes, but it will continue until something goes very badly wrong. And then it’ll be too late.