Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pass the sugar Tony.....

Last night in Britain 8 million tuned in to vote a housemate out of a tv show called Big Brother. That's 8 million. 8 million people who can be manipulated into paying a premium rate phone call to vote for someone they have never met and who will almost certianly have no direct impact on their lives.

In the UK and the States the turnout rates for elections which determine those people who are to represent us across all tiers of government are depressingly low. It is a truism that people will not turn out to elect that person who will make crucial decisions about their lives and yet an episode of a banal tv program will engage them. As Rolf Harris sings...."oooh it makes me wonder". .......if only we could tap that thinking and turn it to a more "productive" use.

As newspaper after newspaper headlined Big Brother stories and every TV channel (free to air and paid)had BB story as breaking news I began day dreaming.... what if we put all the politicians in a Big Brother House and observed them 24/7 going about their day, discussing real things and behaving like real people? They would have no hiding places...no furtive conversations that weren't observed ...what then? What if we managed to see, for just a month perhaps, the real people behind the spin living under Big Brother rules? Allow yourself to imagine for just a few seconds.....Tony Blair sharing his muesli with David Cameron whilst they decided how to spend the weekly food budget for the house. Imagine George Bush, Hilary Clinton and Rumsfeld coming to an agreement about what time the light was to be turned out in the bedroom.....(oops...take back that thought!) What if we saw them the way we saw George Galloway in 2006? This is the same George Galloway who was heavily criticised for appearing on the show, the same George who made such a memorable, erudite and formidable presention to the US senate (for transcript:http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0517-35.htm). The same George Galloway who never wastes a publicity moment, shouting to the BB audience "stop the war" as he entered the house. When challenged for appearing on BB George said,"I believe that politicians should use every opportunity to communicate with people," he said in a statement. "I'm a great believer in the democratic process. Big Brother is watched by millions." He is correct, Big Brother IS watched by millions - more accurately near 8 million. I am sure there are a lot of people in that 8 million who haven't bothered to vote because politicians are so removed from their lives...this might just start them voting.

This way we would not only have a glimpse of who we are electing but maybe it might get those couch potatoes who can't be bothered to cast a vote in the elections to actually participate in the government of their own country, Big Brother style. (Back to the chorus again Rolf.."oooh it makes me wonder')

Then again, would I want the same people who would bother to vote for such a mind numbing show as Big Brother, to vote for our government? Yes I would. They are the people who live in this country - who are affected by the decisions and besides that ....Oh, who knows, the other lot didnt get it so right so maybe a change of tactics might just be the answer.

http://www.channel4.com/bigbrother/index.jsp

George Galloway:
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0517-35.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4587448.stm

11 comments:

Bill Wallace ... said...

Good post. Fortunately I have outlawed BB in our house (I can do that ;)) and for much the same reasons - it's just puerile tv. Funnily enough, it seems to be what's running the country in all reality. I mean, John Howard may be our PM but the media runs the country, doesn't it?? It will be the same in the UK and the US. You're the writer - use your weapon! :)

Robin - Erithacus rubecula said...

Thanks for the posting Bill......Isnt it extraordinary that Ruper Murdoch gave up his citizenship to Australia but still runs the country?

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Hi Robin - you left a comment on my blog, and before I responded, I installed Haloscan and lost your post. I'm new at this!!!

Please feel free to repost. I left a response for you there.

Your site looks great and I appreciate you coming by. Maggie

txdave said...

Really well-written, interesting blog. You might liven up the gray prose with some variety of font/format and some photos, see wht I mean.

assertivenesssucceeds.blogspot.com

dreamy-destinations.blogspot.com

good luck

dave

granny p said...

Throw in the odd lightweight to stir them up -I like this idea. Suspect they'd all be dead boring though - even more than the present lot

pj said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog, Robin - I appreciate it. Love this posting, by the way - it really is a comment on modern society that people are more eager to vote for a reality tv show than for their government (and pay for the privilege)!

Serene Yip said...

What a good read!! haha. Thanx for dropping by to comment. Hope you'll visit soon. I know I'll be back. Good to have a fellow sydney sider reader!
btw... bb is SO not my thing. I'll probably convert if u became the producer though..haha..

Serene Yip said...

Ok. think I lost my comment so I'll try this again. =)
Great read! Had a good laugh while I'm at it. I'm def not a BB kinda gal but if u ever become the producer, I may just convert. haha...
Thanx for dropping by and for your comments! Hope to see u visiting more often! I'll be sure to drop by often too. Great to have a fellow sydney sider reader on board!

DivaJood said...

robin, great post. I'm going to blogroll you and will link to this post. It is an ongoing question over at my blog, as well - this general apathy.

Rachelle Black said...

Ha-ha! I agree, it never ceases to amaze me that we Americans are so apathetic when it comes to voting. I mean, our founding fathers would be absolutely appalled if they knew how we treat their legacy.

Like I always way, if you can't be bothered to vote, you don't have the priveledge of whining about the outcome.

We may not agree on everything, but on this we are united.
blogrolling you my dear!
Slainte~
Rachelle

Gledwood said...

Big Brother!! Don't you think that's a lot of nonsense. I don't bother to vote for anything now and I certainly wouldn't pay Endemol for the privilege. I moved my blog btw it's now at gledwood2.blogspot: the old one was too slow!! Okay take care,
Gledwood