It’s important in this modern world, if you want to stay relevant, that you have to find new roles for yourself. To this end I have recently become a social media influencer (well, I post nasty things about squirrels on Instagram), and I have taken on a role as what’s known as a ‘brand ambassador’ – this is a celebrity employed by a company or organization to help raise brand awareness and increase sales.
I am a brand ambassador for Frosty Jack’s Apple Cider (if you look on Amazon it says “people who bought Frosty Jack’s Apple Cider also bought… more Frosty Jack’s Apple Cider. Plus Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on Audiobook read by Gareth Southgate). In my role as brand ambassador for Frosty Jack’s Apple Cider I get to travel all over the country talking to people in pubs, on street corners and in ditches, and I think this gives me a better idea of the national mood than many of my friends who are stuck in the bubble of media London.
What’s shocked me about a lot of my middle class friends in London is how at first they grudgingly went along with the Corbyn project but quickly either chose to believe the false smears about antisemitism or that Jeremy was somehow responsible for the Brexit logjam. The ones I know who are journalists say things like “Keir Starmer or some other ‘moderate’ is the only one who can deliver success for the Labour Party” or “The Democrats in the US need to nominate establishment-owned Joe Biden in order to defeat Trump”.
This is what they say, but what they really mean is that they want to go back to the way things were a few years ago when the world made sense and worked for them. They’re really saying “Why can’t we go back to an era when you could appear sophisticated simply by saying the word ‘sourdough’, or a time when the income of a FTSE 100 boss was a very reasonable 142 times more than a teacher or a firefighter rather than the cruel, sky high figure it is now?” Back to a time when everybody in the media’s viewpoint was exactly the same so they felt safe and secure.
But what they don’t understand is that’s not possible. In Thomas Wolfe’s 1940 novel “You Can’t Go Home Again”, in the denouement the central character realises: “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood. … back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory”.
Similarly, the dark forces that created Trump or Brexit cannot be reversed, and the only way to deal with them is the new kind of socialist politics represented by Corbyn in the UK and AOC and Sanders in the US. If we do not tackle these issues in a progressive way, rather than relying on discredited “centrism”, then much darker ideologies will come to the fore.
So how are we to achieve this shift? How can we make journalists tell the truth? Well, one tactic the left hasn’t tried yet is awards ceremonies. Think about it. Awards ceremonies, like The Oscars, The Tonies and The Emmies, are a really powerful way to affect how people think. So I’m going to form the Society for the Transmission of Intelligent News and Knowledge and it will give trophies in categories such as ‘First News Programme On TV To Not Have Three Tories Reviewing The Tory Newspapers’ and ‘First News Programme To Ask Margaret Hodge An Even Mildly Difficult Question’.
I predict that our awards ceremony, The ‘Stinkies’, will soon become a huge social event.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?