I dislike the author intensely but she is absolutely spot on in this case. As Colin Crouch argues in his post-democracy thesis, the professionalisation of political communication is one of the defining characteristics of late capitalist political culture. The internal democracies of parties are hollowed out, parliamentarians live lives far removed from the electorate while ‘the public’ is reduced to an artifact of epistemically dubious polls and focus groups.
How did all this quasi-academic analysing and objective monitoring of popular feeling manage to produce the most unloved generation of political leaders in living memory? Could it be that the question contains the answer within itself? That the very business of turning politics into a hyper-sophisticated branch of mass marketing, replete with state-of-the-art techniques for product testing and opinion sampling, has made it repugnant and alienating?
via David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband – focus groups won’t win you our love – Telegraph.
2 responses to “David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband – focus groups won’t win you our love”
I do believe that’s so. I can’t subscribe to the idea that there’s a massive conspiracy afoot here, but alienating the electorate with it’s concomitant reduction of voters seems to favour the ruling party. So it seems that the marketing of politics has been successful in unanticipated ways. But success is success, after all, and they’ll take it!
Eventually there is a downside to all of this, of course. Nothing is forever, not even massively corrupt politics. There will come a time…
I’m not sure it is success though! Even in its own terns. Otherwise agree.