WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter: these are the picket lines and pamphlets of 21st century Britain, and one more blog post about it isn’t going to kill anyone. But here’s the issue: isn’t it clear to the commentators and journalists and cabinet ministers and MPs and every politically aware voter that there is a very serious transmogrification happening, and it has a place in the debate about the Labour leadership?
Politics is morphing into a virtual, shapeless, inconsequential distraction, and there is a departure from the hard, practical governance of yesteryear. At least, I think so. It’s difficult to be sure about anything when much of the media is steered towards protecting the interests of the rich and powerful, and indeed much of the most potent, far-reaching opinion pieces across the web have been written by ‘uninformed Lefty tossers’ to quote, no doubt, an uninformed Righty tosser. Or maybe Righties can’t be tossers, only wankers.
The reality is although the Corbyn saga is providing the tabloids with nice, juicy headlines – wacky evangelical placards fervently heralding the impending apocalypse – and bestowing the internet with a smorgasbord of memes, both ends of the spectrum (outside Westminster and its environs) don’t consider this a real, meaningful moment in an age that demands real, meaningful governments. Because politics has entered the public sphere via social media, and been adopted by so many would-be agitators, it’s image has been changed. Politics, right/left, Labour/Tory, has transmogrified from a solid, if a little distant, entity into a theoretical jizz rag for keyboard warriors like me.
First it was the general election, which caused such a Facebook storm, and now it’s the Labour leadership. The temporary waves that rocked social media after the 7th May soon died down, like a puppy wearing itself out by attacking its own reflection in a window. And soon after the Labour leader is announced the winds of public opinion will blow very aggressively, but transient, superficial, really. It’s time every young person online stopped treating these political milestones like tunes on a particularly opinionated clarinet: tunes soon forgotten.
Or maybe move with the times, and the national press and politicians alike should readdress the state of affairs, and realise that actually politics has become more of a virtual soundboard for tech kids. Not solely the preserve of a powerful few, but now also the object of generation of theory-charged, emotionally shallow youths. The profundity isn’t important; a well-photoshopped picture of Jeremy Corbyn’s face on Godzilla’s body might just be the signpost that politicians ought to pay more attention to.