The Media, cause-and-effect.
Very old people like me, tend to reminisce, possibly because the future is not as attractive as the past was, in spite of all the progress. I can go back as far as when we had no Media as it is called today, other than the daily newspaper. There was strong censorship, there was a sense of what was ‘nice’, and, I suppose above all, there was not the general level of crime and misbehaviour. Then we had a the crystal set, that we listened to turn about, with a pair of headphones, and on Christmas Day, for the royal speech, had a baking bowl in the centre of the table with the headphones in it, and we all crouch forward to listen to the King. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth coupled with Television and the roaring 60s changed all that, and then censorship was relaxed.
Since then there has been a build up of sensationalism in what is now called the media, which has steadily increased its influence on our daily lives by advertising, thoughtless reporting, when it comes to the effect of the reports, uncontrolled influences having far reaching effects, few of them for good. We have now arrived at the point where the media, more spoken than written, is influencing government decisions and worse still, reactions. This statement is not new, but needs to be repeated when you see children considering murdering their schoolfellows in copycat; when government policy becomes a knee-jerk reaction to the media, rather than slow and careful analysis, before taking action. This business of the Lockerbie bomber is a case in point, where politicians are trying to justify their existence as well as the decisions they have made in a hail of recrimination and justification, which at the end of the day cancels itself out, and is basically more hot air than substance. I’m not decrying the wishes and the considerations of the relatives and friends killed in the bomb blast, merely the hype on an hourly basis that has gone on ever since the decision was made. We are bombarded today in the media, more about the lives of celebrities, than about what really matters to us. I put this down to the fact that politics is no longer a subject that attracts attention in the way that it did, for all the reasons we’ve discussed before, and the pressures and the speed of life is such, that ephemera is more relaxing, than trying to unravel the claims and counterclaims of the combatants in Westminster, each struggling to fight its own corner for its own advantage rather than ours.
I wish we could bring back some sort of censorship that considered the effects of the written and spoken word both from a point of view of the security of the individual, and good taste. Today it seems that anything goes, and people are more interested in becoming notorious than they are in becoming famous.