The future has already arrived, although few people seem to have noticed.
Despite what many pundits are writing in the popular press, the publication of Boris Johnson’s much discussed letter to Donald Tusk is much more than some bombastically blonde breed of megaphone diplomacy. The story behind its appearance is much bigger and its roots run far deeper.
Welcome to the new guerilla politics!
With the BBC being caught out for its blatant dishonesty during the European Elections and details of the former Chancellor’s Brexit sabotage still emerging, Johnson knows he can’t trust the mainstream media or the Civil Service to represent his views or interpret his instructions objectively. As a result he is one of an increasing number of politicians taking to the internet and engaging directly with the electorate to bypass the selective filters and increasingly obvious agenda of the corporate media sector. It also affords politicians of all stripes the chance to fight back with some long overdue criticism of the mainstream media machine. The bus hiding behind Johnson’s shoulder during PPMQs is my personal favourite.
This is the real reason Johnson refused the Sky TV leadership debate. He and pretty much everyone else with a pulse knew perfectly well that the corporate media establishment would find some way of trying to make him look foolish or misrepresent his views, as the BBC’s shameless partisanship in guest selection has amply demonstrated in the past.
Populist leaders like Johnson and Trump know full well that the establishment commentariat despises both them and their world view; so why would they let someone who hates them control their messaging? That really would be dumb!
Whatever you might think of Johnson’s letter or Trump’s tweets, there’s no denying their authenticity. They are what they are and they mean what they mean; not what some over-polished corporate cheerleader says they mean.
With the maturing of internet technology, politicians are no longer dependent on Fleet Street to ensure their message is heard, and they can be sure that it won’t be filtered, spun or selectively edited…for better or worse. The fact that Presidents and Prime Ministers are wary of the mainstream media should tell us everything we need to know about where power really resides.
The guerrilla leaders have at last broken cover, captured weapons from the occupying forces and are now using them to great effect, having learned the hard lessons of occupation and subjugation.
No wonder the establishment’s losing its mind.