A frippery written while waiting for a train.
I am not a member of the general public.
I am one of the ruling liberal media elite.
I live in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, terraced house next to a busy railway line about 30 miles from London. It is a nice town, the sort of town where shops that sell anything practical are dwindling, and being replaced by shops that “upcycle” things you threw away last year and have now bought again because it has had some old pages from Vogue varnished onto it.
I must be the liberal media elite as I was on Radio 4 nineteen times last year (if you include repeats) and finance my own podcasts.
When I shop in the supermarket, I no longer need to check the prices of items, though I still do, I am not going to pay that sort of money for a French cheese.
I holiday in Kent (though not in Whitstable).
I hang around with a hardcore gang of the liberal media elite – Professor Brian Cox (ruling liberal media elite: glamour cosmology wing), Josie Long (ruling liberal media elite: reading wing) and Alan Moore (refusing to rule anarchist media elite – Northampton wing).
I have reached a level that Arthur Smith has described as the right level of success. I have enough money to go into a bookshop, buy what I want, go to the pub, and then still be able to afford a taxi home (though I rarely would use a taxi as, if I don’t, I can allow myself an extra book).
Being a member of the elite, I am increasingly suspicious of democracy.
I am anti-democratic when it comes to who drive trains, flies planes, removes my spleen or mends that burst pipe.
Like most of the liberal media elite, I am against in democracy and in favour of benevolent dictatorship by a philosopher scientist, or at least someone who has a genuine interest in the happiness of humans and understands the fragility of life.
I am not just against other people not having the vote, I am against me having the vote too. Frankly, I haven’t done the reading.
I understand there are many people in dire and unpleasant circumstance, and the salt of the earth millionaires that make up our government are far closer to them than I am. Some of them even hire them as running targets for Turkey shoot manhunts on secret islands and their widows receive a generous stipend should they fail to make it to the end of the 48 hour crossbow sniper fun weekend.
As one of the LME (radio wing) I will be repeatedly told that I “don’t know what it’s like” to be in that situation by people who don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation. I am fortunate to spend much of my life traveling across the UK on trains, so at least get some sense of the towns and cities as I wander through them.
I would not argue against things be shit in a lot of places. There are towns where the only industry seems to be chipboard and where Starbucks dare not go. Once the chain coffee corporations cold shoulder you (and some do a slightly higher price, richer roasted, organic cold shoulder) you know there is lost hope.
Behind the perspex lecterns, the politicians faces furrow into concern and tell you they are listening to you. But be aware that their ears have limited openings, they are far less bothered by your opinion on the NHS or public transport. Here, like the Stanley Milgram, they insist you must continue the experiment.
Presumption is fact.
Conjecture is evidence.
I am very keen on the idea of democracy, but for an effective democracy, you need to be well-informed and the predominant sources of information are controlled by the few.
It doesn’t matter what time you live in, always remember, the institutions, the corporations, the bankers, they are at the mercy of the strangers and the readers.
You can hear the liberal media elite podcast I do with Josie Long which includes LME figures such as Sara Pascoe, Stewart Lee, Alan Moore (AME), Chris Hadfield (beyond earth atmosphere wing of the ruling elite) and many more HERE.