Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Why politics is like professional wrestling.

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

oh crap.

I just read the EU election results. It appears the Tories are ontop, with UKIP coming in a close second and Labour in a head hanging shameful 3rd. To put it bluntly Britain is going down the political shitter, and anyone remaining here is on a long and chaotic ride into the sewer of obscurity with the rest of the democratic faeces of the world.

How do I know this? Because once I had an intimate knowledge of professional wrestling.
Before I developed into the refined individual I am now, I was for a period stuck in my late teens. Often after an evening of experimental indulgence, I would wake up with some sort of drug induced hangover at around one in the afternoon.brownisausten
I developed a routine that involved visiting the kitchen where I would make some sobering marmite toast and orange juice, then shuffle into the front room flick on the TV to spend the afternoon watching WWF (before it legally became a panada) and music television.
This continued pattern of behaviour allowed me to observe with intrigue and analysis the social constructs which gave me a remarkable insight into the inner workings of the social science we call politics.

You see, professional wrestling is a bit like a time lapse version of real world politics. In fact I’m sure if you record 24hours of the BBC parliament channel and speed it up by factor of 1000, it resembles about a minute of professional televised wrestling.

The beauty of professional wrestling revolves around a fairly simple storyline that repeats it’s self over and over again with minor superficial changes.

At the beginning of this loop there exists two main characters a hero and a villain, invariably the villain is the hero of the past who has become corrupt by too much power. As he becomes corrupt his hortatory deeds are slowly revealed to the baying masses ringside, and a feeling of discontent is gently seeded, growing into a tidal wave of hatred and loathing.

During this point an underdog is also presented to the crowd. Someone with the unrecognised athletic prowess who has the potential to be the new champion of the people. However, he inevitably falls foul of the corrupt current champion who halts his title shots with bureaucracy or uses favours from other powerful wrestlers to prevent himself from being usurped.

This scenario is carefully inflated to a point where the bubble of crowd and fan outrage is ready to burst until finally in one climatically cathartic moment of televisual ejaculation, the villain is defeated and the just prevail and win their well deserved title.
Then after a brief interlude of nothing much, enough time has past for the crowd to forget the events of the past and the story starts again.

But I hear you cry, how can such a simple tale be applied to politics, which is far more important and relevant to people’s lives?

Well, my theory is this: people are implicitly looking for the easiest solution, thinking is hard and tiring, a black and white solution is much easier to make a decision on and hence far more appealing than one that requires actual thought. When you consider that millions of people subscribe to the spectacle that is professional wrestling, is it really that much of a jump to think they will be manipulated in the political arena in much the same ways?angleiscameron

In fact, politicians might learn some pretty useful lessons from pro wrestling if they actually analysed it correctly.

In relating this to current politics, I think the labour party at the moment is very much taking the evil corrupt champion role with Gordon Brown looking more and more like Steve Austin.
Mr Cameron is trying desperately to be the underdog probably trying to emulate the rock but actually coming across more like Kurt Angle without the psychotic prestige and wife beating tendencies.

I like the way Brown has called upon Alan Sugar as a sort of Vince McMahon figure to help him retain his standing, but with the expenses fallacy has lost the support of the undertaker, Kane and probably the big show.

Of course nothing is set in stone, who knows who could come out of the woodwork to swing the balances. One thing though that I’m incredibly weary of was when a moment in wrestling where McMahon and stone cold got too caught up fighting each other they let The Radicalz (Chris BenoitEddie GuerreroPerry SaturnDean Malenko) take slip in unnoticed, now fortunately in professional wrestling this was short lived and they got kicked out pretty quickly. In reality however letting parties like UKIP and the BNP though the door, even if a mistake could have far reaching consequences for the future of the UK and Europe and end up setting back our advanced liberal society by decades. Something I for one am very keen on not letting happen.

The global economic (morality) crisis.

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

It strikes me that as a nation (the U.K.) since 1997 we have been running. New Labour created a beacon of hope and suddenly the emphasis on capitalism was upon us.

No longer did we need to fear as the new dynamic all knowing authority of the government would stop us if we went wrong as show us the light. The money markets ran wild and some people made an awful lot of cash. Only now, the New Labour government, the proverbial father of the British free market slipped up and we got stung.

That’s not so bad but the thing that’s killing us is the realisation that we’re not as protected as we thought and a global sense of financial karma that for too long we’ve had it too easy and now we need to pay for our exuberance is washing over the most important investors : us.

the_beatles_crossing_road2The analogy I’m going to use is those times when you (often embarrassingly) aren’t paying attention and step out in front of a bus.

Now 99% of the time you do it early enough that you can step back or sprint across the road to the other side and look dishevelled.

Your immediate post reaction is to think, “cor that was lucky, I’ve been far to complacent about crossing the road these x number of years past” (since it happened before) and get on with your day…

Now if your sensible you realise that every time you cross the road you take a calculated risk, you should maybe try to be a bit more savy, but no real harm done. HOWEVER, if your of a British disposition and surrounded by a gaggle of merchant-of-doom journalist from a variety of British institutions (i.e. the Daily Mail) your perspective is much more likely to be “SHIT, OH MY GOD, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? I AM NEVER CROSSING THE ROAD AGAIN!” which of course is a massive over reaction and means that you have serious troubles trying to get back to your house with the toilet roll you just brought from the news agents.

So being pessimistically inclined and assuming that we deserve a bit of punishment for our risky ways will only result in a long, boring recession while we slowly build back our confidence in ourselves. So what can we do to speed this process up?

a) Start some rock solid investments and publisise them : in an uncertain time people want guarantees and safety, so give it to them and make sure everyone knows it is available, create some big bright, loud traffic lights to help you and others cross the road getting you to your destination. We have enough impending problems with infrastructure and population to fund a lifetime so let’s invest in some of the straightforward ones.

b) Do things that help redress the financial Karma and give people back some faith, going back to the road metaphor, this is like building back up your confidence by helping an old lady across the road with her shopping. We are all in this boat the more people we help make these simple investments that restore some of our faith in our foundations the more we will all prosper. Let’s start looking into some environmentally friendly investments and educational & social regeneration schemes to trigger some innovation and growth.

c) Get more people to help you cross the road. Crossing the road and making investments can be a dangerous task, so why not share the burden and get as many people to help you as possible. This means MORE IMMERGRATION to the UK, the rest of the world has a wealth of cultural knowledge and understanding that if we gain and share and improve upon our techniques for crossing the road we will ALL benefit from a healthy economy. By isolating ourselves we are only prolonging our recovery.