I’m no fan of ‘reality TV’. For me, if you want to watch something based on reality you can watch the news. So when shows like ‘TOWIE’, ‘Made in Chelsea’ and ‘Geordie Shore’ became popular I wasn’t interested, although I have given them a go. Just like many viewers of these programmes, including some of my closest friends, aren’t interested in ‘Newsnight’ or PMQ’s.
It’s easy however, when you’re not a fan of something, to scorn at it. Politics is no exception. Many commentators and politicians seem to scorn at those uninterested in what they have to say, or those who don’t seem to be quite on their level. Late last year Emily Thornberry MP was ‘sacked‘, (asked to resign) by Ed Miliband for apparently doing just that. But it’s not just politicians either. Rather regretfully, I’ve done it myself on several occasions despite having no authority on the matter whatsoever.
It’s with this in mind I was glad to see that ITV commissioned ‘Educating Joey Essex; General Election, what are you saying?’, and not just because it aims to get more young people to vote. A point admitted by Isabel Hardman, Joey’s guide to politics.
More than that, I was really glad to see Joey admit he doesn’t know much about politics and make the effort to go out and learn about it. He has gone so far as to admit he only recently learned who the Prime Minister is. (It’s David Cameron, by the way). That’s what democracy’s all about isn’t it? Having the freedom to do and think what you want, including being uninterested, but also the opportunity to learn about something if you want to. I’m no expert, but if people were a little less hyped up on pride and a desire for one-up man ship and followed Joey’s lead, the world might just be a happier place.
Take the political elite. If politicians took more notice of expertise in policy areas (as many do) rather than dogmatically following their ideologies the real issues may well be solved more effectively. For instance, parliamentary time could be spent trying improve the lives of the 3.9 million British children currently living in poverty as opposed attempts to remove the Speaker. (Yes that’s 3.9 million. Over 25% of all children. In Britain, the world’s sixth largest economy).
Yet instead, some see this as a problem. An illustration of a ‘shameful dumbing-down of politics‘ and the portrayal of a ‘political system in crisis’. So much of a problem in fact, in the case of the latter, it is remindful of ‘bleak German Renaissance paintings of Youth and Age, or even Death and the Maiden’.
I don’t know much about art, but with comments like that it shows that politics is the problem, not Joey Essex.
So with that in mind, I wanted to say good for Joey. For taking an interest, making an effort and showing just how much of a stick politics has shoved up its arse. He is an inspiration to all of us.
Now I’m off to give ‘TOWIE’ another go.
James Thomas Bonner
Follow James – @JamesTBonner