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Brexit Trainwreck: Media Soap Opera Lets Us All Down

A round-up of the hottest takes from the best UK Indy Media

Brexit Trainwreck: Media Soap Opera Lets Us All Down

The build-up to last week’s Brexit summit of ministers at Chequers featured exactly the kind of elite and commentariat behaviour which many people connect to the decision to leave the EU in the first place.

The government is still floundering two years on from the referendum, unable to get a consistent grip on complexities and conflicting opinions. Friday’s agreement may seem to clarify key aspirations for now, but there’s no guarantee it’ll stand up to pressures from within the Conservative Party. So the UK’s most important political process in decades is not really driven by our collective interests, but by the internal struggles of a party elite combined with the instincts of that party and Theresa May to cling to power and the impression that they are on top of things.

The cabinet infighting became at least as big a story as the whys and wherefores of Brexit, not least because it’s easier to explain. It also better fits the soap opera/reality TV spectacle that establishment media seems drawn to. In an especially surreal turn, the Mail On Sunday had a picture of warring cabinet members mocked up in the style of Fortnite, the video game craze they have anguished about elsewhere.

While well-paid members of the chattering classes endlessly obsessed about Brexit and Tory jostling, much less attention went towards just how remote and un-inclusive the supposed decision making has become, or the vulgar and petty dynamics driving it. At the time of writing, David Davis has resigned as Brexit Secretary, fuelling another few days of fevered speculation – “who’s in, who’s out, and who stabbed who” – divorced from the material interests of most British people.

The same Westminster and media bubble that Westminster and the media told us we disliked, is as inflated as ever. The circus never left town, though the politicians will be off on holiday soon, and the press “silly seasons” will commence. There’ll be very little time to figure things out when the political routine resumes in September. The political and media establishment did a very poor job of explaining things before the referendum and haven’t done much to catch up since. For example, it was only late last year before it dawned on many of then that the Irish border was a problematic issue.

There are many valid and debatable reasons for wanting various shades of Brexit or no Brexit at all, but it’s far less debatable that navigating the process has been an unedifying mess all round. Yet those responsible are likely to retain cushy positions regardless of the outcome, and they’ll probably keep telling us how “populist” all this is.

Picks of the Week

Our hand-picked selections from some of the best independent journalism around

Tax Haven Property Owners – The Meteor

The London property market has long been a money box for global tax dodging and money laundering. Residents see rents and mortgages rise as part of the underwriting of speculation. Could Manchester be catching the same disease?

Find The Meteor on Twitter @mcrmeteor

Did Dozens of Murdoch Journalists Break the Law? – Byline

Byline investigate recent High Court allegations that some of the top names in British media unlawfully used a private investigator to unlawfully gather data for their stories.

Find Byline on Twitter @Byline_Media

NHS For All, Including Immigrants – Novara Media

With festival season getting into full swing, The Overtake has a series of articles on the scene including this look at the case for allowing drugs to be tested on site.

Find Novara Media on Twitter @novaramedia


Media Alert is a weekly bulletin discussing issues impacting on the UK independent media and highlighting some of the best recent work from the sector.
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