(not satire – it’s the UK today)
As the leading political satirist of a country whose present government’s idea of tackling the worst economic crisis in generations is to shoot badgers and tax pasties, bedrooms and grannies – I expected Ian Hislop’s head to have been bursting with hard-hitting nuggets of pure comedic gold when he appeared on BBC Question Time last Thursday.
But surprisingly, Hislop spent most of his appearance actually praising coalition ministers and the government.
First of all Ian praised the prime minister for his speech on the EU.
Then he answered a question about the massive cuts to our armed forces by attacking Labour for ‘wasting’ so much money at the MoD when it was in government.
He rounded off his bizarre appearance by strongly praising an infamous speech by Tory Health Minister Anna Soubry in which she claimed she could tell someone’s background by how overweight they are.
I was confused.
Satire is supposed to prick the consciences of those in power – with the word ‘prick’ being the operative word.
But not only was there no comedy from Mr Hislop – I couldn’t even detect any criticism at all directed at those running the country.
Ian doesn’t seem to have realised yet that Labour are no longer in power.
The country’s now being run by a triumvirate of out-of-touch Bullingdon Club caricatures, whose idea of being in touch is to eat Pizza in an exclusive Swiss ski resort while the rest of the country launches headlong into austerity and an unprecendented triple-dip recession.
So what’s happened to the editor of Private Eye?
I suspect Hislop’s problem is that he’s being confronted by a government which he actually rather likes – surely professional death to any satirist.
I recall a couple of quotes from Hislop which I dismissed as meaningless at the time.
In an appearance on Question Time in 2008, he praised the Liberal Democrats and even joked about “standing for them.”
Ian has also said in an interview that if he were forced at the point of a gun to stand in an election for any British political party, he would stand for a “Vince Cable for Treasurer Party”
A situation we actually just about have now that Cable is Business Secretary.
What to do when our country’s so-called leading satirist is a secret right-wing Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg supporter who’s quite keen on what those in power are actually doing?
Erm. Can we have a new editor of Private Eye please?
Please feel free to comment – no need to register and I’m extremely minimal with the moderating.
Click on any of these buttons below to share this article with other people. Thanks: