Saturday, 13 March 2010

Satire: the death of politics?

Malcolm Tucker appears to be writing a series of columns in the Guardian, which considering he is fictional is an impressive feat.

It's well known that Tucker is viewed as something of an inspiration to many spin doctors in the Westminster Bubble - Armando Iannucci tells a story that when filming In The Loop it was a senior Whitehall spinner that suggested that Peter Capaldi be filmed leaving the actual 10 Downing Street front door and organized it. On the day of filming, the press pit opposite was full of "special advisers" all cheering for Capaldi.

So one has to wonder just how much influence a fake blog - presumably written by Iannucci (though you would have thought that Capaldi would at least get an "ok" on the text since it's effectively his face slapped on the column) - has in the run-up to the actual election. Satire has shaped politics before, of course - Thatcher was a big fan of Yes, Minister and again Iannucci relates that it was because of the portrayal of senior civil servants on TV that caused Thatcher to begin the reign of the "special advisers" - but has satire ever set out its stall at an election campaign so brazenly?

I supposed we can but look on and see whether Labour really do press the Tories on Ashcroft, Ulster Unionists and young conservative organizations...

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