Guido takes on the establishment

Guido Fawkes has been given a spot on Newsnight. He asks some perfectly legitimate questions, and gets some perfectly legitimate answers, but both sides appear to be missing the point.

Ultimately, it is healthy in a democracy to have people like Guido sticking their fingers in the air at the establishment. They often go off down a cul de sac, they often find themselves doing the establishment’s job for them (cf. his work with Ed Balls to screw over Colin Challen), but they allow us a valuable corrective.

Equally, we need political correspondents like Nick Robinson, who take it upon themselves to explain rather than expose. They often pull their punches when they shouldn’t, and in the interests of ‘balance’ often go too far in terms of presenting nonsense as legitimate points of view, but they nonetheless perform a valuable service. To be fair, I get the impression that Robinson understands this, but I don’t think Guido does.

Thirdly, and a point that neither side seems interested in, we need parties and politicians an unedited platform from which to communicate directly with the people. That probably does not mean £10,000 incumbancy allowances of the sort MPs voted for themselves today (makes Hayden Phillips’ money-per-vote look fantastic in comparison, despite its deep flaws), but if we don’t have it, we’re left with Guido’s bile and Robinson’s sang-froid.

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