This must be what happens when you put journalists in charge

This must be what happens when you put journalists in charge, by Freddy Gray.

Are we learning, rather painfully, what happens when you let journalists take over? Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are political hacks, by instinct and experience, so perhaps it is not surprising that Brexit is starting to look and feel like a post-modern sequel to the novel Scoop.

Deadlines, panic, laziness, brilliance, incompetence, disaster, highs, lows, sheer bloody madness — this is the new politics. Triumph snatched from the jaws of disaster, and then days later the reverse. It makes for great copy, and is (go on, you can admit it) very funny. But is it any way to run a country? …

A switch is happening in the media-PR-political complex which is our establishment. For a long time, in the Blair and Cameron years, spin was boss. A creep like Alastair Campbell or George Osborne would tell the political hacks what to say and they would say it. The pols would control the narrative, as they say. Well, now it seems the reverse is true. The hacks have ’taken back control’ — and the narrative is bananas.

Of course I think it’s brilliant, and possibly healthier in the long run for democracy. We are all peeking behind the curtain at last, and it looks like a very amateur production indeed. But then I’m a journalist too, I suppose, so you can’t trust me.

hat-tip Stephen Neil