Silly Season: Cherished or Childish?
So Parliament has retired for a Summer in Cliff Richard's Barbados home (alright, not all of them), and with the exception of the Middle East Crisis so too have the flow of news stories. Government ministers have taken to silly attacks on the Opposition link (well, there's nothing else to do, is there?) and the Opposition have batted them right back link .
Should we eagerly anticipate the silly season for the lack of domestic conflict between the major political parties, or hate it for bringing us front–page headlines that are as woolly as a sheep?
As someone who blogs about the news, I fear the Summer will bring a drought of things to write about which will rival the more literal drought that newspapers have been promising us for weeks. Sure, there's the Israel–Lebanon stuff, but I think it's safer to keep out of that because it's almost impossible to maintain an opinion without offending one side or the other. Simon Jenkins of the Guardian believes we should keep out of it altogether and leave it to those whom it really concerns. I'm inclined to agree, although there's also truth in the fact that had we kept out of other conflicts in the past, far more people would have died than eventually did.
Meanwhile the tabloid newspapers will come up with fantastical stories with which to entertain us. The Daily
Royalist Mail had a great one today:
TV AND FRIDGE PRICES TO RISE
That was their front–page headline. Seriously. And they admitted it was only a matter of £10 per item in order to pay for the future recycling costs when that product came to the end of its life. I'm not sure how that story is more important than the deaths of Lebanese and Israeli citizens and the potential involvement of other states in a region–wide crisis, but the Mail seems to have long ago abandoned news in favour of selling dead trees and ink.
I'll miss the big and meaty political stories over the next two months. In retrospect they really should have scheduled The West Wing during the Summer to fill the gap, but it's a little too late for that (the final episode airs in the UK on Friday). But inbetween the fluff and nonsense, I'm sure there'll be a few things to get our teeth into during the silly season, maybe starting with this.