‘The people… the bastards’
: The BBC and an MP ask The People what they think… and then hate what they hear.
Clay Shirky found this gem in The Independent:
It was trailed as a “unique chance to rewrite the law of the land”. Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme were asked to suggest a piece of legislation to improve life in Britain, with the promise that an MP would then attempt to get it onto the statute books.
But yesterday, 26,000 votes later, the winning proposal was denounced as a “ludicrous, brutal, unworkable blood-stained piece of legislation” – by Stephen Pound, the very MP whose job it is to try to push it through Parliament.
Mr Pound’s reaction was provoked by the news that the winner of Today’s “Listeners’ Law” poll was a plan to allow homeowners “to use any means to defend their home from intruders” – a prospect that could see householders free to kill burglars, without question.
“The people have spoken,” the Labour MP replied to the programme, “… the bastards.”
Once a media outlet accustomed to broadcasting creates an obviously phony plea for