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When you fear the sound of your own voice


 

Armando Iannucci—writer of The Thick Of It, In The Loop and Veep—talks to Slate about the lives of politicians.

Slate: In the world you create, politicians are OK when they’re being fed lines by PR men or spin doctors, but they’re pretty useless when they’re left to their own devices. Isn’t that a writer’s fantasy?

IannucciAre they useless? I think they show their real character when they’re left to their own devices. It’s frustrating that they can’t say what they really want to say or that they’re misinterpreted. In many ways, I sympathize with them, because we as a public, and we as a media, put extraordinary pressure on them to get it right all the time—not to make any mistakes and not to step out of line. Another part of the problem is that politicians are so busy they haven’t got time to read. They don’t read a newspaper the way that you and I would. They get presented with a pile of clippings that are all about them, so they get used to this notion that everyone is reading just about them. That’s where the level of paranoia comes in. Or they’re working with PR people whose job is to worry about what is said, so they therefore think that everything that is said is somehow something to worry about.


 

When you fear the sound of your own voice

  1. Ovid ~ forma viros neglecta decet

  2. One of the reasons why good people don’t run for parliament, and we get stuck with the asshats that we do, is because MPs are not allowed to be themselves and are treated as little more than puppets.

    Salary/Pension is like winning lottery, for sure, but if you are not PM or one of few influential Cabinet members, our MPs have been emasculated and who wants that done to them?

    • It’s us that don’t allow it. We punish them almost unfailingly for not remaining with a party for when their actions result in their expulsion and we won’t elect people who sit as independents. If we wanted “good people” who don’t unflinchingly work with the party then we’d vote for people on the basis of what they’re running on and not based on the intellectual shorthand that their party affiliation represents.

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