Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Monday, 19 April 2010

Media bias, showbiz endorsements and debating skills.

David Cann explains why the media is biased towards Socialism. He explains why those working in the Arts tend to support the red parties, and why so many 'celebrities' overtly support Labour and shun parties to the centre or to the 'right' of the political spectrum.
David Cann:
I am an actor and I am a member of the actors' union (Equity) and I am a Conservative, for very good reasons.

John Ward:
Ah, good! Okay, from the inside, then: any insights as to why we find actors and other showbiz performers tend to be predominantly Lefties? Am I on the right track, or have I missed something? I think it would help a lot of folk to understand better if they knew why.

David Cann:
It's an interesting question. Why are so many actors lefties? There are a number of reasons. First, artistically minded people tend to be naturally "anti-establishment", bohemian, unconventional, on the fringes of respectability. The lefties have always regarded themselves as victims of the capitalist society and want to overthrow the establishment so they easily co-exist with these arty types.

Second, there has been a deliberate process of leftist/liberal politicisation going on throughout the establishment since the second world war; the civil service, the judiciary, the teaching profession etc. Remember M Thatcher talking about the Marxists "marching through the institutions"? Well, they are marching through the theatre as well. Trevor Nunn, the former director of the RSC, was quoted as saying that he "couldn't work with anyone who wasn't a socialist" and although I cannot be sure that the quote was true, it does indicate that if any young performer wants to get on in show biz they had better conform to the politics of the boss. For many in the entertainment industry the motive is Marxist and the theatre is merely the medium.

Third, the arts are highly subsidised and like any government funded activity it is loaded with political imperatives which may be overt or merely implied. I have seen Arts Council documents stating that public funds should be awarded to feminist theatre groups, for example. Those writers and directors who know how to play the bureaucratic game get the cash. Where there be subsidies - there be lefties.

Add all this together and it's not surprising that Vanessa Redgrave and her, recently deceased, brother Corin had so much influence. The Workers Revolutionary Party was more of a cult than a political party and they were a thoroughly nasty lot. Corin actually said to me once that he wanted the WRP to take over the union, Equity, and use it as a power base to take over HM Government, at which point he would hand over the keys to our nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union. Many of our well known and "much loved" actors were members of the WRP and show little or no sign of embarrassment when reminded of their involvement.

But I think there is another reason why so many performers are lefties. Actors often feel the need to be taken seriously because our work is essentially trivial: I have never met an actor who worked as a part-time heart surgeon when not treading the boards, nor have I ever known an actress discover a cure for cancer or run a multi-national business corporation. Yes, drama can be enlightening and deeply moving, I believe it to be an important component of civilisation but the actors do not, generally, write the scripts. Time and again I have heard actors repeating what they have read in the Guardian as though they had thought of it themselves, just to make themselves sound intelligent, informed, up to date or trendy. Furthermore, leftist politics depend to large degree on emotional appeal, rather than cold rationality, and actors are very good at "emoting".

I hope this goes some way to answering your question.

John Ward:
Yes it does!
Quoted from John Ward in Medway and extracted from comments at PlayPolitical

Now you've got this far, go back and read it again.

Read it very carefully and understand how easily our potential leaders can hoodwink the electorate, many of whom do little more than watch wall-to-wall television, and they can do it by using acting skills.

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