04 Mar 2016

Beyond Satire

Should footage from the houses of commons be allowed to feature in satirical television shows? You can bet a vast majority of today’s bumbling MP’s will say no.

The question was highlighted by Ealing Labour MP Rupa Huq during yesterday’s parliament. Huq asked, “Could we have a statement on the uses of broadcast footage of the House of Commons?” The answer? A typically wishy washy one. Mr Grayling the leader of the house said, “It depends whether it’s satire, light entertainment, or factual.”

Huq was asking on behalf of Charlie Brooker, the comedian who is best known for his satire comedy show, Screen-wipe. Brooker has grown frustrated at being prevented from using footage of the houses of commons in his show. Is he only addressing the issue for his own personal gain, or for the greater good. Who knows…

So why are politicians so scared of parliament footage being used in a satirical way? Ego’s, without a doubt. Political scandals, certainly. Worried about losing control, yep. It’s the culmination of many reasons.

With the Tory government’s history of political scandals, is it any wonder they don’t want a change in the law? With another cash for questions, expenses, or pig-gate scandal seemingly always around the corner, they are trying to protect their backs.

In our opinion it’s further distancing politicians from the public, it makes them seem out of touch. It would be interesting to get Corb’s opinion on it. He’s subject to a tirade of jokes and abuse during every Prime Minister’s questions, would he be bothered with a bit of satirical comedy? Probably not.

Unfortunately the law isn’t going to change unless the politicians’ opinions change, because TV cameras in Parliament are not a right of the telly companies or the people. When parliament allowed the cameras in, it lays down the rules.

Perhaps it means that satirical programs will have to move production to offices in the Channel islands.