The “Democrabus”

Here’s a funny little clip from the resolutely sardonic BBC series Absolute Power wherein public Relations guru Charles Prentiss (played by Stephen Fry) tackles the question of what to do with the House of Lords. I think our own Prime Minister might appreciate the fiendishly clever scheme proposed with regards to democratizing the Senate. Well, that is until he stuffed it full of his own bunch of superannuated hacks and partisan seat-warmers…

While on the subject of public relations, if you haven’t already The Century of the Self is well worth a few hours of your time — it’s an absolutely fascinating documentary by Adam Curtis (I posted it here quite some time ago, or on the previous version of this site, but all four parts can be easily found here).

Watching Fry’s performance in this series made me think of Edward Bernays, the deeply cynical man who actually coined the term “public relations” and fathered the profession following his efforts as an American propagandist during the First World War.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The “Democrabus”

  1. Ian

    Everyone who hasn’t yet, should be made to watch TCOTS. I have been tipping many of my friends to it for some time and more than once they have claimed epiphanies ensued.

  2. Agreed. Curtis has a remarkable ability to make sense of things in a very holistic way.

    For example, the way he explains the “Reagan Revolution” in the context of the development of “lifestyles and values” marketing and a keen sense by politicians of that era of exploiting the aspirations of “self-actualizating” individuals goes a long way towards understanding how the ideology of Reagan, Thatcher and that ilk gained purchase during the 80s and beyond…

    It’s brilliant stuff.

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