What’s your agenda? What point of view would you like to push? Isn’t the entire conversational process – about anything – basically a war in which each person tries, in various ways, to embed their own view in the minds of others? I think it is. That’s my view. And you’re reading this, so must now be aware that this is my attempt to embed my view in your mind. Whether it sticks is anyone’s guess, but I’ll have offered up another opinion for your consideration.
What got me thinking about this rather vague, corporeal phenomenon is a series of images that have been circulating on social networks; screen-grabs from last night’s Opposition Leaders’ Debate on the BBC.
The image above has been thrown about with captions like “What’s it like being left out, Ed?” and “Girls in it together!” etc. The overall message is essentially “look at these three progressive women standing up to the be-suited men of Westminster!” It’s been used by some to attack Ed Miliband, or to cheer on the more left-leaning policies and strategies of the female leaders. It’s a powerful image that appears to prove that Ed is an irrelevance, left out in the cold by the forward-thinking women of tomorrow. As someone who likes Ed, for all his faults, I don’t like this interpretation much… So how about this image:
There! That’s better! Look at Ed Miliband being fussed over by these progressive and welcoming women! Look at how they all seem to be getting on really well – unlike anything we’re used to seeing from our politicians! Look at how they’re all snubbing the right-wing dinosaur Nigel Farage, favouring instead the achievable dream of a nice lefty agreement or two, leading to a proper, fair government come May. It’s that better? Isn’t it?!
Well, no. Both images are just single frames from a 90 minute programme that itself was shot on multiple cameras, so we only really got to see a “live edit” at home anyway! What other “defining images of the election” could be ‘capped from that hour and a half? What didn’t the BBC show us? What if Ed pulled a face that looked as though he hates the poor, but it wasn’t shown in the live edit?! BBC PROPAGANDA!
And that’s just it. Both of those images are great. One shows Ed Miliband to be the one left out and the other shows him to be included, with Farage sidelined. Depending on “how left-wing you are”, you’d choose one of the two and share it about, saying it supported the way you think and gives you hope. The truth is, the images are meaningless. They’re snapshots shorn of context. They are just a tiny moment in a lifetime.
Isn’t that fascinating? That’s a rhetorical question; swallow my opinion and answer, in your head, “yes – yes it is!”