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The two publics

From the BBC to New Labour, Britain is obsessed with giving the public what it wants. We should know better

It is a shame that we did not go to war with Iraq earlier this year. The government was ready to reveal its new smart weapon: a bomb operated by a focus group in Gloucester. The device is commanded by 15 housewives, small businessmen, deputy headmasters and the man in charge of selecting fruit for Sainsbury’s; they determine its target, cruising speed and trajectory. As it nears the point of detonation, the bomb, code-named the Mandelbug, radios back to its masters and asks them which demographic group they would least mind being part of any collateral damage.

What is bringing…

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