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‘We’ve all Been Watching the Longest-Running Show of Modern Times. But it Might Soon Be all Over

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Gbnews Presenter Neil Oliver observed that the longest-running show of modern times may soon end because an increasing number of audience members, particularly those in the cheap seats, are becoming restless due to the discomfort of their seats.

“Give them the old Razzle Dazzle,” they said. “Razzle Dazzle them,” I said. Razzle dazzle them, not midazolam. No one jokes about midazolam. The careful staging meant that the whole effect was spectacular. Audiences went home convinced they had seen real people telling a true story. The stars were luminous, and the atmosphere was enveloping. They could remember the songs and teach them to their kids during the summer. Other performances.

The story our politicians and performers have been telling us about the ways of the world is a fragile bubble of make-believe that will disappear once pricked. The internet, originally created to keep the US military’s computers running despite nuclear weapons, now connects billions of people and allows them to communicate.

The internet has been growing around us since the 1960s, but in recent years, it reached critical mass, and now it has unexpectedly turned a bright and revealing light onto what we’re supposed to remain as shadows. That’s why it suits them to blame the internet for so-called conspiracy theories and misinformation and to seek to censor it.

Back on that stage where the latest cast of actors are still hamming it up as hard as they can go, the show might soon be over. More and more of the audience, especially in the cheap seats, are restless, aware of how uncomfortable their seats are now. The illusion is shattered. It’s not fun anymore, not in the way the creators intended. Worse, more of the audience is whispering among themselves, laughing at instead of with what’s happening on stage. Who knows, audiences being fickle, it might only be a little while before the bags of rotten fruit come out for the first time in the show’s long run.

A lot of lines sound old and tired, and yet the hammy actors are still trotting them out because, after all, that’s showbiz, and the show must go on. “Safe and effective” used to get a round of applause, much like “we’re all in it together” and “it’s an emergency” and “we’re doing our best.” Now, those tried and trusted staples just get a groan. “Build back better” does us a favor. Surely no one buys that one anymore. “Saving democracy,” that used to have them on their feet and cheering. Now, it sounds hollow, like the sets and the backdrop.

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“Climate crisis,” “a world at boiling point,” “the clock is ticking,” mutter the hecklers. “It’s got bells on,” they say. Give the showrunners an inch, and without you, they try and keep the show fresh with the addition of special guests. Since Ukraine is running out of steam, big guns are now pointed at Niger of all places.

No one in the audience saw that one coming. Niger, where even is Niger? They call the chorus. Niger has apparently forgotten its role and has been ad-libbing, telling the French to leave them and their uranium, used by France for vital and valuable electricity, alone. Unlike the army of Russia, the previous body, which has the fifth most powerful fighting force in the world, a real contender, Niger’s army ranks just 119 out of a world total of 145. Surely they’ve just been wheeled on stage as a fall guy?

The aging hero can knock out with a single punch. All joking aside, and it really isn’t funny, why does the West keep barging on stage in Africa, one African country after another, down the decades, made to take the fall? None of those African lives matter, apart from the gross asymmetry in any fight involving the US and an impoverished West African nation utterly exhausted by decades of plunder by the West.

Another war is a familiar plotline. Pantomime villain Victoria Newland, AKA Acting United States Deputy Secretary of State, has been reprising the role she played in Ukraine, another performance of her big number, which is, “It’s my way or the highway.” But it’s anyone’s guess if the crowd is ready to join in at the chorus this time. It’s an increasingly tough room.

The crowd is supposed to join in with the big numbers. For a while now, it’s been, “How do you solve a problem like Imran Khan?” A generation or two of British audiences remember Imran Khan as an iconic cricketing celebrity and international playboy. He wooed and wed society princess Jemima Goldsmith, and we were told they lived a life of enviable glamour.

In a plot twist of note, Khan put the glitz behind him and embarked on a successful career as a politician, emerging in time as a man of his people back in his homeland of Pakistan. He reached and held the office of prime minister. He paid for the building of cancer hospitals there out of his own pocket.

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People loved him there. Back in March last year, Khan deviated from the script when he refused to condemn Russia for her invasion of Ukraine, coming up with lines of his own. He asked of the West, “What do you think of us? Are we your slaves?” Warming to his theme, he said, “We are friends with Russia, and we are also friends with America.

We are friends with China and with Europe. We are not in any camp,” he said. Pakistan would remain neutral and would work with those trying to end the war in Ukraine. The US accused Khan’s Pakistan of what they called “aggressive neutrality,” which sounds like an oxymoron to me. But what do I know?

By now, Imran Khan has been deposed as prime minister and is presently in jail. Whether he will emerge behind bars to perform a third act is anyone’s guess, but the audience isn’t holding their breath.

If all the world’s a stage, then surely the US is the West End, or the end of the West. What’s happening to that country now would be comedy or a downright farce if it wasn’t actually a tragedy. Former President Donald Trump has been being salvaged by the so-called liberal critics since at least 2016. They never get tired of pointing out all the flaws in his performance, despite the fact he was a real crowd-pleaser for millions of his countrymen.

The most recent plot has him apparently destined for jail, accused of everything under the sun, while present President Joe Biden heads a family whose corruption is exposed for all to see. The dodgy dealings are center stage, brightly spotless, and yet the audience is not supposed to notice. Who are they kidding?

It’s not just the big set pieces that are exposed by the unforgiving light of online chatter and information sharing. Even the throwaway gags are failing to land. Back here in Britain, former COVID medical officer Jonathan Van Tam, JVT as he was described on the flyer for the show, has exited stage left, one of many bad actors pursued not by a bear, but by uncounted numbers of those injured or dead on account of the injectables he helped push while in the costume of a government advisor. He is presently demonstrating the breadth of his acting skills by taking on a leading role for big pharma giant Moderna. How we laughed.

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All together now, oh no, we didn’t, much to the annoyance of the scriptwriters. A bunch dismissed at first as mere hecklers, namely GB News, has been stealing some of the limelight. In just the last few weeks, we’ve seen the humiliating climbdown of high and mighty bankers who entitled themselves to deny bank accounts to, and so effectively make non-people of all manner of law-abiding and tax-paying citizens of this country.

And this week, GB News handed over a petition signed by a third of a million viewers demanding a guaranteed secure future for cash in this country. No sooner did it land than the Treasury, no less, issued a statement saying GB News had got the perilous situation of cash spot on and declaring that action would be taken to protect the notes and pounds.

As our economist Liam Halligan has been saying all week, two million people in this country have no bank account, and 10% of households have no regular access to the internet. So that cash is nothing less than their lifeblood. You’d want to hope the Treasury isn’t just playing to the gallery, throwing sweeties into the crowd as a distraction. Only time will tell if their pledge is just another act, another line they can score out later on.

Gaslight is a 1938 play about a husband who uses lies and cheap tricks to try and persuade his wife she’s going mad so that he might steal from her, among other things. He tampers with the gaslighting in their home, turning it steadily down when she says it’s growing dimmer and dimmer. He tells her she must be insane.

As is often said now, we, the audience, are presently being gaslighted by a whole cast of bad actors posing as our leaders. I say it so they can say it’s us going mad while they dismantle the world around us and line their pockets along the way. But the more we see of the deceit, the more the shadows are illuminated, instead by the conversations we can have with each other, by the truth to be found in the online world and elsewhere. The more they overact and desperately try until they’re no more convincing than the cardboard sets that surround themselves with.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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