Why Doesn’t the Media Understand Boris’s Pronouncement?

Boris Johnson. Pic: Creative Commons

God I love the or’inry British folk.

Check this bloke out, commenting on the media’s bafflement over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent announcement that people should take sensible precautions over the coronavirus.

A full handbook to tell you what to do is, of course, exactly what they want.

There is a reason that the media were overwhelmingly Remainers in the Brexit debate. Britain has a common law culture: in short, everyone is free to do whatever they want unless the law explicitly forbids them.

Continental Europe, by contrast has a culture of civil law, which does precisely what the chap above is deriding: it sets out codified rules of behaviour within which the citizen must remain. If it’s not written down and explicitly allowed, you can’t do it.

This leads to two very different mindsets: those who do what they want unless reprimanded, and those who do not act unless instructed. The media belongs to the second group; Boris and the broad working classes – the people who voted Brexit, in other words – belong to the latter.

That’s why the media can’t understand Boris’s pronouncement, but the people can.