Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
18 November 2016, 12:13
1984 has always seemed a nightmare vision of how bad the media's lies and hate could get. Somehow 2016 has ended up even worse, argues James O'Brien.
It's a striking point James makes: as dark as society becomes in 1984, are we already in a worse situation?
James: Even Orwell Couldn't Guess How Bad 2016 Would Be
This is how "mad" 2016 is: the culture of hate propagated by the media is even worse than George Orwell predicted in 1984.
"The amazing thing about 1984 is that Orwell presumed that when the totalitarian era began...he presumed that the media that just pumps out lies to a completely complacent public, he presumed that media would be built by the government.
"He presumed that the manipulative dishonest media would be created by the manipulative, dishonest politicians.
"Even George Orwell didn't foresee a world in which the population, the punters, the voters would create their own manipulative, dishonest media.
"Even George Orwell didn't foresee how mad things have gone in 2016, where an election has been pretty much decided on the other side of the Atlantic, and arguably a referendum has been decided here, based on absolute lies."
James turned then to the economic update that the government will unveil next week: "£100bn they reckon we're going to be down in the budget statement next week.
"I don't believe it actually.
"I get my economic news from the side of a bus, thank you very much."