DO PEOPLE HECKLE?

Wednesday 10 February 2010, 16:24

Adam Curtis Adam Curtis

In 1966 one of the most brilliant American New Wave movie directors - Joseph Strick - made a documentary for the BBC. It was about heckling in the British general election of that year. It is great piece of verite film-making.

strickcomp.jpg
Strick is still making films, and lives in Paris. He has now approached me because he wants to do a film about this year's general election - and wants to film heckling. My first reaction was to tell him that I don't think people heckle any longer. He says he is convinced they do heckle - and will heckle - because of anger over MPs etc. Political journalists I have asked don't know how widespread heckling is these days - because they don't tend to stray outside Westminster.

I think it raises a really interesting question. If people don't heckle any longer is it because they no longer believe in politics, or is it because they no longer believe in themselves?

Is it that they have come to see their politicians as creatures who no longer have any ideas or vision, and who have absolutely no idea or understanding of what is happening in the world, so there is no point in heckling them any longer?

Or is it that we, the people, have no ideas and no understanding of the world ourselves? That we have no vision any longer of what the world could be like, or what changes we would like made - so we have nothing to say? And thus nothing to heckle about.

So however angry we are we remain mute and sullen.

Or maybe we do still heckle? It would be very interesting to find out - please let me know.

Here are some extracts from the film.

In the film you can see both an old Britain and fragments of the new Britain that was emerging side by side in the audiences.

Empire Loyalists shout about the betrayal of Rhodesia and the loss of the last bits of the empire, while in the same audience - towards the end of the film - you can see early examples of British counter-culture. Long hair - but still beatnik, not hippie, fashion - with the slogan "Anarchy - don't vote, Anarchy don't vote".

It was the beginning of the rise of individualism and the modern retreat from politics.

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    Comment number 1.

    It's an interesting question. I think it's a combination of a whole boat load of factors though, not just the general apathy about politics that exists in the current social climate.

    One of your comments intrigues me: " Political journalists I have asked don't know how widespread heckling is these days - because they don't tend to stray outside Westminster." Maybe that's one of the reasons you don't see much heckling these days; because it isn't being reported. The media elite seems to have become ever more insular, and that has led to a death in local journalism. Now you have these big, amorphous entities such as "The Times" and "The Guardian" presiding over the whole country, with no local ties to any single community (the Guardian recently severed its historic links to local newspapers). If a group of people heckle a politician somewhere outside London, somewhere exotic like Cheltenham, and there's no journalist there to cover the event, do they still make a sound? In trying to cover everything the big media corporations end up covering next to nothing. Now it's all about user driven content.

    There's also the fact that big political events to be staged these days. Visits to hospitals or prepared speeches tend to be organized in such a way as to leave very little room for dissenters. So another reason why you don't see many hecklers these days is that politicians have got smart to it and so manipulate the media in such a way in order to present and orderly face to the world. A product of the modern, PR driven politicis, I suppose.

    Finally, there's also the fact that the people who do heckle tend to belong to small, ideologically driven groups: communists, anarchists, religious groups with a political agenda, etc. Any kind of angry response to political bullshit tends to be highly fractured, with small groups vying for attention and publicity. The internet has probably had the biggest effect of all: if people want to whine about politicians, they do it in forums and community blogs. I've seen quite feracious response to political events online, so I don't know if you could class that as heckling? I guess it's easier to vent your anger through a computer in the company of a like minded individuals rather than go through all the bother of going outside and find a unwilling politican to heckle.

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    Comment number 2.

    We saw some much more muted but strongly worded attacks during the expenses scandal. David Cameron's adviser, Andrew Mackay, answers his constituents over his crooked claims: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hhz3p8JnCA

    Cameron even sent all of his shadow cabinet out to their constituencies to justify their finances - and he's been doing CameronDirect, wherein he travels town halls answering (I think) unplanned questions.

    This election is going to get very interesting.

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    Comment number 3.

    Or we could just be polite and reserved?

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    Comment number 4.

    This was fascinating. I wonder though if the reason for the decline of heckling isn't so much political as cultural. Not all of the hecklers in the film were political, they were enjoying the art of tripping a speaker up or launching a well timed joke. The level of disorder people tolerated was particularly telling. If you look at the reactions of people, even in the scene when the fight breaks out, many are laughing. Now people are much more scared of public confrontation.

    Heckling was part of a much more communal street culture. It was a rougher style but, in a way, safer. The only people left who still heckle are builders, football crowds & comedy club audiences. All are considered to be too coarse for modern tastes, if not actually racist or sexist. Public confrontations now are directly physical, like the attacks on John Prescott or Peter Mandelson.

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    Comment number 5.

    I wonder if a lack of heckling is because we're all more scared of what the consequences might be.

    Consider Walter Wolfgang in the 2005 Labour Party conference. He was bustled out of the hall even though he was 82 years old. It's just not tolerated. Interestingly that is precisely what Strick says would have happened in the US at the time he made this film.

    But I think anywhere cameras show up, the audience has been "padded" in advance to ensure that the "right" people are at the front. I've no doubt that in smaller meetings up and down the country, the heckling continues.

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    Comment number 6.

    Emm, hello. Have just watched and listened to the part you played in episode 4 of Newswipe. Haven't used a blog before so fairly unsure as to whether people who write these things read what people comment but pinky and index fingers crossed - re journalistic paranoia, have your read 'Paranoid Reading and Reperative Reading, Or, You're so Paranoid You Probably think this Essay is about You' by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick? If not, its probably right up your back alley. Here's a big link. x

    http://books.google.com/books?id=KBNXs3woYwcC&pg=PA123&lpg=PA123&dq=you're+so+paranoid+you+probably+think+this+is+about+you&source=bl&ots=JUM8MSj1tP&sig=q-GCzmOIehdAleT0k4MEgUlwBKU&hl=en&ei=lEpzS4OxC4v60wSC55SsCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAoQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=you're%20so%20paranoid%20you%20probably%20think%20this%20is%20about%20you&f=false

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    Comment number 7.

    I haven't used a blog before and after spending time writing a charming little messeage and it not posting, I've lost patience. Just watched your excellent input on episode 4 of newswipe - re paranoid journalism, have you read Eve Kosofsky Sedwick's 'Paranoid Reading and Reperative Reading, Or you're so Paranoid you probably think this essay is about you'? If not, definitely do. If you have, fabbo (or something similar). x

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    Comment number 8.

    The first one worked! Jackpot.

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    Comment number 9.

    When it comes to Israeli-Palestine it appears British people still heckle! Big debate going on about the Oxford Union debate where they heckled the Israeli Deputy FM. http://mondoweiss.net/2010/02/hecklers-read-the-goldstone-report-to-israeli-minister-at-oxford.html

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    Comment number 10.

    Hello Adam.. Firstly I'd like to thank the BBC and yourself for *not* geo-locking 'The Hecklers' as I think it's something that us yanks should DEFINITELY see. Yes, I am one of those weird folks from over the pond.. pray indulge me if you would.

    I know that you consider bloggers 'bullies' but this is where 'heckling' has gone. It certainly hasn't been 'sublimated'.. it has just *migrated* to the next logical medium. Yes, 'anonymous cowards' like me, who have grown up with this so-called 'new media' are just using the same tools that I saw in 'The Hecklers' to the same effect. I give you my blog and my heckling of 'Mumbai Don' as a less than worthy example.

    For a better example of heckling on a large scale via the 'net I give you the 'Anonymous vs Scientology' or now the 'Anonymous vs the country of Australia' saga which is currently unfolding. Examples of the former:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCbKv9yiLiQ

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmMqrWhtAEM [referencing the anime 'Ghost in the Shell']

    Anonymous' message was translated into a number of languages, including Japanese:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTdtoRM0CyQ

    Why do I heckle? Because I see injustice to my tribe, the geeks / hackers / engineers. Like your loyalists, I see our (USA) politicians spinning us into neverending wars on abstraction, giving away our advantages in tech to China & India, squandering our resources. But most of all I don't see them taking any responsibility, just passing the problems on to my children and their children. The Hecklers become the Heckled (our 'Boomer' generation, aka 'the Hippies').

    What's the only recourse open to us? Heckling. Or as the gamers or youngs would call it, 'Griefing'. Mr. Brooker did Gameswipe, right? He should be able to tell you volumes about 'Griefing' which is what 'Anonymous' (aka a bunch of 4chan /b-tards as they are known) do either for agenda or kicks.

    My point is, heckling has not gone away. It has migrated to where the 'narratives' or 'messages' are -- blog entries followed by heckling comments, video responses (on Mevio or Youtube) and other blog rebuttals.

    -Drunken Economist
    http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/
    http://twitter.com/drunk_economist

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    Comment number 11.

    @Druken Economist:

    To be brutally honest, I don't think blogging and its ilk is in any way equivalent to heckling, simply because it doesn't involve politicians. It's a one way street, whereas with heckling a conversation often develops between the heckling audience and the heckled politicians. No MP or high ranking minister is ever going to bother to answer the angry queries of bloggers on the internet. The "fights" you see develop on the internet platform are between different groups of users. And as such, it doesn't hold politicians to account because the political elite can simply ignore. It's just shouting at the wind.

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    Comment number 12.

    People don't heckle? Have you not seen question time? Seems to consist of people mainly shouting out about expenses. Or maybe people just throw eggs and flower now to get their website on the telly.

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    Comment number 13.

    It's a one way street, whereas with heckling a conversation often develops between the heckling audience and the heckled politicians. No MP or high ranking minister is ever going to bother to answer the angry queries of bloggers on the internet.

    Except that they already have started responding to them, and they will need to in ever greater numbers - Politicians aren't exactly going to let several mediums of mass exchange help form peoples opinions (and therefore voting patterns) without getting involved and trying all they can to bend things in their own direction.

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    Comment number 14.

    "Or is it that we, the people, have no ideas and no understanding of the world ourselves? That we have no vision any longer of what the world could be like, or what changes we would like made - so we have nothing to say? And thus nothing to heckle about."

    I'm afraid it is. How do people reconcile their individualist consumerism with their wider beliefs, say about the environment? They can't. They feel guilt. Their income level is such and their lifestyle is such that they live openly in their hypocrisy. How can they then heckle an MP in which they see the same vice? They can't, so they sit in shameful silence.

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    Comment number 15.

    Adam, I find it interesting that you should be approached ( in what capacity you don't say) by a 1960s New Wave film maker who wants to make a film about heckling during the next UK electoral process. Either he has identified something that can/will re-emerge as a counterpoint to contemporary UK politics or he has identified you as a modern media cousin to those times. Being alive and young through the 1960s makes for a very interesting perspective in weighing up post WW2 changes and developments.
    I make these points in regard to this prospective endeavour:
    Political cynicism, satire, wit and irony have to a large extent become theatrically professionalised as an extension and a byproduct of 1980s reactionary comedy. Political messages have now become so disguised by smoke and mirrors that it takes a skilled performer to break through the deceptions and make a living in the process. EG: The News Quiz, Private Eye, HIGNFY, Ben Elton etc etc. The exception to the rule would be Alf Garnet.
    Heckling, by and large, belongs to a previous age when large, politically oriented, crowds could be brought together, for a common purpose, without the need for licenses of one sort or another. Our contemporary world has trained us to be more strategic/smart/conciliatory in achieving critical objectives. Heckling is a tradition that belonged to a tradition. Large crowd gatherings tend, now, to be mass, one off, stage managed events. It is hard to imagine, today, how frequent large mass gatherings were for one reason or another during the years prior to the 1980s. Heckling was a part of the physical moment, a freedom. Freedom now is more emotional.
    You might have to revise the notion that "There is a policeman inside our heads" by changing that to "Is there a policeman inside our heads" or "Is there still a policeman inside our heads?".
    Grand narratives have become expedient and self serving so heckling is a part of a process not outside it.
    Political PR has become a super palliative and the modern methods of dealing with heckles far outweigh those of the 1960s.
    You may have to redefine heckling to make the idea work today.
    The acheivements of modern journalism have paradoxically egalitarianised and separated us. We have been separated out into a collective of similar wants and burdens in which 'reality tv' and large financial rewards have expediently replaced politics by fixing our imagined real needs. The big irony here is that Simon Cowell should be interested in utilising politics for a reality tv show. Maybe here there might be a genuine opportunity for heckling as it used to be. Oh sweet irony.
    English (not UK) politics has come to an end in terms of great thought. Politics is now about ideas of managing chaos. Politicians have become corporate managers running UK plc masked by an odd form of identityless democracy. Heckling has become a formal institutionalised emotional attitude as a consequence, variously displayed in controlled broadcast environments. It is very hard to convey just how angry this country was in the years leading up to the transitional 1980s and how vociferous the masses, on many issues, were during this chaotic period. Politics and people were much closer as a physical entity then than now. Parliament is now an industrial fortress barricaded by large concrete blocks. Politicians have moved from civvy street to savvy street. Heckles are more often heard inside Parliament than outside it.
    Modern political antipathy is driven by computer processors. Ironically the result of 1960s subversive American thinking. 60s attitudes towards politics were driven by physical and tactile means. From the Gutenburg Galaxy to the Gatesian Galaxy of social isolation. Who heckles in social isolation?
    In the 60s we aspired to what we now have. But what we now don't have is'nt worth shouting about. (I will stand to be corrected on this point..).What we don't have is only what we are missing from 'our' comforts and joys. But in the 60s we didn't know what we were missing. We had an IDEA about what we were missing. That was worth a shout....The question now is what do 'we' really need to shout about?.
    I think your first thought, that heckling doesn't exist anymore, may in part be true if made as a direct comparison to what went before. However, as with all things human, there is nothing new under the sun; small evolutions and extensions may just reveal that heckling has taken to new forms.
    Finally, it could be argued that heckling has, like the politics of old, come to a natural end. Politicians have retreated from the soapbox to the security of expense accounts while we have retreated into the comforts of personal space, choice and virtual control of our virtual existences. Where once we were a unified mass that had a unified identity and a unified construct to struggle for now we have to be asked by our government what is Britishness? What is our identity? Who are we? Who am I? Who are you? What are you doing here? and so on........
    Derren Brown said he once disabled a personal attack by filling the assailants head with information which confused him and left him immobilised. You can teach old dogs new tricks......Politics is now the heckler and we are now the electorate without ideas.
    Epilogue: There is an apparent lack of genuine wit and wisdom in English society, something for which we were once renowned. This has been replaced by ridicule. We have become sated by the need to create instant, ill considered reactions to the wants of our seemingly ever faster world. As John Cleese once remarked everywhere you go there is insanity and only pockets of sanity exist. Maybe this blog is an oasis of sanity but one thing surely is clear. If politics is to be reclaimed as a representation of the people a renaissance is due. Whether this will ever happen or not remains to be seen since both sides have now reached an impasse. A resurgence of good heckling may be due.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    An unsqwidged version of my earlier post #15....

    Adam, I find it interesting that you should be approached ( in what capacity you don't say) by a 1960s New Wave film maker who wants to make a film about heckling during the next UK electoral process. Either he has identified something that can/will re-emerge as a counterpoint to contemporary UK politics or he has identified you as a modern media cousin to those times. Being alive and young through the 1960s makes for a very interesting perspective in weighing up post WW2 changes and developments.

    I make these points in regard to this prospective endeavour:

    Political cynicism, satire, wit and irony have to a large extent become theatrically professionalised as an extension and a byproduct of 1980s reactionary comedy. Political messages have now become so disguised by smoke and mirrors that it takes a skilled performer to break through the deceptions and make a living in the process. EG: The News Quiz, Private Eye, HIGNFY, Ben Elton etc etc. The exception to the rule would be Alf Garnet.

    Heckling, by and large, belongs to a previous age when large, politically oriented, crowds could be brought together, for a common purpose, without the need for licenses of one sort or another. Our contemporary world has trained us to be more strategic/smart/conciliatory in achieving critical objectives.

    Heckling is a tradition that belonged to a tradition. Large crowd gatherings tend, now, to be mass, one off, stage managed events. It is hard to imagine, today, how frequent large mass gatherings were for one reason or another during the years prior to the 1980s. Heckling was a part of the physical moment, a freedom. Freedom now is more emotional.

    You might have to revise the notion that "There is a policeman inside our heads" by changing that to "Is there a policeman inside our heads" or "Is there still a policeman inside our heads?".

    Grand narratives have become expedient and self serving so heckling is a part of a process not outside it.

    Political PR has become a super palliative and the modern methods of dealing with heckles far outweigh those of the 1960s.

    You may have to redefine heckling to make the idea work today.

    The acheivements of modern journalism have paradoxically egalitarianised and separated us. We have been separated out into a collective of similar wants and burdens in which 'reality tv' and large financial rewards have expediently replaced politics by fixing our imagined real needs. The big irony here is that Simon Cowell should be interested in utilising politics for a reality tv show. Maybe here there might be a genuine opportunity for heckling as it used to be. Oh sweet irony.

    English (not UK) politics has come to an end in terms of great thought. Politics is now about ideas of managing chaos. Politicians have become corporate managers running UK plc masked by an odd form of identityless democracy. Heckling has become a formal institutionalised emotional attitude as a consequence, variously displayed in controlled broadcast environments. It is very hard to convey just how angry this country was in the years leading up to the transitional 1980s and how vociferous the masses, on many issues, were during this chaotic period. Politics and people were much closer as a physical entity then than now. Parliament is now an industrial fortress barricaded by large concrete blocks. Politicians have moved from civvy street to savvy street. Heckles are more often heard inside Parliament than outside it.

    Modern political antipathy is driven by computer processors. Ironically the result of 1960s subversive American thinking. 60s attitudes towards politics were driven by physical and tactile means. From the Gutenburg Galaxy to the Gatesian Galaxy of social isolation. Who heckles in social isolation?

    In the 60s we aspired to what we now have. But what we now don't have is'nt worth shouting about. (I will stand to be corrected on this point..).What we don't have is only what we are missing from 'our' comforts and joys. But in the 60s we didn't know what we were missing. We had an IDEA about what we were missing. That was worth a shout....The question now is what do 'we' really need to shout about?.

    I think your first thought, that heckling doesn't exist anymore, may in part be true if made as a direct comparison to what went before. However, as with all things human, there is nothing new under the sun; small evolutions and extensions may just reveal that heckling has taken to new forms.

    Finally, it could be argued that heckling has, like the politics of old, come to a natural end. Politicians have retreated from the soapbox to the security of expense accounts while we have retreated into the comforts of personal space, choice and virtual control of our virtual existences. Where once we were a unified mass that had a unified identity and a unified construct to struggle for now we have to be asked by our government what is Britishness? What is our identity? Who are we? Who am I? Who are you? What are you doing here? and so on........

    Derren Brown said he once disabled a personal attack by filling the assailants head with information which confused him and left him immobilised. You can teach old dogs new tricks......Politics is now the heckler and we are now the electorate without ideas.

    Epilogue: There is,now, an apparent lack of genuine political wit and wisdom in English society, something for which we were once renowned. This has been replaced by ridicule. We have become sated by the need to create instant, ill considered reactions to the wants of our seemingly ever faster world. As John Cleese once remarked everywhere you go there is insanity and only pockets of sanity exist. Maybe this blog is an oasis of sanity but one thing surely is clear. If politics is to be reclaimed as a representation of the people a renaissance is due. Whether this will ever happen or not remains to be seen since both sides have now reached an impasse. A resurgence of good heckling may be due.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 17.

    This all rather reminded me of John Major in 1992, when he got his soap box out and made a few speeches in the streets, talking to a few people who could answer him back. The media enjoyed it at the time I seem to recall but very soon they saw the danger of politicians talking to the electorate without their media interface, and soon Major was the *grey man*, ridiculed and vilified as an incompetent ingenue. If you want to know what happened to hecklers you need to recognise that no politician is going to talk to a couple of hundred people in a church hall when he can talk to 20 million on the BBC and not have to deal with the nutters out there. In Cyber-Space, nobody can hear you heckle.
    Has anyone told Mr. Strick that we are to be treated to TV presidential debates this time around? If he wants to know what happend to hecklers, he needs to look at America in about 1963, when Kennedy met Nixon and pretty-boy politics took over. If you are not TV-pretty then the media will soon make you paranoid and we can all see Brown desperately trying to wriggle from the grip of the luvvies in 2010. Fat chance.

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    Comment number 18.


    Part 2 to my post of #15.....
    In the 1980s I worked in the civil service. Being aspirational I was gently nudged one day by a long standing civil service colleague who quietly mentioned that the way to get promotion would be to create a new worthwhile form. This would go well on my record and that was how the game was played. After months of thinking about how I would create a worthwhile fom to fill in I gave up. Ultimately I got promotion by organising a Christmas party. A year later I vacated my new position...

    The apocryphal statement that if you can remember the 60s you weren't there, variously attributed to Unknown, Grace Slick or Paul Kantner does it an injustice.Growing up through the 1960s was a head turning experience. It was a time best exemplified as a colour wheel with odd contrasting and conflicting colours that defied the laws of physics, metaphorically, in all walks and thoughts of life. It was not comfortable but it was as, Ian Macdonald wrote brilliantly in his preface essay to Revolution in the Head: Revolution in the Head.

    How often can one's existence be caught by the captivating experience of change happening in time and the cogniscience to be aware of it. That is really the essence of the madness of the 60s. This is the real problem of trying to describe this time via words. It is an event of itself beyond description. You really had to be there or not!!.
    It was almost like an unburdening of all that had gone before and the belief, if naive, of all that was possible built on the foundations of no more war, no more call ups, beneficial social change, better housing, off the peg clothing, supermarkets, hire purchase, electronic goods, style, popular culture and on and on and on and on....

    A certain type of freedom captured most notably by the Beatles after a swansong from the previous music hall age by Max Miller and most likely begun with a speech by Winston Churchill at Harvard in 1943 who stated that "in the future all empires will be empires of the mind". It could be argued that the Graphic User Interface is the culmination of that prediction.

    The main war had been over for 15 to 20 years and many people who had contributed to the war effort were of an age young enough to remember life before the war but not old enough to make way easily for the next, permissive, generation who were busy carving out the new age. Growing up in West London at the time I remember very palpable references to the war in the physical, material and human presences of the time. It really did seem to be an era still very aligned to something Churchillian at one end of the scale and the cheeky chappy working class humour of Max Miller at the other. It was a veritable melting pot of colliding and expanding barriers between what had been and where 'been' was going.

    The war generation seemed to have a much closer communal identity which might appear naive and ignorant to us today. But this identity was forged in the heavy manufactoring environments that survived until the 1980s and carried with it a common purpose for existence en masse and this seemed to carry through English society in general at the time. Out of these masses would come characters who were not afraid to speak up or speak out because the commonality of political cynicism could be easily represented.

    This period was the final hurrah of English class distinction and identities as we know them historically. As the baton of disord fell from the last hand it was ironically rescued from hitting the ground by the new wave comedians of the early 1980s who commodified the essence of political heckling by turning it back onto the very audiences who were the heirs to their parental disenfranchised recipients of political ideals.

    This was exemplified by two occurrences.

    1) Margaret Thatcher's assertion that there is no such thing as society only individual men and women and families.

    2) The crowd scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

    The former typified the modern preoccupation with New Town nuclear family lifestyle that was to come and the latter, controversially, that the man of the day was no longer that man. He was outmoded, defunct, kaputttt. Over. The old world had been superseeded except that...

    ...the heckler had become the performer who had learned to make a living from our indulgences while the politician began to learn to smile awkwardly, but richer in the process,.....for succeeding in creating a mannered,controlled, forum of debate. The corporate way.....

    Harry Enfield's character Loadsa Money made sense even when it didn't. And with that the curtain of heckling came ignominiously down because nobody got the joke anymore. Just as John Osbourne's play, The Entertainer, portrayed the end of Max Miller and the era of music hall comedy, we waved goodbye, by inadvertantly bringing the curtain down on our own show.

    We, like the politicians, absolved ourselves from the real, physical world of confrontations, to take our seats in a theatrical setting: Our own lives.

    Meanwhile the 'new hecklers' were carving out mainstream lives with mainstream children living in mainstream houses with a mainstream lifestyle.

    This is called English Conservatism with a small 'c'.

    "You say you want a revolution?"....??

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    Comment number 19.

    People do still heckle, there was a great example of it in Liverpool last year at the Hillsborough memorial, a mass event where either a secretary of state or senior minister was given a strong message by the crowd, its probably on youtube somewhere, but this is why they don t put themselves in positions where they are likely to get heckled anymore, it looks bad.

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    Comment number 20.

    Hi everyone

    I think the fact that people don't heckle any more is related to people being 'armchair activists' or 'false rebels'. What I mean is that people who would have protested or made the effort to make themselves heard simply vent their anger now on the internet in forums or on blogs.

    Also I agree that most political conferences/ election ect are stage managed. For example, if you want to appear on question time you have to fill out a form explaining your political views. The incident with Walter Wolfgang is actually quite scary- does anyone remember that Russian woman who heckled Putin and was injected with a mysterious substance?

    People think that the internet is effective as a way of protest- drumming up interest virally is viable but with one massive downside- you cannot see anyone protesting on the street, the people are not visible and this makes the public believe that people simply don't care about current affairs.

    Also, does anyone know where I can see Joesph Krick's documentaries on the internet?

 

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