I miss the Silly Season. Stories of giant vegetables, lions seen on the moor, talking dolphins, eccentric endeavours and loquacious dogs – the fruit of desperation among journalists to fill column inches in the quiet of the summer recess. Politics spoils it.
In the COVID time it all merged into one, and this year we have Conservative leadership tribulations, as we did three years ago, and before that the season was cancelled for Brexit things. It is good to rest from 24-hour news fact-checked seriousness and fill the hours with the bizarre, the unlikely and the local oddities that brighten the life of a village and might just in that summer window appear on the national stage for a moment and no more to brighten the nation for a flash of time. We need it back.
Too much coverage of politics overstates its importance. Looking deeper though, much of political manoeuvring is itself utterly silly, if conducted seriously ,which makes the satire all the more biting. What else can journalists cover though? The works of indistinguishable undistinguished celebrities are a passing scene as insubstantial as a running work of fiction, and even wars seem far from us, until we see the prices at the pumps.
Maybe what we are seeing is the silly season extending across the whole year. It is done in a depressing way though. I could do with more giant pet rabbits and custard-eating competitions.