Culture war trivialities returned to dominate newspaper headlines this week after furor over a Gary Lineker tweet reached fever pitch.
A number of right-wingers hit out at the Beeb over the affair that saw the Match of the Day presenter thrown off air and then cordially invited back on in the space of a few days after a mass walk-out that included commentators, pundits and even the players themselves.
Jacob Rees-Mogg called for the license fee to be scrapped because forgetful women ‘don’t remember to pay it’, while Jonathan Gullis even went as far as accusing Lineker of calling northerners “racist bigots” and “Nazis” which is, of course, completely false.
Lord Young of Norwood Green, meanwhile, suggested the Beeb could sack Lineker and replace him with “at least one or two women” which he says we could do “at half the price and they’d do twice as good a job.”
But away from the headline-grabbing, culture war claptrap the asylum seeker crisis remains unresolved and is likely to remain so until the next election.
And what’s more, closer to home, there are real economic issues facing families up and down the country, with a prolonged period of low economic growth on the cards coupled with high taxation and decling living standards.
Jeremy Hunt’s response has been to slash taxes for the richest 1 per cent in what has been described by Labour as a “gilded giveaway” to higher earners.
Hunt said the abolition of the tax-free cap on the lifetime pensions allowance included in his Budget was needed to keep doctors in work as the NHS spends billions on agency staff.
But Labour said it will reverse the “pensions bung for the 1 per cent” if it wins power amid criticism from economists the “hugely wasteful” measure will cost £80,000 per worker.
What’s more, the Resolution Foundation has said a tax giveaway on such a scale could see some workers choosing to retire early or using their now uncapped pensions savings to avoid inheritance tax.
You might wonder why there hasn’t been more uproar about the proposals, and I’ll tell you why.
Regrettably, the public has become so preoccupied with issues such as small boats landing on UK shores and the Gary Lineker saga that there’s little interest in material issues that truly effect people’s day-to-day life.
It is the very reason the Tories have put forward legislation as preposterous as the Illegal Immigration Bill.
It won’t get through and they know it, but it will keep people’s heads turned.
Related: The Illusion Of Action