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Beyond George W Bush and Rory Bremner

The impressionist and satirist Rory Bremner writes here about the problems for his business in an age after President George W Bush has retired. His implied point about the general ground swell of positive feeling for his successor Barack Obama is relevant and well made, but, it is also entirely personality based. Obviously, personality, or perceived personality is a key area for satirists of all sorts to work in and, strong, or, daft characters can certainly help us do what we do. But, I can’t help feeling it also misses out another point. This is making satire about things, or objects, or social and economic organisations. And I don’t think satire will recess too far in an economic time when so many of our most cherished institutions, social practices and habits are going to be changed – visibly – by a recession and its associated social problems. Depending on how difficult things get, the concern might be how much social control will be exercised against making jokes in public at all.

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