In The Week magazine: the importance of bogeymen
Russia's Vladimir Putin and Britain's union barons share something in common: they're the bad guys
WE ALL need bogeymen to confirm our belief that we're the good guys and that the bad guys are out there to get us. And the good news is that this week we've got not one but two different sets of them.
Vladimir Putin, who appears naked on the cover of the new issue of The Week and is the subject of our main story, is of course bogeyman number one, with the union barons, bent on exploiting the ignorance of their union members – see our Controversy of The Week – bringing up the rear.
Of course there's no point pretending that these people – Putin at any rate – are particularly nice pieces of work. But once you turn them into metaphors of evil you cease to understand their motives and what the issues they're involved with are really about.
Too often, as the author of one of our Best British Articles argues, we are prisoners of the metaphors that tend to take over a news story.