Tuesday 13 January 2009

Collective bargaining and a big brother mystery

There have now been two 'socialist' politicians - though admittedly these have been George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan - in Celebrity Big Brother.

This adds to, for me, one of the conundrums of political philosophy which is thrown up by the format.

Why do the housemates meekly accept the authority of Big Brother in all matters?

(A couple of days ago, they were meekly surrendering tokens which could have been worth hot water or alcohol, because individual housemates had broken the rules on discussing nominations).

But given that the show (and indeed its profits) is entirely dependent on them, could they not assert their collective power to change the terms and rules on relatively trivial material issues - such as the shopping budget or the non-provision of hot water - or to say nothing of the overall format and rules of the show.

Could they not even have a little go. (Though it might be a problematic tactic if an extended stand-off and threat of a housemate general strike would make good TV anyway).

Perhaps, in the normal series, it is the lure of the prize money; in the celebrity series, perhaps there is something in the contracts to disincentivise trouble. it surely can't be that it has not occured to them.

PS: A google search throws up something I had vaguely heard of, but thought might have been an urban myth. The housemates in the first Spanish series did refuse to follow the nomination rules.

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