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The Johnson Government is high on its own supply of Lockdown and Coronavirus propaganda and completely out of touch with what people beyond the media-baited false populism think

April 14, 2020 6 comments

What is clear if you either take the time to talk to other people, or listen to one of the media shows when it has a lucid moment such as the Jeremy Vine Radio 2 Show at lunchtime today, is the Government is falling very short indeed when it comes to providing support for everyone who has lost income from the Lockdown.

Whether they are catered for partially by the measures that have been introduced and the money simply will not gar far enough, or they do not qualify for anything as it stands and have basically fallen down the holes between the different policies, real people living real lives know there are massive problems with what the Government has and hasn’t done in it’s follow-up to the Lockdown.

Yet if you happened to read the messages spread across the media this morning, with polls backing up the Government propaganda that everything is hunky dory with the public view on staying at home, whilst senior Tories were suggesting that the public will be too afraid to do anything when the Lockdown ends, you might wonder just exactly what planet the Johnson Government is currently on.

What you can be certain of is its not the same world as the owners of countless businesses and the thousands upon thousands of employees who work for them who have been left dangling over a cliff by the Government. These are real people living real lives who know that in some cases days, in others weeks or months, the businesses that provide for them will shut down permanently – simply because a Conservative Government imposed the Lockdown without thinking through what they were doing then or what they have been doing since.

It would be comforting to think and believe that this situation is unique at this time of crisis. But we have been here before and recently too.

Yes, we have all seen the impact and consequences of a situation where the Government and the Establishment behind it has fallen into the massive elephant trap of their own making that opens up as soon as they begin to believe their own hype.

Brexit now feels like a distant memory, even though it is still chugging along gently behind the scenes. But in the entire run up the 2016 European Referendum, the Cameron Government and the May Government that immediately followed it bought into the same stories that they were telling everyone. They fell into that trap of being certain that the public simply thought and looked at the world in the same as they did and through a systemic reliance on confirmation bias to make policy decisions didn’t realise just how out of touch with and going against the flow of real feeling for the majority of the public that their approach and policy making had actually become.

So convinced of how correct their own thinking was, even after the result, the Establishment view that the UK should remain in the EU at all costs continued to drive the wrecking-ball approach into the last Parliament and wasn’t halted until the democratic position and view of the British Public on Leaving the EU was finally re-established with the re-Election of the Johnson Government and a working majority at 80-seats strong.

Regrettably, whilst it might seem obvious to some that Boris ‘got it’ when May and Cameron didn’t, the truth is much more likely to be that the Prime Minister saw the opportunity to ride the wave of genuine public opinion after he had seen it zoom past his Westminster window, rather than it ever being about something he personally understood or intrinsically believed.

Boris is not alone either. With a Government constructed of politicians who have in the majority come into politics out of ambition, self-interest and to further their own interests whilst courting the promises of power and glory along the way, it was always and only ever going to be in the time of a real crisis – when history-defining decisions need to be made hourly and not over many days – that the shallow and featherweight nature that underpins the ability and motivation of those would-be big beasts and political heavyweights who lead us would start to quickly become unstuck.

The problem for those of us currently Locked-down in the real world outside of Westminster is that the Government has really started to believe all of the medical advice, statistics, scientific evidence, personal stories and anecdotal information that it and its advisors are putting out and sucking up in a cyclical movement via a media that is and only will be invested in what it can itself spin into the most sensationalist and fear-provoking things.

There is simply no evidence to suggest that there is either critical thinking or even the touch of reality present in decision making that would come from getting out there and talking to real people about how the Lockdown is affecting them thereby informing Government views.

This is a problem for us all.

There is little doubt that all of the Politicians who are wrestling with a job they coveted but responsibilities they never considered they would have, will at some point realise that the Lockdown and Financial Support measures that they put into place didn’t do anything like what they intended they should do. In fact, the whole package of measures was not even in the same book – let alone chapter of the page where most people were left by the impact of the Coronavirus and the Lockdown result.

Whilst the result of the June 2016 Referendum was too late for Remainers to do anything about the result of the situation they themselves made, when this Government and caste of politicians wake up to the depth of the real crisis that the Lockdown is creating at pace this very second, it will be too late for them to even slow the momentum of the downward spiral they have created, let alone turn it around to minimalist the damage as much as the can.

Whether we think of ourselves as individuals, businesses, communities or as part of the Country as a whole, WE ARE ALL GOING TO GET HURT BADLY if the Government doesn’t instigate change.

‘Protect the NHS’, ‘Clap for the NHS heroes’ and ‘Stay at home’ may well be the messages of the false populism that the media has created about the Coronavirus Pandemic today.

But in the days and weeks ahead and as the full horror and nature of the catastrophe this Government has created comes fully into view, people will know for certain that we need a very different type of person in politics to the ones we have got now, who will thrive on being decisive as they lead at any time and especially in the middle of a crisis, rather than being flaky enough to big themselves up as leaders when it is they who are the ones who are being led.

 

Sign and Share the Petition to stop your bills during the Lockdown HERE.

Sign and Share the Petition to END THE LOCKDOWN NOW.

 

 

 

 

Media ‘celebrities’ are obsessed with being the news rather than conveying it. They hold a big part of the responsibility for the mess this Country is about to be in and its time for opinion dressed as news to stop.

April 11, 2020 5 comments

img_5628The chances are you will fall into one of two groups. Those who are watching the endless Coronavirus Show on the News Channels, or those who have all but switched off to the so-called ‘news’ programmes completely.

Watchers will either be cheering on the Government and all it does. Or most likely, they are too terrified by the messages that are playing hour by hour on what feels like autorepeat to miss a single moment or a minute of coverage that could end up making the Coronavirus Crisis even worse than it is already in some way.

Those who have switched off have long since realised how much destruction the Media is causing simply because they are being allowed to portray news in their very own distinctive way.

The Media – or rather the people they appoint to be their face – used to simply be Television and Newspaper Journalists. Not any more.

In their own minds the people who read us the news have become celebrities. They are no longer there just to ask the questions to find the answers that we all want to hear. They see themselves there to be the answer and therefore the news itself.

No better example of this exists than the preamble that Journalist Emily Maitlis gave at the beginning of Newsnight on Wednesday evening this week.

Emily has been lauded on social media for her sermon rubbishing the idea that Coronavirus is the great leveller and spelling out the story for what it is really is. Yet her speech to a captive audience was subjective, very little to do with what critical thinking would identify as news, and in layman’s terms was little more than opinion. All given to us by the shovel load right in the middle of a National Crisis when news and information is the one thing that the Taxpaying Public should be able to expect the BBC to be getting right.

The slant, shading, unsubtle nuances or spin contained within this specific tirade was very much in keeping with the message that the mainstream media has been propagating right from the time that the Coronavirus Pandemic took off in this Country.

A message that is wholly negative (because only bad news sells) and intended to deliberately foster fear about the Virus itself. It seeks to remove the boundaries of context and suggesting that ‘protecting  the NHS’ and the medical or scientific operation to address the health issues relating to Coronavirus are the only thing that the Government response should really be about.

Yes, the BBC and other mainstream channels have been carrying other news about what the Chancellor has been doing. But because they cannot sensationalise the worsening of life experience for the many people who were suffering in this Country already and the exponential rise in numbers of people who will soon live that experience themselves, they pick up these real life stories that are happening and drop it as quickly as they can so they can replace them with their idea of what could be.

Put bluntly in real terms, a newsreader cannot sell you suicide as a reason for you to be fearful in the same way as they can sell you a Pandemic because there is perceived to be an element of personal choice when someone considers killing his or herself, whilst catching a virus offers you no choice and so fear is sold to you in different forms as the only protection that there really is.

What the Media fail to recognise and therefore tragically overlook is that because they have worked so tirelessly to sensationalise the whole Coronavirus Pandemic using words and messages that are in most cases likely to be more than 95% opinion, they collectively hold significant responsibility for driving our Politicians to instigate this Lockdown without consideration for the real consequences.

The speed the Lockdown was imposed and the Government remedies came into being in response to noise the Media was making, provided us all with ill-considered solutions to the financial hardship that the Lockdown has imposed on people of all demographic backgrounds, career pathways and financial positions.

Regrettably we are not being led through the Coronavirus Crisis by the politicians that we should have.

We are being led by politicians who are the product of an establishment that sees no benefit or reason to be in touch with or to understand the people it is supposedly there to govern and care for.

Such is their inability to lead, our leaders are themselves being led by a media that has become wholly adept at creating policy by dog whistle without even knowing that they do so.

If real catastrophe is to be avoided across the uk, the Lockdown MUST be ended now.

However, to make things work as they should to benefit us all, it has become essential that the Media are pulled into line and reprise their true role as the providers of news and information rather than simply throwing out what they think we would like to hear and telling us all that its the same thing as news.

This is not about freedom of speech, freedom of expression or freedom of the press.

Real news should always be reported fully and without spin or angle. The only exception for us not to receive news would be when it is critical for the national interest to not do so.

This is about tackling misinformation and fake news at the highest level.

Make no mistake. Opinion in the place of news is what fake news really is.

The fact that this massive abuse of a position of public influence is considered legitimate doesn’t make what the newsreaders and journalists are doing any better or any more in the public interest than the stories of the conspiracists and social media channels where it is clear that the story being told has been built up on the basis of how the channel or username holder was paid.

The Government MUST stop prioritising the messages that it churns out on the basis of how newsworthy it is. The pre-briefings and copies of speeches that haven’t been given need to stop. Above all, the role of the Media has to be seen for what it is: a conduit and no more.

It is not the end in itself that those working as the names and faces of these Media outlets insist we should believe it to be.

To End the Lockdown in a way that causes the least pain that it can, the politicians need to start ignoring what the Media are telling everyone and start talking to the people who really count. Not just medical people or scientists who they tell us know what to do.

By taking then wider view and considering all elements of this very large equation, that’s how they can find their way to making decisions that are in everyones interests and deliver results that they cannot visualise now, but will turn out to be right.

image thanks to wikipedia.co.uk

 

 

The Government & Media has already set all of us on a downward spiral. The complete shutdown must be lifted now if we are to find a minimum-pain way out

April 3, 2020 1 comment

download (33)FEAR rules everything in life, even though we are not conscious of it most of the time. The greatest fear of all is the fear of death, and when the prospect of a by-pass or a short route to dying comes into view, that fear can push us to do and accept very questionable things.

A little bit of fear can be a good thing. A civilised society does after all need to have and maintain basic rules.

But what the Government and the Media have been and are now doing to this Country goes beyond sense and logic.

The constant flow of negativity and highlighting of personal tragedies framed in a way that makes the idea that this is happening to everyone right now has created mass hysteria. It is only the presence of the walls that surround our homes caging us all in like rabbits in hutches that currently keeps our thinking penned in the same way as our bodies currently are.

The damage being inflicted on the economy by the shutdown is now increasing by the minute.

Across the Country, business owners are contemplating the reality of the Government’s game plan in stunned silence.

Yet the majority obsess about 8pm clap-from-your-doorstep sessions for the NHS that the media would have us believe has become obligatory for everyone to take part in. It will be frowned upon or considered to look churlish if you don’t willingly take part or become involved.

The Government chose to pursue a lockdown as a kneejerk measure, influenced in no small part by sensationalist approach that the Media has been taking.

The Government has made very poor decisions that already contradict themselves. It is clearly failing to think through the implications of much of what it is doing beyond tackling Coronavirus-linked illness itself.

Meanwhile the media is taking every opportunity to sow fear throughout the population by dwelling on what journalists believe it is in their interests to suggest that the Government isn’t doing well, rather than there being even the merest hint that they can, could, would or are capable of holding our political leaders intelligently and considerately to account for what they are getting wrong.

Neither the Public nor the politicians are in control of the direction of public policy as things stand.

The Media is using fear fuelled by subjective opinion to keep people glued to their non-stop Coronavirus Show, whilst the unbridled influence they have means that they have become in many ways the de facto leadership of this Country. It is neither democratic nor can it be in any way held to account.

The fervour that the Media has whipped up and the choices that the Government has subsequently opted to take does not follow any overarching strategic reasoning.

For instance, the shutdown of the kind we are experiencing has seen nearly a million people sign up for Universal Credit in the past two weeks, whilst a not dissimilar number have signed up to volunteer to help the vulnerable and the NHS.

The sheer number of forced-to-be-idle people who are now being put to work going back out to help others rather than doing their own jobs makes a mockery of the whole idea of laying people off because it’s safer for them to be at home.

However, short-sighted, fag-packet-derived policies from the Government and Media manufactured ideas about what people can or should do to avoid Coronavirus – have for no good reason – become accepted as the only way to do things – just because of the source from where the information has come from.

Subsequently, we now have a National workforce which will be reluctant to go back to normal working – simply because so much uncertainty is being promoted about what is to come.

Regrettably negativity of this magnitude does damage that will last.

No matter how positive and constructive the Government and the Media could and should be, from the moment the decision to lift the lockdown is taken, getting people back to work, into the shops, our businesses functioning and transport running anywhere close to where it should be to be considered ‘normal’ is likely to take many months – even if the employers, the businesses and the transport companies still exist at that point.

The latest news today about 100,000 Coronavirus Tests being done daily by the end of April and then the suggestion that once there is an antibody test people will be able to get a ‘Immunity Certificate’ issued – whilst everyone else stays at home is leading to false hope for people and for communities, whilst the long term strategy for both is a short-fused time bomb which is going to go off in weeks if not months.

With Field Hospitals now opening like the Nightingale in London and medical resources coming into place, this is the time to relax the Shutdown, restart the engines of everyday life around the Country and replace what was only ever a suggested need for being shut up at home completely with guidelines and procedures for people to follow if they feel unwell.

If the Shutdown isn’t lifted now, the damage that it is going to done to the economy and therefore to many lives is going to be something that even now it is very difficult for many people to comprehend.

Even with the Shutdown lifted now, it will take time for a feeling of normality to return.

The decisions made by the Government and the stories that the mainstream media has told have already caused irreparable damage to businesses and households, and put the fear of God into people when they simply should have not done so.

People will not find it easy to resume normal living at a restart anytime after this. With the time it will take to accommodate the impact that Coronavirus alone is going to have on society either way, there is no time to lose.

The restart of life after Shutdown is overdue.

 

image thanks to newsthump.com

 

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