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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.

 

 

 

 

Truth, post truth, lies or one persons truth is another is another mans lies: falsehoods and technical truths are the order of the day, but filtering for fake news will just take mass manipulation to a new level

December 23, 2016 1 comment

truth-2

Whichever way we turn, we have started to hear the media using the term ‘post truth’ as a label for just about every piece of news with which someone, somewhere disagrees. Some are more direct and call these stories lies. But politicians and activists have been using the same methods that they do now that they have for generations before the events of 2016 were even thought as being the remotest of possibilities. The only thing that has changed is that this method of communicating politically expedient truths has simply been given a name.

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that this as happened, given that both the result of the European Referendum and the US General Election went completely against the establishment script, leaving many of most skillful users of this manipulative dark art crying foul, simply because the very same weapon that they have used against so many, has been so effectively been used against them.

So what is the ‘post truth’ – It literally sounds as if we have entered an era where everything now being said and done in government has progressed beyond the point of being true?

To be fair, we often say to others observing and discussing the same events that we experience, that they are ‘unbelievable’. But this is a turn of phrase that doesn’t suggest that these events or what has been said is untrue. It reflects a reality that the acts of the political classes often defy logical explanation; that they present outcomes it would be unlikely to imagine, or that the stories we hear are of kind ‘that you simply couldn’t write’.

Words present a different challenge again and we must be mindful of the fact that a story which one person’s experience tells them is true, can all too easily be dismissed through the eyes of another who has had an alternative or perhaps wider level of experience.

Sadly, the world of politics long since arrived at the point where saying that something was true – but in reality only just from the point of view of the speaker, would mean they could make what are wilfully misleading statements, whilst ‘honestly’ painting that particular perspective or alternative reality as being true.

Doubling down or the art of sticking to the story or script makes watching media interviews with politicians from all sides absolutely cringeworthy. I am sure I have not been alone in wondering ‘why the hell don’t you just tell them the bloody truth?!’

Unfortunately that’s how today’s unethical and morally devoid political establishment operates and how it expects new entrants to always behave. Whether always being ‘on message’, accepting that as a junior politician you will be told what you will think, or simply becoming a vote to be used in government at the will of the party leadership as soon as the elections are over, that is the distasteful and utterly dishonest way that the current political regime works.

Trump, Cameron, Farage, Osborne, Johnson, Gove, Hannan, May and every figurehead politician we can identify as having played a role in key events this year have all been telling us their very own truths. What they are not however, are genuinely or completely false. And we should all be very concerned that there is now a growing movement at work which is looking to filter ‘fake news’ from the material that we read. A development which has been spearheaded by the work which Facebook is now doing.

Fake news in its genuine sense is a concept which social media has facilitated and a source of satire and ridiculous comedy that most of us thoroughly enjoy. The Poke, The Southend News Network, Newsthump and The Onion are but just a few of many more that we can as easily have posting to our newsfeeds each day.

We access them just the same as the apparently legitimate sources we read like the BBC, Sky News, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, or again a great many others too. Yet even they all promote the truths of the journalists, the editors, the companies that own them and the advertisers who pay the bigger part of their wages within them too.

People do know and understand the difference between ‘real’ and ‘fake’ news already. They do not need filters – which will inevitably contain the bias or prejudices of the people who run or program them – to ensure that they are only exposed to news that they can ‘trust’.

In a certain manner of speaking, no form of news can really be trusted today, as very little of the news we read or hear arrives on the screen in front of us without some hint of opinion being present. This has always been the case on a broader level within the various parts of the national press. But it does now seem to have become that bit more unpalatable to dissenters when a reader’s exposure to the ‘wrong’ stories through targeted material they often really want to read removes the chance that the alternative – or to others the ‘acceptable’ or ‘correct’ point of view will not be revealed to them.

If every reader or viewer were to engage with the news that reaches them by thinking critically today, the media industry would simply cease to exist overnight. But that doesn’t mean they are unaware of the realities and truths at some level.

It has long been accepted socially that opinion is what makes news sell and what turns ‘news’ into a product that we then want to buy. However, we certainly don’t want to read, watch or hear anything with which we don’t identify, and this is the indisputable truth that all of those who now want to control news for their own purposes will be very quick to deny.

image thanks to unknown

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