Monday, 24 April 2017

Theresa May and the British propaganda problem


Let's start with the facts: Huge swathes of the UK media are owned by radically right-wing billionaire sociopaths like Rupert Murdoch (The S*n, Times) Jonathan Harmsworth (Daily Mail, Metro) Richard Desmond (Express, Star) and the Barclay brothers (Telegraph, Spectator).

These billionaires have immense power to manipulate public opinion and control the spectrum of political debate.

Thus we have a public who actually believe that a cowardly self-serving opportunist who U-turns so often it's impossible to guess which way she'll be facing in the morning is somehow a "strong and stable" leader simply because they've been told it over and again by the media.

It beggars belief.


Theresa May

You may think that my description of Theresa May as an "incompetent , dishonest, vacillating, self-serving coward" is an overly-harsh personal opinion, but I don't use such words lightly. I'll quickly run through why I think they're all perfectly legitimate descriptions of the lady who is for turning.

Incompetent

In 2010 Theresa May promised to reduce net UK migration to below 100,000 per year. What she actually oversaw as Home Secretary was the biggest inward wave of migration in UK history. By the time she was appointed Prime Minister by her Tory chums the net rate of migration was consistently above 300,000 per year*.

Another more recent display of Theresa May's incompetence was her party's effort to break their manifesto commitment to not raise National Insurance contributions, which she U-turned on within a week, leaving a £2 billion black hole in her first budget as Prime Minister!

Dishonest

Theresa May repeatedly assured the public that she would not throw the nation into uncertainty by calling an opportunistic snap general election before 2020, and then she did exactly that.

She then attempted to justify her self-serving opportunism by claiming that the opposition parties had been blocking Brexit, which was an outright lie. 2/3 of MPs voted in favour of Article 50 (many of them against the wishes of the majority of their own constituents). Theresa May's entire justification for the snap election is a totally brazen lie.

It's completely beyond me how anyone could even attempt to argue that Theresa May is honest after she used such an egregious lie to defend a U-turn that she assured the public she wouldn't be making, but millions of brainwashed Tory tribalists actually do consider her to be honest!

Vacillating

Theresa May's U-turns on the National Insurance hike and the snap election are far from the only examples of her vacillating all over the place.
  • She U-turned on her "now is not the time" rhetoric against a Scottish independence referendum in just three weeks to announce that "now is the time" for a general election.

Four of her massive U-turns have come in the last month alone (National Insurance, snap election, "now is not the time", energy caps), yet millions of people have been so thoroughly brainwashed into believing the ridiculously backwards "strong and stable" propaganda trope that they're incapable of seeing what a weak and directionless leader she actually is.

Self-serving

Theresa May's self-serving non-campaign during the EU referendum debate was a very clear demonstration that she's willing to put her own personal interests above the interests of the nation. Despite concluding that it was in the nation's economic interests to remain in the EU, she barely campaigned because she knew that it was in her best interest to keep a low profile in order to pounce for the party leadership if the public voted for Brexit. In fact backing Remain was a power-play too.

She knew that in the event of a Remain vote she'd have a better chance of succeeding David Cameron by showing loyalty to the party leader and hanging on to one of the great offices of state until he decided to quit.

Theresa May's deliberate non-campaign was an absolutely masterful display of low self-serving cunning. She thought about the whole contest not in terms of what was best for the nation, but in terms of what was best for her own self-interest, and she played it to perfection.


Theresa May's opposrtunistic snap election is another example of her putting her own self-interest above the best interests of the nation as a whole. It was only three weeks after she set the clock ticking on the most vital set of diplomatic negotiations the UK has ever faced when she announced that the UK government would be taking a two month holiday from preparing their negotiating position in order to fight a general election to establish a stronger position in parliament for the Tory party!

There's no way that anyone with any grounding in reality could possibly conclude that she hasn't repeatedly put her own self interest and the narrow party political interests of the Conservative party way above the interests of the nation as a whole.

Coward

Not only is Theresa May terrified of facing Jeremy Corbyn in a head-to-head TV debate, but she's also terrified of any kind of unscripted environment whatever, as can be seen by her campaign events being either hand-picked crowds of Tory party loyalists bussed in from miles away, or excruciatingly boring events where factory workers are compelled by their employers to act as photo fodder and not dare talk to the press about how they actually felt about Theresa May's speech (it was all so obvious in the body language though).

Propaganda and the education system

Millions of people are actually so gullible that you only have to repeat assertions to them over and again for a while in order for them to adopt the assertions as their own beliefs, no matter how blatantly they are contradicted by observable reality.

Even if you don't actually read the toxic hard-right press these tropes rapidly become so ingrained in the political discourse that they filter through into the BBC and the so-called left-liberal media outlets, and into millions of everyday conversations.

Unfortunately we're a nation where stuff like critical thinking skills and economics education are denied to the 93% of state educated kids, and reserved only for the 7% who go to elitist fee-paying schools.

We're a nation where the majority of our kids are indoctrinated into rote learning the answers that are fed to them by authority figures and then rewarded for mindless repetition.

Stick right-wing propaganda rags in front of millions of people who have been educated in this manner, and the consequence is obvious. We end up as a nation where an incompetent , dishonest, vacillating, self-serving coward like Theresa May is regarded as a "strong and stable leader" by millions of people simply because they've been told so often that she's a "strong and stable leader".

Observable reality is no longer relevant


It's enough to drive any sane person to despair that millions of people would reject the evidence of their eyes in order to believe what they've been brainwashed into believing by the toxifying influence of the hard-right press, but this is undeniably the case.

In Brexit Britain observable reality is clearly no longer considered politically relevant!



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* =  Another very clear demonstration of the power of political propaganda is the way that dim-witted bigots blame Labour for mass immigration and adore Theresa May because she's right-wing and uses a lot of anti-immigrant rhetoric, but completely and totally ignore the demonstrable reality that she let in more immigrants per year than any Labour Home Secretary in history.
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