“How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political power to keep wealth in power? Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.” ~ Aneurin Bevan
Let's be real here - we ought to be calling out the behaviour of political grooming gangsters.
Update : 6/11/19 An article by Aditya Chakraborrti in The Guardian exemplifies the grooming dynamic in action, in the hands of the Conservative Government. Labour was just as prone to exploiting similar tactics.
Now We Have Proof : The Government Used Your Money to Lie About Poor People.
An article on Black Isle Media, which shows examples of the ad campaign itself. Very interesting background on this kind of nasty faux news 'journalism'. A government department posting materials posing as news paper articles designed to deflect from the actual harms that departments policy implementation are causing.
Advertising Watchdog Slams DWP for Misleading Universal Credit Adverts
The DWP ran an ad campaign in The Metro paper, with a budget £225,000 or so, over 9 weeks, that was designed to look like a series of journalistic articles, that were deployed to deflect from evidence that the DWP Sanctions policy was causing harm, that delays built into the way benefits were being run were causing real hardship, food poverty and distress to already vulnerable people - anyone who is faced with a week where they have not enough money to meet basic needs becomes vulnerable pretty quickly and if they are parents or carers, the vulnerability is heightened.
From the Guardian article :
"Early this summer, a national newspaper published a string of curious articles.
Under the logo Universal Credit Uncovered, the features promised readers of the Metro the truth about this most notorious of all benefits.
The series began with a giant advert wrapped around the cover of the paper, coupled with a four-page spread right in its centre, and continued week upon week for nine weeks.
Launched by the Department for Work and Pensions, it was an unprecedented attempt to salvage the reputation of a policy that had been attacked by MPs on all sides, plunged families into starvation and homelessness, and driven councils dealing with the fallout to call for its abolition.
That suffering across the country was dismissed by the DWP as “negativity and scaremongering” in an internal memo I saw and reported on here weeks beforehand.
Signed by three top officials, it described the campaign to the Metro’s 2.5 million daily readers as “very different to anything that we’ve done before”.
The civil servants crowed over how readers might be deceived into treating the advertorials as independent reporting:
“The features won’t look or feel like DWP or UC [universal credit] – you won’t see our branding … We want to grab the readers’ attention and make them wonder who has done this ‘UC uncovered’ investigation.”
"What the government has effectively done is use public money to gaslight poor people, denying the reality of what has been done to them.
In its eagerness to push its gargantuan failure of a welfare policy, it has swept aside the truth and peddled lies.
Politicians, campaigners and journalists have all pointed out how Rudd and her DWP predecessor Iain Duncan Smith have done so – and each time we have faced breathtaking defensiveness from a Whitehall department that is meant to be working on our behalf, rather than for the Tories."
"We stand at the edge of an election campaign, a period traditionally marked by half-truths, plausible fibs and outright partisan lies.
Yet even amid the discursive sewage that is about to deluge us, this deceit is far different and vastly more serious.
First, that campaign was paid for by taxpayers like you and me. The DWP’s own filings show that £225,000 was paid to the Metro to run ads now declared “misleading”, “unsubstantiated” and “exaggerated”. Almost a quarter of million pounds was taken off us to lie to us."
In essence a tax payer funded operation of a Government Department deploying professional marketing techniques, huge budgets and deliberate tactics to mask a harm causing policy and to scapegoat the people the policy is purporting to serve, even as they are harmed by it.
Think again about the £100 million spent on marketing 'Get Ready for Brexit' - on all commercial radio stations, 24/7, in schools and in every access point they could muster. That budget is 400 times the budget for The Metro campaign.
Political grooming is big business, and big business is benefiting from it whilst ordinary folk are impoverished and dis-empowered by it.
Parliament is aware of this kind of behaviour with regards to 'fake news' yet remains silent when it comes to confronting the Government deployment of this kind of fake news.
Parliamentary Committee Report into Disinformation and Fake News
"We have always experienced propaganda and politically-aligned bias, which purports to be news, but this activity has taken on new forms and has been hugely magnified by information technology and the ubiquity of social media. In this environment, people are able to accept and give credence to information that reinforces their views, no matter how distorted or inaccurate, while dismissing content with which they do not agree as ‘fake news’.
This has a polarising effect and reduces the common ground on which reasoned debate, based on objective facts, can take place. Much has been said about the coarsening of public debate, but when these factors are brought to bear directly in election campaigns then the very fabric of our democracy is threatened."
Organised, well funded operations that target and manipulate peoples cognitive biases, their social wounded-nesses, their insecurities, prejudices and worries, their misunderstandings, cultural conditioning and fears, and do that through public and social media , through marketing, propaganda and media campaigns operating on an industrial scale, manipulating vulnerable people for ideological, religious, political or economic advantage.
What is fairly new is that this type of activity has been digitised, which means it has been individualised, it functions with precision targeting - micro targeting - and it has been scaled up in it's invasive and persuasive capabilities, to reach hundreds of millions of individuals, one by one, or in groups, to whisper carefully tested lies into their ears and eyes, based on close study of their fears and cognitive biases.
What is new is that we have a more detailed knowledge of how this works, a detailed paper and money trail.
The quote above is from an article written by Kitty Jones, on the blog 'Politics and Insights'.
In this piece Kitty Jones has written out, in easy to read English, a wealth of detail on the many companies and shell companies which worked with Cambridge Analytica, SCL and AggregateIQ as they 'served' various right wing political election campaigns across the Earth's countries.
From Trinidad to Hungary, from the UK to Nigeria, and onto the USA and Brazil, India and others, more than 100 elections. Foreign interference in National Elections. For the money, and the thrills.
Kitty Jone's blog ties it neatly into the pre-existing industry of psychological and emotional marketing, and it's well worth the read.
Good reliable, verified information. Proper journalism.
Looking back a century or just so, to New York in the 1920's.
Edward Bernays, a relative of Sigmund Freud, organised a campaign for a cigarette company who wanted to create and then dominate a new female smoker market.
"Torches of Freedom" was a phrase used to encourage women's smoking by exploiting women's aspirations for a better life during the early twentieth century first-wave feminism in the United States. Cigarettes were described as symbols of emancipation and equality with men.
The term was first used by psychoanalyst A. A. Brill when describing the natural desire for women to smoke and was used by Edward Bernays to encourage women to smoke in public despite social taboos. Bernays hired women to march while smoking their "torches of freedom" in the Easter Sunday Parade of 1929, which was a significant moment for fighting social barriers for women smokers.
Bill Hicks would have called it going after 'The Freedom Dollar'.
Women were engaged in the struggle to gain the vote, and to assert more rights as democratic equals, and thus women smoking was sold as an act of self liberation, and act of breaking a 'glass ceiling' of sorts. (edit - fast forward to 2020 - just as today, July 7th, refusing to wear a mask while shopping is touted as marker for Freedom Loving Libertarians, and wearing a mask is touted as submissive, sheep like behaviour. Same trick.)
The lady buys and smokes one pack, and the she is pretty much hooked for life. That is the aim of the campaign.
The addict dollar. Endless cash.
The Freedom dollar, endless lateral violence and social division barring the emergence of much needed solidarity.
Edward Bernays : "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.
We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized."
The People must be instructed, trained, tamed and organised by wiser people.
This is, of course, a bully's rationalisation. It is bullshit - nasty, Machiavellian, dysfunctional, anti-social invasive abuse, a different strand of indoctrination.
Cambridge Analytica, Foreign Office Psyops, The Bible, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, Indoctrination, Ideology, Nudge (punishment/reward operand conditioning in UK social welfare programs), Nationalism. War.
Peddling belief for political advantage.
Bill Hicks was correct. I have created this term for this behaviour in relation to political domains.
Deliberate, organised, time tabled....
Cynical and cruel.
The dehumanisation of poor and low income people who access state benefits and support... a deliberate narrative produced during the legislative process that instituted Austerity...
The wide spread fact of the operation of political grooming must be addressed.
I think was quite correct during the EUref, to be writing and publishing articles that were pointing out that altering legislation on the basis of opinion was unsound, and that the deliberate framing of the question in opinion, rather than evidence, was in fact a set up for politically motivated tactical grooming.
We now have so much evidence to support this view.
We know that for many years now, political campaigns have targeted specific fringe demographics, including conspiracy theory, nationalism, inter-group perceptions of favour, far right and xenophobic groups, targeting those groups who would rarely vote, where if one could trigger them into voting out of anger, then they would swing the outcome, if not just merely confuse the issues,
And it worked.
Just like all the other gags the Ruling class pull work. Religion needs your cash!
We cannot have a healthy Democracy when political grooming aimed at a vulnerable population is fully Institutionalised. We cannot have a healthy democracy when public deceit is enabled by sub standard Education, poverty, discrimination and social policy.
There is no healthy democracy where targeting known vulnerabilities to exploit emotional triggers for political gain is a common practice.
I am appalled at the lack of emotional intelligence within the more socialist members of the Labour Party, the Green Party and others, around this. Is it because it is so common place that it is like water to fish, for them?
You should be too. Be appalled, very appalled.
It is quite blatantly and obviously psychological and emotional bullying of the worst kind, with lethal results.
"Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe"
Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.