January 2013

Pro-EU propaganda

Not as good as a game show!

Call my Bluff, in the 1970sCall my Bluff, in the 1970s
Some years ago there was a TV show called, Call my Bluff. The format was as per most game shows but the intention was for one team to try and fool the other with false definitions of unusual words. The show ended in 2005 and simply would not work now. Today we have become so used to our politicians simply dishing out lies and bullshit that there's no longer any attempt to bluff. It's just blatant rubbish.

So life imitates art, again. The quality of the debate concerning the UK's continued membership of the EU is dire. Older people may be able to remember the last referendum held on this subject and perhaps the original debate on the merits of entry. Naturally any comparison between then and now is shaped by the many years that have passed. But what is notable now is the substitution of propaganda for debate, it's also very low grade propaganda too.

Over at EU Referendum Richard North has looked at FUD tactics: fear, uncertainty and doubt. The FUD tactic is well established but how good is it? In the link from North two of the cases are from the left wing press but all sections of the press seem to be having a go.

The EU - getting it wrong

Nick Cohen: a practical example in journalism.

Nick Cohen, who gets out a lot! Nick Cohen, who gets out a lot!
Nick Cohen is normally a sensitive chap. Keen on civil liberties he, like other journalists at the Spectator, wrote in support of Paul Chambers the young man taken through the courts for making a joke on Twitter. This blog also supported Chambers, see HERE. Perhaps we still have a sort-of-reasonable press despite what Leveson, who did seem rather confused, thinks about it. For Cohen's subject, and this is in the Spectator, is the Labour party. I mean would the Guardian ever contemplate giving a regular slot to Richard North to write about the EU? Diversity is what some talk about but others do! Like a lot of his ilk, the Labour loving journalist, Cohen assumes rights for his party that are absurd.

Cameron and Obama, two very disappointing men

Ignoring the facts, ignoring the public

Tears of joy Mr President? Tears of joy Mr President?
We start with Barack Obama. Kicking the can down the road and the fiscal cliff. It all sounds so dramatic don't you think? Perhaps we have to forgive those who ramp these things up. For dithering and living beyond your means sounds so boring, not the sort of thing you would expect from the USA and their President. Funny how it goes but when Spain began its descent into financial chaos it was Barack Obama who in 2010 rang up Prime Minister Zapatero to offer words of advice and encouragement. Rumour has it Obama handed out a bit of a ticking off too.

Time moves on and Don José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero lost the 2011 Spanish elections but Obama secured a second term as the President of the USA. We don't know if Zapatero or any other leader rang him to reciprocate with words of advice but I think we can imagine the reaction had they done so. For Obama is so typical of his nation at its worst, they like dishing it out but not getting it back. As time moves on Obama is looking ever more Hollywood than White House. Ronald Reagan was a better and more convincing actor too!

The arrogance of Obama was at first a shock but now seems commonplace. Taking people for granted is what he does. Also they say that history will be a harsh judge of Zapatero.