Propaganda

by craig on September 10, 2008 8:09 am in UK Policy

I have been worrying about the serious deterioration of civil liberties in the UK for five years now, but a small incident last night convinced me we are living in a country that must be classified as “Not free”. I was travelling to the theatre on the tube, and the large majority of passengers were shrouded by copies of either London Lite or the London Paper. Some thirty copies of each banner headline screamed shrilly its message of fear through the train: “Five Suicide Bombers on the Loose in London!” “Jet Terror Plot!” “Terror Jury Holiday Farce Resulted in Acquittals!”

The propaganda, which reflected uncritically the briefing the Security Services and Home Office have been manically pumping out since the non-existence of the “Bigger than 9/11″ jet plot was confirmed, was so stark and so divorced from any connection to the truth, that I am convinced we are already in effect living in a totalitarian state where the government controls the population through fear with brutal efficiency and with absolutely no regard to the truth. The government had contrived to turn a major blow for its “War on Terror” scaremongering into a vehicle to ramp up that scaremongering.

The Lite told of there still being bombers around from the “Jet Terror Plot” and gave no indication whatsoever that the jury had decided the jet plot did not exist. Indeed it claimed shamelessly that the three terrorists convicted of conspiracy to murder had been planning to bring down planes – a direct lie.

The London Paper was still more worrying, because it put detail into the line the odious security service spokesman Frank “Goebbels” Gardner has been pumping out on the BBC: juries are unreliable. It said that the failure to convict in the trial was due to interruptions for a holiday for the jurors and because of an injury to a juror in a golf accident. The clear trend of the briefing coming from the government is towards the abolition of jury trials in terrorist cases: Diplock courts.

Meantime in London two men are on trial for “terrorism” because they attended a demonstration at the Uzbek Embassy against the hideous Uzbek regime, at which red paint was thrown at the Embassy to symbolise the blood of Karimov’s many thousands of victims. Such protest as paint-throwing should, I think, be illegal, but given events like the Andijan massacre of many hundreds of peaceful demonstrators, I have huge sympathy for those who undertake civil disobedience in the Uzbek case. It has nothing to do with terrorism, but under the notorious Section 58 of the Terrorism Act there is real danger of conviction and heavy sentences.

These are critical times: all good men and women must fight hard against the closing in of the system upon us.

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12 Comments

  1. Very interesting that you frame the problem of oligopoly in our news information as a civil liberties issue.

    For non-Londoners, London Lite is Northcliffe, who also owns the apoplectic right wing rag the Daily Mail, and the London Paper is Murdoch, who needs no introduction.

    I have seen tube trains often literally ankle deep in these free newspapers and thought that the saturation level they have achieved cannot fail to be determining what Londoners think is happening in the world, and what they think about it.

    They say everybody in the old USSR read Pravda, but nobody had any illusions that they didn't need to interpret carefully what they were getting from it. Sadly, too many don't have that wisdom here.

    Regarding the security state having a crack at going for Diplock courts, I can see them trying to do that, and we must resist it. But I also wonder if the time is ripe about now for a campaign aiming to turn the tide a little bit, for a little while. Somebody needs to suggest one particulalrly discredited bit of New Labour's anti-civil liberties legislation that we all can focus on with the objective of repealing it. Any suggestions?

  2. If Brown tries to impose Diplock courts, our silks should take a leaf out of the Pakistani lawyers' book:
    http://riotporn.blogspot.com/2007/03/taking-law-i

  3. Typographical error:

    The Lite told of there still being bombers

  4. Sorry, I see I'm wrong!

  5. I've been wondering why the recent move to impeach Bush appears not to be discussed at all in the British media.
    http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_072508.h

    Well the Belfast Telegraph did give it a mention.

  6. Hi Craig

    See the email I sent to Helen Boaden at the BBC below:

    Dear Helen

    Once more, a case of Propagandised nonsense from the BBC, with the above report. ('Astonishment' at terror verdicts – BBC Website 9th September)

    The simple fact of this trial, is that most of the prosecutions case fell apart because it was vastly exaggerated and hyped by the Police, the Government and the Media – e.g. "Bigger than 9/11", "Mass Murder on an unimaginable scale".

    Also missed out of any of the coverage is the reality that the explosives experts who duplicated the supposed liquid bomb method took 30 attempts to make a viable bomb, and this had to be armed with a detonator placed by a mechanical arm in case the stuff blew up in the testers faces, such was the volatility of the liquids used, and these were the experts! We are then to believe that these inept, angry young men with a (genuine) beef about U.S. and U.K. Foreign Policy, would make it all the way to the airport and on board with this stuff – utter nonsense – aside from the fact that they themselves had been unable to make a viable bomb, and that there was no evidence they ever intended to blow up airliners, or much evidence of links to al-qaeda.

    I can guarantee that there was no 'astonishment' in Whitehall at the verdicts, as they knew, just as it became apparent to the jury, that the evidence was in fact 'astonishingly' weak. The government and Intelligence Agencies clearly hoped that the jury would fall for the hype, but like most people when presented with both sides of the story and not just the scaremongering version, they were astute enough to see through it. Furthermore, some of us who were not at the trial are astute enough to realise that while Terrorism exists, it is at nowhere near the level that is being implied by the Authorities and their parrots in the BBC and other media outlets.

    It's about time the BBC had the spine to stop facilitating this fallacy of the 'War on Terror' with its overblown scare stories designed to do nothing except persuade the population into supporting current Foreign Policy (which is really about Oil, Gas and Pipeline networks – not to mention the arms industry – and not Terrorism and Democracy) and to persuade us that we need ever more Authoritarian Government and Police powers which are designed to control the citizenry, and not protect it as is claimed. I thoroughly object to the abuse of my licence fee in regurgitating this drivel.

    Finally, if yourself and your colleagues would genuinely like to educate yourselves on the causes of terrorism and the origins of al-Qaeda, you should read 'The War on Freedom', 'The War on Truth' and 'Behind the War on Terror' by Naples Prize winning author Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, in which you will discover that Western Governments, their allies and their Intelligence Agencies, trained, funded, supplied and protected all manner of terrorists and continue to do so – and then perhaps you can produce some genuine articles and programmes for the time-strapped British Public who pay your wages, instead of feeding them todays usual bollocks.

    Sincerely,

    Martin Larner

    p.s. I have just finished reading Murder in Samarkand and have many questions both on this and on your blog. I will start with one though:

    Why did it take you 20 years in the FCO to wake up to the reality of UK Foreign Policy? Were you compartmentalized or were you self deluding as many of us do?

    Best regards

  7. How long can they keep flogging this "war on terrorism" dead horse? Pretty much everyone I talk to discounts the govt propaganda and has learnt to read between the lines. It's dizzying to read the papers, free or otherwise, and see commentators writing on the topic as if we were really under threat from Islamic extremists who are hell bent on taking away our freedoms when in the real world the only threat to our freedom and civil liberties emanates from Parliament and GWOT is nothing other than a means of exerting control over society.

    Even the US has given up on it as a way to terrorise the public. For the past 8 years the October surprise during election year has involved trying to whip up mass hysteria and fear over deadly terror threats posed by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Not this year! We've been served up the Russian menace instead which I think proves that even the US movers and shakers think it's all wearing a bit too thin now.

    It's interesting that following the crisis of the press through falling sales of newspapers which followed hotly on the heels of the Iraq war, these free newspapers arrived on the scene… "You will read our propaganda, sorry infotainment, and you will love it!"

  8. Dear Craig,

    I have to mention that also in St.-Paul/Minneapolis some protesters were charged with terrorism last week for just carrying out civil disobedience. What is mind boggling is that on the very first day and without any incidents yet accounted for, the police started a pre-emptive arresting campaign.
    http://consortiumnews.com/2008/090808a.html

  9. I forgot to post the part of the story related to Amy Goodman:
    http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2008/9/3/call_to

  10. What's odd is that the 'quality' of the progaganda is so low. One risks alienating the public, like in the old Eastern block, if it's too obviously propaganda and clearly detached from reality. The propaganda becomes counter-productive.

    I don't know anyone and I rarely meet anyone who falls for this stuff, so who exactly are they trying to influence and what's it for?

    We are now in a new propaganda phase where the BBC and others are preparing us for an escalation of the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan. It's instructive and grotesquely humourous to examine the lengths the BBC is forced to adopt to avoid using certain words in describing US attacks on Pakistan. Attacks which are in clear violation of 'sacred' international law, nulify Pakistan's territorial integrity and are arguably warcrimes. After the 'hysteria' relating to the Russian 'intervention' in Georgia and the hypocracy is staggering.

    The idea that we are being softened-up for even more war, a war against the entire Pastun people, is appaling. Have the American's really reflected and considered what a reckless escalation of the 'war of terror' could lead to? Do we really want to destabilize a country the size of Pakistan? Is that why they are becoming such good 'freinds' with India? Are they encircling Pakistan with a purpose in mind, and it's not just 'madness'?

  11. Craig,

    I direct this raillery to you, but it is not at you. A man such as yourself gives some hope that the tide could be turned and the twisted people who dominate our world resisted, and perhaps even defeated.

    I write 'some' hope, because I see that even you have swallowed the crucial part of the bait that has enabled the trap to be set for all of us. You wrote on Sept 8th: "Accepting that 7/7 was Islamic terrorism", but only parenthesise "which I realise many people do not". You accept the proposition put forward by the authorities, but where is the evidence such that a court of law would be satisfied that those accused are guilty? Have Tony Blair and his henchmen shown themselves to be of such integrity that we can simply accept their proposition that a full investigation would be a 'ludicrous diversion'? ('full' being the crucial word, given that the Blair government passed the Inquiries Act 2005 exactly one month before the 7/7 bombings and thus made 'full' investigation impossible).

    In the case of 9/11, we give the authorities the benefit of the doubt. We accept the report of a commission headed by the Bush-insider Zelikow (it would have been headed by Kissinger if the 9/11 widows hadn't shown him up for his dubious affiliations); we accept that Bush and Cheney could give evidence in secret with only Zelikow and one other member of the commission, who was selected by Bush and Cheney; we see all three buildings fall as if by controlled explosion, yet numbly accept when we are told that it wasn't by such means that they fell; we accept that an enemy could arrange an attack that would defy all defence systems, yet we have heard a witness tell of Cheney's refusal to reverse the stand-down orders when an unidentifed craft was heading towards the Pentagon.

    I have posted the following link here on previous occasions –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nD7dbkkBIA

    Aaron Russo (who, sadly, died in 2007) quotes Nicholas Rockefeller as he outlines the means, the aims and the ends of the 'elite'. They move closer to the achievement of their aims. To accomplish them they bring murder, mayhem and misery to millions on the planet. Men, women and children are killed, raped and tortured whilst the greedy and the powerful enrich themselves and entrench their positions.

    If we rebut Russo's report because we cannot believe that people could do such monstrously evil things to their fellow men, then we need only read Herodotus to see that those who seek to rule the world know no extremes to gain their ends, and that treason and mass murder are not uncommon ploys.

    Please, everyone, ask yourselves, if Russo tells the truth and Rockefeller was 'in the know' then, given that all the promised measures are being put into place to bring about control of the people, what will the future be for our children and theirs? It may already be too late, but with surveillance, monitoring and data collection accelerating it will one day be impossible to dissent. As long as we accept the terror scenario with which we have been propagandised the authorities will continue to have sufficient control over us to put in place all the measures needed to bring about the aims of Rockefeller's kind.

    Despite all the anomalies, 'coincidences' and contradictions we continue to believe the original hype and thus continue to accept the need for protection by the intelligence and security services – protection that, at the same time, is used both to strip away our liberty and to protect the guilty (eg, BAE/Saudi Arabia}. I maintain that the world is ruled by megalomaniacs and managed by cowardly 'yes' men who do their bidding, and that Russo's report of his conversation with Rockefeller gives the true picture of what is happening in the world and who is responsible for it.

  12. Back in the late 1990s while watching the Conservative party conference at Blackpool on television…I can only tell it as it happened…

    Outside the conference hall two members of the Conservative party stood waiting to be interviewed (they were not MP's but were high up's in the party) they were asked… "What is the big talking point on the floor of this years conference"… the reply floored me this is what they said…

    "It is clear that people don't know how to use there vote.We left this country in the best economical state it has ever been in and now Labour will ruin it all.The big talking point on the floor is who should be allowed to vote should it be done on academic achievement or given to those who create the wealth or a combination of the two." The other one concurred.

    Please note it seems the decision to take the vote away from us had already been decided.

    Given that nothing happens on the floor of Conservative party conference without being instgated from above should frighten anyone that cares about democracy.The video of this must still be available in the archives of the BBC/Sky.Why I wonder are the Conservative party getting there members ready for a fascist state.After watching the documentary of what nearly happened to Harold Wilson's government it becomes even more frightening…
    http://tinyurl.com/325mk2

    I wrote the above on another blog sometime ago….

    As this Accelerating World Financial Crisis / Collapse happens and will be VERY VERY bad I now think that when the Tories do get back into power we will NEVER have another free election here in the UK. The excuse the Tories will give is in the above…they will say it's for the best as they are the only ones that can run the economy and point to and blame Labour for the mess and say it must never happen again. It looks to me now that it was all planned out sometime ago and that those who now run/hijacked Labour (New Labour) are hand in hand with the Tories to bring this about. After all remember …"What is the big talking point on the floor off this years conference"… strange that,that was the reply they gave above…not what you would have thought they would say… Time will tell but I have a terrible feeling about all this.

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