Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How do they get away with it?

Duplicitous, mendacious, devious, disingenuous - not very flattering adjectives but common parlance when describing politicians. How do they get away with it? For what they are worth, here are my thoughts on the subject.

The Great British Electorate let them.
As might be deduced from the general tone of my more political posts, I don't hold the Great British Electorate in high esteem. Gullible, comatose and disengaged, is it any wonder that the politicians know that they will never properly be held to account for what they do? We get what we deserve. Depressing, isn't it?

They are masters of the black arts of propaganda.
We all know they are but we all continue to fall for their spin. If you want to find out more about the techniques they use, let me recommend a fascinating little book called Spinfluence: The Hardcore Propaganda Manual for Controlling the Masses by Nick McFarlane. In `10 easy steps` the use of propaganda as a tool
for influencing public opinion (ie. me and you) is explained through punchy text, striking info-graphics and bold black, white and red illustrations. It covers such fun techniques and tactics as emotional hijacking, brainwashing and hysteria harnessing and shows how spin and propaganda are used to to bend the truth and control the masses (ie. me and you - again). It is written as if its target readership is crooked politicians, media manipulators and corporate big-wigs, in fact anyone interested in how to exploit people for profit or power. But, of course, it is really for anyone interested in learning how to see through the techniques. Once you've got the knowledge, it's amazing how easy it becomes to spot the subject matter being put into practice. Read the book and then watch any politician in an uncomfortable position in action. Behold, the motes shall be removed from thine eyes. 

They rewrite history. 
Sometimes the truth is very uncomfortable and wouldn't it be great if any skeletons in the political cupboards could be removed? We've seen a brilliant example of how to do this recently as the Conservatives tried to remove from the internet all speeches and press releases dating from the time before Posh Dave became prime minister. Of course, once it was realised what was happening, it naturally led to everyone on the internet reminding themselves - and us - of all the things Cameron once said, to compare them to things he had done, and to understand immediately why he would want them deleted. This demonstrates the first rule of rewriting history – it only works if people don't notice that you've done it. Posh Dave obviously hasn't read Spinfluence.

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