Thursday, 5 January 2017

‘Post Truth’ is nothing new; all that’s changed is the fact they want us to know we can’t trust them! That’s how brazen they have become!

Post Truth – Jim Scott – 04-01-2017

‘Post Truth’ is nothing new; all that’s changed is the fact they want us to know we can’t trust them! That’s how brazen they have become!

Framing is everything in this so-called new so-called post truth era, but what really is ‘post truth’ if not simply a license for the media and those in power to lie to us ‘en-mass’.

Doesn’t it seem somewhat convenient too that our global societies are being conditioned and normalised to the viewpoint that they cannot trust their politicians –the very people who decide the terms and conditions of our lives, rents, public services, wages & environment?

Can it not also be argued that we have been living in a very well constructed ‘post truth’ world for many years now, where a complicit corporate media has managed the comfortable consensus while nurturing and propagating a very dangerous neoliberal world view?

Sure, 2 million of us marched against Blair and his illegal Iraq war back in 2003. We knew that 100’s of thousands on innocent people would die, and they did. We knew that Bush and Blair were lying to us, but they still went ahead with the war anyway, Blair drip fed the UK with token socialism and cheap credit to keep the majority of us quiet while his government got into bed with big business and started the process weakening and marketising our public services with the introduction of PFI’s for our hospitals and at the same time the gradual erosion of our civil rights & freedoms. You could say that Blair’s ‘New Labour’, famously Thatcher’s greatest achievement created the perfect setting for the Tories and their coalition partners-in-crime to take us by storm in 2010, thus launching what has become an all-out assault upon almost every aspect of our social infrastructure.

But who’s to blame? It must be the immigrants right? I mean it’s surely immigrants who set government policy and dictate our wages and rents, immigrants who let corporations off paying 100’s of billions in tax each year which could be used to improve all of our qualities’ of life. Immigrants who are set to make millions from private NHS contracts, G4S rape centres and lucrative contracts in academies and free schools…..?

No of course it isn’t immigrants, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that immigration is good for our economy, in fact we rely on it and our hospitals would collapse without it. But we can …say …feel …think …blame… whoever we like can we not? In this post-truth world, it doesn’t matter who is really to blame, the politicians lie to us, the media serves us up it’s own carefully tailored view of the world around us, with Bullingdon boys like Dimbleby setting the political narrative on Question time and other programs. So why should we base our opinions in truth. There is no need, and it is far easier to blame the ‘scrounging sick’, the ‘feckless unemployed’ and those pesky immigrants, coming over here fleeing our bombs, taking all our jobs while simultaneously creaming off our benefits system, living like kings on as much as £35 per week!! Oh the lives we could have if we had that kind of money to live on!

No…. Truth is irrelevant, it has been for a long time and that is just the way they like it. When big money men -self confessed tax dodgers like Trump and Farage, who have proudly leached from rigged financial systems, making millions for themselves for years are held up by our media as ‘anti-establishment figures’ then you surely know something very fishy is going on! These people are about as anti establishment as Iain Duncan Smith with his savage welfare cuts, was a champion for ‘social justice’. But this ‘Alt-right’ smokescreen gives the real architects, the true right wingers like May and her G4S husband the perfect cover to continue the ‘everything must go sale’ currently being conducted on our public services, our rights, our  liberties, and our natural environment.

Ask yourself why Global media corporations give so much air time, hype and fanfare to these far right political caricatures such as Trump and Farrage. It is because they are selling a simple message of blame, hate and division, they are furthering the agenda of the powerful elite –The very people they claim to decry. And all the while as the world watches this crazed pantomime go by, our NHS is being parcelled off and sold to the likes of G4S, Serco, Capita, Virgin. Our human rights are being chopped away at little by little, one by one. Our environment is being Fracked, polluted and destroyed, and our friends, family and colleagues are finding them selves descending into poverty & homelessness or in many cases much worse, no matter how many hours they work. -Heaven forbid you should find yourself disabled and unable to work in this free market utopia of Tory Britain, because socialism is not for you, socialism is for the rich. Socialism is for the Banks. Socialism is for the corporations. It’s them that need the money, not us or our most vulnerable in society, our sick, disabled or disenfranchised …. Why blame them when we can blame those pesky immigrants and scroungers;

No  …That’s just what is constantly spewed out by our news outlets and they don’t even care if we know it’s not true, they don’t need to care as long as there is enough chaos going on to distract us from the political land-grab that is really taking place.

‘Post truth’ is a distraction, just another facet to their agenda and demonstrates how carefully they frame the narrative, we need to shine a light on it right now and highlight how subtly and craftily they employ these tools in order to infect our daily psyches with this diversionary and divisive rot. We need to tug away at this fine veil which they have constructed and call this out for what it really is; it’s mass manipulation, it’s controlling the narrative and it’s fine-tuning the mainstream consensus.

While people are watching and for this short moment in history while people actually realize that we are being lied to, let’s use this opportunity to hold up the mirror to those who seek to exploit us, let’s tear away that veil from around them. Let’s create a new narrative, only this time one that is very much based on justice, equality, peace and most importantly on truth itself! After-all politics isn’t a game, and shouldn’t be treated as such. Politics means people’s actual lives and with financial interests controlling Governments & global economies, sadly it means their deaths too. For us to accept the Post-Truth era is to trivialise our own reality and trivialise people’s real suffering. Let’s not allow them to do that.

Jim Scott is an anti-austerity activist, writer & Green campaigner


Phil Brown said...

Absolutely correct. A great analysis that illuminates a very sad picture.The glib 'post truth' handle does legitimize to some extent the lies. Will there be £350M a week for NHS? That's post truth, will Trump build a wall? Doesn't matter.The way back will be long with slow steps and there will have to be compromises.
For example,right now it is now politically impossible to be elected on an 'entry for all' ticket. That may change. The tragedy for the left is that the Tories are there for the taking. May could be exposed as a bungling politician, a disaster waiting to happen in Brexit negotiations. The stupidity of continuing austerity policies could be exposed. The Tories are seriously split - this could be exploited.
But for any of this to happen the left needs a competent leader able to communicate with credibility. Not a lot to ask but at the moment we haven't got one.The vacuum on the left is shown by the way even the Lib Dems can make a comeback - complete with Clegg. There is a log jam. It's name is Corbyn.

Graham Corran said...

This is a great article and gets it all right. Thanks. There are two points I want to make.

I just put your article into a readability calculator. This is what it said. "Average Grade Level 12.1 A score of around 10-12 is roughly the reading level on completion of high school. Text to be read by the general public should aim for a grade level of around 8." This article is suitable for people who have an A level or higher in an arts subject. Its a great article but not an example of the kind or thing that will do the job demystifying the way information is manipulated and narratives established and reproduced. Articles like this are helpful for the more 'intellectual' activists, like us. Ordinary folk suffer a loss of self esteem when confronted by this stuff. In the constituency I live in, over 30% of the population left school with no qualifications above CSE. Trying to get anyone to take the first step of accepting that maybe the narrative bubble that they are in is determining the meaning of things for them, is a very difficult thing to do. Unfortunately the analysis that leads to that insight is complex. I am stumped for how to do it, both how to get people to listen to it in the first place and how to put it in terms that they will understand so that it is convincing. So... great article for us but how the hell you actually do it? I have no simple answer.

To Phil Brown about the comment above: I think the idea that it is a leadership problem is wrong. Corbyn can communicate fine. That's why thousands turn up to hear him speak. But whether he communicates well or badly is irrelevant when the channels through which he might communicate either ignore everything he says or cherry pick 'news' - often lies - so that they can deliver a negative view of him and otherwise ignore anything he has to say. Nobody on the receiving end of what he's had to suffer could get their message through, no matter how good they were at communicating. Whatever you think about him, good or bad, to a great extent the almost universal media attempt to toxify the Corbyn brand has succeeded and is itself an example of what this article is talking about. A different leadership would not produce a different result in relation to this particular problem. I don't know what the solution is but changing the leader of the Labour party is not it: the problem is bigger and deeper than that. A problem like this is not just about one man.

Jim Scott said...

Thanks Graham, you make a really valid point here, and I think it is something we all struggle with. On the one hand the urge is to write something that captivates the imagination of fellow activists and strikes a chord with them, but on the other hand as you point out this makes the writing less accessible to the demographic that it would be aimed at ideally. Definitely food for thought and I appreciate your comments.

In terms of point 2. I agree with Graham on this. Although I tried to deliberately steer clear from party affiliations or any particular politicians (who are actually of the left!). Phil and I will have to agree to disagree as ever over Corbyn, and this is coming from a Green Party activist!

Phil Brown said...

I think the saga of Corbyn's latest media events makes my point about communication.His own words,unfiltered, confuse.

Imagine prospective Left voters prepared to give a couple of micro seconds to the latest political debate. This is what they hear about the most important question of the decade.

"We are not wedded to free movement". This is language that works perfectly in a Commons debate, but will never be heard in everyday conversation.

Couldn't he just say, "We will limit immigration to protect British jobs"

I understand what he's trying to do, hedge it so he can backtrack later. Because actually he doesn't believe in any limits but he's been told he should make a gesture. And if he actually wants to win an election it's the kind of statement Labour have to make. Does he really want to donate Labour seats to UKIP?

But prospective Labour voters can't be bothered to work out the nuances of Corbyn's mind - and why should they?

The cap on top salaries won't change anything and it's an own goal, another gift to the Tories. Like saying, come on, score with this one. Give us another 10 - 0 thrashing - we love it.

I write as someone who voted for Corbyn. My mistake. I did it because the others wouldn't come out against austerity. A lot of his thinking is good. He just can't communicate with the mass market.

Unlike (rag to red bull alert) Tony Blair. Winner of three elections and totally feared by the Tories.

Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime. Brilliant.

Jim Scott said...

Are you sure that Tony Blair was "feared" by the Tories Phil? I have come to the conclusion over the last couple of years that he was actually 'planted' by them!!
After all he used to visit and 'consult' with our favourite Mrs T regularly.

Phil Brown said...

Anyone who can keep them out of power for 13 years worries them deeply. It took 4 leadership changes for them to get back. Any Tory plant surely has to be Corbyn. They can't believe their luck