I’m a former journalist / producer who’s seen firsthand how the media can help to create and maintain a dominant ideology that’s harmful to the majority of people.
I write the notes on this blog because:
- It’s good for my mental health to keep a record of the shifting, harmful, political fictions that I’m supposed to believe in*.
- The Brexit / Trump / populist Conservative assault on reality (and the increase in blatant lies in UK/US politics) is noteworthy.
- I have the vain hope that the occasional general reader might find some of the ideas mentioned here useful.
Thanks for visiting.
New posts and ideas are being added, so please subscribe for the latest update.
*Experts in authoritarianism advise keeping a list of things changing, subtly, around you. News media biased towards the present (temporal bias + fast online news cycle + information delivered in a stream) and politicians willing to “gaslight” and “flood the zone” is a recipe for uncertainty, confusion, self doubt and apathy. My notes remind me of what I thought was important among the waves of trivia. The famous Hannah Arendt quote is still relevant: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”
See also: Small tears in the fabric of rightwing myth-making, a few examples
Occasionally, politicians and their supporters will say something resembling the truth about their motivations, tactics and rationale. Here are a few examples of “saying the quiet part out loud” – I’ll add to this list.
- While a Conservative MP, Christian Wakeford claimed asylum seekers “have a shopping trolley as to what they want as economic migrants” and backed the controversial nationality and borders bill in July 2021. When he became a Labour MP he said: “I want to go on record and say what I said 18 months ago was wrong and I am sorry for saying it. Every week, the government uses scapegoats and as we continue to see even yesterday, asylum seekers have been one for this government for far too long. I am sorry for playing into that narrative. These people aren’t arbitrary numbers for newspaper editors to froth at the mouth about and stoke the fire of intolerance.”
- Conservative MP George Eustice, 17 June 2021: “Australia is an important ally and this is a good agreement between us.”
After he left his role as Environment Secretary, Eustice said on 14 Nov 2022: “The Australia trade deal is not actually a very good deal for the UK.”
More info: “The Australian trade deal is not actually a very good deal for the UK… the UK gave away far too much for far too little in return.”. Former Environment Sec George Eustice has spoken about the post-Brexit UK/Australia trade deal in the Commons. He says now no longer a minister: “I no longer have to put such a positive gloss on what was agreed.” Video.
- Pro-Trump lawyer says ‘no reasonable person’ would believe her election lies
- InfoWars’ Alex Jones is a ‘performance artist playing a character’, says his lawyer
- Capitol riot suspect says he is “a victim of numerous conspiracy theories that were being fed to him over the internet by a number of very clever people, who were uniquely equipped with slight, if any, moral or social consciousness.”
- Tory MP tells constituents he voted for Boris Johnson after securing a review into funding for his local council
- Conservative MP Dorries: PM should remain in post because “the donors have spoken”.
- On 24 June 2022, ex-president’s son Donald Trump Jr. posted a meme suggesting that Roe v. Wade was overturned as a consequence of former President Barack Obama making fun of his father in 2011. He appears to be linking petty political revenge to legislative changes that will adversely impact millions of lives.
- Journalists at rightwing Daily Express set to strike over pay. Staff from newspaper that rails against ‘militant trade unions’ will join sister outlets in striking on Friday.
Also: To be added: the FTX Crypto adverts, and Liz Truss insisting trickle-down works