Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Tories Go Full Goebbels

Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, said that effective propaganda depended on telling big lies rather than small lies, and to repeat those lies over and over again.  As the Tories have become ever more desperate so their propaganda has gone full Goebbels.  A recent report shows that 88% of the election material put out by the Tories consists of what is euphemistically called "fake news".  In other words, it is just lies.

What happened in the case of the incident of the young child with pneumonia left on the floor at Leeds hospital is descriptive of the Tories disgraceful lying methods.  First we had Boris Johnson refusing to look at the picture, and putting the reporters phone in his pocket.  Then we had Tory trolls trying to trash the ITN reporter who confronted Johnson with the story.  Next, the Tory trolls simply lied, and pumped out Twitter claims that the story itself was not true, and that the picture of the boy had been staged by his Mother.

In full Goebbels mode, the Tories sent out tweets claiming to be from a nurse with evidence that the picture had been fabricated.  In fact, it appears that this disgraceful lie was being spawned by far right trolls, and these groups have links to the same right-wing Russian trolls that have been backing right-wing projects like Brexit from the start, as well as backing Trump in the US, and people like Le Pen in France.  This is part of the same international far right, ultra nationalist movement that has been exposed in the past that lies behind Trump, Bannon, Farage, Johnson, Le Pen, Wilders as well as other far right elements such as Tommy Robinson, and various European neo-Nazi groups.

Tory propagandists claimed this photo was faked.  It wasn't, as
the hospital itself admits.
This lie, was quickly spread over Twitter by right-wing Tories, some connected to Health Minister Matt Hancock.  The Tory lie was also quickly repeated by journalists in the Tory media.  The intention was clearly to draw attention away from the real story, which is the Tories destruction of the NHS, and Johnson's refusal to confront the truth over it, and his lack even of basic concern for the ordinary people suffering from Tory austerity.

They soon followed Geobbels advice, doubling down on the lie.  When Hancock went to Leeds hospital the next day, the Tories then claimed that one of his advisors was punched by a protester, who they claimed was there as part of a Labour campaign.  But, video of what actually happened showed this was a lie too.  Yet once again, Tory journalists, including the BBC, simply repeated the Tory lie.

In fact, the video shows that the Tory adviser simply carelessly walked into the arm of the protester.  But, this unchallenged repetition of whatever garbage comes out of Tory central office by the media has been typical of the reporting during the election.

The use of Russian far right trolls in the election, in support of the Tories, copies what happened during the 2016 EU referendum, when they were used to promote the lies told by the Brexiteers,  just as they did in the US 2016 Presidential election to support Johnson and Farage's friend Trump.  They have done the same thing in France, and elsewhere.

When the Tory lies about the supposed fake picture, and about one of their advisers being punched were quickly exposed, the Tories went on a different tack.  They used a private conversation between John Ashworth and one of his friends who is a Tory activist to undermine Ashworth.  Ashworth, as Shadow Health Secretary, was due to follow up on the events at Leeds Hospital by highlighting the devastation caused by Tory cuts, and how labour would reverse it.  In a sign of desperation, the Tories got this private conversation leaked to the media.  Its proof of what John McDonnell has said.  You can't be friends with a Tory.  They will lie to you, and stab you in the back.  Just ask Ashworth, just ask the DUP about the experience with Johnson!  Voters should remember that when they come to cast their votes tomorrow.

The Tories have tried rebranding their Twitter account to suggest they were some unbiased "Factchecking" site, amongst many other examples of them simply lying and deceiving.  Johnson presents himself as an amiable oaf, bumbling and bustering his way through every conversation, but the truth is that Johnson is an intelligent, and highly literate journalist.  His writing shows that he chooses his words carefully and skilfully to convey his message.  His bumbling and blustering in conversations is not a result of any lack of loquaciousness on his part, but is a tactic used to avoid having to tell the truth.  That is why he refused to do the interview with Andrew Neill, himself hardly a friend of Labour, but not easily talked over and bullied in the way Johnson did with Marr, and other interviewers.

The Tories under Johnson are heading in a very right-wing authoritarian direction, in which this lying will become the kind of commonplace that Orwell described in "1984".  The Tories proposals for limiting control of the actions of the executive are a further pointer in that direction.  At the same time as this Ministry of Truth pumps out endless lies, so the Tories will seek to curb any questioning of those lies by any means necessary, much as Putin has done in Russia, and as Putin and Johnson's friend Trump has done in the US.

Tomorrow it is necessary to vote to stop this descent into the abyss.  Vote to stop the Tories, vote to stop Brexit.

No comments: