Never underestimate the ability of people to be stupid…
‘Post-truth’ is not a new phenomenon. Wikipedia defines it as “a culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.” It’s been going on for years and, ironically, it has taken the ascendancy to the presidency of a man who does the exact opposite to bring it to a head.
You might not like Trump, but the fact is that when he was campaigning he promised, amongst other things, to build a ‘great big beautiful wall’ across the Mexican border, suspend immigration from countries linked to terrorism ‘until we figure out what the hell is going on’ and to repeal Obamacare. He did all three of these in his first week and people are up in arms about it even though he did exactly what he said he was going to do – something unheard of in the era of post truth politics.
I remember recently having a spat with a fellow blogger about Cuba. Whatever I said made no difference. His opinion was his opinion no matter how I rebutted his arguments and answered his direct questions. He regards me as a pig he was trying to teach to sing. This is a classic reaction to post truth. The ‘facts’ I was being shown were to say the least unsubstantiated and politically motivated. They may well have been true, but the truth is that nobody really knows and if they were true then the reaction was still emotional rather than rational.
During the Brexit campaign we were constantly fed unsubstantiated opinion and speculation presented as truth. In the end, Project Fear turned out to be wholesalely wrong, but that didn’t prevent organisations like the BBC – which used to pride itself on being politically unbiased – presenting it as truth. We see the media across the globe doing exactly the same thing.
And now fake news is bring weaponised in all sorts of fields, political, diplomatic, and economic. Listen to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Russia Today relating the same news story and you get totally contradictory presentation of the so called facts. I suspect that none of them are actually presenting facts at all – just opinions and spin. As a wise man once said – ‘There are three sides to every story : your’s, mine and the truth!‘
Facts are facts. The problem is that nobody actually knows what they are any more…
Having moved from Project Fear to Project Panic, within the course of 24 hours they’ve moved on again – this time to Project Punish!
Having completely and utterly lost the plot, Osborne yesterday announced that if we have the audacity to defy him and Vote Leave on the 23rd, he’ll introduce an emergency budget to punish us all for not doing what we’re told. Here’s his plan :
Staggeringly, whilst cutting public spending in important home grown areas, he’s proposing to leave the foreign aid budget untouched!
The Britain Stronger in Europe campaign said this would mean ‘a £2.5 billion-a-year cut to the health service, a £1.2 billion cut to defence and a £1.15 billion cut to education. Pensions spending could be cut by £2 billion a year.’ Spending in other areas, including the Home Office and policing, transport and local government, could take a 5 per cent cut, saving £5.8 billion.
So why exactly is all this ‘necessary’ because if we vote Leave on the 23rd, fuck all is going to happen overnight. Where’s the ’emergency, George?
According to Osborne, ‘Quitting the EU would hit investment, hurt families and harm the British economy.’ What he actually means is “Do what I tell you or I will hit investment, hurt families and harm the British economy”
Senior Tory MP Steve Baker said: ‘I am shocked that the Chancellor is threatening to break so many key manifesto pledges on which all Conservative MPs were elected. The In campaign are panicking – but no one will believe these hysterical prophecies of doom any more.’ His colleague Michael Fabricant added: ‘These fear tactics are desperate and despicable.’
Ex-Cabinet minister Liam Fox said: ‘A punishment budget would be rejected by both sides of the House of Commons. It would damage the Chancellor’s credibility and would be putting his own position in jeopardy. I think the British public would react adversely to such a threat based on the Chancellor being afraid they will vote the wrong way in his opinion.’
Labour MP John Mann said: ‘This is more scare tactics from the Remain side. If we vote to Leave and take control of our money we will have more to spend on the priorities that matter to us.’
And ironically, Osborne is announcing all this today alongside Alastair Darling who he is presenting as a former Chancellor and credible economic expert. He seems to have forgotten that it’s not so long ago that he was rubbishing his predecessor for fucking up the UK economy and leaving the country in a Godawful financial mess that Genius George had to inherit!
Ignoring the fact that all this is ‘absolute cobblers’ to quote James Dyson, it’s totally unnecessary and it would never get through the House of Commons so here’s my message to George Osborne and the other purveyors of Projects Fear, Panic and Punish –
Just fuck off and stop using your bullshit to bully and control us. Win or lose, you’re finished politically and you’ve only got yourselves to blame…
( and if you’re wondering about that red spot, it was while he was visiting a Hindu temple yesterday – presumably praying for a miracle to make him sound credible )
Yes, there’s only a week or so to go before the big day, and the good news is that Project Fear has been abandoned. The bad news is that it’s been replaced by Project Panic…
Over the weekend, the Remain campaign held its war council and decided that David Cameron is now viewed as ‘toxic’ and should take a back seat for the remainder of the campaign.
On Monday, David Cameron tried to ‘terrify pensioners’ into voting to stay in the EU as he ramped up warnings about the cost of Brexit. Amid mounting panic in the Remain camp, the Prime Minister suggested he could be forced to scrap the so-called ‘triple lock’, which guarantees the state pension rises each year by whichever is highest – wage growth, inflation or 2.5 per cent.
Of course anyone with a brain knows that that’s absolute cobblers! At least half of the Tory party wouldn’t vote for it, nor would the SNP or Labour Party so how exactly would it get through the House of Commons? The answer is, of course, that it wouldn’t!
Mr Cameron then said pensioners’ free bus passes and TV licences could also be lost after Brexit – and warned that spending in areas such as health and defence could suffer. I’m only surprised that he hasn’t chucked in abolishing free prescription charges for the over 60s while he was at it. Or how about going the whole hog and introducing compulsory euthanasia for anyone over 70?
And news broke yesterday that Tory party backers are withdrawing their support because of Project Fear. Edi Truell, a pensions expert who has given the party £270,000 since 2010 said he was witholding further financial support until Cameron steps down. He said the pensions warning was the last straw in a series of ‘unfair’ and ‘irresponsible’ claims.
He added that a number of other party donors are also considering their position.
So in his final act of desperation, Cameron will effectively hand over the campaign to keep Britain in the EU to Gordon Brown and Jeremy Corbyn in response to growing fears that traditional Labour voters will back Leave next week. In a move that echoes the final desperate days of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the Prime Minister will let his Labour predecessor take the lead in the hope Mr Brown can reach working-class voters.
Frankly when you get to the point when you are forced to take a back seat to people like Brown and Corbyn, you know you’re well and truly fucked.
It’s time to go – both for the EU and Mr Cameron…