On my bookshelf is a volume entitled “Europe – a History” by Norman Davies [published by Pimlico, 1997].
In its 1,300+ pages, two are devoted to “Propaganda”.
In his description of propaganda and how it works, Davies outlines 5 basic ‘Rules’.
They are well worth citing:
- the rule of simplification: reducing all data to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foe’.
- the rule of disfiguration: discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies.
- The rule of transfusion: manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one’s own ends.
- The rule of unanimity: presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people: drawing the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of star performers, by social pressure, and by ‘psychological contagion’
- The rule of orchestration: endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations
end of citation
Now, let me say immediately that I cite Dr Davies to indicate my source. I have no endorsement from him, and his political views may well be completely different from my own.
I cite him here because he conveniently summarises the main features of Propaganda.
And the reason I do that is because I find that the BBC too often acts as a propagandist, not as an impartial reporter of news.
We can all recognise propaganda from political parties and political campaigns, especially if we compare what they say with the 5 ‘rules’ outlined above.
If we take the 2016 Brexit Referendum campaign as an example, we witnessed the techniques of propaganda used by both sides.
But to listen to the BBC coverage in the run up to that Referendum, and its coverage since, any impartial observer must be driven to the conclusion that the BBC is not an impartial observer and reporter of events, but an active player in the propaganda battle waged by the politically correct Left.
An instance occurred this morning, Saturday July 28th, 2018 on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. There was a discussion about a parliamentary report into Fake news and the abuse of social media for political ends. There were two expert guests contributing.
Yet again, the discussion automatically assumed that the vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump were inexplicable aberrations; and such aberrations can only be explained by some deeper problem such as the abuse of social media by the Right – the term Right being used as if it is self evident that Right means evil and beyond the norms of civilised behaviour.
These assumptions by BBC commentators and guests are persistent. Even the comedy shows assume that Trump is an idiot and that only an idiot would vote Brexit.
Such a mentality reflects the self reinforcing mindset of the liberal metropolitan elite whose attitude is that their perspective on the world is the only valid perspective, and that therefore all other perspectives, such as the Right, are heretical and therefore evil.
But the election of Donald Trump was constitutional and the Brexit vote was also perfectly valid.
An impartial news outlet would have had two guests of opposite viewpoints. An impartial broadcaster would not make partisan assumptions, but treat the Trump presidency as fact and the Brexit vote as the final word: in the run up to the Referendum vote on June 23rd 2016 everyone understood that to be the case, including the Remain camp – all the while it believed it would win …
There would be none of the barely concealed contempt for Donald Trump in the attitude and comments of BBC journalists: we the listening public would be allowed to form our own judgement about the man according to what he says and does.
The BBC editors and reporters do not like Donald Trump and they do not like Brexit. Therefore the discussion this morning revolved around abuse of social media, implying that the Right must be guilty of abuse; indeed the only suspects to be tried by this media tribunal were on the Right.
No mention whatsoever of Democrat propaganda in the Presidential campaign, nor Remain propaganda in the Brexit campaign.
Because the predisposed mindset of the people running BBC output agrees with the Democrats and Remainers; so neither the Democrats nor the Remain campaign can be impugned…
One of the contributors said he feared for the future of democracy, meaning Trump got elected and Brexit got voted because the Right got away with telling lies.
The truth is that Trump got elected and Brexit was voted because people had had enough of the political correctness of the Liberal Left intelligentsia, and the consequences of their thinking on the every day lives of millions of people.
But democracy means people voting according to their interests as they see them.
Democracy is not simply swallowing the ideological dictates of an intellectual elite which assumes it knows better !