How politicians persuade one set of people to hate another.

Or to put it another way, how they use Government propaganda.

Yesterday I listened in on Twitter to a group of people who were ranting against the ‘sins’ of their neighbours. Their topic was the proposed increase in National Insurance contributions, so I started to listen in to see what they would have to say about it. They were set off originally by a picture of a Victorian soup kitchen run by Barnardo’s and a crowd of ragged and dirty children waiting patiently for something to eat. The trouble was that it led them to a series of terrible rants about the profligacy of the poor and how they could run cars and go on holiday and down to the pub, but didn’t bother to feed their children.

Here’s one ranting in answer to something Keir Starmer had said in another Tweet.

‘Not saying there are not some people who need help but many of us know a lot of these poor families have Sky, smoke, drink go on holidays go down the pub run cars, and pay no taxes etc so long as we help real poor people I would support it’ @wardmgw697

It’s an old, old story and could be summed up by a single phrase. ‘The undeserving poor.’ Underneath it is the belief (now totally erroneous) that if you work hard you can earn sufficient money to feed yourself and your children and keep a roof over your heads. This through our history has never been true. Landlords and employers use their ‘hands’ to work long hours on very little pay and they’ve always got away with it, because they are the rich elite and the poor are ‘worthless’.

Read any part of our national history and you will see they poor grouping together and trying by dint of numbers to change the terrible situation they are in, hence the Chartists and the Peterloo Massacre.

Today this struggle is still ongoing because the very poor are still living from hand to mouth and the rich have been growing more and more obscenely rich with every passing year. Their wealth is now a well hidden scandal. ‘Six companies (Serco, Asos, AstraZeneca, Rio Tinto, Tritax Big Bex and Scottish Mortgage) made £16 BILLION in excess profits during the pandemic and received BILLIONS in subsidies on top of all that.’ And ‘UK Billionaires got 22% richer during the pandemic.’

In short – ‘The rich get rich and the poor get poorer.’ And nowadays they have a powerful tool called propaganda to help them to do it and a powerful billionaire owned press and media to propagate their propaganda.

Then this morning, when I opened my blog site I found that somebody had visited a blog I had forgotten, I called it ‘How can we counteract Government propaganda’ and wrote it in April 2016 but as it is so apposite to what is happening now, I’m going to repeat a few bits of it.

The trouble is that propaganda is so easy and so powerful, Dr Goebbels said ‘if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth,’ and when Hitler came to power he followed the repellent doctor’s advice to the letter. His first propaganda campaign led to the most hideous anti-Semitism and eventually and almost inevitably to the Holocaust. It began with a crude but deliberate vilification of the group of people who were going to have to carry the blame for everything that was wrong in Germany, like massive unemployment, poverty, poor pay and the general sense of defeat and depression that followed the first world war. Just take a look at the sort of posters Germans saw as they walked about their streets.

Hitler’s propaganda may have been crude, but it was still effective. It wasn’t long before Germans were beating Jews up in the streets, painting the Star of David on Jewish shops and breaking the shop windows and cheering as the Jews were led away to the cattle trucks and the concentration camps.

It is sad to say that nowadays a scapegoat group is chosen by politicians in much the same abhorrent way but with more subtle persuasion. I’ve watched several groups of people tarred as scapegoats in my own lifetime. When I was a child it was the Irish, in the ’50’s it was ‘blacks’, now it is ‘scroungers’ and ‘idlers’ and ‘hordes’ of refugees who have to be stopped before they can ‘flood’ over the borders and ruin our economy. There are people in our society now who are already blaming the chosen groups for the difficulties they face in a society completely under the power of the obscenely moneyed elite, who of course, present themselves as perfect and completely honest. All of which begs the very pertinent question, how on earth can we persuade people who have been given a lifetime of ‘perception programming’ that what they believe is based on falsehood?

Oh Aletheia you dear Goddess of truth, we need a bit of help!

2 thoughts on “How politicians persuade one set of people to hate another.

  1. Oh dear Beryl, how true and so sad. My husband and I were having a chat with a chap in our village and he turned the conversation to “the flood of people from Afghanistan, crowding into our small island”!! My first thought was that he had never lived anywhere but our tiny village – pop. 1,900 and read a mucky newspaper. We tried to tell him that whole families were running for their lives, but my husband said our words were not going to change his mind. Thank goodness I was brought up in London with lovely liberal minded people. Yes, including you Beryl and your dear Roy!

    Liked by 1 person

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