The Mirror wrote a post on combatting propaganda –
Since then, all supporters, readers, lurkers and commentators have had time to put our recommendations into thought practice as we witnessed the farce of the English Conservative party elect its new leader and potential Prime Minister.
On Wings over Scotland, the Rev Stu has just posted an analysis of BBC bias towards Scotland and Scottish news, a perfect example of using the type of questioning, analytical mindset we suggest you adopt.
So here’s Lesson 2 in how to combat propaganda
How to take charge of your own mind
As you read an article, listen to, or watch a broadcast or video
Ask yourself these questions:
Who is the author ?
His/her name or nom de plume will be at the top or bottom of the newspaper page or blog.
S/he will be introduced as Ms/Mr/Dr/Prof So-and So in a radio or TV broadcast.
Remember that name if you are interested in, or totally opposed to, what the person writes or says
a) What’s her/his nationality?
A Scotsman or a Northern Irishwoman talking about their own countries will obviously give a totally different perspective on their issues and problems to an English person promoting a “British” agenda in the UK. As will an Israeli and a Palestinian. Or a Hindu or Muslim talking about India. And a Chinese or the Dalai Lama talking about Tibet.
Remember: “British” is a sort of second-class citizenship for the non-English who inhabit this North Atlantic Archipelago. Within the UK the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Pakistanis, Nigerians, Indians, the Caribbean of the Windrush generation and their descendants etc. are “British”.
They are not English. They are not and never will be accepted as English but their task in life is to “mimic” the English.
Being “British” is wonderful for Scottish and Northern Irish Unionists/Loyalists as well as Orange Order members. They never seem to realise it’s 2nd class ranking in the UK status quo.
Comment: Odd that. Something Freudian going on among them?
b) What is the author’s religion?
It’s not a nice question to ask but it is relevant as we try to make sense of many current issues. e.g. is the speaker or writer Protestant or Catholic for Northern Ireland? Israeli or Palestinian for the Middle East? Hindu or Muslim for India?
c) What’s his/her ideology and political affiliation?
Left-wing? Labour? Tory? Lib-Dem? Alt-Right? Green? DUP? Irish Nationalist/Republican? Scottish Independista? The Brexit Party Ltd? Catalan supporter? Spanish monarchist? Orange Order? Bullingdon Club?
d) What’s the author’s related experience base?
The City talking about the poor and homeless? The TUC insisting on workers rights?
The Party waffling on about its policies? NASA talking about space?
The WHO talking about medicine? The Local windbag talking about the OO?
Remember: Work/life experience in whatever field will influence his/her message and colour his/her views
e) What about his/her education?
Eton and Oxbridge? Private schooling? Local comprehensive? University?No GCSEs? Science major? Or Politics, sociology etc?
f) What about his/her accent?
English? Local or regional? Scottish, Irish or Welsh? Upper class? Working class?
Remember: We are expected to take everything that is pronounced in an upper class English accent as the 10 Commandments. But we don’t have to!
g) What’s his/her agenda?
Are other publications or speeches similar in content and tone?
Or do they take a different angle entirely?
If so, why?
h) Who are the speaker’s friends and promoters?
Where, by whom, and why is this person normally published or invited to speak in public?
Remember: These last questions are particularly important as we watch Hunt and Johnson out-do each other on extravagant No Deal Brexit promises and threats. And listen to the EU saying “No Re-negotiations”
Neither you nor I will probably be eligible to vote for either candidate as Tory leader.
But we can watch
and become aware of the type of person the next PM of the UK will be and what he will try and do
Then we can weigh up
the implications for us and ours.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
And decide accordingly on what we want and how to achieve it.