Molotov cocktails for the propaganda machine

Despicable Him: All the puff pieces* in the world won't save David Cameron when ordinary people can use their computers, look up what he and his government have done, and tell other people about it. *A puff piece is a newspaper article written for no other reason that to promote or advertise its subject; an article with little or no real news value. Like today's Telegraph editorial.

Despicable Him: All the puff pieces* in the world won’t save David Cameron when ordinary people can use their computers, look up what he and his government have done, and tell other people about it.
*A puff piece is a newspaper article written for no other reason that to promote or advertise its subject; an article with little or no real news value. Like today’s Telegraph editorial.

Whoever wrote today’s editorial at the Daily Telegraph doesn’t realise that we can debunk these articles faster than he (or she) can write them.

And if you’re working at the Daily Mail? That goes for you too.

The article to which I refer is headed with the overly-optimistic line ‘A year for the Tories to restore their reputation’ and goes downhill from there.

The thesis is that the Conservatives, in government, have failed to deliver the “competence and compassion” that they promised in 2010 – competence in putting the government, especially its finances, back on the right track; and compassion in ruling not just for the rich but the whole country – “not least via far-reaching reforms to education and welfare, intended to benefit the most disadvantaged in society”.

The piece is riddled with nonsenses, most of which have long-since been dismissed by anyone of modest intelligence who can use an internet search engine. So:

“The Tories are grappling with a truly toxic legacy (both fiscal and otherwise)” – and yet it is still business as usual for the banks, nearly three years after the election. Why have we not seen the reforms we have been promised?

“It was always going to be a tall order for an administration led by polished public school types to lead the nation through an age of austerity.” For “polished public school types” read “rude, uncultured oiks with over-inflated opinions of themselves”. Oh, and there’s a typo. Between “an” and “age of austerity”, the missing word is “unnecessary”.

Here’s the bit that made my blood boil, though: “In fact, the Tories still have a strong story to tell. Their education and welfare reforms, together with the raising of income tax thresholds that the Lib Dems insisted on, represent a genuine attempt to help the poor.”

Did the author seriously think they were going to get away with that? I couldn’t let it go unchallenged and wrote the following into the article’s ‘Comment’ column: “The education and welfare reforms do NOT represent any kind of attempt to help the poor. Welfare in particular is an ongoing disaster, with thousands of those on sickness or disability benefits already dead, having either suffered terminal worsening of their conditions thanks to the heartless regime inflicted on them by an apparently-psychotic Iain Duncan Smith, or given up and committed suicide just to break the cycle of harassment and intimidation.

“It’s as if this government is deliberately trying to kill off those whose health prevents them from working.

“And I should know – not only am I a carer for a disabled person, I write a blog that regularly focuses on this subject. If any Telegraph readers want to know what’s really going on, I suggest they take a trip across to and read some of the comments from people who have actually been through the system. It might be a bit of a shock!”

I wonder if it has been moderated out of existence yet?

You noticed, I hope, that one area of government that didn’t get mentioned as a “genuine attempt to help” in the article was health? Is this an admission of guilt, I wonder.

Moving on, the article harks back to what the author clearly considers the Tories’ glory days, when Margaret Thatcher led the party during the 1980s: “Mrs Thatcher herself was not universally liked; nor was the party she led. The Tories won then because they promised to do tough but necessary things, which would give voters the chance to build a better life – and delivered.”

I was just trying to get my career started when Thatcher’s government was in power. “Give voters the chance to build a better life”? I can assure you, that didn’t happen unless you were a member of an exclusive club. For most of us it was oppression as usual.

The only difference now is, with this lot the oppression is worse, and so is the incompetence.

It’s impractical to expect the Conservative Party to change its ways at the moment because it is doing precisely what it set out to do: Shrink the state and sell off the most profitable bits to its friends in the private sector. Sorting out the economy has nothing to do with what’s actually happening, other than being a smokescreen.

The worst tragedy for the UK in 2015 will be if the Conservatives win.


Dire though it may be, the author of this article does have a point when turning to Labour’s tactics. “Labour’s announcements on welfare this week show a party devoted to double-counted, sock-the-rich gimmicks rather than the serious business of rescuing the public finances.” While this is almost indigestible, coming from someone who has just been extolling the hidden virtues of a party that has been pursuing a hidden agenda behind a smokescreen of nonsense justification narratives, I can’t see the point of Labour’s latest idea, either. Getting a six-month job for the long-term jobless? That’s just as pointless as the Tories’ current make-work schemes.

No, what we need to build up the UK economy again are some solid foundations. Gideon George Osborne missed his opportunity to make a start on this in his Autumn Statement, when he said he was cutting Corporation Tax again. It’s gone down by a huge 25 per cent since this government took office – why has he not attached a condition to it – that firms must use the money they save to employ extra staff and build their businesses back up to positions of strength?

At the very least, why did he not attach a condition that firms should build up the average salaries of their workers, to ensure that nobody in full-time employment need ever claim a state benefit? Remember, 60 per cent of the benefit cuts Osborne announced in the same Autumn Statement will affect working people just as much as the jobless.

If those workers were properly paid, then the benefit bill might be smaller and the cuts might not be necessary. Doesn’t that make sense?

The Tories are starting 2013 in the way to which we have all become accustomed: Omnishambles.

But now it’s time for Labour to raise its game.

8 thoughts on “Molotov cocktails for the propaganda machine

  1. s0ciallyh0used

    Reblogged this on Socially Housed and commented:
    First though was -How do these people get these jobs?
    But then I reaslised, this piece has probbably been a piece of work a Journalist has had to produce to justify their salary (they need to eat & are probably stuck in the trap I talk about in my last blog – scared of being “working class” & so missguidedly align themselves with the Elite)… I feel for the journalist as I suspect they were probably choking on the words as they wrote them & even more so as their editor chopped away at it to make it run out of the PR machine more smoothly…
    Be brave everyone – I truly believe a change is coming – The Brave New World ( ) of the Elite WONT happen – because people like us wont let it!
    & Journalists like this, whilst having to play the game, at heart I am sure KNOW twhich side of the castle walls they will be come the revolution… And they know we will accept them with open arms as that what makes the working classes of the UK so Bloody terrific & I am so proud to be one!

  2. Summerhead

    Labour are raising their game by pressing for a reduction in sugar in breakfast cereals and only objecting to Tory cuts when the deed is done. As soon as they are elected they will be beholden to big business again and ditch the unions. If they had people with passion and belief, they wouldn’t need so much money to get elected as they could just ride on the anger and disillusionment felt by so many voters.

  3. Mike Sivier

    I’ve had an interesting response from Graeme Burrell on Twitter, and I’d like to seek opinions. He writes:
    “Only thing I’d disagree with= new job proposal: *paid* work improves confidence/the CV, gives better chance of further work 🙂
    “The *first* thing a recruiter looks at is the current/last job.. & jobseeking your ‘ideal’ job is easier when you’re employed!
    “The important thing would be the *detail*; being client-focused, job/skills matching, & ensuring sanctions are ‘last resort’.”

  4. sallyb41

    Mike, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Also, looking at your reply above, I had an interesting experience. Last year, I was doing agency care after a permanent job went belly-up. I was claiming JSA etc as well ( I waited until I absolutely had no money, stupid but hey-ho), and I was told that I would be better off not working. I kid you not. I would like to know how Labour will stimulate the economy…all I can see is Ed (I have no) Balls spouting ……well, balls!

  5. Chris Tandy

    I really do wish I could publish this article of yours in two-foot tall type and pin it to the gates of Downing Street, for all to see.
    Or engrave it with a red-hot poker on IDS’s head, for the rest of the toffs to read.
    A beautiful ripping-apart of tory propaganda-rubbish, Mike.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Thanks. Of course, this was just a response to a single article. I do think there should be a ‘bank’ of responses to particular assertions that get made in the right-wing press every five minutes, so we could all just dip into it when we needed it, and hurl the appropriate response back whenever something blatantly inaccurage is quoted as fact.

      1. jaynel62

        Now this is an idea I totally agree with, it’s something I’ve been saying for months, along with a structured approach to campaigning.

        I love the fact that people can get involved in issue based groups on FB and the like but, we need a single place to bring it all together and one banner to work under.

  6. Earl Bramley-Howard

    We don’t need corporation tax to go down to create jobs. There are plenty of jobs just waiting in the ‘renewables’ industries (which were one of the only growth industries left until David & George deliberately messed that up too) What we simply need to ensure the taxes are collected from those who spend a small fortune trying to avoid tax. The tax-dodgers named & shamed in the press recently are a drop in the ocean compared to the massive corporate tax-dodges that go on ‘legally’, which of course are only compounded by corporate bankster ‘Bail-Outs’ & ‘QE to infinity.
    The bottom line is that the banksters and the too-big-to-jail fossil fuelled corporate cartel of globalists have hijacked the entire ‘western capitalist’ system & now it’s a totally rigged market from top to bottom.
    FB is also global corporate and was started with CIA seed money. It’s a massive data-mining operation and they are constantly tinkering with the algorythms to limit the effectiveness of social networks & make money from those that they ‘support’.
    The UK government’s attack on so-called ‘scroungers is just smoke and mirrors for all the other corporate fraud which was made ‘legal’ by de-regulation & the outright ‘capture’ of the regulators by the corporate machine.

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