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Agenda Setting: When should lockdown measures be eased?

Who sets the Agenda?

The BBC Agenda

The BBC News Presenter’s Tweet above consists of a short question and a statement, followed by another short question.

This is effective communication. Her job is to stimulate discussion. To guide viewers into the issue and also to help set the agenda.

This is the science of public opinion. It overlaps with agenda setting, propaganda and disinformation.

Competing claims don’t always get the same attention.

So who, or what, drives the agenda?

Is it a fixed or ever changing group of people?

Does Agenda Setting strategy depend on the situation?

The following quote is from the wikipedia entry on Agenda Setting

Although this topic would be interesting on any occasion, the current corona virus helps shine light on the workings of agenda setting.

It is much clearer to see the government’s messaging strategy as it is currently so prominent.

This means it is possible to speculate on the government’s objectives and definitively observe its methods.

Below is the oft repeated UK government slogan. It is Orwellian in its gaslighting.

If you have Covid19 you are encouraged to stay at home.

If you don’t have it, you are encouraged to stay at home.

So if you need help, you are encouraged to die quietly at home.

So the Covid19 story in the UK is one of propaganda and accounting.

Few people are being tested so nobody knows who has it and who doesn’t.

This means the disease can spread easily without anyone knowing where the hotspots are.

The technology for tracing is being rolled out late and is instead being used for general surveillance purposes.

The following Guardian article uses the word de-anonymisation to describe ministers taking data about the whole population and using it to target individuals, as you would expect in a full on police state:

This is just one example of the agenda. In France and at EU level the tracing conversation has already started. People know it means surveillance but they are forced to accept it along with all the other government imposed lockdown measures.

The population has trouble fighting draconian government measures at the best of times. But during an unprecedented global reaction to a post-war pandemic it is particularly hard to organise when you’re not even allowed to meet.

The yellow vests in France gathered to oppose Macron every weekend for over a year but have stopped thanks to Macron’s lockdown.

And in the UK all we have been treated to by the corporate backed media has been coverage of Boris Johnson supposedly contracting a severe case of corona virus which necessitated that he self isolate and eventually go to intensive care.

The same agenda setting techniques that were at play during the Brexit campaign are being redeployed during the corona virus.

The aim is not to defeat the virus.

It is to make sure the Conservative government cling to power and deflect all scrutiny away from them and onto anyone else such as the public, health care professionals, public commentators, regulators, suppliers, large corporations and even the opposition.

The following quote by Peter Pomerantsev is taken from the wikipedia entry on Vladmir Surkov, Vladimir Putin’s long standing head of communications.

It is hard not to see similarities with the way modern Britain is run. More effort is made here to convince the public that the government does not interfere with independent regulators, that there are checks and balances in place to protect the public.

But when something is important, then it’s political, and you simply can’t argue with the decision because no-one will hear you out or give you a platform.

Britain is a brilliant place to be rich and powerful. Otherwise you must do what you can to survive.

Vladimir Surkov — José Mourinho or Mr Bean?

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Ofcom Boss & BBC regulator, Sharon White, attended the 2017 BiIderberg Meetings with Osborne & Adonis

Sharon White, head of the BBC’s Regulator, Ofcom

Last week I contacted Sharon White, boss of Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, to inform her of her subordinate Chris Wynn’s aggressive attempts to curtail my activities.

What I’ve since learned has profoundly changed the way I view establishment coverups and corporate corruption.

Scope Creep

Chris Wynn, had been pressuring me to edit a  blogpost I had written about Lord Adonis signalling Ofcom and BBC collusive corruption over Brexit.

Little did I realise that, White, along with Lord Adonis and George Osborne attended the 2017 global elite Bilderberg Conference.

Sharon White is an ex-Treasury official and is married to Robert Chote, the head of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) a independent body that was set up by George Osborne to scrutinise his budgets.

The OBR became known as the Treasury’s poodle. 

White herself worked for the World Bank in Washington DC.

Her 2014 appointment as head of Ofcom was approved by then Culture Secretary, ex-Deutsche Bank toxic derivatives salesman, Sajid Javid.

in 2016, bullet-proof Javid, himself an attendee of secret hawkish US gatherings along with Michael Gove, admitted to Jon Snow live on UK TV that, along with everyone else at Deutsche Bank, he knew about illegal tax evasion schemes at Deutsche Bank, schemes which were designed to defraud the UK taxpayer.

 

Javid is now in charge of the police, the National Crime Agency, and the online fight against financial and cybercriminals.

In that same period Javid appointed controversial HSBC Director Rona Fairhead to head up the BBC Trust.

Email to Sharon White of Ofcom

The previous week I’d emailed Chris Wynn:

So far I’ve received no reply from Chris or Sharon.

Is this just old fashioned bad manners, or have cyberbullying and intimidation become official Ofcom Policy?

Hate Speech

We know Ofcom allowed the BBC to air Enoch Powell’s River’s of Blood speech in mid-April.

 

Windrush

Shortly afterwards it was revealed that the Tory UK Home Office had been illegally deporting British Citizens of Afro-Caribbean descent for several years and yet the entire UK media establishment, including every BBC journalist, had said and done nothing.

Similar BBC coverups took place with Jimmy Savile who operated with impunity throughout his lifetime and operated in plain sight.

At what point does it become ok to point out the elephant in the room?

Political appointees like BBC’s Media Correspondent Amol Rajan and George Osborne’s friend Sharon White are massively complicit and compromised. They’ve helped promote Enoch Powell but said absolutely nothing about the non-reporting of the government’s illegal deportations programme.

Bilderberg Meeting

The BBC’s Media Correspondent and its regulator, OFCOM, are supposed to inspire trust not rumours of cover ups and corruption.

According to this Sky report, Sharon White was one of only seven Brits invited to the last Bilderberg meeting.

Two of the others were George Osborne and Lord Adonis.

Billionaire’s Broadcasting Campaign

Sarah Sands, friend of David Cameron, ran the Evening Standard and was a colleague of Amol Rajan’s.

She openly backed Zac Goldsmith in the 2016 London Mayoral Election, renowned as one of the most racist campaigns in living memory.

She has since been made the Editor of the BBC Radio 4, Today Programme.  And George Osborne has replaced her at the Standard.

Osborne also squeezes in a day a week at Blackrock, one of the world’s largest Asset Management companies, with $6 trillion under management.

 

Revolving Door

BBC Media Editor, Amol Rajan, edited the Independent from 2013 to 2015, and was widely seen to have backed the Tories in the run up to their 2015 general election victory.

Rajan’s closeness to his former boss Sarah Sands, and their former boss Lebedev and, by extension, the Tory establishment, makes him anything but an impartial commentator on UK media affairs.

That the appointment of such a compromised figure to such a trusted position at such a sensitive time occurs with no national outcry speaks volumes about the “establishment’s” capacity to dismantle the potential for even the tiniest opposing view right before our eyes.

Back to Basics

At least things are out in the open now. The Tory sleaze that took down John Major’s government in the 1990s is back with a vengeance.

Whereas back then the likes of Ian Greer associates were involved in various levels of Westminster sleaze, the Tory government is way more in control of the media than ever before. The Tory war to shape public opinion has been characterised by its reliance on dark money think tanks and media outlets funded by dodgy donors such as Lord Ashcroft.

But there is still the problem of the social media and the youth vote.

An organisation whose very ethos is the promotion of inequality, by definition will have to use psychological operations to confuse swing voters into voting against the majority’s interests in favour of billionaires.

The rise of Momentum and Novara and the inability of so called Millennials to get on the housing ladder or find secure employment all work against the Tories.

Thomas Frank wrote Pity the Billionaire in 2011 in which he outlined how Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network in the US epitomised the Tea Party’s radical right conservatism. It was a movement directed at the poor but in service of the rich. Trump’s alliance between the Alt-Right, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Wall Street being its logical conclusion.

Media and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock received plaudits last week for saying he would clamp down on social media providers while maximising “freedom of the press”.

By “Freedom of the Press” we mean freedom for billionaires.  Does clamping down on social media mean that Google and Facebook will have to start paying taxes or that we can prepare for some curbs on freedom of speech?

According to a recent Reporters without Borders study, Britain came in at just above Burkina Faso for Press Freedom:

The Ofcom Racket

Just as the polls have proven to be useless and credit ratings agencies and audit firms have been used to rubber stamp fraud in the highest places, so too is the Office of Communications (Ofcom) an institution which places the safety of normal consumers and citizens at the very bottom of its priority list.

With Osborne’s fellow Bilderberger, White, still in charge of regulating the BBC, the foul elitist stench of corruption still coming out of  Ofcom and the UK broadcast media shows no sign of abating.

Amongst Friends

The pop singer Lily Allen was invited to a garden party in the summer of 2016 and took the following pics.

 

Seeing that Osborne’s pro-Putin boss hangs out with Farage and Murdoch puts a whole new spin on things.

In a way all the posturing makes more sense now. The Brits have a history of selling weapons to both sides.

So why wouldn’t UK institutions themselves be open to capture?

London has been the home to oligarchs and billionaires for several years now.

With so much capture taking place under the surface – and yet in plain sight –  who  amongst you never thought that one day the chickens would come home to roost?

What can be done?

There is too much silence and darkness where there should be conversation and light. The politics of information, transparency and privacy need a radical restructure. And this only happens if we are prepared to go to first principles and set up systems that prioritise the values we hold dear as a society. Just in case there is any confusion about what those values are, perhaps we should use these various political crises as an opportunity to clarify just what is on the table and how much we are prepared to give up to achieve our goals.

This isn’t supposed to be an anti-Russian or anti billionaire diatribe. Merely a stimulus for conversation about corruption and what you might like to see done about it.

 

 

 

 

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Torturing Saudi PR Machine Schmoozes Trump & New York Times

Trump meets Saudis and all hell breaks loose

The Saudi Ritz Carlton’s CEO had this to say about the effect of Trump’s Muslim ban:

 

Interesting how the Saudis manage to get the New York Times on side.

 

When Putin tortures rival billionaires we call him out.

But when Saudi Arabia do it ..

 

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Farage openly promoting Marine Le Pen

But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.

Double Standards

In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.


Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.

Theresa’s Judgment

In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.

Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.

They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.

Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.

Deregulation

Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.

They refer to it as cutting red tape.

But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.

Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.

Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?

A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.

The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.

Economic Patriotism

Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.

She says the EU wants to punish Britain.

Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.

Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.

She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.

I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.

On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.

She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.

This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.

America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.

And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.

But Farage doesn’t point them out.

How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?

But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?

Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.

Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.

Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.

Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.

Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.

Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.

She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.

When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.

Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.

Conversation then goes to Putin.

Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.

Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.

Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.

On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.

Global Revolution

Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.

She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.

Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.

Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.

She says that either way, they are both now on the same side. 

This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.

The Raheem Kassam / Tommy Robinson interview on Breitbart is a great insight into the various conflicts and shifting identities at play in some of these manufactured populist movements.

The Spice Girls, The Sex Pistols and even the Jimi Hendrix Experience were all put together by their management teams.

So why not UKIP or the EDL?

Kassam, a self-defining ex-muslim and product of intellectual PC-friendly culture, shifted to the alt-right and now runs Breitbart London which is controlled by Steve Bannon.

Tommy Robinson changed his slightly Irish and double barrelled name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to head up the English Defence League with an alias taken from a notorious Leeds United football hooligan.

He makes his money running a tanning salon in Luton.

Yes, that’s right.

From people in a multicultural area who pay him money to look less white.

Everybody’s looking for something. And you have to make a living, right?

There’s a beautiful symmetry here.

Where were we?

The French Presidential Election

Farage asks why Le Pen should be French President.

She says because she is profoundly French.

The other candidates just want to represent the Insurance, Banking, and Drug Companies.

Le Pen is asked if, having won the first round, she can win the second round.

She says it is a choice for the French.

It’s no longer a left-right split.

Do we want France to remain France?

She says if voters really want French values such as secularism, equality of race and religion, and not sectarianism, then they will vote for her.

Le Pen says the other candidates have a post national vision.

They want to work for Mrs Merkel.

The election is a referendum on Globalisation.

Farage asks Le Pen if she thinks she will win.

Le Pen says she thinks she will.