Mike Hind Profile picture
Journalist/comms consultant. British migrant in Normandy. This & that. Making music as 'surprise locale'. https://t.co/eOQQ5J6CbF
Chris #WearAMask 3.5% #RejoinEU #FBPE #FBR 💛🌊🎪 Profile picture ⚫ Charlie Helps FRSA 🖤 Profile picture Elinor Shelley Profile picture V 🌹🌹 #LyingIsTheNewTruth #3.5% Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
1 Sep
Regular viewers are familiar with Youna, from my joyous sharing of her dogly antics & such.
Well, this is a public service announcement because we (she's my ex's dog but still often stays with me) came within a hair's breadth of losing her this weekend. And it could happen to you Image
Sunday evening. Here she is, playing with her friend Oscar the whippet. On one side of the path is the beach. On the other side a freshwater lake.
Youna likes to cool down by taking a dip in the lake. And have a drink.
It's a lovely evening & we're all heading back to our cars.
Here the pictures end, because a nightmare begins. Image
Read 35 tweets
6 May
If you unpicked it forensically I'd stake everything I own on a continuous thread connecting a belief today that the Johnson administration is doing a good job on Covid-19 all the way back to the think tank lobby entities created in the Thatcher-Reagan era.
The problem is, this story is too big to tell. Start with this remarkable article from 9 years ago by Adam Curtis bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurt…
Along the way, read Erin's equally remarkable work on the US PR firm Burson-Marsteller
Read 4 tweets
15 Dec 19
I'll not be taking questions on 'what to do now' until I've found a way of assembling what I've already said many times before. No bandwidth to deal with the recursive hell of Twitter atm
Expect a detailed post on the failed Labour campaign & the unforgivable incompetence of a team that repeated all the mistakes of Britain Stronger In Europe, sometime before Christmas.
And a proposal to replace Labour entirely with a new left entity.
Well-meaning interlocutors recycling lukewarm Guardian thinkpiece talking points on the assumption I might miraculously have not previously considered them will go unanswered. I'm chatty for reasons of decency, but Twitter chatter is toxic & dull, so I need to draw back
Read 7 tweets
15 Dec 19
Advice. Share it.

Immediately after Trump's election there was an influx of Twitter accounts designed to destabilise, disinform & cause dismay to the losing half of an electorate in shock.

This WILL be repeated in Britain.
Johnson has been sliming around making emollient speeches but under the skin he is a Steve Bannon project. A genuine fascist. The Conservatives are a new force now, staging an irreversible power grab.
One thing to expect is for mysterious entities to appear online, typically looking like some form of 'resistance' to BJ *and* the left. When it happened in the aftermath of Trump it created genuine Twitter hysteria. It's happening already, 48 hours into the Johnson era proper.
Read 6 tweets
8 Dec 19
At this stage, some BBC managers will be worried about Johnson failing to secure a majority on Thursday. The well-trodden career path from national broadcaster to Conservative government roles would be temporarily barred. This introduces a perverse incentive for partiality
Expect, at editorial policy level, no scrutiny of the many contradictions inherent in stories like the ludicrous 'Labour seizing on documents leaked by Russians' while Boris Johnson suppresses a report on Russian money influencing Conservative policy. So, business as usual
With Labour closing in on the Tories, as millions of voters come to their senses on the potential of tactical voting, those BBC managers face the potential of proper scrutiny on their conduct since Johnson took office, if he goes.

In their shoes what would you do?
Read 7 tweets
28 Nov 19
With #bbcimpartiality trending it's time for another story about the editorial process.

Gather round...

I was working as researcher on a 'flagship' Radio 4 current affairs programme. We were making an episode about future water supply security.
I set about researching the issue of meeting Britain's future water supply needs. The problem was indeed real. Britain's falling water table spelled serious consequences in the 21st century.

The experts I spoke to were unanimous on the solution.

Too much water was being wasted
I learned how other countries manage water and preserve continuity of supply. I discovered how profligate Britain routinely is with water. How the recently privatised water companies were failing to tackle leaks. How little incentive there was on them to reduce water usage
Read 10 tweets
27 Nov 19
Of all Laura Kuenssberg's tweets today, the most striking one is where she describes whether "any government would ever do a deal that made medicines much more expensive for the NHS" as the "big political question".
I have no idea about LK's personal politics, or if she has shelved her own views for the sake of the job. There certainly are political journalists who don't vote at all for that reason. So I still default to assuming she simply repeats talking points given to her by team Johnson
This take will doubtless frustrate those who find it comforting to accuse journalists like Kuenssberg or Peston of advancing a political agenda. Because that's easy to understand.

I still suspect it's a case of competence rather than conspiracy.
Read 13 tweets
15 Nov 19
It was inevitable that the Vote Leave team - which went on to form this government's Downing St apparatus - would replay the 'fake claim & offer on a bus' stunt.
They are good at framing.
Fortunately, so is Labour. Which is why the Tories are doing the bus thing again.
Read on...
The original bus was designed to promote a general impression of high EU membership costs. And tie that to a false offer on the NHS. Which we all know the Tories want to sell off to American companies.

But it worked because bien pensants (like me, at the time) amplified it.
We were all outraged at the bus lie, so we explained all day long how it wasn't true.

We suckered for the frame. Thereby endlessly repeating "£350 million" and "spend £350 million on the NHS".

It was the best advertising Vote Leave ever had - and WE gave it to them FOR FREE
Read 10 tweets
8 Nov 19
How this approach works for the Lib Dems.
1. Like Trump's brain farts, these distortions of reality get them publicity
2. As with the Tories' famous comic sans memes, engaged people amplify them with ridicule
3. Low-information people see the bar chart in passing & think 'wow!'
Jo Swinson's claim to be in with a genuine chance of being Prime Minister should be understood in the context of these misleading graphics.

You hear her say it, then see the bar chart. That's why both are repeated so often.

It's their £350m lie.
Or, Mexico will pay for the wall
They have internalised the victories of Trump & Brexit.

It's been going on for a while, with the careful crafting of false narratives.

Read on
Read 5 tweets
7 Nov 19
Twitter is a shouty mess again. So here's a thread of mostly unrelated thoughts & pictures before I cook tea. Apropos of nothing...

It's nice to see some sky. It's been mostly raining where I am, for 3 weeks.
There's also been wind, which made the sea quite exciting (for round here, anyway). The red spot in the middle distance is Youna in her new raincoat
She seems unbothered by it, despite the obvious disadvantages of sticking out like a sore thumb when your favourite activity is trying to sneak up to chase down rabbits & deer
Read 16 tweets
4 Nov 19
Good to know: the 3 types of inauthentic account used by the Tories to amplify their talking points and/or smear their opponents (with background evidence).

Type 1: the so-called 'Boris bot'. Programmed to like and retweet prominent Tory figures & boost their follower numbers.
We've all seen Boris Johnson's fake 'army' of tweeters, but they're actually on all platforms - and they don't always work properly

Type 2: the organised Tory tweeter. These are often mistaken for algorithm-driven 'bots', but they are people - but just behaving like 'bots'.

Read 9 tweets
31 Oct 19
Another day, another #r4today vox pop in a northern Labour seat with angry elderly 'I was Labour all my life but...' people. There is an inevitable sample bias if you walk around the streets on a work/college day.

Anyway, let me tell you a bit more about vox pops.
In broadcast there are templates for a 'package'. They always include some 'colour'. That's what the vox pop is. It's just a production device, of little more value than the 'set up shot', where you see an interviewee walking past the camera before you hear them speak.
The vox pop simply breaks up the item a bit. Production value.

Because media literacy is quite low in the general population I imagine many casual news consumers don't know this & think they are conveying 'news'.
Read 9 tweets
30 Oct 19
The withering fire on the Tories from Labour supporters on this website is a remarkable - and uplifting - thing to see.

Coruscating volleys laced with humour. Beautiful.

People will (correctly) argue that #GE2019 won't be won on Twitter. But they'll miss the point.
Being part of the Labour digital effort is a big morale-booster. That will seep out into other places.

Seeing it, as a Tory supporter, will be a depressing experience, however they bravely try to shrug it off. That too will seep out into other places.
We saw the impact of 'vote suppression' through demoralisation via the destruction of awful Hillary's prospects by the Trump campaign. And the same for soft pro-Europeans in the 2016 referendum.

This online action really matters. Labour will smash this, online.
Read 7 tweets
29 Oct 19
Be ready for industrial scale false promises, lies & smears from Johnson's Vote Leave team. Tory scorched earth time is coming.

As Tacitus said: "To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desolation and they call it peace."
#generalelection2019
Be alert for the whole panoply of online tricks too;

- Tory troll accounts (designed to sap your energy)
- pathetic Tory memes (designed to make you amplify via mockery)
- false information about events, stats etc (remember the Vote Leave bus - a stat made famous by 'debunking')
I might not put it quite like this, but yes!
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct 19
Downing St wants you to kick off about him not signing the letter.
This is a perfect example of Lakoffian framing.
The fact is that an unelected Prime Minister has again been humiliated by an elected Parliament.
A short explainer...
To win the PR air war you need to be first, with a fresh message, no matter the setback you just suffered. That's how you manipulate the media. By giving them a new story, to distract from the bad story.
Vote Leave (which is basically now the government) has been very adept at this.

Remember when the Electoral Commmission ruled that Vote Leave had broken electoral law? They instantly declared the EC as "politically biased".

The story then? VL accuses EC of political bias?

See?
Read 15 tweets
18 Oct 19
Apropos of our lovely old dog holiday friend, I think this might be her son. He's just brilliant
With those big paws
And that face 😍
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct 19
It's a red letter moment here. Fifteen months after I began to assemble all my music into high quality mp3 format - around 1,000 vinyl albums & 700 CDs - the final CD just finished ripping. Hooray.

That's just under 300gb of music now on my phone + various back-up drives.
And, of course, no need of an internet connection
Now just the old vinyl singles & 12"s from my DJ days to do.

ETA - maybe 2021 for that
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep 19
Another evening, another back & forth among Twemain about what its message should be.

There is only one theme that works.

Brexit is in the way of everything else & will be for years.

Leverage that.
I'm bowing out now, so all the earnest people replying with strong opinions can be wrong to their hearts content 😉
Actually, I'll add:

Remain has been dead since 23/6/16. Irrelevant. Pointless. A spasm. A death rattle of those who never got over the shock & anger of losing.

It's no longer Leave vs Remain. It's left vs right, reform vs reaction, people vs money. It is class politics.
Read 4 tweets
29 Sep 19
I'm not saying Tory activists placed the unhelpful banner on the bridge in Manchester.
I am saying it's the sort of stunt that provides useful content for Tory activists to smear opponents with on Twitter.
All one can say with certainty is it was definitely put there by idiots.
It reminds me of when someone sent a threatening note to one of Zac Goldsmith's constituents & he was onto it like a rat up a pipe. We never knew who'd done that, of course (or indeed if it was real), but I hope we found out which idiots did this stupid, unhelpful banner
The point is that if you're going to pull stupid stunts like that, you may as well go in to bat for the other side. The effect is the same.
Read 4 tweets
29 Sep 19
#CPC19 delegates in action, stealing & vandalising stuff.
I give you cowardly Conservative councillor Sam Smith & invite @MattHancock to have a word with him at #CPC2019 #CPC19.
I suggest he buys @Femi_Sorry a drink & apologises properly.
Read 6 tweets
27 Sep 19
Impressive information op by Johnson's team today, apparently assisted by the BBC, if #r4today is any guide. Here's how it's working.

Two days ago Johnson outraged opponents by telling a female Labour MP her fears about wartime analogies in light of Jo Cox's murder were 'humbug'
Last night Leave campaign director, now no 10 svengali, Dominic Cummings, said it isn't surprising that people in the country are angry that Parliament hasn't agreed Brexit.

However, the precise words used by Johnson are no longer mentioned, in favour of just "language".
The government has successfully reframed the issue and the BBC is apparently allowing it.

This has been a feature of Brexit politics ever since the referendum began. Better framing by Leave, with the help of most media. And the ignorance of continuity Remain.
Read 8 tweets