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'The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions & without becoming disillusioned'. ❤#SaveOurNHS❤ Views are MINE & NOT my employer's.
💙 Charlie Helps FRSA 🖤 Profile picture Marco Smith 🇬🇧 Profile picture LockdownLozza Profile picture Sharkey Profile picture mark pope Profile picture 7 added to My Authors
21 Jan
It's OK be wrong. We can't always be right. More importantly, we need to value having the confidence to change our mind in light of new, reliable, & credible information or evidence - even if it contradicts what we previously thought. Imho, that shows REAL strength of character.
ONE major problem we face is that our current commercial print & broadcast news is increasingly partisan & combative, disproportionately features views which align with powerful interests, too often denies complexity & nuance, & avoids the measured & impartial framing of stories. Image
In a context of hyper-free-market capitalism in the UK & USA, it's clear that very powerful & grotesquely wealthy individuals disproportionately own & influence much of the press & broadcast news in order to help shape public opinion & Govt policy, & thus protect their interests. Image
Read 5 tweets
20 Jan
BAD NEWS for COVID-deniers & anti-vaxxers: to counter their viral #misinformation at a time when #COVID19 vaccines are being rolled out, new research has produced a “psychological vaccine” against misinformation, in the form of online games (links below).

theconversation.com/covid-19-misin…
Rather than simply exposing #misinformation, new research focuses on the more general ways in which people are misled – #manipulation techniques such as the use of excessively emotional language, the construction of conspiracy theories, & the false testimony of fake experts.
In a series of online games, players learn how #misinformation works from the inside by being encouraged to create their own fake news: Bad News is about misinformation in general, Harmony Square is about political misinformation, & Go Viral! about misinformation around #COVID19.
Read 12 tweets
19 Jan
The news media is a crucial institution for democratic decision-making, providing much of the information on which citizens base their political choices.

Unfortunately, powerful interests have co-opted them to disseminate #propaganda.

#GBNews
#NewsUK

eprint.ncl.ac.uk/file_store/pro…
'Institutional processes lead the news media to propagate output supportive of dominant state-corporate elite interests... powerful agents and groups intentionally manage the news arena and thereby guide journalistic selection and production processes.'
"As a consequence, journalists produce and distribute #propaganda without intending to do so and on behalf of dominant state-corporate interests. Theoretical conceptualisations of what constitutes propaganda can be applied with validity to the content structures of media texts:
Read 9 tweets
15 Jan
Far-right parties are currently gaining momentum & exerting parliamentary influence in diverse countries such as the UK, Hungary, the USA, Austria, Sweden, Germany, & Denmark.

Far-right terrorism has increased dramatically.

We ignore this at our peril.

journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.11…
Far-right recruitment discourse offers an affective script of feeling angry, insulted, & ashamed, as well as courageous, proud, & hopeful.

Research shows how affective–discursive practices are employed to create gateways to radicalization and ideologically motivated violence.
Within fascism, the myth of #palingenesis, that is “national rebirth from the ashes,” is continual and key to the motivation of political action & violence: 'heroism' is the “psychological recompense for fascist political activism.”
Read 54 tweets
15 Jan
The Libertarian-billionaire funded Right pretend free speech is threatened from an authoritarian Left, yet 90% of UK campaigners say their free speech is threatened by hostile right-wing politicians & media using them as “fodder for phoney culture wars".

theguardian.com/society/2021/j…
Nearly two-thirds of campaigners say politicians are increasingly negative & less tolerant towards charities which actively fight for social justice, with politicians “shutting down channels of communication, & attacking campaigners & their allies as a threat to the common good”.
Examples include criticism of the @nationaltrust by the "Common Sense group" of Tories for publishing a report into historical slavery links at some of its country house properties. The MPs used an antisemitic conspiracy to accuse the Trust of "cultural Marxist", “woke” agenda.
Read 13 tweets
14 Jan
So Guido Fawkes claims Chloe Schlosberg was suspended from @Twitter for calling Lord Ian Austin a ‘psycho’, & because of this, she is a "violence-promoting extremist politico".

Guido Fawkes has also called Gordon Brown, Chris Huhne, Tom Baldwin & Adrian McMenamin "psychopaths".
On the subject of "violence promoting extremist politicos", here's an interesting story about the Daily Mail & Guido Fawkes from @zelo_street:

zelo-street.blogspot.com/2021/01/maria-…
And more on the subject of "violence promoting extremist politicos" - this one about the relationship between the right-wing press & the rise of Far Right terrorism in Britain (feat: Lord Ian Austin):
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
New research into anti-immigration rhetoric, which I'll try to summarise in this THREAD.

It basically suggests that the emotive use of metaphor & hyperbole in anti-immigration rhetoric drives base support & INCREASES their likelihood of political action.

tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.10…
Typical anti-immigration rhetoric used by right-wing populist nationalist parties presents immigrants as outsiders, who are framed as a threat to the populist nationalists idealized nation.
In their anti-immigration rhetoric, politicians typically use strong, vivid, & negative metaphors & hyperboles to frame their political statements.

There is agreement that, at least for parts of the electorate, such populist anti-immigration rhetoric can be highly persuasive.
Read 17 tweets
11 Jan
Well it doesn't happen very often, but this has blown my mind.

Written in 1971 to the US Chamber of Commerce, the Powell Memo was perhaps THE precipitating event for the corporate takeover of the #USA, starting in the early 1970s.

*ESSENTIAL READING*

greenpeace.org/usa/democracy/…
Hedrick Smith's 2013 book reveals how pivotal laws & policies were altered, how Congress ignored public opinion, why moderate politicians got sidelined, & how Wall St often won politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists.

hedricksmith.com
2008's 'The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule', by Thomas Frank, exposes the naked cynicism of US conservatism's war on liberal Govt: US Libertarians believe “the liberal state has no more claim to legitimacy than the thief who robs you at gunpoint.”

kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/t…
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
While many politicians, pundits, & 'influencers' on the Right have been busy deleting their sycophantic or supportive tweets about Trump - particularly those which downplayed/denied the very real dangers he has ALWAYS posed to the #USA & democracy - I'm retweeting some of mine.👍
Read 10 tweets
11 Jan
Seeing titles of articles sympathetic to Trump in right-wing propaganda outlets being changed, and watching all the high-profile right-wing grifting cranks furiously deleting their tweets about how Trump 'really isn't that bad' is hilarious!

TOO LATE SUCKERS! WE SEE YOU! 🧐
Douglas Murray article in the @spectator:
Matt Goodwin - on the advisory panel of Toby Young's "Free Speech Union" - has been particularly busy!
Read 6 tweets
10 Jan
We're watching you Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage, & anyone else who scapegoats & demonizes minorities with their faux patriotic populist nationalist bullshit - you should NEVER have listened to a word Steve Bannon said, let alone adopted his playbook.
In 2018, Steve Bannon bragged about being in contact with @BorisJohnson, @michaelgove & @Jacob_Rees_Mogg.

His close working relationship with Nigel Farage is well documented.

mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/id…
And here's the little-reported news of Boris Johnson facing growing condemnation for an “appalling” Tory alliance with neo-Nazi and anti-Muslim parties across Europe.

The @Conservatives' peer Lord Balfe revealed how Johnson had simply refused to act.

independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…
Read 8 tweets
10 Jan
The KLF - #America: What Time Is Love?

The KLF - What Time Is Love?

The KLF - 3AM Eternal

Read 7 tweets
9 Jan
'Free Speech Youth Advisory Board were censured if they disagreed with the group’s right-of-centre orthodoxy.'

Who could possibly have guessed that the hard-right eugenics enthusiast & lockdown-sceptic's project was just a vehicle for right-wing dogma?

theguardian.com/p/g2q9f/stw
President of Bristol Free Speech Society: “We have been used by Toby Young to legitimise this project. Organisations like the Free Speech Union are just perpetuating a culture war.”

Shocked I tell you.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
Oxford University student & founder of the Oxford Society for Free Discourse: “They said very clearly this is a grassroots movement. They purposely hushed the Free Speech Union’s involvement down.”

Toby Young now describes facemasks as "face nappies".

newstatesman.com/politics/uk/20…
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
The facts is, in Britain and America, you can't get elected without Murdoch's support.

But do tell us again how Extinction Rebellion delaying our "free press" for a few hours was "an attack on democracy".
Murdoch undoubtedly helped put Trump in power - as he has successive Tory Govts - not least with the dangerously irresponsible divisive cranks at @FoxNews, which has helped Make America Grim Again.

He's now doing the exact same shit here with @talkRADIO.

Rupert Murdoch has for too long had a disproportionate, antidemocratic, & toxic influence over voters in the UK, USA & Australia. We need a national conversation.

@MrKRudd is ahead of the curve in doing something about Murdoch’s abuse of political power.

Read 4 tweets
8 Jan
Free speech is precious, & like democracy, fragile.

Divisive thugs, who spread conspiracy theories, demonise minorities, pretend white people are under attack, & use deliberately inflammatory rhetoric for personal & political gain, are the enemies, not defenders, of free speech. Image
Been called a "fascist" already!🤪

Constantly, irresponsibly & deliberately using dangerously misleading, untrue, inflammatory, offensive & divisive rhetoric, will produce a backlash (as we're now seeing on social media platforms) which will genuinely put free speech in danger.
Curious how all the "morally superior snowflake victims deploying their outrage culture" (am I doing it right?) appear to be accusing me of 'opposing the free speech of people I disagree with', when I've done no such thing: I'm using my free speech to comment on free speech.👍
Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
Why were tech platforms reluctant to moderate Trump’s posts, even as he repeatedly violated hate speech regulations?

The same reason why #Grenfell happened, why most jobs are insecure & low paid, why $26 trillion is held offshore, & why democracy is on the ropes: #deregulation. Image
Libertarian billionaires push to deregulate *everything* to help consolidate their power & wealth: they fund deregulatory political parties & try to saturate online, print & broadcast media with voices sympathetic to reducing Governments' ability to regulate their activities. Image
In particular, Libertarian-billionaire-funded, deregulation-supporting populist nationalist politicians' leverage of social media to spread bigoted conspiracy theories & #propaganda has gone largely unchecked amid a vacuum of laws regulating government speech on social media. ImageImageImageImage
Read 7 tweets
7 Jan
So #Parler, the app crawling with Trump supporting white-supremacists & neo-Nazis, was part-funded by the daughter of US Libertarian billionaire Robert Mercer, principal investor in Cambridge Analytica, who donated data analytics services to Nigel Farage.

businessinsider.com/rebekah-mercer…
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
The 'sunk cost fallacy' means that once we’ve committed to a course of action, we find it very difficult to deviate from it, especially if we've invested considerable resources into our actions.

Even if things are no longer working out as planned, we struggle to change.
Think about Brexit crashing the economy, the rise of the Far Right, increasing inequality, catastrophic man-made climate change, & of course, all those investing time in irresponsibly arguing that it was migrants who caused our problems, or #COVID19 isn't really that dangerous.
Or take Rishi Sunak’s notorious “eat out to help out” scheme in the summer, designed to reinvigorate the hospitality sector. It cost us £849 million & came to represent a celebration for beating the virus.

Yet “eat out to help out” may have actually increased infection rates.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
New @BBC Chair Richard Sharpe:

Multi-millionaire🤔

Rishi Sunak’s ex-boss😳

Given hundreds of thousands of pounds to the @Conservatives🤭

Former investment banker - eight years at JP Morgan before moving to Goldman Sachs🤬

Can you see what it is yet?

theguardian.com/media/2021/jan…
Given the @BBC is getting a former investment banker & Tory Party donor as Chair, I wonder what will happen to @BBCNews', @BBCPolitics', & perhaps especially @bbcquestiontime's *legendary* obligation to be "politically neutral", "balanced", & "impartial"?

More (extremely concerning) detail on new @BBC Chair Richard Sharpe from @ta_mills:

Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
Nigel Farage, Richard Tice, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Peter Hitchens, Ivor Cummins, Mike Yeadon, Fraser Nelson, & @talkRADIO are all name-checked in this @FullFact article, which states "On the overwhelming balance of the evidence, their claims are wrong."

fullfact.org/health/can-we-…
In a @talkRADIO interview with Julia Hartley Brewer, Mr Cummins said: “There is no credible publication post-hoc, or after the event during the summer, that has really claimed that lockdowns are in any way effective.”

This is simply untrue.
"Lockdown sceptics” make many claims, but they are often expressed with overconfidence, or without vital context.

The idea that the spring lockdown 'had no effect' on the UK’s #COVID19 outbreak simply does not fit the evidence or a large body of scientific opinion & research.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
Don't know the details, but this is extremely concerning.
The claim this person quickly deleted & apologised for centred on the accusation that Allison Pearson's tweets ran the risk of stoking hate against the #NHS. Pearson's claim that she was accused of running a "hate campaign" is not accurate.

Pearson HAS lied about the NHS before.
I understand the offending claim also concerned Peter Hitchens, who handled it very differently to Pearson.
Read 11 tweets