In early 2000 a referendum on the Euro currency seemed imminent. New Labour was at the height of its media-manipulative powers. They had delivered a “Yes” result in the Northern Ireland referendum on the Good Friday Agreement by means which I mention here, thanks to leaked documents from the Northern Ireland Office provided by Robert McCartney QC MP (UK Unionist). They had also successfully conducted referenda for the devolved administrations in Wales and Scotland.
In 1999 Alastair Campbell and Peter Mandelson had been sent over to Brussels to supervise the NATO propaganda output in favour of the unprovoked attack on Yugoslavia and had succeeded brilliantly in bringing public opinion “on message” for the first of Mr. Blair’s many wars. It looked as if a Euro referendum could be called and won. Whether it was the reluctantly extracted promise of a referendum, resulting from Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party campaign, or simply the glowering unwillingness of Gordon Brown to have himself boxed in by the Euro which decided against a referendum, we don’t know.
All sorts of pressures were being brought to bear on public opinion. In Derby the Toyota factory was a recent arrival but very senior management made it known that there would be no further investment if Britain did not join the Euro. Mr Dyson said he would no longer make his vacuum cleaners here if we did not join (In the upshot, he moved his manufacturing to Malaysia which is outside the eurozone) – and so on.
The following is a speech which I made several times from February 2000 onwards. Circumstances have obviously changed and my fear of a lost referendum proved to be unjustified because it was not called. Yet the principles behind the official manipulation of public opinion by government have not changed. The process is now more open than ever to the black arts.
Whilst many in this room may know it, most British people are unaware that a war is being fought in this country for its very life – the Propaganda War. It was declared very soon after the second World War in 1947 by Peter Thorneycroft, who laid down the strategy by which Conservatives and other Europhiles (although the term was not yet invented) would make Britain into a province of a united European state. He said that each step toward this end should be a small one, so that progress would be imperceptible. By the time people realised what had happened, it would be TOO LATE to withdraw.
When the steps were larger, his successors would use bare-faced lies. Edward Heath assured us all in 1971/72 that accession to the “Common Market” involved “no essential loss of sovereignty”.
Yet in 1998 he admitted on TV that his aim all along had been a united European state. He said it was his ambition to sit in the Parliament which voted in European Federation. This would effectively turn Westminster into an obscure European County Council.
What a despicable way to have treated the electors of a mature democracy on the issue of their country’s existence.
Apart from telling lies, how have they been able to get away with it? The answer lies in what is called Propaganda – the manipulation of public opinion and perception. Our idea of propaganda has been confused by the sort of films, which are shown in historical programmes about Nazi Germany.
Dr. Goebbels was at least as clever as Alastair Campbell and he hated what he called “political” films. There was a place for them but the films of marching men and mass rallies were not the means by which he manipulated the minds of Germans. In fact, he sometimes banned directors of such films from working for years at a time.
What he wanted were films which gave people a good night out. Whether romantic, comedy, family drama or adventure, they would push the Nazi message very subtly. I have watched such a film – a very well-made story about a charming, gifted , young couple. The wife is stricken with cancer and the husband lovingly kills her to spare her suffering. The story moves on to his trial and the justification of “mercy killing”.
JUST A LITTLE BIT, public opinion had been nudged towards acceptance of killing the sick. With benefit of hindsight, we know the ghastly programme of mass-murder which was partly justified by this film – and doubtless by many radio programmes and newspaper articles, all pushing the same point.
With regard to the nudging of British public opinion in favour of the EU, the same thing is happening with increasing intensity. Propaganda is at its most effective when you are not aware of it. Its aim is to create a shift in mood, not a logical argument.
Only two months ago, public opinion polls showed that (I think) 55% of people rejected the Euro; yet at the same time 70% thought its introduction was INEVITABLE. How could that be? The aim of the propagandist is to create an atmosphere where opposition to his project makes you feel lonely and isolated. Now 70% of public opinion opposes the Euro but I wonder how many still feel that it is INEVITABLE. If it is still 70%, we will lose our country in a referendum. Even if they do not entirely like it, people like to feel that they are on the side of history.
The pro-EU, pro-Euro propaganda is now funded by your taxes on such a scale as Dr. Goebbels would have approved. Every Ministry now has its “European Minister”, every department and local authority its “European Officer” and a whole new tier of local government has been added at the orders of Brussels – the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales and the unelected regional authorities in England. Nearly all the former civil service information officers and Press officers have been replaced by this government. So there are now thousands of well-paid, influential, tax-funded jobs which depend on the success of the “EU Project”.
To counter all this you need, first of all, courage and independence of mind so that you can discern what is going on. Objective, independent analysis shows that the BBC gives four or five favourable mentions for the EU to every unfavourable one. At every level – in our schools (literally from infants upwards), in our colleges and universities the EU is pushed gently but relentlessly as natural, desirable and INEVITABLE. The same is true in factories and offices. If your boss or your trade union leader, or both, say that your job depends on the EU and joining the Euro, you are likely to believe them – even if you don’t like the EU.
Mostly, the propaganda is not “in your face” but in the background. “International co-operation is better than war, the EU is about international co-operation, therefore the EU is good”. As counterpoint there is a relentless theme proclaiming the death or worthlessness of our own country on TV and radio and more subtly in films and entertainment. This “mood music” is everywhere.
More direct persuasion is used by what they call “Champions” – people who can influence others – businessmen, trades unionists, show biz personalities, churchmen and so on. They may be active all the time or remain quiescent until there is a big push to swing opinion.
Quite recently I had a letter from Derby City Council to my business. It was headed “NEW CENTURY/NEW CURRENCY” and asserted that the Euro WILL be introduced shortly and WILL affect my business so I had jolly well better get ready for it and attend their seminar. The Council sent this letter to 1,600 businesses and refuses to retract its highly tendentious statement, which assumes foreknowledge of the British people’s will in a referendum which may not be held for years.
Now, if they get a 5% response and only 80 directors attend and “buy into” the Euro, that will influence many hundreds, probably many thousands of employees to believe in the INEVITABLILITY THEORY. I confidently predict that the next stage will be that government departments and public authorities will demand evidence from their suppliers that they are “Euro-Compliant”, If firms refuse, they will be struck off the list of approved suppliers.
We have had a dress rehearsal for this process. The British government spent and incredible £400 million of your money to counter the supposed effects of the “Millennium Bug”. My firm was bombarded by letters from them AND FROM MY CUSTOMERS, demanding to be assured that my business was “Year 2000 Compliant”. If I did not, I would lose their custom.
The Italian government spent only £1 million on its “Year 2000 Compliance” programme and ITALY HAD NO MILLENNIUM BUG PROBLEMS. It is my belief that this was a softening up to get businesses used to complying with silly directives AND TO CONVERT FIRMS THEMSELVES INTO GOVERNMENT AGENTS FOR THE CHANGEOVER TO THE EURO. Once you have spent money to become “Euro-Compliant” you have signed up. You will not want to write it off as wastes AND YOU WILL WANT TO BE ASSURED THAT YOUR SUPPLIERS ARE EQUALLY COMPLIANT. Your employees will get to feel this too and the referendum, when it comes, will be nothing more than the acknowledgement of a pre-existing fact.
I have tried to outline what might be called the strategy of propaganda, giving a broad view with illustrative examples. Those in favour of our country’s right to rule itself have a daunting but not impossible tasks You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but not all of the people all of the time – though modern media and its techniques have greatly increased the proportions which can be fooled and the duration.
If you have found what I have to say interesting and would like me to come back, I would like to move on to the tactical phase – what the individual and the group can actually do. In this I expect to be as much a learner as a teacher. The important thing is to arm yourself with good information – there is plenty here tonight – and to link up with like-minded people, so that you support each other’s morale.
Then although we are in deadly earnest, try to use humour – the EU project is full of things worthy of informed ridicule. It is the one thing solemn bureaucrats cannot stand. As Corporal Jones in “Dad’s Army” used to say “They don’t like it up ‘em. They do not like it at all”.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.