OK, smoking is risky – but starting wars can seriously damage your health…

OK, smoking is risky – but starting wars can seriously damage your health…

The real question is why so many people allowed themselves to be misled over Iraq by Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell

Is there anyone left alive who does not know that the Blair creature and his political commissar, Alastair Campbell, fooled Britain into war in Iraq? Of course it’s ridiculous that the Chilcot Report (which may just confirm this blazingly obvious truth) is jammed in some Whitehall sump.

But the real question is why so many people allowed themselves to be misled by this pair, who had the strategic grasp of Noddy and Big Ears.

I can say this because I was clearly against the war at the time and laughed at the absurd pretexts given for it. Almost everyone in the media or politics, and many others besides, now also claim to have been against it when they weren’t.

I can recall listening with amazement as people I previously thought of as intelligent began mouthing the Government’s slogans, as if they’d been given some sort of political equivalent of Rohypnol.

Worst of all were Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, whose relentless support for war after war after war has been far more obscene than The Sun’s teenage, catchpenny display of female nipples.

Now everyone claims to have been against it. Many actually believe they were, when they weren’t.

But I know, because I recall how lonely it was to be anti-war – unless you were on the pacifist Left, which opposes all wars, good or bad, [including attacks on Palestine by] Israel.

I still remember being assailed by normally supportive readers for opposing the Kosovo war, the dress rehearsal for Iraq in which ‘our’ side bombed Belgrade and killed (among other civilians) Jelica Munitlak, 27, the make-up lady at Serbian TV. The Blair creature shamelessly said this attack was ‘entirely justified’.

Now, as pressure builds for a war with Russia, I am once again feeling lonely. All the same techniques are being used. Vladimir Putin (like Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, not to mention Bashar Assad of Syria) is being ludicrously compared to Hitler. The BBC has lost all sense of proportion and utterly forgotten its duty to be impartial. Those who oppose the conflict are falsely accused of being apologists [sic] of the Putin government.

And if you try (as I have done) to oppose this conformist tide in open debate, people look at you blankly, as if you have stated the world is flat. Why is this? Because brainwashing works. Modern techniques of propaganda are far cleverer than those used by Joseph Goebbels or Stalin’s brilliant spin doctor Willi Muenzenberg.

Edward Bernays (nephew of the pioneering psychiatrist Sigmund Freud) wrote the brainwashers’ handbook ‘Propaganda’ in 1928.

His main technique was known as ‘engineering consent’, subtly pushing people into agreeing to things they would never otherwise put up with [a technique currently utilised in the UK by the Government Policy Directorate, known in Government circles as the “Nudge Unit”. jc]. He persuaded women to start smoking by getting them to believe the habit was liberating and their cigarettes were ‘torches of freedom’.

In the book he explained how ‘the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society’. He said there was an ‘invisible government’ which ‘pulls the wires which control the public mind’.

And so there is. It’s working on you now. You oughtn’t to need the Chilcot Report to realise that. Perhaps, in future, we could have a rule that war [sic] should only be sold in plain packets [and people of all nations should be left to make their own decisions, and live their lives in peace. jx]. PH

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