02_november_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,247

Monday 02 November 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Many people who work in Public Relations (PR) are really just in the business of promoting companies, products, issues, basically advertising in a product/public friendly way, but the real dark arts are practised by spin doctors and propagandists whose job it is to change public perception and consciousness. This was the territory that Edward Bernays inhabited and who is known as the Father of PR; a manipulator of public perception and, indeed, behaviour. Like his Uncle, Sigmund Freud, Bernays believed that people were driven by dark and dangerous animal drives, a herd or mob instinct, which must be controlled and manipulated. There can be no question that being part of a crowd can influence our behaviour, but neither Freud or Bernays seemed able to dignify us with sense and reason and like you and your party they were authoritarian paternalists who considered themselves superior, presuming to know what was best for everyone else.

I can put this attitude no better than to quote one such elitist paternalist from an article written by Howard Zinn – ‘To Disagree Is to Be Put on the Enemies List’. Zinn quotes the President of Boston University, John Silber, who wrote the following, “As Jefferson recognized, there is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent. . . . Democracy freed from a counterfeit and ultimately destructive egalitarianism provides a society in which the wisest, the best, and the most dedicated assume positions of leadership. . . . As long as intelligence is better than stupidity, knowledge than ignorance, and virtue than vice, no university can be run except on an elitist basis.” Needless to say, neither Zinn nor Silber made it on to each others Christmas card lists.

The problem with such elitism is that it is by its nature duplicitous, hiding its real intent, and contempt for ordinary people, behind a fabrication of lies and manipulation. So it is that you say of your party, ‘We are the party of working people’ and that you are ‘For Hardworking People’ when nothing could be further from the truth. Tax Credits and junior doctors are but two amongst the many lies and betrayals that you continue to heap upon the lives of ordinary people. You began with the poor and vulnerable, with whom you are far from done, but are now spreading your attacks with reckless abandon, undermining jobs and security in what is an economic war against all the people of this nation other than those who consider themselves to be at the top of the social hierarchy.

It’s a grand sell out to the highest grubbers for wealth. The people who you pretend, and may even believe, are the movers and shakers are nothing more than the grabbers and takers. Playing mind games with a nation is high risk and I very much hope the people are at last getting the message.