Sunday, 20 December 2015

Unionists - learning Goebel's lessons

It is interesting to note how, lately, the highly aggressive 'Feckless poor, sick and disabled' message has been toned down in the UK Unionist media from a strident, they are robbing us normal tax payer's blind (Daily Mail /Telegraph) to a more insidious message from Duncan-Smith's DWP; this group of scroungers do not deserve the hard working Briton's sympathy or empathy;  food banks merely encourage them to continue in their feckless ways and should be closed.

I am currently reading 'The German War' by Nicholas Stargardt (Bodley Head) and it is his analysis of how the German population were manipulated in 1940 to accept 'Total War' that lead to my comparison with Mundell's latest 'It is all the SNP's fault' outburst with respect to the impending Scottish council budget cuts in my previous post

Today as I was reading and understanding more clearly what enabled a well educated and cultured German population to be manipulated into conforming with the Nazi answer to the 'Jewish Problem' I came across a remarkable paragraph which discussed how and why the German population turned their backs on their once 'good' German Jewish neighbours with such ease. The attempts by Goebbels to bring the German people onside by encouraging them to join in the National Socialist campaign of removing Jewry from 'Greater Germany' by seeking to create hatred and disgust in the 'Jew' as the recruiting sergeant by late 1941 failed to gain any traction. Goebbels then shifted the media into a low key process of making the German population guilty by association by tacitly admitting what was going on in the 'East' but how it was for the greater good of the German people in the long term at which point they would be grateful. It was for this reason the Gestapo and SS did not clamp down on the black market selling on goods from the 'relocated' Jewish families' homes, instead they took a 25% commission on all auction dealings of property from Jewish homes, generating an income for the SS, alone, of some 7 million Reichsmarks between September 1941 and September 1942 when 'Greater Germany' was officially declared Jewish free. 

The German people knew well what was going on via letters, photographs and soldiers' descriptions of mass executions of Jews from the Eastern Front, alongside the auction of their ex-Jewish neighbours goods and chattels. Many did not approve and worried what might be inflicted on Germany if they lost the war in the 'East' against 'Jewish-Bolshevism' but as long as they were winning, it was happening in the 'East' and not in Germany, it was none their business and bought into the Nazi Government line of the ending of the 'Jewish Problem' by default. Because the German population had convinced itself that the 'processing' of the German Jews was happening in the 'East' it was quite easy to believe the camps within Germany had nothing to do with the processing of Jews and were just 'labour camps' for feckless, dissolute, criminal and lazy Germans and their criminal colleagues from occupied Western nations. So effective was this communal mental dislocation between what happened in Germany and what happened in the 'East', there can be no surprise in the level of denials about the conditions in the labour camps based in Germany nor the treatment meted out to the inmates, by German people local to camps like Bergen-Belsen or Dachau. This sort of behaviour could not happen in civilised Germany so did not, no matter what the pollution and smell told them. Communal denial is vital to the process of all government which in turn interprets this as public consent and justification for their actions.

Duncan-Smith's DWP along with Hunt's DoH have tried the shouting, headline blaring recruiting to their belief of the feckless, greedy poor or the failed NHS in England, respectively, via their tame media outlets, and it has fallen on deaf ears: outside of those already sold on the message. 70% of the UK population have a range views from the 'What can I do?' shrug, having their own doubts about the message or those who flat out disbelieve what is being said (an ever growing majority). Duncan-Smith and Hunt have retreated into silence to lick their wounds and instead are feeding stories into the media about the few folk who attempt to defraud welfare or the NHS by naming and shaming them while claiming they are just the tip of the iceberg of fraud perpetrated by the unemployed and sick on the UK State. The subliminal message is clear, the UK Government is doing this for our own good and some point down the line we will be grateful. A message straight out of Goebbel's propaganda text book, delivered with the same intent, we will turn a blind eye to what is being done, in our name, as it is for the 'greater good' and so become guilty by collusion.

At this point I would like to quote from Stargadt's book, The German War, p246:

" According to Noelle-Neumann, fear of isolation and social sanctions tends to silence individuals who feel they are in the minority, reducing their potential number; meanwhile press reporting of the 'majority' viewpoint augments and stabilises its moral position..... Noelle-Neumann drew attention to the psychological importance of private pressures in fomenting an individual's fear of isolation."

This only works when there is a majority view of over 60% support to silence the opposition. This is why getting over a 60% 'NO' vote was vital for Better Together as any lower number would fail to resolve the issue. Once 'Yes' support stayed steady above 40%, Better Together knew they had failed in their primary aim to isolate 'Yes' supporters as a minority which, in turn, explains their continuing bitterness towards 'Yes' supporters and their real 'bete noir', the people who are really threatening their game, the SNP and its membership, not just in Scotland but now across the UK.

What has happened in Scotland is support for the SNP no longer has 'private pressures' placed on the membership because the SNP now has a bigger popular membership than any other of the Scottish Unionist Party wings, a membership which has been taken up across the UK. Being a member of the SNP is no longer a joke, no longer something weird, it is a serious commitment and a political statement of intent to see Scotland independent.

Agreement with Hunt and Duncan-Smith's destruction of NHS England and the UK Welfare system no longer holds a consensus among the average UK voter because they are increasingly seeing the socially destructive nature of the current UK Government policies. The same holds to a lesser extent with the UK Exit of the EU campaign. As the public see the sort of politicians; Farrage, Fox, Cash et al, who are promoting the out campaign, the more the majority of UK voters increasingly decide these people are not speaking for them. Yes, there are some big problems with the EU, some of which are at the heart of the current political structure; the primary one for me is the Euro being the old Deutsche Mark in all but name, but it has achieved, so far, what it set out to do, prevent the endless cycle of major European wars which have ravaged the European continent repeatedly between 1500 and 1945.

Cameron and Osborne have lost the argument with the UK voter over tax credit cuts, Duncan-Smith has lost the battle for his DWP reforms with the UK voter and Hunt took on the wrong group when he attacked NHS England's junior doctors and nurses with his back door pay cut attempt or his attempts to justify the back door privatisation of NHS England especially now as Tory health policy created fiscal black holes in NHS England, to make it easier to privatise, begin to drag Hunt over the event horizon towards his political doom; as key skilled NHS England staff walk away to better jobs elsewhere in the world, including Scotland.

Here's why the Unionists are so angry - the SNP have changed the game; not just with a majority in Holyrood but at Westminster with their 56 MPs. SNP MPs who are gaining support across the UK as they point up Tory Government policy failure after failure in a way Labour can not dare to. After all, Labour are party to the same levels of collusion in dubious acts, contrary to the wishes of the UK electorate, over Iraq and almost every other recent policy at Westminster whether their own or, now, Tory. 

Like the German population in May 1945 faced with the truth of the extermination camps on their doorsteps, all Labour and its remaining cadre in Scotland have left is denial after denial of their policies over many decades including in 1997 and 2005 refusing a Forth Road Bridge replacement to their 'volte face' over current budget cuts to Scottish Councils, after the real Labour party voted for the cuts at Westminster; it wisnae me, some big boy did it and ran away, honest, Scotland. 

Aye right, Labour, time to face up to the impact of your policies on Scotland and beg some forgiveness. Then a bit of honesty over your decades of collusion with the Tories at Westminster to keep Scotland down would not go far wrong but that can only start by publicly admitting Tony Blair was a snake oil salesman and Blairites were only ever really interested in their own wallets and future employment ... Eh, Darling? Brown? Blair? Then there is the massive 'mea culpa' to come for the cover up and suppression of the 1970's McCrone Report on Scotland's Oil.

I can not see any of this happening in a month of Sundays, can you?

Bye, bye Labour; watch the door does not hit your backside on your way out of Scotland.


  1. I love your analysis and I think your point is an excellent one. I'd feel happier linking it if you spelled the names right: Goebbels, Reichsmarks. #pedant

    1. Spelling sorted, self editing is not an exact science, so thanks for the error check...

  2. I love your analysis and I think your point is an excellent one. I'd feel happier linking it if you spelled the names right: Goebbels, Reichsmarks. #pedant

  3. That is such an insightful analysis, Peter. Sharing this everywhere, as you've encapsulated what it is that drives some in the opposition into that visceral, angry hatred of the SNP and our success, plus our clear popularity across the UK and not just Scotland.

    In fact, it's a little frightening to see how many of the Tories' policies - especially those of the DWP - mirror so much of what we've seen in 20th century history.