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“Just get the catchphrases correct and the masses will nod along”; today –
A reader emails: “Today’s Times has several vituperative comments on Jeremy Corbyn – questioning his patriotism, etc., including an editorial on Trident after the Scottish Labour Party vote”.
As most will have heard, at a conference in Perth, Scottish Labour Party members and union delegates both voted by 70% to 30% to abandon plans to maintain a “massively expensive” and “militarily useless” submarine-launched ballistic Trident nuclear missile system.
The FT’s Mure Dickie reports (so much more objectively than the paper’s Corbyn-bashing Jim Pickard) that delegate Stephen Low said scrapping nuclear weapons would free money to be spent in more economically productive ways.
FT blog: the problem with UK politics, however, is not that people are too cynical but that they are too gullible
Though union delegates overall voted substantially to abandon Trident, Gary Smith of union GMB Scotland, played the fear card, saying that the idea that Trident jobs could be replaced is “utterly disingenuous” and that scrapping Trident renewal would threaten members far beyond Scotland’s Faslane and Coulport submarine and nuclear missile bases. Elsewhere an estimate of up to 13,000 jobs was given.
Politicians and other vested interests realise that – as FT lawyer/analyst David Allen Green says: “Our politics is beset and bedevilled by the phenomenon of mass nodding along. Just get the catchphrases correct, and you will get all the audience applause you need. The trick is saying the right things at the right time”.
Twice as many – up to 25,000 worthwhile, constructive jobs in Scunthorpe and North Lincolnshire are at risk as a result of in-plant losses at Tata Steel, it has been claimed – but apart from workers, unions and the current Labour Party, the fear of this far larger loss is not presented to the public as cause for concern by mainstream politicians and supportive media.
After reading my correspondent’s final words: “I suppose several people may well have lost their jobs after Hitler-Germany no longer built the gas-ovens”, two questions occurred to me:
Why have governments preferred to support and promote damaging nuclear and armaments industries?
And why not work to elect a government which will break the mould . . .?
Posted in Arms trade, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Economy, Energy, Environment, Finance, Foreign policy, Government, Lobbying, Media, Military matters, MPs, Planning, Public relations, Vested interests, warfare