First, we had a Royal Wedding, to celebrate an archaic institution that on its structural values goes against democracy, accountability, freedom of religion, state-church separation, woman rights and gay rights. Buckingham Palace PR machine went out with all, and held one of the biggest media hypes in recent times. Then another institution that shares all those “qualities” with the monarchy, the Catholic Church, after having a very bad year on popularity, decided to held the beatification of Karol Wojtyla, aka John Paul II, without a doubt his most charismatic leader ever, but we have to question, how is getting this former Pope close to be a Saint helps with the abuse scandals, when he was not only protector, but friend of paedophiles like Marcial Maciel. And then to finish it all, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the crusaders kill the big heretic boss, making him a martyr and the Empire celebrates on the streets.
The events themselves will require a long post analysing them and all the things around. But I want to centre in one specific theme, The propaganda machine that surrounded them, and in specific the Royal Wedding, and I’m doing it not because I think it’s the most important or with bigger repercussions, certainly on that category the Oscar goes to the Killing of Osama by Obama, but because is one I lived directly.
Joseph Goebbels said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it
Well, the old Joe will be certainly proud of Elizabeth Windsor and her government.
Buckingham Palace started a massive media campaign to which, almost all media networks surrender and keep the editorial line dictated from the Royal Throne. It was simple, ALL Britain was celebrating the wedding of Mrs. Windsor's grandson, and the event was the core of what means to be British, and everyone would have their “Proud to be British” moment watching, people would through into the streets in a massive number of “traditional street parties” and the monarchy would stronger than ever. Right?, well..Wrong!
For that we were told a series of lies, big ones and that were repeated by the media over and over.
1) The support of the monarchy is overwhelm outnumbering the very few republicans by much. Reality show that 1 in 5 Britons want to have an elected head of state.
2) Everybody in Britain is looking forward with great excitement the wedding, when a poll, previous to the wedding suggested that around 80% of the population was not interested at all.
3) People would be celebrating all along in Britain. Truth, the street parties application were lower than anyone expected, the majority of councils have none, even in big cities like Glasgow.
4) All the world loves the Windors and the British monarchy and 2 billions persons would be watching the event. That was the one that won the prize really, the big big lie that Goebbels was talking about, and that was repeated all over. Media, even left wing one, like the Guardian and even media networks overseas repeated the mantra, “2 billions expected to watch the royal wedding” over and over, and as the genius of propaganda said, people eventually start to believe it.
But... Let’s analyze the numbers, shall we?
There are 1.5 billion TVs on this planet, from which
United States: 219,000,000
That is roughly 60% of the televisions on this planet
2 billion is 29% of the world’s population. Now, the country where presumably it would be the bigger audience is the UK, being the country with the biggest percentage of support for the monarchy. And even here 60% of the population didn’t watch the event. If you can’t get even half of the population watching in the UK, can you seriously expect 28.9% across the world?
I think is safe to assume that in China, Japan, Russia and Brazil the event was not a major issue, so we would not expect a big audience there. Actually excluding the Commonwealth countries and the USA I would say it was a non relevant issue at all. And a recent poll showed that the USA was not really that interested, only less than 40% was interested, and not to a big degree, so other major population viewer dropped to get the big number. Now India, most-watched TV event in India was the 2011 India vs Sri Lanka cricket world cup final, with 135 million viewers. That’s only 11.7% of the Indian population, do you expect to have a bigger number for the wedding of a person who is viewed by many Indians as the continuation of the Empire that conquer them?
Let’s just examine other figures. The 2008 Olympic games opening ceremony got One billion viewers, the Soccer World Cup 2010 got 715 million. Do you seriously expect me to believe that the wedding of William Windsor captives the double of audience worldwide than what are presumably the two events of bigger international interests in the last 5 years?
Come on!!, even if you love the Windsors, you have to accept that the number is just a big propaganda statement. But people repeated the mantra without even question it.
Now, we have the first part of Goebbels recommendation done, keep the lies big, and repeat them over and over and over. It’s time to pass to phase two:
Use the power of the State to repress dissent.
The first attempt to repress dissent was with the group Republic, a non-party political pressure group that wants to have an elected head of state. They planned to organize a Non-Royal wedding street party, to celebrate republicanism and democracy, and show you can be a patriot without having to bow before the Windsors. Well, the attempt was blocked, Camden council didn’t granted the permission over some claims of that this group had not submitted a “management plan” - which turned out to be thoroughly untrue, they demonstrate that with some emails and to the embarrassment of the council publish them and circulate them over the internet and some news sites (never in the front page of major ones of course). Fortunately they manage to keep the party going, in a different place. So, until then, freedom of speech one, fascist tactics zero.
But things get worst, a couple of days before the wedding police start “pre-emptively” arresting people that they believe could cause disruption on the day of the wedding. were the “pre-emptive arrests” of 70 people under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice Act 1996, which grants the police ‘emergency’ stop and search powers. 99 people were “excluded” or “barred” from the City of Westminster on April 29. A small area was declared a “sterile” zone by the police, using the powers of the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.
Buckingham palace also decree that no humour or mockery of the Royal couple was going to be made on public broadcast media. So, not even protesting with a joke was allowed.
On the day of the wedding itself, a group of gay people organized a “zombie flash mob” in Soho square, a few km away from Westminster Abbey, but still in central London, and they were told to leave or would be arrested because they may “offend royalists”.
Additionally, the police arrested others, when they entered a branch of Starbucks on Oxford Street - arresting them “on suspicion of planning a breach of the peace”, surely buying a coffee is a very dangerous terrorist act.
So basically, having a republican sentiment equals to try to persecute the innocent royal couple and unpatriotically disrupt the nation’s rejoicing?
It was a very sad display of the most radical tactics of a fascist state, in a country that is supposed to be opposed to that and be a champion of democracy and freedom.