Here, the government makes clear how they see the role of the media: not to hold government to account, but to act as a conduit for the ‘behavioural’ message (propaganda).
They recommend that the media is used:
- to increase sense of personal threat
- to increase sense of responsibility to others
- to promote positive messaging around actions
Everyone following mainstream media since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak must surely have noticed the inflammatory language used in the mainstream press, which can have only increased the sense of personal threat felt by the general public.
Articles from the BBC, such as To snitch or not to snitch — a discussion on the pros and cons of reporting your neighbour for breaking Covid-19 guidelines — fulfil that need to “increase a sense of responsibility to others”, otherwise known as ‘social disapproval’.
It is clear, therefore, that this SAGE advice has been taken.
Why would the media cooperate in this way?
It was announced on 17 April this year that the Government and the newspaper industry have formed a three-month advertising partnership called All in, all together to help “keep the public safe and the nation united” throughout the Covid-19 ‘pandemic’.
So news media have a commercial interest in providing a propaganda service to the UK government. Indeed, it has been noticed that the government is becoming the UK media’s most important client.
The SPI-B report was “drafted by two members of the SPI-B panel and nine further members commented, following which the report was revised.”
They offer a caveat to that:
Much of the evidence that has been drawn on is very recent and has not been subject to peer review. In some cases, the source is a SPI-B paper that involves expert opinion. This report has been put together rapidly and been subject to limited scrutiny and review.
As a result of this level of work, the population of the UK has been kept in their homes and the whole of UK industry has been shut down, resulting in the worst economic decline in 300 years.
It is extremely difficult to see how this can be viewed as anything other than a direct psychological attack on the UK population. In light of clear signs of increasing mental illness, resulting in suicide and failure to seek timely medical help, it is also difficult to see how this attack can be anything other than criminal.