State of fear: how ministers ‘used covert tactics’ to keep scared public at home

04-04-21 08:01:00,

Failures in the UK’s pandemic response are not hard to identify, but on one front the Government’s success is undeniable: persuading a fearful nation to stay locked indoors for much of the past year.

The daily diet of statistics on deaths, hospitalisations and Covid cases has been so effective that compliance with lockdown has gone far beyond what ministers expected.

But the problem with fear, as one behavioural scientist said on Friday, is that “you can’t turn it on and off like a tap”.

As the country prepares for the complete end of lockdown in June, there are far-reaching questions about how many people will return to the workplace, or to normality, and the consequences of that for the economy and for physical and mental health.

Whether frightening the public was a deliberate – or honest – tactic has become the subject of intense debate, and dozens of psychologists have now accused ministers of using “covert psychological strategies” to manipulate the public’s behaviour.

They believe the Government, acting on the advice of behavioural experts, has emphasised the threat from Covid without putting the risks in sufficient context, leaving the country in “a state of heightened anxiety”.

They also claim that “inflated fear levels will be responsible for the ‘collateral’ deaths of many thousands of people with non-Covid illnesses” who are “too frightened to attend hospital”.

They are so concerned that the British public has been the subject of a mass experiment in the use of strategies that operate “below their level of awareness” that they have made a formal complaint to their professional body, which will now rule on whether government advisers have been guilty of a breach of ethics.

The Government, and its advisers, deny any such transgression, arguing that they have simply presented the public with the facts about the threat Covid poses, and what they need to do to stay safe.

One of the key pieces of evidence cited by those who have complained about “covert” tactics comes from a document prepared for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago.

Dated March 22, the paper written by the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) stated: “A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened;

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The Deep State’s Stealthy, Subversive, Silent Coup to Ensure Nothing Changes – Global Research

20-01-21 03:14:00,

“You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country…why in the name of God don’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hell-bent to protect? You want to defend the United States of America, then defend it with the tools it supplies you with—its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box. You don’t steal it after midnight, when the country has its back turned.”—Seven Days in May (1964)

No doubt about it: the coup d’etat was successful.

That January 6 attempt by so-called insurrectionists to overturn the election results was not the real coup, however. Those who answered President Trump’s call to march on the Capitol were merely the fall guys, manipulated into creating the perfect crisis for the Deep State—a.k.a. the Police State a.k.a. the Military Industrial Complex a.k.a. the Techno-Corporate State a.k.a. the Surveillance State—to swoop in and take control.

It took no time at all for the switch to be thrown and the nation’s capital to be placed under a military lockdown, online speech forums restricted, and individuals with subversive or controversial viewpoints ferreted out, investigated, shamed and/or shunned.

This new order didn’t emerge into being this week, or this month, or even this year, however.

Indeed, the real coup happened when our government “of the people, by the people, for the people” was overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic, techno-corporate state that is in cahoots with a government “of the rich, by the elite, for the corporations.”

We’ve been mired in this swamp for decades now.

Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought lock, stock and barrel and made to dance to the Deep State’s tune.

Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC. Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Deep State to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.

Joe Biden will be no different: his job is to keep the Deep State in power.

Step away from the cult of personality politics and you’ll find that beneath the power suits,

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State sponsored assassinations are the new norm – it is gangsterism

04-12-20 07:29:00,

I was in Israel on 4 November 1995 when a student named Yigal Amir assassinated the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv. A video shows Amir loitering by an exit to the square for 40 minutes before Rabin appears, when his killer takes out a pistol and fires two shots point blank into Rabin’s back. His purpose was to prevent a lasting peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians by killing the man who was the most powerful protagonist of such an agreement.

The assassination was universally condemned amid plaudits for Rabin as a man and a statesman, but within a year Binyamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and progress towards a settlement stalled and went into reverse.

Twenty-five years later almost to the day, another assassination took place, this time in Iran, of a nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, as he was driving in a car east of Tehran. He was ambushed and killed by a squad of gunmen, alleged to be Israeli, who shot him and exploded a bomb in a car prepositioned at the scene of the attack.

This time there was no international condemnation of the action of what was, going by different accounts, a death squad operating in a foreign country against a foreign citizen. This free pass was because the target was an Iranian and Fakhrizadeh had been accused by Israel of playing a leading role in a secret plan to build a nuclear device. But these allegations were unproven, mostly dated from long ago, and the current activities of the dead man are unclear. What is evident, however, is that “targeted killings” by assassins outside their home countries are becoming very much the norm as a way in which nations show their strength. The poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury by Russian agents in Salisbury in 2018 and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by a Saudi death squad in Istanbul the same year are good examples of this and the death of Fakhrizadeh is another.

This latest assassination was not justified primarily as an attempt to disrupt Iran’s nuclear programme, but as a legitimate and successful display of state power. The New York Times said approvingly that “Mr Fakhrizadeh has become the latest casualty in a campaign of audacious covert attacks seemingly designed to torment Iranian leaders with reminders of their weakness.” It added that the operation confronted Iran with an agonising choice between retaliation and seeking to re-engage with the US when Joe Biden becomes president,

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State of emergency in Spain extended for 6 months as regions are given Covid-19 powers over curfews & borders

29-10-20 06:45:00,

Spain’s parliament approved a six-month extension to the national state of emergency on Thursday, granting regional authorities more power to tackle the country’s second wave of Covid-19.

This is Spain’s third extension to the state of emergency during the pandemic and will be in force until May 9, but with the option for it to be lifted on March 9. 

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Under this new extension, regional governments have the power to control freedom of movement and curfew times without having to go through complicated fortnightly procedures in parliament.

Spain has registered 1,136,503 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date – among the highest in Europe – and its coronavirus death toll stands at 35,466. 

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Top State Official Caught Using Faked Data to Push Mask Mandate

12-08-20 02:05:00,

Published on August 12, 2020

Written by Chris Enloe

A top Kansas official is facing criticism after he was caught using a “doctored” chart to justify face mask mandates.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman presented a coronavirus case chart to the media last week to contrast Kansas counties abiding by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s mask mandate and those that have not, The Sentinel reported.

Norman claimed that counties abiding by the mandate are “winning the battle,” suggesting that counties that have not followed the mandate are losing.

“All of the improvement in the case development comes from those counties wearing masks,” Norman said, The Sentinel reported.

However, Norman’s claim only appeared true because he manipulated his chart to create the illusion that counties following the mask mandate are successfully warding off coronavirus.

From the Washington Examiner:

Norman used an axis with a range of 15 to 25 to describe the number of new cases in masked counties and used a range of 4 to 14 to describe the number of new cases in counties without a mask mandate, making it appear as though counties without a mask mandate had more cases. When the two sets of data are placed on a chart with the same axis, counties without a mask mandate have fewer new cases per day than counties with a mask mandate.

As of last week, the vast majority of Kansas counties — 90 of the state’s 105 — rejected the governor’s face covering mandate because so few people in the state have contracted the virus.

Overall, fewer than 1% of Kansans have tested positive for COVID-19.

Kansas Republicans are now speaking out about the lack of transparency from the governor’s administration.

“Governor Kelly and her administration have failed Kansans time and again, but manipulating data to intentionally deceive the entire state is a new low,” Kansas House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, a Republican, said, The Sentinel reported.

“Tens-of-thousands of Kansans have lost their jobs and businesses as a direct result of Governor Kelly’s politics-first response to the COVID pandemic, and these individuals struggling to make ends meet deserve to know the truth.

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