The Guardian of big lies
The propagandist who wants to demonise a racial group has two targets. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, recognised that in order to demonise Jews effectively as criminals, he had either to win the support of liberal “Jewish-sympathisers”, “the good-natured German Michel”, or he had to demonise them as well (Goebbels, 1941).
In 2000, the Tory attack on the “liberal-elite” was the Metropolitan police first volley in its propaganda war to rollback Macpherson (Hague, 2000). The “liberal elite” in question not only consisted of columnists of the Guardian newspaper and its readers but also those of the Observer (1&2). The Met has won those newspapers to its strategy of demonising Jamaicans.
Today, the Metropolitan police force coordinates the Guardian and Observer in its propaganda strategy. Their role as “liberal newspapers” is to testify to the legitimacy of gun-crime definition, which demonises Jamaicans as criminals. This article describes the part liberal newspapers play in the reproduction and maintenance of gun-crime definition. But first what is a liberal?
A liberal is defined in many ways, not all of them repeatable. Will Hutton offers a definition that fits the bill. Hutton defines a liberal philosophy as “generous and optimistic about human nature; it celebrates the rights and potential of each individual”(2). In other words, a liberal is someone least likely to accept propaganda that criminalizes Jamaicans en mass. It is precisely the alleged anti-racist aspect of the liberal philosophy associated with the Guardian and Observer that is of greatest value to the Met propagandist’s strategy.
The propagandist bases his strategy on using any devices necessary to persuade people to accept what he wants them to believe. Transfer is one such propaganda device (PC). It works by persuading people to transfer the trust they have for a particular individual or institution to whatever the propagandist wants them to trust. For example, most Guardian readers trust the paper because it reflects their liberal philosophy. Such readers are more likely to accept anything the paper testifies to as true. In that sense, Guardian readers transfer the trust they have for the paper to anything it endorses, which could be a particular brand of muesli or as in this case, the Metropolitan police definition of gun-crime.
The Metropolitan police define gun-crime as follows. It involves only Jamaicans and their British-born offspring. That is to say, nationality and race are gun-crime key characteristics. Firearm related violence is another defining characteristic. So too is the trafficking of cocaine and the trade in crack cocaine. Finally, location is important. Gun-crime takes place only in Black communities located in British inner cities (Smith, 1984a).
Gun crime definition is a Big-lie, a Nazis propaganda technique (Smith, 1984b). The Big-lie is rooted in the idea that because people usually tell small lies about unimportant matters, they would not suspect anyone of telling “large-scale falsehoods”, big lies, about important matters. Consequently, people are more likely to believe a big lie than a small one (Hitler, 1925:160-1 and 383). By looking at how the Guardian and Observer reproduce and maintain gun-crime definition, their role in endorsing the Met’s Big lie can be seen at work.
As a criminal offence, gun-crime exists neither in common nor statutory law. It is a label that links all firearm offences to Jamaicans exclusively: Black-only crimes (Goldstein, 1984a). Thus when the Observer claims “Gun Crime spreads ‘like a cancer across Britain”, it is in effect saying the Big-lie is in fact the truth. In other words, the Observer uses it reputation as a liberal paper to endorse a stereotype that runs counter to its alleged liberal, anti-racist philosophy.
Furthermore, the Observer quells any suspicion readers might have about its sinister involvement in racial stereotyping by employing a “Black?” journalists, Tony Thompson, to reproduce the stereotype. A recent article by Thompson reinforces the last point.
Thompson’s article, “Without a gun, you’re dead”, reproduces the now by standard stereotype of Jamaicans as responsible for the “new era of gun violence” in Britain. According to Thompson, Jamaicans are violent because they are raised on a diet of violence. They take easily to violence, killing each other and the police are “commonplace” in Jamaica. Furthermore, their British-born offspring is “capable of just as much violence”. To complete the picture of the gun carrying violent Jamaican, Thompson quotes a retired gunman: “Most of the time you don’t feel safe without a gun because you know everyone has one” (2). In other words, each Jamaican has a gun, which justifies the stereotype.
The Guardian provides a further example of “liberal newspapers” in involvement reproducing the Big-lie. In an article reporting the Metropolitan police “analysis of the shootings involving Jamaicans …the Guardian reveals the scale of the task” (3). Apparently, “almost a quarter” of Jamaican shootings are linked to Yardie gangsters. “It is this ruthlessness and ruthlessness”, double ruthlessness, that makes Jamaicans the biggest “threat to policing after international terrorism” (4).
The article provides no evidence to justify its alarmist tone. It is based on an “unpublished internal analysis seen by the Guardian”. The figures on which the “internal analysis” is based is not given. For example, of the “shootings involving Jamaicans”, the paper quotes the analysis as finding: “25% centred on drugs and 23% were linked to robbery”. But the figures on which the percentages are based are not given. However, because The Guardian has “seen” the analysis, the percentages must be based on real figures. That is the implication of the phrase “seen by the Guardian”: trust us, we’re liberals.
Here again the propagandist transfers the trust readers have for a liberal newspaper to a bogus “analysis” which The Guardian endorses by reproducing its findings without providing its methodology. That The Guardian should have access to its “unpublished internal analysis” illustrates how closely the Metropolitan police force coordinates The Guardian in its propaganda strategy.
Just how closely the Met coordinates The Guardian in its Big lie is measurable by the paper’s efforts to maintain the idea that each firearm related offence is linked to a Jamaican. A comparison of how the paper reported three homicides in September 2003 underpins the last point.
On September 30, 2003, two teenagers entered a jeweller store in Arnold, Nottingham. They asked the owners, Marian and Victor Bates, to hand them several pieces of jewellery. They refused. One of the teenagers fatally shot Mrs Bates.
In spite of her assailant race being common knowledge, two days after the homicide, The Guardian was one of two national newspapers not to mention the fact that Mrs Bates’ killer is White. The Independent, another “liberal newspaper”, was the other.
On September 14, 2003, the bodies of Bertram Byfield and his daughter Toni-Ann were found at their home in Kensal Green, northwest London. They had been shot. Neither the motive for the homicides nor the racial profile of the assailant is known. However, The Guardian reported the homicide as a black-on-black gun-crime. The paper did not refer to the Bates homicide as a white-on-white gun-crime despite the same-race profile of the victim and gunman: White.
Because liberal newspapers have been successful in linking firearms offence to Jamaicans, any reference they make to gun-crime causes the reader to assume the criminal is Black. That is the significance of The Guardian’s reluctance to identify Mrs Bates killer’s racial profile when it reported her death. The Guardian wanted its readers to assume Mrs Bakes’ killer is Black.
To create a false impression of the scale of Jamaicans involvement in firearm offences, the Metropolitan police relies such assumptions when presenting crime statistics.
Take for example the statistics for firearm related homicides. According to the Home Office, 886 homicides were recorded in 2001-2 (Simmons et al). Of those 95 were firearms related (Home Office). Of those 23 were attributable to gang warfare (BBC). That is gang-shootings represent less than 3% of all homicides in England and Wales in 2001-2. How many of the 23 gang-shootings involved Jamaicans is unknown. But the Met propagandist wants the public to believe Jamaicans are responsible for all 95 gun related homicides, which they achieve by successful coordination of liberal newspapers in their Big-lie.
In demonising Jews as criminals, Nazi propagandists coordinated the German media in the reproduction and maintenance of the Big-lie (Welch, 1995:17). This aspect of Nazi propaganda is reflected in the Metropolitan police coordination of the Guardian and Observer in its strategy to demonise Jamaicans as criminals.
If a Daily Mail journalist were to have written Tony Thompson’s “Without a gun you’re dead” article, liberals would have him condemned for reproducing and maintaining a racist stereotype. But because the Observer uses a “Black?” journalist to trash his own race all goes well for the Met propagandist. He gets two endorsers of his propaganda demonising Jamaicans for the price of one: a liberal newspaper and a “Black?” journalist. That is the essence of The Guardian of Big-lies, closet racists engaging in Nazi inspired propaganda behind the cloak of a liberal philosophy.
Winston Smith © blaqfair 1984
Huxley A (1994) Brave New World Revisited Flamingo
Hitler A (1925) Mein Kampf quoted in Bullock A (1971) Hitler: a study in tyranny Penguin Books Ltd
Welch D (1995) The Third Reich: Politics and Propaganda Routledge
Simmons J (2002) Crime in England and Wales 2001/2002 Home Office
Hague W (14/12/2000) “Common Sense on crime”
Smith W (1984a) “AK47 targeted killing not gun crime” Blaqfair
Smith W (1984b) “Gun crime: the Metropolitan police Big lie” Blaqfair
Goldstein E (1984a) “White-on-white gun crime, it’s real” Blaqfair
Propaganda Critic: “False Connections – Transfer”
Goebbels J (1941) “The Jews are Guilty” Calvin Education
(1) Toynbee, Polly (15/12/00) “Looking for an enemy” The Guardian
(2) Toynbee, Polly (20/12/00) “Another reform for Hague to get his teeth into” The Observer
(3) Hutton, Will (11/06/00) “Talkin’ ‘bout my generation” The Observer
(4) Thompson, Tony (21/09/03) “Without a gun you’re dead” The Observer
(5) Hugh, Muir (20/09/03) “Police to build on success in black on black crime” The Guardian
(6) Hopkins, Nick (14/06/03) “Drug gang warning by police” The Guardian