We’ve been played. We’re still being played and they will keep doing it to us as long as it works. Despite the enormous problems in the world we are easily distracted by something farcical or irrelevant. Our eyes are diverted from the real issues of the day.
This has been going on for years but has become more prevalent with the rise of social media. Now messages can be sent instantly, history can be rewritten and diversionary tactics spread like wildfire.
A lie can travel around the world and back again while the truth is lacing up its boots – Mark Twain.
Three examples spring to mind from the last few weeks. The first is the reporting of refugees making their way across the channel. Some of the concern raised in the media was genuine but most of it was fuelled by faux-outrage. In the grand scheme of things a few hundred people will not make a difference to this once tolerant country. If people need to come here fleeing from war, oppression or even just to have a better life then so be it. After all, isn’t that what social mobility is about. They get on their bike and look for work. You may disagree.
The second was a picture of the Prime Minister, apparently on holiday, a photo that many said was obviously photoshopped. Even if it wasn’t, and I don’t know enough to be able to tell, that’s the point. While we were arguing about it, we’d forgotten all about that day’s disaster, calamity or bungling. A crap photograph was all it took.
The third of course was the furore over the last night of the Proms. I don’t care for the songs but I can switch to another channel. Sing them if you want, only please can you at least learn the words. Don’t tell me though, that they are somehow a measure of my cultural purity. Johnson came on television to tell us that it was all humbug, others that it was political correctness gone mad (again) and how being woke is now a pejorative.
Hook line and sinker, we fell into our own ditches, lobbing verbal grenades at each other. Meanwhile the exam results farce faded away into the background, something which the Prime Minister never mentioned.
Next time when you see a dodgy photograph, or come across some click-rage, stop for a minute and ask yourself what is the story that they are trying to hide. Get upset about that instead and make sure that it receives the prominence and attention it deserves. Don’t let them play you.