Thursday, 9 June 2016

Europe Referendum TV advertisement (1975)

During the lead up to the 1975 EEC referendum, the government realised that the only way it could maintain its authority was to appear equally for and against Europe. It did this in two ways: First, by having its ministers wildly contradict each other on an almost daily basis, and second, by rejecting the use of facts and evidence, which the state viewed as hindrances in the political sphere. This strategy would eventually be formalised in the 1976 Truth Reform
The population was confused by this persistent doubletalk and consistent vagueness, but confusion was very much intended. Those in power know well that if their true positions can be obscured through contradiction they can never be shown to be wrong and therefore can't ever be opposed effectively. When citizens can no longer differentiate between truth and fiction, they are easier to control.

Scarfolk politicians were the first to utilise 'puzzlement politics'. Though their first attempts were crude - pumping ergot into the water supply and lobotomising people during routine tonsillectomies - they eventually launched the more nuanced "Don't" and the "No!" campaigns. These made the populace much more manageable and much less likely to shuffle around in circles drooling.

Incidentally, the music by Steven O'Brien in this advertisement also appeared on the Scarfolk library LP The Big Brass Sound of Patronising Encouragement.

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