Thursday, 16 June 2016

Voting in the 1970s

Research into confirmation bias at Scarfolk University in 1973 showed that 87% of people will not deviate from their beliefs, no matter how much counter evidence is presented to them. However, the study found that the figure drops considerably if torture is used, with more than 50% of subjects losing all their beliefs, largely because their brains stop functioning during the study.

These findings demonstrated to the government that informing citizens and giving them a choice is futile because they've already made up their minds, often basing their decisions on irrelevant, whimsical criteria such as whether a politcian's eyes are too close together, his choice of football team, or if he took an active part in the unwarranted decimation and exploitation of a foreign nation for personal financial gain.

By the mid-1970s the government had vastly overspent on citizen persecution and "physical coercion" and no longer had the resources to enforce the election and referendum outcomes it desired. It felt that the only way forward was simply to "remove those limiting aspects of the democratic process which give citizens a say in the running of the country". Consequently, a referendum was set for early 1975 and the public was politely encouraged to ban the right to vote and give itself over to iron-handed totalitarian rule.

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.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

"Trampvertising" (1973-1979)

 In 1973 the council ratified a bylaw which legalised the exploitation of all homeless people as advertising spaces. It became known as 'Trampvertising'. At first, only small, local businesses took advantage of the new law but large corporations soon started bulk buying advertising space, which drove up prices.

These big companies also insisted on the option of permanent tattoo advertising because their homeless human billboards frequently lost, ate or soiled the paper-based marketing materials.

By 1975 Scarfolk Council could no longer meet the demands of national and multinational businesses and began losing clients to neighbouring towns. To stay competitive, the council had no choice but to generate new advertising space.

It did this by targeting poor families and individuals at risk, ensuring that they lost their homes and livelihoods through a series of punitive taxes and fines. These included the exorbitant Gormless Tax and the Unemployment Tax, which charged jobless citizens 37% of the wage they would have earned had they become a barrister and not been barred from attending a good school.