‘Focus Group’

Two reports grabbed my attention this morning. They throw an unintended spotlight on how the Establishment manipulates us, the voters, and demonstrate how, in the eyes of that same Establishment, they can best get their ‘message’ out while suppressing our attempts to counteract them.

Before I give those articles – both in RemainCentral, The Times – the place of honour in today’s column, here are four quick ‘News’ relating to today’s NATO Summit – all can be read in non-paywalled articles in the DM:

  • Corbyn said five years ago that he wished NATO would not exist – here
  • Johnson won’t have a one-to-one meeting with President Trump so as not to damage his Party’s chances in the GE – here
  • Corbyn blames Trump for ‘inspiring’ the London Bridge terrorist attack (?? no, me neither …) – here
  • Corbyn’s infamous ‘document’ proving that Johnson will sell the NHS to Trump might have been leaked by ‘shadowy’ players using Russian disinformation techniques – here

It’s all very interesting, showing perfectly how the Establishment is doing their utmost to turn this GE back into the tried-and-trusted, ‘nothing will change’, two-party elections, with us sheep being told to vote for “A Leader”, never mind the local candidates, never mind actual politics, and of course never mind Brexit, oven-ready or not.

Now then – the first report in The Times. I’ll quote at lenght and am therefore giving it our ‘From Behind The Paywall’ format. They set up a focus group to find out what people think. I’ll leave it to you to decide if this was a bona-fide attempt to find that out – or if this is more like a sophisticated trial by RemainCentral to tell us what we ought to think by reporting what these other, ‘normal’ people believe.

The report has the title “Is this the Brexit election?” (link, paywalled) and starts with a look back, combining a swipe at Dominic Cummings with a remarkable insinuation, namely that we plebs are to blame for giving him ideas for the Brexit campaign in focus groups:

“When Dominic Cummings drew up his strategy to win the EU referendum in 2016 he turned to focus groups to devise the messages that would help to persuade Britain to vote Leave. ‘Take back control’ and the infamous ‘£350 million’ pledge were slogans that ordinary people themselves helped to devise — fuelled by their concerns about austerity and the direction of the country.

Three years on and Mr Cummings is now Boris Johnson’s right hand man and has devised a Brexit election campaign that is in many ways a riff of his 2016 success.

But if the messages about getting Brexit “done” are the same then The Times Election in One Room project reveals that the reaction of voters is very different.

There is no trust or enthusiasm for Mr Johnson and little optimism about the future of the country after Brexit.

Leave voters may respond again to the rallying call – but not because they think Brexit is going to improve their lives, the NHS or the economy. Just because they want it over.

This may be the Brexit election — but voters are furious that it is.” (link, paywalled)

Discarding quotes from participants – they show a remarkable aptitude to ‘quote’ what the MSM have been saying ever since that Referendum – we read next:

“Overall when we asked participants in the hundred-strong focus group of undecided voters what they thought of Mr Johnson less than a third viewed him even somewhat favourably while half viewed him negatively.

Fifty per cent of our panel suggested they were Brexiteers in one form or another but only 36 per cent said they trusted the Tories most on the issue.

Such view among floating voters — although not representative — is nevertheless a warning shot to the Tories as they attempt to put the Brexit coalition back together in the election next week.

What really infuriates these voters is that Brexit is crowding out all the other issues that they feel are more pressing at this election.

But the Catch-22 is that they do not feel these issues can be tackled until Brexit is resolved.” (link, paywalled)

Illustrating these issues – crime, NHS, schools, small businesses – with quotes from participants that are simply anecdotes, the Times moves on, but I’ll leave in a quote from a participant because it shows the effect that watching the BBC has on people’s minds:

“None of these issues relate directly to Brexit — but they all come up unprompted almost as a howl of frustration at the current political malaise.

As Claire put it: “I’ve spent a lot of time watching the BBC news channel and heard nothing on any of the issues that I was really interested in.

““I heard nothing but Brexit. So it doesn’t really matter which issue is most important to me in my heart my head is telling me I’ve got to vote relating to Brexit so we can actually get on and look at these issues that are important.” (link, paywalled)

We can see next how successful the Remain propaganda in the MSM has become:

“There are other insights that shine through. Neither former leavers or remainers want a second referendum. But asked how they would vote if there were one, more leavers say they would switch their votes to remain than remainers who would now vote to leave.

Many cite the divisions Brexit has caused amongst families, friends and even strangers. […]

And almost everyone agrees that they didn’t know enough when the country voted to leave in 2016 and they still don’t know enough about the deal we are due to leave with now.

““We were not told any information about what was going to happen next,” said Jemma. “It was do you want to leave or do you want to stay. There was nothing about how we would leave or what we would leave on.” (link, paywalled)

See how effective three years of constant drip-drip-drip Remain propaganda in the MSM have been! That this balderdash was helped by the Remain PM with her Remain WA is now neither here nor there: the damage has been done, and the Remain establishment can congratulate itself to their success, from Ms Miller all the way down.

The final paragraphs end on a more hopeful note – something, I assume, the Remainers didn’t expect. It shows the spirit of ordinary people:

“Asked on a scale of one to ten what they understand about Boris Johnson’s deal everyone agrees it is between two and zero. Devastatingly they put politicians understanding of it at no more than five.

But what about the future? How do our groups see the Britain in five years time. Will the country be better or worse off? Will we be more socially cohesive than we are now?

The answer from the group is a resounding no to both questions. Some do see clear benefits in the much longer term, most think things will be the same or worse at the time of the next scheduled election in 2025. […]

Jan from Wolverhampton likens delivering Brexit to fighting cancer. “It’s a bit like a tumour. It’s got all different avenues and it’s getting them all in order,” she says.

“And I’m prepared to wait although I might not have that much time. But you know I think for a better future I can wait. We were great once and we can be again.” (link, paywalled)

I’ve given this article such prominence because to me it is yet another attempt by the Remain Establishment to influence our votes. This matters because in that same issue of RemainCentral there’s an article showing what really worries the Establishment. It’s titled: “Voters hoodwinked in online guerrilla war” (link, paywalled) starting thus: “Third party adverts exploit a loophole in the law and are often a clever way of splitting either the Leave or Remain vote”. Here’s one example:

“The purpose appears to be an attempt to split the Remain vote in certain constituencies in order to boost the Tory candidate’s chances of winning and make it more likely that Boris Johnson stays as prime minister. Indeed, 3rd Party Ltd also runs a tactical voting website called Savebrexit.com and has posted content urging voters in Dominic Grieve’s Beaconsfield constituency to vote against the independent candidate. The Cambridge Green Party described 3rd Party Ltd’s ads as a “malicious cyberdisinformation campaign” designed to sow division.” (link, paywalled)

There you have it – it’s malicious disinformation when ‘they’, Leavers, do it – but ‘we’, the Remainers’ are only telling the truth … More:

“Brexiteers are urging people in some constituencies to vote for Remain-supporting parties, Remainers in other seats are pushing voters towards the Brexit Party. […] It is designed to suppress the Conservative vote in the so-called “red wall” of Labour seats in the north and the Midlands.” (link, paywalled)

Oh dear – ‘vote suppression’ … ! Again: ‘it’s ok when we Remainers do it’. The effect of constant BBC ‘vote suppression’ news about Brexit shows what is at stake here: the instruments of propaganda, of ‘vote suppression’, must remain in the paws of the establishment, as the concluding paragraphs make painfully clear:

“Even as the political parties engage in public battles, a guerrilla war is being waged on their behalf through social media. More than 60 “third party organisations” have registered with the Electoral Commission in the past few weeks in order to campaign in the run up to December 12. […] None of this is illegal but there is a lack of clarity. The all-party parliamentary group on electoral campaigning transparency concludes, in a report to be published next month, that there is a “large loophole that needs to be addressed” in the governance of third party organisations. In the era of fake news, truth has become the casualty of a depressingly dishonest election campaign.” (link, paywalled)

‘Truth’ is the Remain Establishment’s ‘truth’. Everything else is ‘fake news’ and must be ‘addressed’ by ‘the authorities’. Our Leave votes must be suppressed in the proper way, by closing those ‘loopholes’ which allow this ‘guerrilla war’ to be waged. After all, the establishment knows how effective their propaganda is, so why let ordinary people have access to social media where their voices can be heard? 

That’s the front of the coming, post-GE battle – a battle which will intensify if we’re still In. So keep vigilant, keep fighting, and




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