Winners in the Propaganda War


If everyone’s complicit in a lie, we call it fiction or myth, depending on its age and the degree of comfort it offers. Take, for example, the national spirit of pluck and bunting, of chirpy cockney karaoke, of losses delivered by a whistling lad already cultivating a stiff upper lip. I have never joined in communal singing in a makeshift air raid shelter, and would be hard pressed to name more than a handful of the 1966 England team although I’m old enough to have watched the match on a black and white TV. Just as there are more millionaires by the day, everyone’s a hero sooner or later; after all, Jesus, St George, and King Arthur were Englishmen, and we’re all of the same blood. And if everyone’s complicit, we call it fable or truth, depending on whether there’s a moral to be learned. Take, for example, the trust we place in millionaires and heroes to take care of themselves and/or others. Or the new ham actors, flanked by flags, fluffing their lines between quiz shows and scripted reality, assuring us that not only are four legs good and two legs better, but that everyone has as many or as few legs as they need, that we are manufacturing and removing more legs than our European friends and neighbours, and that the Office for National Statistics leads the world in leg counting. The World Cup’s on hold, but the bunting’s out for King Arthur’s return, and I know we’ll meet again some sunny day.



Oz Hardwick
Picture Nick Victor

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