Monday, March 10, 2008

The elements of propaganda

We notice that the head of our government is given his own column in The Daily Telegraph business section today Рnone other than Jos̩ Manuel Barroso.

"Empowering consumers for a fairer Europe" is the title of his piece and is something of a coup for the commission. It is a central part of its strategy to present the European Union in a more favourable light, which we flagged up in June 2006 and followed through with this piece and this.

Of course, the best kind of propaganda – as we have occasionally observed – is the type that is not immediately recognisable as such. The Barroso piece fails on that score, but I wonder how many people – not least in The Telegraph - realise that it is part of a deliberate, long-planned strategy.

The particular evil of this is that the downside is never mentioned – the overall cost of EU regulation, estimated 12 percent of GDP - a cool £600,000,000,000 year. Stress the upside and ignore the greater downside and you have all the elements of propaganda.

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