Project Fear, Brexit, Fake News,
Adam Chapman

Project Fear: Britain’s Version of “Fake News”

It’s all getting a bit Orwellian right now isn’t it?

Do you remember the days, I think it was around 2014, when someone could look at facts and figures, digest that information and form a clear and educated decision? They were good times weren’t they? It was a simpler time for sure. 

Now it’s 2018, the world is filled with Trump and Brexit, two destructive powers with two very distinctive similarities.

As you can probably tell from the title, I’m talking about Fake News and Project Fear. These two phrases, that have only come to prominence in the last few years, have ungodly powers to obscure the mind and make people rethink the things they’re witnessing.

Normally I would support something like this, don’t believe everything you read in the papers or online, be curious, make your own mind up, but there’s something oh so sinister about these two phrases. 

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, he spoke of a phrase “Doublethink” in which someone can be forced to believe two alternate realities, regardless of facts. In a sense things are both true and not at the same time. It makes one rethink or “Doublethink” what they’re experiencing, questioning their senses. Is someone really seeing what their eyes are telling them they are or hearing what their ears tell them they are. It’s a dangerous manipulation by those in power that we seem to be aimlessly wondering into.

Indeed Trump went full on Orwellian a few weeks back when he claimed “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” as can be seen in the clip below:

This is just a little too close to the Orwell’s totalitarian Government command in his novel in which he wrote “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

Final and most essential command lends itself to full indoctrination, full mental manipulation, full control. 

Now I know some people may watch that and think he’s merely trying to get across the point of not 100% trusting the media, he’s been on this campaign of “Fake news” ever since he woke up one morning and thought “Hey I’d like to be president”. What’s disconcerting is the fact that once applied to one event, once the seeds have been sewn, it means it can be further amplified to reach preposterous levels.

Indeed in his recent visit to the UK, Trump was interviewed by the country’s most popular toilet paper The Sun, in which he made some rather unflattering comments about our Prime Minister. When questioned on this he merely claimed “Fake News” although the interview was recorded. Thus those who believe him now have lost the trust of their sense of sound. 

Furthermore, he went onto make comments when meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin that totally undercut his own security services by claiming that “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia that interfered in the election”. Later that week he came out and claimed he meant to instead say the word “wouldn’t” and claiming it was a sort of double negative, the only issue here is, the tone in which it was uttered and the things said before and after wouldn’t have fit his excuse (or do I mean would, who knows anymore)

Again, this is just pure mental manipulation at it’s finest, people will just accept this and move on, not anyone who’s ever read a book or has even the slightest grasp on reality but people none the less. 

That’s enough about Trump for now as I don’t like giving him space on this website but it does lead me on nicely to my next point. 

Ever since the Brexit campaigning began us Brits were introduced to our own version of fake news in the form of “Project Fear”. Project Fear is the leave campaign’s claim that all the bad things that are projected to happen to Britain after we inevitably take the biggest democratically voted for suicide pill, are merely to scare people away from making the ‘right’ choice in regards to our countries future. See what I just did there? That would be considered Project Fear.

Branding everything that experts in their field are claiming is going to happen as Project Fear is the political equivalent of burying your head in the sand and humming God Save The Queen. 

Indeed recently released warnings of the impact of Brexit such as chaos at the boarders, stockpiling food & medicine, cost of living going up whilst wages stagnate, the NHS being understaffed, all of these things…merely project fear. 

People who work in these trades have come out with testimonies about the issues faced by other similar situations in other countries. Those working on the docks claim Dover, Felixstowe, Harwich and other major ports in England could come to a standstill as new custom checks have to be implemented. More staff is going to be needed and I’m struggling to think where these companies are going to find them and pay for them. Indeed it’ll cost around £300 million to finance the 5000 more customs officials needed in the event of a no deal Brexit, NOPE Project Fear. The NHS relies heavily on EU nurses to fill the ranks and the impact of the inevitable reduction in these numbers could cause nurses to become more overworked and underpaid whilst possibly endangering those in need. This is after for the second year running numbers of nurses “Giving up” on Britain continued to increase, NOPE Project Fear. The British Farming industry could be on the brink of collapse in the case of a no deal Brexit reducing frictionless trade, NOPE Project Fear. 

You see where I’m going with this. How can high ranking politicians look at these numbers and hear these experiences and not take into account the enormity of the impact? 

The recent announcement that up to six weeks of medicine should be stockpiled for the transition period was announced as “A bit over the top” by Brexiteer John Redwood, a member of parliament for Wokingham. Now, who am I more likely to believe? Someone working in the industry or a politician who’s backing Brexit, because, sovereignty and all those other buzzwords.

Indeed Project Fear often get’s itself mixed up with blind British belief that Brexiteers love to hear. Instead of reading the research, hearing the testimonies, in essence, believing their eyes and ears they instead reject this reality in the form of some misguided nationalist rhetoric.   

Although it may not sound like it, I’m open to having my mind changed but it seems daily myself and many others on the remain side are failing to have anything concrete put in front of us, instead, being given some evidence lacking spiel about some metaphorical British power. I honestly don’t want to feel this way towards Brexit, I wish someone could show me otherwise. Look if it turns out to be Project Fear and Britain ends up becoming the global superpower many Brexiteers think it will be I will hold my hands up, publically apologise and spend the rest of my life eating my own hat.

I’m just going on what my eyes and ears are telling me.