“Ramping up the messaging – the fear/guilt factor vital.”
Posted by Ed Folsom, March 5, 2023.
Leaked WhatsApp messages between former U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock and others, discussing fear as a primary tool to achieve compliance with government COVID-19 policies, are causing a stir on the other side of the pond.
Was there any campaign to scare us into compliance on this side of the pond?
According to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper, on December 13, 2020, Matt Hancock, while messaging with an adviser advised, “We frighten the pants off everyone with the new strain.” In the same exchange, Hancock asked the adviser, “When do we deploy the new variant?” The next day, Hancock announced the emergence of a new variant, leading to the banning of 2020 Christmas gatherings and then to a nationwide lock-down.
Later, in January of 2021, Hancock discussed with Cabinet Secretary Simon Case how to further increase the level of compliance with the government’s COVID edicts. Evidently, the new-variant fear factor failed to induce total compliance. Hancock told Case that he “honestly wouldn’t move on any small things unless we move on a lot.” Case replied: “I think that is exactly right. Small stuff looks ridiculous. Ramping up messaging – the fear/guilt factor vital.”
Do you recall any effort to ramp up the fear/guilt factor on this side of the pond? If public messaging were to tell people that failing to follow the government’s instructions will cause other people to die, would that be “guilt factor” messaging? Linked here is an amusing under-two-minute video spoof of what that might look like, if one were to engage in such a crude tactic, which our authorities in this country would, of course, never engage in… Would they?
I wonder if Matt Hancock and company also employed means to suppress information that tended to undercut the “fear/guilt factor” that they ramped up with Project Fear and Guilt. Nah, that would just be a ConSPiRaCY thEOrY.
By the way, Matt Hancock was later forced to resign as Health Secretary, in June of 2021, when CCTV images emerged of him kissing an aide he was having an affair with, in violation of his own social distancing rules. Fearless and guiltless was Health Secretary Hancock.
Rules for thee, but not for me, add the sting of insult to injury.