Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: No Comment ...

26 July 2005

No Comment ...

*


It's long been said that there's a first time for everything. Well, here is such a first. Today This Old Brit changes the habit of a lifetime.

Even though, as ever, Richard Reports/You decide - this edition is published without comment.

The text that follows is not my work. Nor is it the work of anyone I know. It "virtually" came into my hands just an hour or so ago - though it is always possible I was led to it.

Therefore ..........

No source[s]. No email nor snail mail addresse[s]. No link[s]. No secret locations. No conditions of anonimity. No copyright. No clues. No endorsements. No denials. No comments.

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TALKING POINTS FOR MAN SHOT DEAD

* Urgent Release For All Press Talking Points for man mistakenly killed by UK police. The following points should be emphasised in your reports:

The dead man is to be referred to as the "suspect" and never the "victim". The intent of these talking points is to cast suspicision onto the dead man and direct any criticism away from the police.

He was not Caucasian. Preferably he was of Asian or Arab appearance.

Do not just mention that he was (mistakenly) taken for a suicide bomber, but describe suicide bombings in detail. Especially the aftermath. The intention should be to frighten the reader.

Remind the reader what would (never say "might") have happened if the suspect "had" been a suicide bomber and the police had "not" shot him. Exaggerate.

Imply that he had a rucksack of the same colour, size, and design as preferred by real suicide bombers.

Blame the terrorists for his death and be sympathetic towards the police at all times.

When describing the man use imagary drawn only from the CCTV pictures of the real bombers. Conjour up the image of a suicide bomber.

Mention but do not discuss his innocence. Mention it only when necessary.

Belittle the suspect. Describe him in negative terms as poorly dressed, unshaven, and nervous, but also as a physically intimidating man, burly, agile, fit, dangerous.

It should not be written that he "failed" to obey police as failure may be construed as meaning that there was some other possible reason for his not stoping than presumed guilt.

Avoid passive associations by describing his actions only with action words commonly associated with guilt such as "refused" or "resisted".

Give conflicting eye-witness accounts of the actual moments of the shooting so as to protect officers.

One witness thought he saw a "bomb-belt" on the suspect. Quote this witness extensively and as often as possible. Offer no speculation or implication that he may have been mistaken (which of course he was). Use his observation as if it was the sworn testimony of an expert in suicide bombings requiring no further comment.

The police began following the suspect after he left an apartment in the same block in which another apartment was under surveillance. Use this in such a way as to connect him to the bombers (by describing the apartment block as a "house", for example). Do not speculate that the police may have followed the wrong man.

Bury the information that the real bombers are still on the loose by mentioning some vague arrests but do not give details as those arrested in the early days of such crises invariably turn out to be innocent.

Avoid mention of the suspect's family (especially if it turns out he had a wife and kids) but report in depth on how sorry the police are. Use words like "regret" and "tragic".

Assert that the way in which the suspect "dived or fell to ground" was cause for suspicion in itself. Never connect this to the simultaneous shouting by armed police for every one to "get down" as this may contradict prior assertions that he refused to obey the police.

Report it as if "the regulations" required the police to shoot him.

Report that there will be an internal enquiry as if this is a magnanimous police gesture as opposed to mere routine. Report on the process but not the substance of the enquiry, and phrase process descriptions in terms of thoroughness, accountability, and above all sufficiency.

Avoid mention of previous police-shootings that have resulted in public enquiries.

Don't mention the war.

Generate debate on the circumstances in which the police *should* shoot to kill, and avoid moral or legal issues. Frame the debate in terms of terrorism only and dismiss mistaken-identity arguments as left-wing or liberal.

If the suspect turns out to be non-muslim you should still continue to question muslim clerics on matters related to terrorism.

If the suspect does turn out to be muslim connect muslim sympathy or sorrow over his death with radical extremism.

Utterly groundless speculation is allowed to be presented as fact only when it results in a positive image for HMG. All other topics, speculation, criticisms of the police, or discussions, are forbidden.

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In the absence of any Old Brit comments to accompany today's "find" - readers comments are [ if it's at all possible] even more welcome than usual.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Abbott said...

Whoa ... looks like Her Majesty's Government sure has a thorough spin machine.

2:47 am  
Anonymous Mark Abbott said...

I should add, it's just that this is such a full-blown bit of press guidance, almost overkill ... every possible nuance has been covered.

If genuine, it's damning. If not, it's nonetheless an impressive piece of work.

2:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that letter sums it up.

Also sums up the no investigation of this or 9-11 by a truly independant body. And ridicule anyone that questions the official story with their lack of patriotism and love of country, therefore you must love terrorist.

3:02 am  
Anonymous lukery said...

rick - this one looks false to me.

the 'gives' include: " (which of course he was)" and "invariably turn out to be innocent" and " as if this is a magnanimous police gesture" and "Utterly groundless speculation is allowed to be presented as fact..."

these particular statements seem to suggest (to me) that the writer was getting carried away with themselves and how clever they are being.

its close tho...

3:33 am  
Blogger noel adamson said...

Whether or not it is a genuine government guide it is what they do in every detail. If it is a hoax it is made believable by the fact that it is what they do and thus illustrates that it is what they do.

If it is a genuine guide for police representatives to follow when dealing with the public then it is so blatant as to be doubly damning since it reveals not only the nature of their lies but how conscious they are of the lie and how premeditated the lie is.

4:25 am  
Anonymous Doug Watt said...

Damning themselves with their own words.

4:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Utterly groundless speculation is allowed to be presented as fact only when it results in a positive image for HMG. All other topics, speculation, criticisms of the police, or discussions, are forbidden."

Think the last para alone (quoted above) confirms it as a hoax, and not a very good one, the author has got a little carried away.

4:36 am  
Blogger noel adamson said...

The last paragraph does seem a little more honest than would be expected of a British or American government agency Anonymous. However many decades of using such blatant propaganda has made it so normal that it could easily be included without a second thought. Eric Blair, I would hope not a relative of Tony Blair, also known by his Nom De Plume George Orwell, based his book 1984 on his own experience as a writer for MI5 or 6 or whatever it was. British Intelligence. He did this after WW2 and the main character was based on himself. When history was being re-written so that the Germans were now friends and the Soviets enemies etc. Such lying has long been considered to be justified by the ultimate good end. The biggest problem is that they are not lying to save England from a foriegn enemy, they are lying to the Elglish people, the electorate to whom they owe their jobs and who are their bosses. The lies are also not, by any stretch of the imagination, for any good end unless you consider the perpetuation of the blood drenched Blair, Bush, Bin Ladin Group Ltd. a good end.

They damn themselves with every word, if not this document, as you say Doug. Good to see you.

Hang them all with their own rope.

8:09 am  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

It's a parady, but it IS what the press does.

We can easily think back to numerous examples of press treatment of news stories in the past couple of years. They have followed most of this script to the letter.

It helps to keep remembering that.

2:22 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks everyone, and hello & welcome, lukery.

I think we are all pretty well in agrement.

That is to say - the particular piece in question is a parody - but it's a very good parody.

That's exactly the way every thing is now managed/controlled/manipulated/presented - call it what you will.

"The fix is in" -- period! That's now permanent policy -- whatever the subject/topic.

Y'know, I NEVER, EVER lose heart - but sometimes I DO get more than a little disheartened. Right now is one of those times. Things seem to be getting worse rather than better - as the next blog post I'm about to begin writing should show.

10:04 pm  
Blogger Phyl said...

I agree that it's a summary of how the press actually does handle things now. And the government. Even if it's a parody.

10:57 pm  
Anonymous harper said...

Excellent, Richard, It might as well be real, since they're following it to a tee.

2:40 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

True or not it hits too close to the skin at MY house! I'm 1/2 Portuguese, and I'm fairly certain that I could never be taken for an Arab or an Oriental... for a Slav or a Chezck or even a Latin or Tuscan or Romanian but an Arab or Oriental? Not bloody likely!

All the same though, even such transparent phony reports like this in the wrong hands will inevitably bring every conspiracy nut out of the wood work like cockroaches on a sinking boat. But that's only to be expected. Hell, those types already are cropping up shouting about how "THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!". I really hate to tell the conspiracy nuts this, but the sky ISN'T FALLING! Actually what is happening is that the ground is flying up into the air!

4:35 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

damn, u.s. resident here. looks like frank luntz has been hired by the blair cabinet. he's a gop propagandist of the highest order. quite adept at framing issues through language in order to misinform/mislead/redirect the public. it's been a remarkably successful tactic in the u.s., esp when we have a national media corps that is too intimidated by bushco to perform their professional responsibilities to seek the truth.

9:57 pm  
Blogger BadTux said...

You forgot the talking point that one should always emphasize how hot the weather had been and thus how unusual it was for anybody to wear a coat, without divulging that the temperature that morning was 55F/12C (according to the Weather Underground's history page for London on Friday, July 22, 2005) and thus a light jacket or suitcoat would not be particularly unusual.

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

1:19 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Thanks guys, your very welcome and interesting input is most appreciaited. Really.

2:44 am  
Blogger JulieDee said...

Frank Luntz, Trud Blossom's #3 henchman. I was thinking about this last night, and if it didn't absolutely scream hoax I would seriously wonder if it weren't one of Karl Rove's dirty tricks as a lame attempt to give him and GOP an international canvass to use to poster paint Bush as a nice guy bay comparison during a time when his ratings are slipping even deeper in the hole overseas...

7:30 pm  
Blogger catalytic said...

Hi, It appears that the original internet posting was at iraqwar.ru.

It has been discussed on Indymedia UK, but I don't see that anyone has questioned or researched its authenticity.

Most mass murder media outlets have these types of guidelines as SOP, at least in the states.

6:33 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

That's interesting & appreciated catalytic, I'll check.

9:27 pm  
Blogger Dr Zen said...

It begins in the right tone but goes off the rails. "Don't mention the war"! Quite.

10:01 am  
Anonymous Maxwells said...

I see first time your site guys. I like you :)

9:07 am  
Anonymous Anonimous said...

Excellent website. Good work. Very useful. I will bookmark!

3:50 pm  

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