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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The analogy might strike the uninitiated as coming somewhat from a distance.

The strangest things remind the BBC of the evils of the west – and fail to remind them of the evils of socialism.

If you watch through the BBC’s ‘Why mums-to-be are fleeing Venezuela’ and then wait, you will see an earlier piece ‘Begging for food in Venezuela’. Watch that and keep waiting and you will see ‘Where a coffee costs wads of banknotes’ after which you’ll be offered ‘Venezuela indigenous group flees crisis’. Finally, having worked back to 2 August 2017, you will encounter ‘What’s going on in Venezuela?’, during which you will learn that in 2013, Chavez was succeeded by “fellow socialist” Maduro. This is the first – and AFAICS the last – encounter with the word socialist or any word resembling it.

If watching late-stage-socialism-reporting-that-dares-not-speak-its-name depresses you, you can cheer yourself up by watching Tony Robinson (Baldrick as was 🙂 ) in a series of programmes on Britain’s cathedrals. If cathedral architecture and history is your thing, these are perfectly watchable – he even comes across an actual baldrick at one point – with only occasional excursions into BBC-style history.

Liverpool Cathedral was built in the 20th century, funded by public contributions. Building began before WWI and was not yet finished when German bombers hit it several times without managing to flatten it in WWII.

– Did you know that the Earle family contributed £25,000 of its £500,000 building cost? Did you know that a full century and more before the first plans for Liverpool cathedral were drawn up, an ancestor of the Earle family made money in the triangular trade? Well, you would if you’d watched the programme on May 4th.

– Did you know that in the century between these two events, British people – possibly including an Earle ancestor and of-statistical-certainty including ancestors of other donors – made the slave trade and then slavery itself rare in the world. Well, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have learnt it from the programme.

I liked the cathedrals, though. And if you watched through all those Venezuela shorts then you would likely suspect that something that government was doing was unwise.

22 comments to The analogy might strike the uninitiated as coming somewhat from a distance.

  • Thailover

    There is a food reason for the constant propaganda. And that reason is that people often have and atavistic respect for truth. And the shadow-self quest for power and control requires disinformation, even lies, in order to maintain ownership of the masses.

  • Fraser Orr

    When a cup of coffee costs a wad of banknotes then you should observe that the problem is not with the coffee but with the banknotes.

    I was reminded of a conversation I had with an old dude who was a dentist in the Mississippi during the Great Depression. When someone needed dental work they’d come over and offer a few chickens in exchange for a filling, or to do some yard work.

    Again, this story illustrates what actually happened during the Great Depression. It was not an economic failure — people still have value to trade — it was a failure of the money system. The purpose of money is to enable trade between people by temporarily storing the value of one thing (such as some chickens), and redeeming that value for other things (dental work.) When the things at each end are still valuable but trade can’t take place, it is the intermediary system — the money system — that is at fault. And guess who screwed that up?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I have a similar example of things that are made easy to learn and things that are made hard to learn in educational material written by lefties, which is nearly all of it. At one time I was involved in educational publishing. I have read many textbooks and revision guides aimed at 15/16 year old pupils soon to take their GCSE history exam. A very popular option is twentieth century US history.

    When discussing the Great Depression, which the writers usually regard as proof of the awfulness of capitalism, you will learn of the REPUBLICAN president Herbert Hoover’s shameful inactivity and of how the DEMOCRAT Franklin D. Roosevelt saved the day with his New Deal.

    A few chapters later the topic is the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s. Kennedy’s or Johnson’s party will often be mentioned but only the most attentive readers will learn just which party it was that Bull Connor et al belonged to or which party enforced the Jim Crow laws. There will be one teeny tiny mention of the word “Democrat” buried in a long paragraph somewhere, but for the most part where the normal phrasing would be “Southern Democrats” these books talk about “Southern politicians”. It was amazing how often this term turned up in that context and only that context. It’s not the case any more but about ten years ago if you did a google search of the term “Southern politicians”, most of the top results related to the US Civil Rights era.

  • rosenquist

    If watching late-stage-socialism-reporting-that-dares-not-speak-its-name depresses you, you can cheer yourself up by watching the socialist Tony Robinson, a man who wants the UK the emulate Venezuala

    FTFY

  • Paul Marks

    The left (for example the BBC) refuse to even accept that price controls cause shortages.

    Price controls, and other regulations, bankrupt companies and then the state takes over the factories and so on – and ruins them (classic socialism).

  • Regional

    The ABC/MSM never mention Venezuela but it wasn’t that long ago they wanted to bring Hugo to Astraya to sort the joint out.

  • Eric

    Milton Friedman used to say socialism rose from the dead again and again because it’s facile – someone is hungry; give them food. What could be more understandable than that?

    It’s the philosophy of children.

  • Regional

    The B.B.C. is just Bourgeois Bolshi Crap.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    B.B.C.= Belgian Broadcasting Commission.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    BBC = Belgian Bolshoi Commission. Any better versions?

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    BBC= Belgian (re-)Broadcasting Commission.

  • Were Tony Robinson to check out all his lines of ancestry back to the 17th and 18th Centuries he would find a lot of people there he would not expect to find and with a high degree of probability some he will not like at all. That is the way it is for just about all of us. At the very worst he may find a mob of Scousers there of varied origin. Liverpool aka Scouseland has had a huge number of people through it since 1600 from everywhere and anywhere.

  • NickM

    Natalie,
    Let’s call it. Anyone who thinks that bothering to be formally neducated (not an sp) in the farts and shitterature is deranged.

    I have had an argument time and again with Brits who regard themselves as knowing all about US history. Guess what it was about? Abe Lincoln. The number of people I have met who swear blind that Lincoln just couldn’t have been a Republican is staggering. Obviously he couldn’t have been because the Republicans were and are the bad guys. The fact there were Southern Demonrats 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation who were racist as Hell escapes these folks because it just doesn’t fit with their narrative. The fact it is true is merely inconvenient. Now who was that other more recent Demonrat who had an inconvenient truth?

    Here’s another for you. I went to Nottingham University in the ’90s. My first gaff was Lenton Hall. Very close was Cripps Hall. Now, when I was an undergrad, Cripps was all male and had to be at least 50% public school (that is in the Brit sense of public). OK, whatever. Except it is named for Sir Stafford Cripps who I later found out had been a Labour politician! I say later because I naively (I was a teenager and liked U2) assumed Sir Stafford just had to be a Tory. Had to be. But he wasn’t was he? Just another authoritarian leftie who saw socialism as a form of control because he wasn’t going to suffer it.

    Lenton Hall was all male as well. Tell you what… Of a Saturday you saw more girls around Lenton than you saw round Cripps. Now either that means that us Comp and Grammar lads were more charming than the posh sorts of Cripps or (and this was frequently opined) they were nigh on all gayer than a tree-full of monkeys. Wasn’t the queerest posh hall mind. That was Lincoln. The social sec there wore a waistcoat and bow tie everyday. He had a pocket watch. I had a Casio.

  • NickM

    Baldrick is a commie. Yes, he is.

  • John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor of the exchequer stated (on BBC’s Politics on Sunday) that Venezuela’s problems are “the result of it no longer being a socialist country”. Exactly at what point this transformation occurred, and what acts of the government ended socialism (and would therefore presumably be shunned by Mr McDonnell) did not emerge AFAICS. The shadow chancellor was more eager to express his determination to overthrow capitalism than to explain how he would prevent the resulting socialist paradise from waking up one morning to discover it was no longer a socialist country despite having a loudly socialist government.

    McDonnell gives “overthrowing capitalism” as his hobby in his ‘Who’s Who’ entry – which, sadly, does not seem to mean he doesn’t take it seriously and only does it at weekends. As for the somewhat Biased Broadcasting Corporation, I daresay they took him more seriously than I would, but I suspect McDonnell would have liked them better if the subject of Venezuela had never come up at all.

  • pete

    For a lefty Tony Robinson always looks just a bit too pleased when the diggers on Time Team find something that probably belonged to a ‘high status’ person.

  • Regional

    The BBC built by capitalism.

  • And guess who screwed that up?

    Donald Trump?

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Whatever happened to the name Venezuela-On-Clyde when referring to the many achievements of the SNP?

  • NickM

    pete,
    He ain’t a leftie. Clem Attlee was a leftie. Baldrick is a full on commie. Let’s face it. The fact he likes money etc doesn’t mean he makes Stalin look like William Gladstone. The Duchess of Sussex is a full-on SJW (and acts a bit) but that don’t mean she wasn’t perfectly happy to wear two dresses in one day that the combined cost of was more than the average Brit’s house.

    Now I don’t mind rich folk having nice things. I only mind when they are sanctimonious gits.

  • Regional

    Baldrick makes Stalin look like a recalcitrant back sliding recidivist running dog of the Bourgeois.

  • Regional

    NickM,
    The elite of the prolitariat have to look booful otherwise why would one campaign for socialism?

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