UK Politician Says EU Site Wants To 'Brainwash' Children With Propaganda About Democratic Principles
from the reading-too-much-into-it dept
The UK is famous for its tabloid newspapers and their particular brand of journalism. Here's a fine example from the Daily Express, under the headline "EU attempts to brainwash children with 'sinister Soviet-style propaganda'":
European Parliament chiefs are considering setting up a site to target young children with a "playful" presentation of their working methods and democratic principles.
The Daily Express story is mainly built around a few quotations from the politician Paul Nuttall. He belongs to the UK Independence Party, whose policy in a nutshell is as follows:
the rescue of the British people depends on withdrawal from the EU to regain our self-governing democracy
So it's no surprise that Nuttall has a slightly jaundiced view of anything the European Parliament does. Here are a few of of his comments in the article:
this exercise in funding kiddie propaganda really is cash for EU trash.
What's fascinating here is his choice of words: "kiddie propaganda", "vulnerable and easily manipulated", "a form of child abuse". Whether consciously or not, clear parallels are being drawn here with pornography and even child pornography ("kiddie propaganda") through the use of phrases that are familiar from those fields.
Our children need to be protected from this type of political propaganda because they are vulnerable and easily manipulated.
Political propaganda on vulnerable kids is a form of child abuse.
It's also striking that the image chosen by the Daily Express to illustrate the story is the classic perplexed child staring at a screen whose contents we cannot see -- the implication being that there is something bad there, but that we are powerless to protect the innocence of the young viewer. That, too, is something of a cliché in articles about pornography, and it's disconcerting to see it being wheeled out here for an article about promoting democratic principles.