Recently I have been reading the IDW run of the Transformers comics.
They're a marked improvement on any of the old comics, or the TV series, movies, anything really. The art style jumps around a bit over its ten-year-plus publication but that's fine, in all honesty. These are beings that change their forms on a regular basis. The best part? The story.
The story is wonderful. It adds depth to existing characters that were perhaps not so well developed - Skids and Wheelie getting full backstories. It gives a new angle to already developed characters - Prowl becoming an ultimate manipulator, Thundercracker an impassioned scientist. More than anything, it gives structure to the war between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
The Decepticons in particular have a very specific way in which they overtake worlds, a six-phase engagement strategy. It begins with Phase 1, which is infiltration and information-gathering, and proceeds all the way to Phase 6 - absolute world-shattering genocide.
Phase 2 is the particular phase of interest, to this blog; as it details misinformation, manipulation, and the usage of such methods to undermine the stability of the world in question.
It's through these campaigns that the Decepticons seek to bring war to a world without ever firing a shot. It is from the ashes of this war that the warmongers themselves make their own killing - they are seasoned by four million years of civil war, they know how to kill and they know how to win.
Taking a look at the current political landscape of this country, I believe we are in Tory Phase 2.
Have you noticed how, all of a sudden, there's a lot of shit-talking and shit-stirring going on?
Accusations of antisemitism. Members of a left-wing party being treated like terrorists. Doctors painted like greedy idle scumbags. Refugees and foreigners typecast as the traditional enemies of the rich.
The thing is, it works, doesn't it? I have no doubt that every single person who reads this blog knows at least one person who will claim with confidence any of the media spin stories that are profligate in the current climate. They won't question, they won't do anything of the sort. They'll just repeat Sun headlines, even the ones that contradict each other, with the same fervent and endless faith displayed in the Vatican.
It works, because these people either 1) believe the shit-storm stories over the actual circumstances of our country being torn apart and thus vote for those tearing it apart or 2) don't vote at all because they can't see the truth for the trees.
They're All The Same. We hear it all the time, despite there being a literal archive and catalogue of every way in which they are different. Name an MP and you can look up their voting record, in detail or in abstract. Find something you are passionate about and you can find which parties voted for, voted against, or abstained on. A good website for this is mySociety.
Do you see a doctor regularly? You can find out how your local MP or any other member of parliament voted for the NHS. Do you believe fitness and sports are important? You can see which parties voted to protect such things. Do you think the poor get an easy ride? You can see who agrees with you, and who voted to cut support for the elderly and disabled.
The difference between the Decepticons and Parliament is that Parliament has records. Decepticons can vanish in spaceships, whereas parliamentarians simply can't. What they do is a matter of historical record, and it is they who are accountable to us, not the other way around.
So while the public talk about whether or not a left-leaning politician has indeed made this or that comment about Hitler, we can find out the truth. We can find out what is being done to us, to our country, and we can find it out in real time.
All we need to do is put in two minute's effort.
All the Tories want us to do is not do that.
Don't give them the satisfaction.