Friday, 20 March 2009

Crapita help Brown ratchet up public fear for votes

A failed government low in the polls and excoriated by the media has few avenues to follow to recapture voters. One of the dirtiest, most unprincipled tricks that such a dead administration can use is to ratchet up public fear. What's more, if public funds and public resources can be used, a bankrupt party need not even dip into its coffers. The public fear message is simple and brutal; you're all at risk - this is no time for change - you need our protection.

Of course the media and the blogosphere are now both wise to Labour's playing of this card, and suspiciously politically advantageous announcements of increased alert states and the like by security ministers and officials are quickly seen for what they are, and don't get through to the voting public. So what does Brown's government do? Invent a new target for local government of course. So this year National Indicator 37 comes into force - Improving Citizen Awareness and Community Resilience in the Face of Threats. Now this is smart. The fear-raising will come from local Councils - many of them Tory - that people trust, rather than from a government they don't. And what's more, Council tax payers will bear the cost themselves. And it's compulsory - even Tory councils can't do nothing.

Government henchmen Crapita are running a council-fear beanfest to coincide with the G20 summit in London to get the message across. The publicity states:

In 2009 local authorities must significantly improve citizen awareness of civil protection measures to achieve high performance on National Indicator 37 and to ensure local community resilience in the face of a range of threats.

Attend this timely event to hear about:
  • Government expectations around National Indicator 37
  • Criteria and assessment of the duty
  • Positive practice and ‘lessons learned’ in real life situations
  • Key communication skills and resources available for support
  • Hear from key national policy and strategy makers at the Cabinet Office and Audit Commission on expectations around the Civil Contingencies Act and informing the public
  • Take away clear guidance on National Indicator 37 and how you will be assessed
  • Consider what other areas are doing to improve community resilience and how to apply ideas to your own area
  • Identify ways to build networks of contacts, communicate with and through grassroots community organisation
  • Learn how to inform citizens about potential incidents and guide response without causing panic
  • Hear how the new Extranet will be used to spread knowledge of best practice, share ideas and resources
  • Learn about the new national crisis communications support group, what resources and support will be available for you in a media crisis
    New Extranet? New 'national crisis communications support group'? What the Hell is going on?

    The timing is the key. The new 'local fear' performance indicator comes into effect in financial year 2009 / 2010; this means throughout the run-up to the expected May 2010 election, councils throughout the country will be pumping out 'fear' pamphlets, holding 'fear' exercises, getting the whole local voluntary sector to join in, gaining big 'fear' publicity in local free ad papers and generally helping Brown's campaign, all in order to get a good NI37 score at the end of next April.

    One of the men behind all this is Bruce Mann, Head of Civil Contingencies, Civil Contingencies Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, one of Crapita's speakers. Jeanette Innes, Assistant Director, Programme Manager for Telecommunications Resilience, and who works for Mann will also be speaking.

    So be prepared for Big Fear from Gordon this year. As if the recession wasn't enough.


    Sue said...

    We need to keep an eye on this. I have a vast email network where I try to "enlighten" young to middle aged women office workers and mums who pass endless emails to each other every day but it has to be in much simpler English so that all of them can understand.

    The term "extranet" is worrying!

    Kinderling said...

    Well observed. Fear is the state of a false reality, a panic zone of confused minds in which people are then suggestible.
    For the last ten years the UK has believed in intimidation: feminizm was right because after years of male oppression, black was right because of years of slavery, homosexuality was right because the family was wrong.
    Now they're going to give up your reason to never think, because slaves should never be educated to think, just cowards to sex and be pacifists. Ask Nice I Might Agree Love.

    Scrobs said...

    And who goes, apart from public servants?

    Ay £458.85 per head, this is an expensive way to 'educate' people we pay to do their job in the first place.

    They'll be away from their place of 'work' for a day of course.

    At the few (privately funded) seminars I've attended, the only lazy ones are those sorts of people, who bring nothing constructive to the debate, but eat all the biscuits, and claim expenses.

    Anonymous said...

    As a council employee, I'd rather spend the day sticking pins into my eyeballs than listen to some govt. jobsworth feeding me all that rubbish. Crapita by name, Crapita by nature.

    it's either banned or compulsory said...

    "National Indicator 37 " What is that then ?
    Anything to do with todays radio announcement that " 60,000 workers are to be trained in how to deal with terrorist outrages" ?

    1984, here we is.

    Anonymous said...

    Broon has obviously been reading his Machiavelli.

    it's either banned or compulsory said...

    I just Googled "National Indicator 37". It is just one of nearly 200 such indicators. No wonder we are skint.

    Vicola said...

    They are very welcome to send me loads of fear leaflets, as long as they don't print them on that shiny paper. The shiny paper isn't absorbent so is no use in the bottom of the hutch. I found the BNP information leaflet was one of the most efficient urine absorbtion documents I've received, I'm thinking of ringing them to ask for a few more.