Liar (ITV). Keeping the plebs ‘on story’.

Liar (ITV). Keeping the plebs ‘on story’.

 

There was never any tension in this drama. We knew from the outset that it would be, like all the others, a play in which the woman was the victim telling the truth and the man was the villain. I mean, could you imagine the playwright writing that the woman had told lies ? Think about it. Miscarriages of justice are staple fare for film and television drama; the innocent accused of murder, the unfortunate either deliberately or by coincidence accused of fraud or deception.  Dramas of good people trying to clear their name and reveal the truth are mainstream and common. However, though they will consider many crimes (murder, arson, theft, assault, causing catastrophic calamities) they never involve accusations of rape. That would be going ‘off message‘ and suggest that, however rarely, it is possible that the victim is not the woman but the man having been falsely accused.

This drama never deviated from the standard message. Like all clunky propaganda it beat us about the head with the party line. Listen, it said, it doesn’t matter if she has made unfounded accusations in the past, it doesn’t matter if the evidence doesn’t match her story, it doesn’t matter if she has been psychotic and held erroneous beliefs before, it doesn’t matter how you might construe her behaviour that evening – it’s simple stupid – she says she’s the victim so she is the victim.  Victims never lie.

And, just to be certain (in case you had any doubts) it doesn’t matter how handsome and successful he is , how believable his story might be, it doesn’t matter that he is a caring and kind doctor, it doesn’t matter that he is a single parent bringing his son up alone after being widowed, it doesn’t matter what he says – he is the man and all men are rapists. He is the one lying.

This was not drama. This was not an attempt to show something that is usually hidden from our view, this steadfastly ploughed the accepted furrow. This was not an attempt to subvert harmful stereotypes or caricatures, this play had the standard new-age tropes a plenty. This did not try and foster sympathy for a currently abused or disadvantaged group. It did none of these laudable dramatic aims. This was simply a play to make sure the plebs “get with the programme“. It was preparation for the jury room. If you find yourself on the jury remember there is no need to weigh up the evidence, no need to consider the testimonies, no need to seek the truth. Because, we already know the truth, just stay strong and remember “the victim never lies”.

I have not seen, and may never see, the final episode but I’d wager it will be the last stage in the public education. It will be an episode which shows how terribly wrong things go when the victim is not instantly believed. If the episodes so far have not made it clear enough this is just the warning of the harm you can do when you step out of line.

 

Propaganda like this is so crude in its socialism-vs-capitalism-propaganda-poster-1crafting that it resembles the Soviet posters with capitalist monsters (looking like the fat controller from Thomas the Tank Engine) debasing heroic proletarians, or the Nazi equivalents with hook-nosed Jews preying on the fair Aryans. As they become more  crass they become more transparent, Hopefully people will see through them and they will loose some of their effect. Hopefully, because this is no way to improve society for women and men. Indeed, this probably worsens matters by continuing to attempt to polarise the argument when it is clearly the case that the truth is equally important to women and men.

jew0295e59a781Although the writers, Harry and Jack Williams, may deserve  (for crimes against drama) the unjust and distrustful culture they are helping to create the rest of us don’t – but we may be obliged to share it. A future where prejudice reigns is unlikely to be a better one for our sons or our daughters.

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Lies don’t signal virtue

Lies don’t signal virtue

It is increasingly difficult to use social media these days. It is a loud and raucous place where the self-righteous try and promote their views and signal how virtuous they are whilst doing so. No where is this more apparent than in the arena of the conflict in the middle east where claim and counter-claim abound. Two strands running through the social media at the moment are opposition to bombing and support for refugees of the conflict. I am in broad agreement with both principles; I do not think bombing will reduce the spread of islamofascism and we need to help those who manage to escape its grip. This being said, you might anticipate I would share the annoyance of this facebook poster who was upset about the media coverage of a London demonstration against the plans for the UK to start bombing syria.

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Unfortunately when the left gets involved principles tend to evaporate. This image was shared many times of facebook today.  It invites us to feel angry about the duplicity of the media failing to report a demonstration against the proposed bombing in Syria. (And to stress the author’s superior news reading skills over the plebs who are interested only in pulp news). Many shared it unaware of two important pieces of information.

Firstly, the mainstream media had indeed covered this protest. The statement that “it wasn’t even mentioned” is a lie. Here is one report form the BBC below :-

'Don't bomb Syria' protest in London- Your pictures - BBC News (1)There are many other reports across the various forms of media. However, this not the only lie. The image itself is a lie. It is an image taken from the getty library of a demonstration against the war on Febuary 15, 2013  (original picture). Obviously the facebook poster did not feel that the demonstration was well enough attended but rather than accept the truth he decided on some creative posting. In the tradition of Stalin and Mao the image that fitted the idea rather than closest to the facts was used. It is very unlikely that this was an honest mistake, the poster would have needed to search for the image and would know both its provenance and its date. Perhaps, in knowledge of this the comments for this facebook page were disabled.

With friends like these, who needs enemies.