14 May 2007

More on How To Sell Conscription

Guest author Paul on how coercion will be marketed to appear cool and fun.

In a previous post, I looked at one tactic used by the government to sell these malignant proposals; namely, to persuade people that not to accept the plans would constitute a shameful neglect of helpless young people. Fabian has since highlighted another prong in the governmental attack — attempting to convince the populace that the sky will fall in if the proposals are scrapped; that Britain will cease to be competitive and will sink inexorably into economic decline.

The methods thus far have been negative — why it would be A Bad Thing to reject the proposals. Has the government got anything a little bit more positive to offer?

Well, this goverment site dealing with post-sixteen education is suggestive of the way in which educational conscription will be sold.

Firstly, there's the mention of choice: currently one does actually have the choice to sever ties with state education at sixteen, but if conscription goes ahead, there will be no such choice. Expect to see increased use of the words "choice", "options" etc.

Secondly, there's the bribe. Advertised immediately below the title of the page. This'll probably be retained to soften the blow of conscription.

Finally, just look at the page: although it is meant simply to be a government information site, it has the appearance of a "lifestyle" brochure — happy, smiling faces; people dancing, people laughing. Forced post-sixteen education is something you're gonna love! And notice there at the bottom of the page, the acme of lifestyle choices. University. The final enticement is the prospect of living the student dream: never mind the colossal expense or just how likely you are to use that degree — no, you'll belong to the best social identity group of all. Incredibly there's even a page devoted to promoting that package holiday for chattering-class youth, the gap year. And promoting is the word, here: follow the link — there's no hint that taking a gap year might not always be such a wonderful idea.

Choices, sweeteners and unending fun. Oh my! Conscription has never looked so appealing.


Paul Coombes said...

Your link doesn't work anymore (18th May).

Fabian Tassano said...

Thanks. Amended.