The Politics of Fear

Written by Harold McNeill on November 1st, 2011. Posted in Editorials


Cartoon - Politics of Fear

The Politics of Fear: Much has been written on how fear is used to manipulate, yet few seem to take the time to think about whether their fear is based on real time event (e.g. a man with a gun pointing it at you) or whether the fear is built from images or stories of others (manufactured fear).  Statistics make it clear that infrequent events (e.g. a man with gun, a terrorist attack) will cause more irrational fear than, say, smoking, something which will very likely will lead to serious illness and possible premature death.

February, 2015.  This post is brought forward as the amount of ‘fear mongering’ (mainly on terrorism in the present day) has increased exponentially as the Conservatives get ready for an election.  Today, February 27, six pages of the National Post carried terror related stories. It has been much the same over the past several weeks as preparations were made for introducing a new terror bill.  Several months back when crime legislation was on the agenda, the fear mongering included ‘crime, drugs and sex offenders’. Murdered, missing and abused aboriginal women (an ongoing crime problem) barely rated a mention by the government or the press. More will be said on that in an upcoming post.

First, this earlier post: 

The following excerpts were taken from recent Conservative Party Fundraising letter as reported by Scott Stinson in National Post PoliticsOfFearNovember 1, 2011 (page A6):

What happened (what is happening on our streets)? Far too many parents have been asking me this question year after year. Canadian families deserve to feel safe in their homes. They deserve to feel safe letting their children play in the front yard, or walk to school. But, they second guess themselves: should I let my children go to their friends’ homes?

“We are finding that crimes involving drugs and child sexual exploitation are on the increase, and we need to give our hardworking police the tools to make our streets safer.”

“Our Government is fulfilling our commitment to take action to protect families and hold criminals accountable. But the opposition are in constant attack mode, and we need your contribution to help families feel safer in their homes and communities, and remove criminals from our streets.” (John Walsh, Federal Conservative Party President) (Bold and underlined as printed in the flyer)

In his assessment, Stinson goes on to state:

Not too subtle, that. It’s not quite: ‘We will protect you while the opposition would rather leave you for dead,” but it’s close. That emphasis isn’t mine, by the way. It is a rich irony that the Conservatives are accusing the other parties of being in “constant attack mode.”

harpie fear4

There is a vast difference between presenting reasonable arguments for or against a given subject than using fear in an attempt to have others support your position. If you don’t support the Conservatives you will likely end up murdered or raped or as one Minister put it when promoting new laws relating to sexual offences: “If you are not with us you are with the pedophiles.”

Scare tactics do nothing to make for “safe streets and communities”, in fact they have just the opposite effect. When people begin to believe that perverts, internet prowlers, druggies and murderers are lurking on-line, in every alley and on every street corner citizens will actually feel less safe on their street and in their community. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Unfortunately the tactic is likely to succeed and far to many honest, hardworking folks will donate $50 or $100 to ‘fight the evil empire’ (e.g. Criminals and Opposition Parties).

For a full discussion of why Bill C-10, the  “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, does little to make for safer and communities go to: Crime and Punishment: Ideology Trumps Reason

Take a moment to express your displeasure with any political party that employs scare tactics to influence your behaviour or in an attempt to have you to contribute to their party coffers.

Harold McNeill

(455)

(Visited 204 times, 1 visits today)

Trackback from your site.

Comments (1)

Leave a comment

 

Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold