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For you Tommy the argument is over

ippr - Institute for Public Policy Research

Warm Words:
How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?
Author: Gill Ereaut and Nat Segnit
Publication Date: 03 August 2006
Putting in place effective policies to stimulate climate-friendly behaviour in the UK is clearly essential, but so too is the use of effective communications.


It is a manual on how a government can lie to its people. It is a prescription for marketing falsehood in the same way as selling soap powder. But this is Blair’s Britain now, and Cameron’s Britain will be no different. Above all, it is the Britain of Orwell’s nightmare. But if people cannot (or will not) see it for what it is, no amount of line-by-line analysis is going to change their minds. Furthermore, for those with the wit to see, these people have tacitly admitted that they (and their clients) are lying.

Download the full pdf.

Here is an extract to give a flavour:

Much of the noise in the climate change discourse comes from argument and counter-argument, and it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. This must be done by stepping away from the ‘advocates debate’ described earlier, rather than by stating and re-stating these things as fact.

The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken. The certainty of the Government’s new climate-change slogan – ‘Together this generation will tackle climate change’ (Defra 2006) – gives an example of this approach. It constructs, rather than claims, its own factuality.


How odious; we pretend, therefore IT exists. This gets away from the traditional, "Tell a Lie Long Enough" and leans towards the simpler "King Canute" model, not however with the same logical outcome - just the "simple" part.

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