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Again, that can be seen as a framing issue.  The right are usually far better than us at framing the debate in their terms.

What was the term applied to all those placard-waving, Russki-loving, Trade-union-bootlicking hysterics? The Loony Left.

Can you think of an equivalently derogatory and repeated phrase for the right wing of that period?  You can't.  It was a masterpiece of framing by the right wing press.

But there was more than that.  Look again at my last-but-one paragraph.  Placard-waving.  Is your first thought "Countryside Alliance"? Every phrase in that sentence is loaded with anti-left associations via frequently repeated references to the Cold War and Winter of Discontent.

That's not to say that the left has always been saintly and victimised.  But there is no equivalent phraseology for the dismantling of our society and infrastructure that took place under Thatcher.  We have failed to create and propagate our own frames.

And the right is still better at this than us.  Could any left-wing demonstration display the spittle-flecked hysteria of the anti-choice brigade without making the national news in a really unhelpful way?

We might not want to play the manipulative frame game.  But we do need to be aware of it so that we can deal with it.  "Pro-choice" was one good counter-step.  

by Sassafras on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 07:19:53 AM EST
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