Patriotic Love has touched my life in profound ways. I grew up in the shadow of a tremendous giant, the Second World War. My childhood was cast into its darkness; it was only through persistence that I survived and was able to bloom. It was Patriotic Love that took the lives of family members and friends, those who fought in battle and those who were lost as casualties.
The history of propaganda is just one aspect of the British Library's new exhibition entitled Propaganda: Power and Persuasion. In a series of six sections, it deploys some 200 exhibits - pamphlets, posters, ephemera such as coins and banknotes, quotations, film and interviews - to explore the different ways in which propaganda has been used.
The current government's presentation of its policies to tackle a massive public debt is an object lesson in the effective use of the Big Lie. Pathologically opposed to any measures which might unduly affect the "wealth-creating potential" of the better-off, they are nevertheless determined to make massive reductions in public expenditure, and have targeted the Welfare Budget as a potential source of great savings.
'We're all in it together' is, on the surface, an excellent message behind which to unite a country. It alludes to wartime life and suggests that we're all feeling the same pain. Of course, we're not and it doesn't appear to be working. Increasingly, it's being used as a stick with which to beat the government; every time a story shows that some are thriving whilst others suffer serves to defeat the message.
Award-winning filmmaker Emily James's funny, informative and inspirational documentary Just Do It goes behind the scenes of climate activism in Britain to show a side of the issue largely missing from mainstream media. Initially released in cinemas, the film is now available to download/stream, or as a free Creative Commons version, at the Just Do It website.