How to destroy a political party by waging a fact-free propaganda war which can’t be answered

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Source: Twitter thread by novelist Simon Maginn, which can be read @simonmaginn

1. Select your cause. This could be anything, but it’ll work better if it’s simultaneously highly emotive, imprecise, and presented as something people will find it difficult to argue against. (‘Let’s fight antisemitism’, for instance.)

2. Find ‘evidence’. Social media is a supremely rich source of possible ammunition, and accounts can be combed and pored over to find what looks like incriminating material.

3. Denounce. Denounce publicly, denounce often, denoune repeatedly. Repetition is key: the messages must be repeated sufficiently that they become ‘common sense’, something people keep on hearing about so it ‘must be true’.

4. Anyone who questions your narrative must be denounced as guilty thremselves. Denying your issue means ‘not taking the issue seriously’.

5. Divide. Make sure your issue is one that will cause division. Set factions against each other, foment intra-party tensions and get party members fighting each other.

6. Find ‘ambassadors’. People in the arts or entertainment sector are invaluable. They’re publicity hungry anyway and can be flattered easily. Their sense of self-importance will drive them to work for you, and they will have a wide base of fans who will become messengers in turn

7. Recruit the media. Make sure your issue is one the media will find ‘sexy’, and will want to report. Your ‘ambassadors’ will have good links and contacts here. Media are scandal-hungry and credulous. Flood them with stories.

8. Comedy is a key battleground. Once an issue has become the subject of TV comedy, it becomes cemented as ‘true’ in people’s minds. Your issue will gain far greater reach through TV comedy than any other route.

9. So give comedians material. Give them caricatures of reality, exaggerated characteristics. Comedians, like your media ambassadors, will be eager to be recruited if they can ‘make material’ out of your issue.

10. Swamp. The party will have some kind of complaints procedure. This must immediately be incapacitated by sheer volume. Complaints need not have any substance, it’s the volume that matters.

11. Now complain the complaints process itself is ‘too slow.’ The massive backlog you’ve created becomes a new campaigning tool. The party is ‘in denial’, ‘not taking the issue seriously’, etc.

12. When complaints are dismissed for lack of evidence, complain again that this shows the party isn’t taking the issue seriously. Dispute anything that suggests false accusations exist: the accusation of false accusations can itself become a new form of ‘denialism’.

13. Demand ‘action’. Your demands must increase as concessions are made. Every concession muct be denounced as insufficient. Whatever is offered, it must be refused and condemned. No apology should be accepted, but rejected as ‘too little too late’.

14. Be implacable. No attempt shoud be made actually to resolve the issue. Resolution is not your goal: destruction of the party is. The party must be damaged so significantly that your issue becomes definitional in people’s minds.

15. Be relentless. Never stop.

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