A gay marriage bill passed its final hurdle late last night in the House of Lords. During the debate, Sir Gerald Howarth warned people who do not agree with gay weddings could feel inhibited from expressing their true opinions that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. 'It's going to be very interesting to see what happens to teachers. How many teachers will feel able to express their views for fear of upsetting their political masters and might lose their jobs?' Ironically, I visited the British Library yesterday. Its current exhibition is 'Propaganda: Power and Persuasion'. I then walked six minutes to Senate House, the headquarters of the University of London. Senate House was used in wartime by the Ministry of Information and was the inspiration for George Orwell's Ministry of Truth in his novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. Truth stranger than fiction! John Benton writes, "Winston Smith, the novel's hero, is a small cog in the bureaucratic machinery of 'Big Brother', which rules Britain through its omnipresent surveillance and constant propaganda. He works at the 'Ministry of Truth' falsifying back copies of The Times. His colleague, Symes, is engaged on the latest 'Newspeak' of government approved words. In order to justify itself, a totalitarian regime has to destroy objective knowledge and the means to do that resides in language. D.J. Taylor, Orwell's biographer, explains totalitarianism as 'not just telling a man 2+2=5, it is about convincing him it is so'. Orwell challenges us not to be convinced by the propaganda nor be cowered by it.
Another British author, William Golding, in his novel 'Lord of the Flies', describes a group of educated boys stranded on a Pacific Island who struggle to obey rules and behave morally over acting selfishly and scorning morality. One boy, Piggy, believes their survival depends on doing everything adults would do. When his theory fails, Piggy muses: 'We did everything adults would do. What went wrong?' The Lord of the Flies and the House of Lords tell a salutary tale. The secular elite assisted by an obliging Orwellian media has fallen for the first propaganda perpetrated in Eden, 'You will be like God'. Don't buy the lie.