TMR 283 : Dr Piers Robinson : Cock-up or Conspiracy? Understanding COVID-19 as a "Structural Deep Event"

Piers Robinson"The stakes could not be higher, and it has never been more essential to seriously engage with uncomfortable possibilities – even if that means interrogating explanations that move beyond reducing what we are all experiencing to blunder and incompetence."—Dr Piers Robinson

We welcome to the programme Dr Piers Robinson—co-director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies—for an in-depth interview on his recent article: "Cock-up or Conspiracy? Understanding COVID-19 as a ‘Structural Deep Event’ ".

As debate over "The Science" has intensified, increasing numbers of people are coming to question the Covid-19 Event. What best explains the often bizarre, and sometimes frightening, responses by authorities over the last two and a half years? Irrational panic by well-intentioned but incompetent politicians and health experts? Profiteering and power seeking by corporate and political vested interests? Or might we be looking at something more—a "structural deep event"—in which globally powerful actors might have harnessed (or even instigated) the Covid-19 Event in order to drive deep structural changes in society? Arguing that all possible explanations need to remain firmly on the table, Dr Robinson appeals to all thinking people to ask such difficult and uncomfortable questions, because to understand the past and the present is to guard the future and "the stakes could not be higher".

Dr Piers Robinson is a co-director of the Organisation for Propaganda Studies and was Chair/Professor in Politics, Society and Political Journalism, University of Sheffield, 2016-2019, Senior Lecturer in International Politics (University of Manchester 2010-2016) and Lecturer in Political Communication (University of Liverpool, 1999-2005). He researches and writes on propaganda, media, international politics and conflict.

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TMR 281 : Adeyinka Makinde : On the Ukraine Crisis 2022

Adeyinka MakindeFor the second interview in our short series on the Ukraine Crisis—the first of which was with Dr Paul Craig Roberts—we are once again joined by the lawyer, writer and university lecturer Adeyinka Makinde, who has appeared on the programme several times in the past to speak on geopolitcal matters.

In this in-depth interview, recorded on 8 April 2022, Adeyinka Makinde draws upon his considerable knowledge and understanding of military history and international relations to share with us his perspective on the historical, political and geographical conditions that he argues have led to the current Crisis.

Adeyinka Makinde trained for the law as a barrister. He lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London, and has an academic research interest in intelligence & security matters. He is a contributor to a number of websites for which he has written essays and commentaries on international relations, politics and military history. He has served as a programme consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia. (Of his past TMR appearances, the following interview most helpfully provides further background to some of the points discussed in this programme: TMR 198 : Adeyinka Makinde : Russia & Britain - An Enduring But Fruitless Rivalry.)

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TMR 280 : Dr Paul Craig Roberts : On the Ukraine Crisis 2022

Henry Hildebrandt"Lies are being turned into truth, and fiction is being turned into fact."—PCR

We are joined once again by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former US Assistant Secretary to the Treasury for Economic Policy, for an in-depth interview on the current Ukraine Crisis. In this conversation, recorded on 22 March 2022, Dr Roberts shares with us his perspective on the ongoing Crisis, setting the tragic events in their historical, geographical and political contexts.

[It is anticipated that this will be the first in a short series of interviews/conversations on the Ukraine Crisis, the purpose of which will be to sample the opinions of various guests on this troubling and difficult-to-interpret conflict. Next time we shall be speaking to Adeyinka Makinde.]

"In addition to having held numerous senior academic positions in universities, Dr. Roberts was an associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and was appointed by US President Reagan as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during Reagan's first term in office, following which he served as a consultant to both the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Commerce. Dr. Roberts is now the Chairman of the The Institute for Political Economy."

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TMR 279 : Dr Colin Alexander : Coronavirus & the British Wartime Propaganda Playbook

Henry Hildebrandt"What we have is a series of images of a pseudo-world, which combine in the mind of the individual to create a worldview detached from actuality."—Colin Alexander

We are joined by Dr Colin Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Political Communications at Nottingham Trent University, for a detailed conversation on the UK government's use of British wartime-style propaganda during (particularly the early days of) the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, Dr Alexander published a short video entitled "Coronavirus and the British Wartime Propaganda Playbook"—as part of a series of pieces on propaganda during the pandemic—and it is that presentation which serves as the springboard for our conversation today.

"Dr Colin Alexander is Senior Lecturer in Political Communications within the School of Arts and Humanities. He works in Communication and Society subject team and contributes teaching to the BA Joint Honours Humanities, BA Media Communication and Culture and the MA Media and Globalisation degree programmes."

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TMR 278 : Pastor Henry Hildebrandt : God, Ottawa & the Truckers

Henry Hildebrandt"We cannot trust the system, we cannot trust them with our children, we cannot trust them with our money..."—Henry Hildebrandt

We welcome to the programme the inspirational Pastor Henry Hildebrandt of The Church of God, Ontario, who joins us to discuss the recent Canadian Truckers' Protest and to share with us his extraordinary experience of having been intimately involved with the convoy in Ottawa for three weeks, pastoring, preaching and praying for protesters and police alike.

After explaining what triggered the protest, Pastor Hildebrandt draws upon his "boots-on-the-ground" experience to describe what happened both before and after Justin Trudeau inappropriately invoked the Canadian Emergencies Act. He also shares with us the amazing ways in which God was at work during those few weeks to bring people together in a spirit of fellowship and close co-operation, and spells out the crucial lessons that we all must learn from what he describes as God's victory in that situation.

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TMR 277 : David Charalambous : The Reaching People Project

PhillSacre"We swim in a sea of assumptions we are largely unaware of."—David Charalambous

Do you find that some people are no longer paying attention to facts? Or not listening to reason? Are conversations just getting "shut down" almost before they start?

We are joined by David Charalambous, founder of The Reaching People Project, for a conversation on the aims and objectives of this important new project, and to gain some insights into the ways in which this project might help us all to communicate with people in these increasingly polarised times.

David Charalambous is the founder of Reaching People. He has a background of 25 years consulting to multinational clients, from regular mums and dads, through athletes, to business leaders. His skills, which include NLP, EFT, General Semantics, System Theory, Process Mapping, Dynamics and Communication, have enabled him to build models of communication with which he has had much success in helping people over the years.—(Adapted from Reaching People Project)

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TMR 276 : Cory Zue : Coming Clean

PhillSacre"I think society is pretty lost right now. And maybe, just maybe, my story can set one or two of us on a better path."—Cory Zue

We are joined by the software developer and entrepreneur Cory Zue for a conversation on his now well-known essay, "Coming Clean : My experience of the pandemic in South Africa and the case for a more inclusive conversation about Covid and vaccines".

The essay, which—if you will excuse the pun—quickly "went viral" after it was published on his blog on 4th January 2022, struck a chord with people—not least because it seemed to connect (in broad terms) with the experience of so many, but also because of its balance, its openness and its well-researched nature.

So, join us as we explore Cory's reasoning and personal experience as documented in the essay.

"Hi, I'm Cory. I'm a software developer and entrepreneur. I also write occasionally. These days I mostly work on SaaS Pegasus: the Django SaaS boilerplate. I also made Place Card Me—what I hope is the best way to make printable place cards on the internet. My website originated during a six-month sabbatical I took from my day job where I tried to launch a profitable product. I also write occasionally about building software. Oh, and I'm a one-man open startup. From 2007-2017 I served as CTO of Dimagi and led the team that builds its flagship product: CommCare. I'm now an advisor to the organization."—Cory Zue

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