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Gilet jaunes and conspiracy theories

Supposedly the ‘gilet jaunes’ movement is full of conspiracy theorists:

Almost six out of ten self-professed “yellow vests” in France believe that Diana, Princess of Wales, was assassinated, according to a new study suggesting the movement is steeped in conspiracy theories.

If true this should worry the French Establishment. Before the Russian revolution all sorts of conspiracy theories were in the air about the Establishment, especially concerning the Empress and Rasputin. When conspiracy theories — well-founded or not — about the Establishment run wild it’s in trouble.

But is it true? I suspect members of the Establishment are looking to discredit the gilet jaunes movement by portraying them as loons, much like the establishment in the UK did to the Eurosceptics, calling them ‘swivel-eyed loons’, for example, instead of listening to them. Look how that ended up. (Who are the swivel-eyed loons now?)

Personally, I expect there are, in fact, quite a lot of gilet jaunes protesters who believe in some crazy theories, like chemtrails. But how many? We don’t really know. That brings me onto my last point. How reliable are these figures? I rarely trust any sort of survey work in this field, because it’s very difficult to avoid getting a self-selecting sample. Take the figure given above. 60% believe Diana was assassinated. What a bunch of nutcases, eh? But look:

By comparison, some 34 per cent of the general population said they believe that Diana’s death in a car accident under Paris’ pont de l’Alma in August 1997 was a “masked murder”, according to the Ifop study.

34% of the general population believe this as well? Either the French population has millions of fruit loops, or these figures are a crock. You may say, well, the French are a bit crazy, so perhaps the former is true. They’re certainly a lot more irrational than the solid, sceptical Brits. But hang on:

That tallies roughly with a 2013 YouGov poll in the UK, which put the figure at 38 per cent.

38% of Brits believe that Diana was murdered? 38%? I know that there are some people who believe this, and a few more have their suspicions, but you’re telling me that over 20 million people (38% of the over-16 population of the UK is about 20 million) really believe this? Fuckovski they do. Anyway, even if they do, that makes the gilet jaunes not all that different from the average Brit.

And get this:

It found that an inordinate number of yellow vests – some 59 per cent, compared to 37 of French in general – said they got their information from online videos and social media rather than “official” news outlets.

This is no surprise. The “official” MSM has lost almost all credibility amongst everyone except middle-management types. And notice two things — the subtle use of the word ‘inordinate’, with its disapproving overtones, and also the fact that 37 per cent of the French population is already like this (assuming we trust these numbers). If more than one-third of the whole population has lost trust in the MSM anyway, then if anything 59 per cent seems surprisingly low.

And are we supposed to be worried by this? The suggestion clearly is that these people are reading all sorts of misleading websites. But the MSM would never have lost all their readers in the first place if they’d been more honest, and — especially in France — not been mouthpieces for the Establishment. If you want to see a misleading website with too much influence spreading propaganda, you need only go to an MSM website and start reading.

 

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One thought on “Gilet jaunes and conspiracy theories

  1. I’ve been watching some of the UK Yellow Vests and I’m afraid that conspiraloons do seem to be making up a significant part of the Yellow Vest protestors. The small yellow vest demo in London last Saturday appeared to be to be fraggles all the way through, including a guy marching in support of a gaoled cancer-cure quack doctor. One of the initial promoters of the Yellow Vest movement in the UK has been caught out making the laughable claim that Britain is ‘run by a gang of Satanic Paedophiles’. Also, there’s been yellow vest groups in the north who appear to be obsessed with the pseudoscience that 5G mobile devices are for ‘mind control’ and that LED lights are making people ill, neither of these claims seem to have any basis in truth.

    Whilst I agree with the general opprobrium that the MSM is held in, I could not ignore the evidence before my own eyes that this demo on Saturday had not attracted the legions of normal ordinary politically disengaged people that it would have needed to attract in order to grow.

    I tend to concur with Conspiracy Watch that there is a propensity for those involved in the Yellow Vest movement to believe in guff such as ‘Zionist plot’ conspiracy theories.

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