I TRY to look into the public mind, but for good reasons, writes retired consultant, Doctor David Halpin.
You the reader might not know of the Behavioural Insights Team, more often called proudly the ‘Nudge Unit’. It is lead by a near namesake David Halpern PhD – hence ‘Dr’, who is expert in determining and actually steering the minds of the masses.
He will have read and absorbed the words and doings of Edward Bernhays. a nephew of Sigmund Freud, in the US. He had a massive influence through media propaganda, including adverts, on the US people. He helped for instance in wrecking good public transport in California in the ’30s in favour of the ‘auto’mobile.
That is why six-lane highways exist. The local ‘climate change’ brigade should take note of how minds are manipulated. If you want to know how Bernhays worked on the minds of the massed there are four one-hour films on line called ‘The Century of the Self’ by Adam Curtis, and made interestingly for the BBC! It would be good for these to be shown in our local and very adequate cinema, the Alexandra.
** Footnote. There is much excellent archive film and texts within these most excellent documentaries. It would be a good change from most of that which comes of Hollywood, and which is always accompanied by massive advertising – everywhere you look.
Some people love destruction, so in viewing ‘Top Gun’ in its recent re-make, some excitement, a tingle, is felt as that ‘Ruskie’ plane is zapped at Mach 2.
The Nudge Unit used to be in No 10. Yes, Number Ten. Halpern, a psychologist, along with dozens of graduates in this and other specialisms, worked there until it presumably got too big. So now the offices, and all the sophisticated computer and connecting stuff is in Victoria Street, a walk away from the presumed centre of power in our presently lowered country.
You should note that there is a unit of the same name in the USA, the word ‘Behavioural’ being exact. And you probably know that the Nudge Unit there will be influenced, and influencing, the hundreds of ‘Think Tanks’ infesting that large part of North America. These mostly snide outfits are numerous too in our dear land.
Halpern sat in on the SAGE committee meetings attended by the disgraced Boris, Professor Whitty, the knighted Patrick Vallance KCB, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, HonFREng. The latter had, or has, £600,000 worth of shares in SmithKline, French, the giant pharmaceutical company.
He was knighted in the 2019 New Years Honours, I presume via that No 10. His share holding is dealt with in this Wikipedia account which is well worth reading - if you can afford a computer and its connection.
In September (of 2020 - DSH), it emerged that Vallance owns a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares worth £600,000 in GlaxoSmithKline, a company which is working on developing a COVID vaccine. This led to claims ( ! DSH) of a potential conflict of interest, as Vallance could be seen to have a financial interest in pushing for a vaccine-based response to the pandemic whether or not this is objectively the best approach. 
Both Vallance and the then Health Secretary Matt Hancock denied that this was the case, with a government spokesperson stating that, ‘Upon his appointment, appropriate steps were taken to manage the Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s interests in line with advice provided at the time’.
You will remember that, as I wrote previously in this good local paper, Hancock stated in one of his many Whatsapp messages that he intended to ‘scare the pants off people’ in getting them to do all manner of unnecessary things and to be inoculated - unnecessarily in my opinion.
The ensuing and massive propaganda achieved that exactly, especially in those who were vulnerable to the removal of any common sense or logic, and especially to the many who were suffering depression with anxiety. I see this in family and good friends, and feel deep anger for this criminal abuse of power.
So where are we, 78 years from another war to end wars, when we had a vast store of common sense and determination?
When in our national bankruptcy, as now and helped by £400 billion on ‘covid’, we instead built a National Health Service and much else. (Just imagine the benefit of a bus and coach station at Brunel’s station by Courtenay Park!)
As I walk round Newton Abbot on a Saturday and note just one stall selling mostly local vegetables, and having passed the hideous ASDA store with its vast car park, I note a people who often look distracted, and many anxious and visibly depressed fellow humans – and that concerns me greatly, as it did when I was serving.
Some of these people think that ‘they will look after them’. ‘They’ are not looking after them. Indeed, some of those with their greasy hands on the levers of power have minds which believe a National Health Service is too good for the proles. I mean these words, because I have seen how ‘they’ have been using every weapon to wound what we hold dear, and which a vast majority depend upon in those vital times when sickness strikes.
So I finish with this theme, and will develop this next week if the editors wish.
This paper reported a fortnight ago that our beneficent government with no ready cash was planning three ‘diagnostic centres’ in Torbay, Yeovil and Truro in the SW. Surprise, surprise – the contractor is InHealth, which is currently providing MRI scanning behind our unnecessarily large (PFI) Newton Abbot hospital.
I know because my dear sister was met with a kind radiographer - born in India, when she had a necessary scan recently. I think a Dr Evans, head of ‘’NHS South West’ was quoted praising this ‘spend’.
The older readers especially will know that the priority is for easy but responsible contact with doctors who have been well trained, primed by good experience, and in a respectful and calm environment.
The ‘tech’ as promoted by the most terrible Blair via his foundation funded by Saudi Arabia etc, is very much secondary. ‘Keeping it simple’ as I taught the young surgeons is the way forward, NOW.
Footnote. I wanted to set up monthly talks lead by me in the Alexandra from last autumn, but we were supporting our daughter with her vicious bowel cancer. I envisaged a 20-minute presentation of a topic, say obesity, by me –followed by questions and answers.
A topic would be chosen for the following month by those gathered – with projected film or slides, by those gathered, A good lay person or senior nurse would join me at the head. The fact is that people are ill informed as to health, and our country is sickly, when it need not be.