THE TREATMENT of Dominic Cummings by the press over his trip to Durham during lockdown is the latest stage in a cycle of acceptance.
The Cycle of Acceptance is a psychological concept – when bad news is received, individuals and organisations go through a series of psychological responses. These responses begin with denial, then anger, and then depression. In some cases, this leads to final acceptance and a state of resolution. Sadly, many are perpetually locked in the anger stage.
We are witnessing a seismic process – a series of event quakes punctuated by the ebb and flow of politics. This affair has been in effect for over a decade since the mainstreaming of social media. The power privilege of the Western media establishment is collapsing, and we are experiencing its cycle of acceptance.
The 2010s saw the rise of ‘alternative’ media. Moving beyond the fringe of a few thousand dedicated readers and listeners, the new online outlets would reach millions. The alts could finally push back against the news narratives of global corporates and state broadcasters, genuinely influencing politics and society.
The initial response from the establishment was denial in the form of snobbery and scorn. “How could these upstarts, lacking Oxbridge degrees and journalism training attain so much reach and influence? Are they even members of the NUJ? They can’t possibly be doing what we do. We do real news. They peddle propaganda and conspiracy theories – fake news.”
And so they ignored it until it started to make a difference.
June 23, 2016, was the first bit of bad news. Despite an extensive Remain campaign by the political, media, academic, business and sporting establishments, itself backed by foreign establishments – in short, the global leviathan – the good people of these islands voted to leave the European Union.
The response from the establishment? More denial. “Leave lied to the people”, they said. “It won’t happen again, and we will stop it anyway.” Then it happened again.
November 8, 2016. Donald Trump elected – despite an enormous campaign against him by the American and global establishment. Trump spoke of Brexit as an inspiration for his campaign – he joined the dots. These weren’t a series of isolated incidents, but a global phenomenon tracing back to a populist message independent of the globalist narrative.
Unlike in the UK, the American media skipped the denial stage, moving swiftly to anger, lashing out at the President-elect and entering into a protracted media war with the Head of State which continues to this day.
Fast forward to 2019. Theresa May resigns, and the Conservative Party enters into a leadership election. The establishment-endorsed candidate, Jeremy Hunt, loses. Another marker of decline.
And then it happened. The British establishment’s public enemy number one, the Dark Lord of Brexit, Dominic Cummings took a trip to Durham during the lockdown.
For days, the media devoted itself to wall-to-wall coverage, camping outside Dominic’s home and embarrassing itself with ever-brazen counterfactual vitriol. Cummings had to go – the media commanded it.
And it wasn’t like nothing else was going on in the world. The so-called People’s Republic of China performed a palace coup in Hong Kong, passing laws to fully annex it in contravention of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1996. But now the UK media establishment had caught up with its American counterpart – it had entered the anger stage, and nothing else mattered but getting Cummings’s head to roll.
It kicked, and it stamped, mislead and misread. Frontpage headline after front page headline, cut out and keep masks of Britain’s Goldstein, absurdly scathing commentaries by corporate and state broadcasters alike. Surely it was the end for Dom?
He’s still here. Never has anyone survived such a concentrated and constant barrage from the establishment media before.
We are living in a new age but let’s not get carried away. The establishment media is still the great power broker, and if any of the media spin surrounding the recent protests, and rioting is anything to go by, we are in for a dangerous denouement.