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This Week in the New Normal #37

Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.

1. “Black Boxes” to log your car’s data

July 6th marked the start of a new EU-wide policy that will see all new vehicles manufactured with a “black box” fitted.

Much like its namesake in an aeroplane, the box will log all the technical data of your car – speed, direction, location, whether or not the doors are open or the seatbelts being used etc. – but unlike in planes, it will then make all that data available to law enforcement, whether or not there’s an accident.

We know how this works. It’s surveillance in the name of “safety”.

The scheme will allegedly be “voluntary”, with drivers having the ability to opt-out of data logging, but if Covid vaccines have taught us anything it’s that “voluntary” doesn’t always mean really voluntary.

They also claim the data will be anonymized…but do you really believe that?

This goes hand in hand with both the UK and EU fitting mandatory “speed limiters” to all new vehicles starting this year.

A speed limiter is an array of sensors designed to detect the speed of your vehicle, including cameras which read road signs, and either forcibly lower the speed by limiting the power of the engine or provide “feedback” to the driver until they slow down.

This seems to be part of a global trend of cracking down on vehicular freedom – in January Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill included a clause that all new vehicles must have remote “kill switches” installed by 2026.

2. “Fake journalists with fake bios”

An interesting story from GMWatch on a French author who claims to have been paid by a marketing/PR firm to author nearly 600 articles which are then distributed to news outlets and magazines and published under fake names with fake biographies.

The report, originating in French magazine Fakir Presse, claims journalist Julien Fomenta Rosat was contracted by a “marketing solutions” firm iStrat to write articles on various topics – including promoting nuclear energy, defending glyphosate and promoting the use of “smart meters”.

This mirrors revelations from German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, who claims many journalists are simply given reports by intelligence agencies and then put their names on them.

A reminder: Question everything. A name and bio and photo do not a person make, and any mainstream article you see could well have been commissioned through marketing firms, NGOs or government agencies.

3. Dutch farmers, Subversion and redirection

For over two weeks now Dutch farmers have been protesting government policies that would see a massive reduction in food production across the country – it was our good news last week.

However, this week it might have become a good example of how the “powers that shouldn’t be” can absorb and then redirect the energy of protests until the people protesting end up unwittingly serving a grander agenda.

Last week farmers were using their tractors to slow traffic and holding rallies – this week they started blockading supermarket supply depots, leading to empty shelves in supermarkets.

They’re using the slogan “no farmers, no food”, which is a fair point…but it’s also counterproductive.

Firstly, making ordinary people go short of food will never win them over – especially during a recession. More importantly, though, it is playing right into the hands of the New Normal crowd.

We’ve documented the “war on food“, a series of policy decisions contrived to create food shortages and justify “resetting” the way we eat. Empty supermarkets service that agenda wonderfully.

One wonders who exactly suggested this change in tactic.

BONUS: Hellhole of the week

It’s that place again – Australia, just what are you doing?

Not content with foodbank queues literally a mile long…

They’re now reporting that Australians may soon need a fifth dose of the Covid vaccine to be considered fully vaccinated:

Really turning into the gold standard of the Great Reset.

BONUS II: Unrepentant war criminal of the week

Alistair Campbell was on BBC Question Time this week, preaching about ethics in politics. When someone (rightly) pointed out that Campbell prattling about “partygate” when he was partly responsible for the war in Iraq, this was his response…

We have written before that Campbell’s continued freedom – let alone media platform – is everything that’s wrong with the world. Just imagine making that face in response with all that blood on your hands.

As for the “last guy” who apparently “regretted” calling Campbell a liar…well, perhaps he means Dr David Kelly.

It’s not all bad…

This week, Bob Moran is his usual savage self…

Neil Oliver is predictably eloquent on the fall of Boris Johnson…

Also, Joe Biden gaffes are always good for a laugh, like his concern that pregnant women have to travel out of state to “terminate their presidency”.

If only.

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All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the ongoing mess in Sri Lanka or The Guardian pushing plant based meat “for the climate”.

There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.