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  • Propaganda Then And Now
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 1:09 PM on Sep 11, 2010

    I posted Lockheed Martin's latest Joint Strike Fighter video a few days ago, but there was something about the announcer's hectoring, ultra-confident tone that reminded me of something. When I realized what that was, I did some deep diving into the Intertubes, and found this:

    blog post photo

    The narrator, Bob Danvers-Walker, was the voice of Pathe newsreels (particularly those with military content) for decades, and despite his cut-glass British accent he was born in Tasmania and did not move to the UK until he was 26. I've always believed that Orwell's concept of "duckspeak" was inspired by Danvers-Walker's relentless perkiness.

    The movie makes an interesting parallel with the Lockheed Martin video and other promotional material. Instead of claiming a six-to-one advantage
    in kill-to-loss ratio, the Air Ministry's publicists asserted that the Defiants had notched up an F-22-like 60-to-nil score over Dunkirk. After lots of scenes of factories and high technology - the British thought that their intricate, precise power gun turrets were the answer to everything - you see the Defiant perform the same lazy roll as F-35 AF-1 and AF-2.

    Mind you, there are critics and naysayers who say that Pathe News and the Air Ministry aren't giving you the whole story about the Defiant - but that Danvers-Walker sounds like a frightfully decent chap, and what kind of a bounder would suggest that he might be fibbing?

    Tags: ar99, jsf, tacair, afa10

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