Why is it that there seems to be a continual feed of things to frighten people with?

The latest subject is artificial intelligence - this will be the end of life as we know it. The technology poses a threat to the very existence of the human race.

It is no doubt right to be cautious about AI. There does need to be proper regulation but is the fear factor being overdone.

Another recent phenomena used to maximum fear effect was Covid. Then, fear was used blatantly as a tool to control people. Remember the daily death and infection figures - a regular part of daily news bulletins.

People were scared into complying.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Paul Donovan claims that people are often scared into complyingPaul Donovan claims that people are often scared into complying (Image: Paul Donovan)

The terror threat posed by one group or another is regularly run out to frighten people. Often, as a precursor to more draconian legislation, taking away people's human rights.

Immigration and crime are other subjects regularly deployed to frighten the populace.

At another level there seems to be a morbid fascination with life threatening illness. The number of news stories, documentaries and dramas on things like cancer, dementia etc is incredible. 

Not that it is wrong to educate and inform on these matters. People can learn about healthier lifestyles and maybe ways to avoid such conditions. Some inspirational stories portray heroic efforts to overcome adversity. 

The problem is more when this all fits into an overall picture that ensures fear and insecurity in people.

Fear is certainly used to control. At the depths of the great depression of the 1930s, US President Franklin D Roosevelt famously declared that the only thing to fear was fear itself. A statement as true today, as it was then.

There are certainly plenty of things around to be scared of but everyone needs to be aware as to how such concerns can be used to manipulate and control people. 

  • Paul Donovan is Labour councillor for Wanstead Village ward, Redbridge Council and blogger (paulfdonovan.blogspot.com).