Secret govt unit used ‘unethical’ fear tactics to push Covid rules compliance – media

The UK government’s behavioral insights team will reportedly be investigated over claims of using ‘fear, shame and scapegoating’ to influence public.

A parliamentary committee is reportedly set to investigate “scare ads” created by the UK government’s shadowy ‘behavioural insights’ team to “nudge” the public into obeying Covid-19 restrictions. The move comes amid concerns about the “grossly unethical” use of the unit to “inflate fear levels.”

The House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee is expected to probe the so-called “nudge unit” as part of an ongoing investigation into government activities during the pandemic, The Telegraph reported.

Tory MP William Wragg, who chairs the committee, told the paper that the “central issue is how ‘nudge’ sits within parliamentary democracy and ministerial accountability.”

According to The Telegraph, the committee received a letter from a group of 40 psychologists this week, which warned that it was “highly questionable whether a civilised society should knowingly increase the emotional discomfort of its citizens as a means of gaining their compliance.”

The signatories reportedly criticized the use of dramatic adverts featuring slogans such as “If you go out you can spread it, people will die.” One such ad had a close-up photo of an intensive-care patient wearing an oxygen mask, with the caption: “Look her in the eyes and tell her you never bend the rules.”

The use of “images of the acutely unwell in intensive care units” and the “macabre mono focus on the number of Covid-19 deaths without mention of mortality from other causes” were also said to have been condemned by the group, which warned of unintended consequences.

“Shaming and scapegoating have emboldened some people to harass those unable or unwilling to wear a face covering,” they reportedly wrote, adding that the “inflated fear levels” and “strategically-increased anxieties” had “[discouraged] many from seeking help for other illnesses.”

The letter also apparently cited a government memo from March 2020, which warned that a “substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened” by the virus and called for “hard-hitting, emotional messaging” to target the “complacent.”

But an unnamed government spokesperson told the Daily Mail that Downing Street had followed the advice of scientists and taken the “right measures at the right time” to tackle Covid-19. They added the government had used “every means possible” to inform the public about the severity of Covid-19.

Established by David Cameron’s coalition government in 2010, the ‘nudge unit’ is apparently designed to apply scientific principles to subtly influence public behavior without the need for legislation. Although its handiwork has been visible in government ads, The Telegraph noted that its operations are shrouded in secrecy.


Wragg's Open Letter can be read at Hart -

Ethical concerns arising from the Government’s use of covert psychological ‘nudges’


Thank You.

Brought up how Gibraltar is also using these same nudges and tactics here:

This constant reporting was/is part of the psychological behavioral tactic set forth by the UK Government, of which Gibraltar and its media were/are all too complicit in participating.

The methods used have included:

Daily statistics displayed without context: the macabre mono focus on showing the number of COVID-19 deaths without mention of mortality from other causes or the fact that, under normal circumstances, around 1600 people die each day in the UK.

originally posted by @Garath.

And the Gibraltar Panorama is also complicit



You're welcome.


They are unapologically right in our faces with their pschological tactics.

How can we get more people to get booster shots?

by Gerry Molloy, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Director of the MEDication Adherence across the Lifespan (MEDAL) Research Group at NUI Galway.

Analysis: Here are 6 useful ways to motivate and enable people to get their vaccine boosters

Overall, Ireland's Covid-19 vaccination programme has been a success. However, recent evidence suggests some waning enthusiasm for booster vaccinations. As Covid vaccine certificates are no longer in operation for hospitality, we now need to return to other means of influence. Here are six key behavioural science based principles that could be useful in motivating and enabling people to get their boosters.

The common good {a good-ole communistic approach - like Picardo uses}

Commitment to the common good is often a universal motivator. This is particularly the case earlier in adulthood. The leadership of young people in socially progressive and social solidarity movements demonstrate this. We can see public health messaging embracing this concern for social justice when we see the emphasis on protecting others e.g #ForUsAll.

Our booster conversations and public health messaging can equally remind people why getting boosted will also benefit other people. This includes immediate family members, friends, frontline healthcare workers and services who are collectively the first responders if we become ill with Covid-19. Strong government commitment to global vaccine equity is also likely to motivate. A coherent and consistent global health vision that is genuinely about the welfare of everyone may get the ambivalent on-board.

Trusted public figures {like the RGP police commissioner}.

Some public and community figures have earned widespread trust because we have witnessed their undeniable service to the dispossessed. Such people are seen as without a professional or political conflict of interest. When communicating about boosters we may want to remind people to seek out the guidance or to identify the norms of those that they trust. Identifying a pro-vaccination position of a specific trusted public figure is likely to be helpful.

Telling stories {creating fables really}

Individual’s stories capture our attention with a force that is rarely achieved by the presentation of carefully collated scientific facts about health risk.

Identity {another communist concept}

The power of collective identity in influencing behaviour can be seen when people feel strongly compelled to follow norms that align with their group identity. Motivating people in this way is particularly potent when it provides a means of confirming group identity or values.


Everyone needs their dignity preserved in these discussions. Disrespecting or dismissing those who are booster hesitant will invariably guarantee failure in any efforts to get people to rethink.

It's easy! {did we get these messages from Rawal and Carter}

Even if motivation is not the main barrier and people trust their healthcare providers, there may still be a "last mile problem", if there is some complicated bureaucracy, cost or organisation involved that causes delay or encourages procrastination.

Thus, he has essentially told anyone how to COERCE or NUDGE people into taking their booster jabs with specific methods to use.

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Is the UKGov getting nervous about the criminal lawsuits?

Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to stop daily Covid-19 death updates as part of the UK “learning to live” with the virus {Like a cold/flu}.

Daily updates showing the latest Covid cases and deaths have become part of the routine living in a pandemic allowing the public access to the latest trends.

But Downing Street is planning on scrapping the practice as soon as mid-April after some backbench MPs said the constant updates were creating a “fear factor” in the UK.

A senior Whitehall source familiar with the plans told i newspaper: “The Prime Minister has pencilled in Easter as the latest date by which the daily Covid statistics will be published in their current form.

Boris Johnson to stop daily Covid deaths update as ‘we learn to live’ with virus | Evening Standard