As the fetishisation of Greta Thunberg shows, authoritarians and ideologues are nothing if not political rockspiders. The Nazis had their Hitler Youth and League of German Girls, the Communists had their Komsomol and Young Pioneers. Now, the “rainbow” left exploit child drag queens and frightened children as their footsoldiers.

Children are gullible, easily frightened and unable to distinguish fact from fiction. So what better way to win them to dodgy political causes than by feeding them propaganda disguised as “stories”.

This week a book aimed at the over-threes and described as “Animal Farm for the Brexit generation” will be published, one of a string of politicised picture books.

The Little Island tells the story of flocks of geese and ducks living on an islet in a pond beside a farm.

The geese, representing Leave voters, want the island to be cut off from the farm, while the ducks want to stay.

Three guesses which message the story hammers with all the subtlety of a jackboot?

The book’s blurb says, “There was once a farm where all the animals were friends. Together they looked after the farm and each other. It wasn’t perfect and they didn’t always agree (animals almost never do). But they liked it. One day the geese begin to gossip. Before long they hatch a plan to leave the farm. Will life be perfect now? […] A story of building bridges not barriers, respect not resentment and of finding friendship, not fear.”

It is not only Brexit turning the picture book political. In November, Greta and the Giants will be published, inspired by 16-year-old Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg.

Written by British author Zoe Tucker, the book tells the story of a young girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by giants.

Irish novelist Julian Gough has found that his Rabbit and Bear picture book series has veered naturally into politics.

There’s nothing “naturally” about using children’s stories as sledgehammers for political propaganda. Unless you’re a propagandist creep with all the self-awareness of a bully’s billy-club.

Gough dismisses the idea that books for young children should eschew politics. “By the time they’re grown up, they’ll probably be in their ideological bunkers,” he says. “The one place where you still have open-minded readers is the playground.”

From his obvious ideological bunker, the last thing this joyless twat apparently wants is children with open minds.

These “woke” ideologues have the cheek to try and justify their propaganda by comparing it to classics like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, “which has been interpreted as an allegory of monetary politics”. “Interpreted” being the key word. L. Frank Baum never said any such thing, only commenting on his desire to translate classics like Grimm and Andersen into a modern American style. The sole source for the “political” interpretation is an academic essay from the mid-60s.

Who cares, though? All is “narrative” nowadays, anyway, and these cheap attempts to brainwash children are just the latest in a long tradition of propaganda. The Nazis had their tragic young hero, Horst Wessell, the young Brownshirt gunned down by Bolsheviks. The Communists, in their turn, had the cult of Pavlik Morozov, the “child hero” who unhesitatingly informed on his whole family.

Horst Wessell, Pavlik Morozov, Greta Thunberg…it’s a Neverending Story, all right.


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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...