Saturday, 10 December 2011

Public opinion being led astray

The despair of those of us who continually rail about the poor standard of journalism exhibited in the media is, I believe, understandable. As an example I give you the editorial in today's Daily Telegraph, from which an extracts:

"In one sense, nothing has changed. The same EU directives and regulations that Mr Cameron so rightly objected to are still looming, even though they will – thank heaven – be fought tooth and nail. The Prime Minister has chosen a course that is bound to bring hardships and indignities, especially if the new euro-bloc imposes measures that damage the single market and our financial services industry. But yesterday’s events made clear that staying on the same old course of grudging submission to the collective will would have brought exactly the same hardships and indignities – without offering Britain the golden opportunity to redefine its relationship with Europe that so many in this country have wanted for so long."

Exactly how will EU directives and regulations be 'fought tooth and nail when 17 member states comprise a majority when voting as a caucus, which they surely must do; and when that euro-bloc will impose measures that damage this nation  which they surely will do?

When reading the letters column in the same newspaper, it is little wonder that those writing appear to have been duped as a result of the 'faux journalism' to which they respond. In support of this assertion Pixijade writes that it is a shame that 99% of the media are refusing to question the PM’s side of the story; and that his version of the events suit him quite nicely, thanks very much; no referendum, no repatriation, and a heroes welcome home. On that last point Charles Moore, in his op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph, writes that this is as a result of everything becoming clear to Cameron's cool mind, in that he could stave off a referendum, hold together his Coalition and win over his party. It is a great pity that Moore could not be honest and add the words "whilst retaining his own position of power and patronage". Reverting to the letters, it should be noted that at least one writer - Christopher Healy of North Ferriby - East Yorkshire, has homed in on a major problem when he asks: "Now whose aircraft carrier do we use?"

Matters are not helped when Douglas Carswell writes that we now need to make sure that the small print hammered out between now and March is not fudged - and that the new architecture to be put in place for the rest of Euroland does not emesh us. And just how are we supposed to do that? Perhaps Carswell has another 'Plan' up his sleeve - one we can but hope is a damn site better than his first attempt. Nor is it helped by the BBC allowing Heseltine to escape without any form of censure for misquoting Winston Churchill, noted here by Norman Tebbit.

To remount an ongoing hobbyhorse, of course if we had 'Referism' and 'Direct Democracy' our political elite would not be able to lie to us or ignore the wishes of the people, thus relegating us to the position of serfs - but I digress..........


cosmic said...

Most of the commentary in the papers is near hysterical.

The Express is declaring "BRITAIN CLOSE TO EU EXIT".

There's very little comment on what this has actually changed, rather than what they would like to think it had changed, to cause such excitement.

We are not much closer to exit than at any time since we joined. There's quite a lot of ground to cover between here and there.

If anything, I see this 'coup' as a basis for declaring that the policy of being "In Europe but not run by Europe" is working, and business as usual.

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm not sure what to think.

What has taken me by surprise was

a) That Cam did not do a big British Bulldog huffing and puffing before hand and then refuse to sign, he just turned up and politely refused to sign, which is his perfectly good right as PM. Quite why he refused to sign and what impact it might have, for better and for worse and if any is unknown.

b) that the simple fact he refused to sign is seen as such a cataclysmic event. Now, perhaps it isn't, and the whole thing is just a smokescreen to make Cam look more EU-sceptic than he really is, or perhaps it is quite a significant event - I'm not sure I can remember any other British PM not simply caving in and signing up to anything going.

So I'll reserve judgment until the actual facts are clearer. I don't like Cam at all, but I dislike him a lot less today than i did two days ago.

cosmic said...


I don't believe there was anything to sign. There can't have been a treaty to sign. He rejected the approach of having a full 27 EU approach to the Eurozone problems.

Now, a full EU approach would necessarily have been more cumbersome and time consuming than a Eurozone only approach, and the Euro doesn't have time.

It's hard to see that the Eurozone has done anything or can do anything to save the Euro, and I don't really see how the UK's position is different as a result of what Cameron has done, or not done. Certainly, it isn't clear how we are closer to safeguarding The City from EU regulation or repatriating anything.

I'm inclined to go with WfW's view that what's motivated Cameron in this is Cameron being called PM for as long as possible. On the face of it he's done quite well in terms of personal popularity, but that might start to turn sour if he can't follow up. My view is that he doesn't want to follow up.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

c & MW: Cameron may have got the headlines today, however I believe in the weeks ahead they are going to turn and bite his behind. We will be subject to a 'caucus' voting procedure and we will be made to pay. You only have to read Olli Rehn's comments to which I link today in a post to see that.