Have you ever wondered at the lack of basic knowledge about the European Union in Britain? Have you ever been surprised at the ridiculous assertions by many British anti-EU activists?
The Murdoch press is hardly the only reason for this depressing state, but its active lowering of standards can hardly be ignored.
Fraser Nelson: Cameron v Blair: Game On! in News of the World is a piece of writing where almost every sentence is intentionally propagandistic, factually incorrect or misleading.
It would require too much space to correct all the errors in the article, so I offer the reader just one sentence as a sample, no more and no less distortive than the rest of the column.
It is about Blair and it discusses him as a potential candidate for the post of president of the European Council:
“All he needs is for the Czechs and Poles to cave in, as the Irish have.”
Let us see
Yesterday we saw that the Irish had voted more than two to one in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, with a higher turnout than last time. The outcome is the free choice of the people, in an undisputedly free and fair referendum.
According to Nelson, the Irish have caved in. (To themselves and their true interests?)
Yes, the Poles have to cave in too.
The Lisbon Treaty has been approved by qualified majorities by both houses of the Polish parliament.
Only one Pole is on record for procrastination, namely president Lech Kaczynski, who should formally sign the ratification instrument. Many believe that he will fulfil his constitutional duty next week.
The last necessary cave in predicted in this short sentence is that of the Czechs.
It sounds bombastic, as if the Czech people were up in arms against the nefarious EU plots. In fact the two chambers of the Czech parliament have approved the Treaty of Lisbon by qualified majorities months ago, and the government is keen for the ratification to be concluded.
One Vaclav Klaus, who is the president elected by Czech parliament, and 17 senators, defeated in the democratic arena, are known to have acted to cause further delay. We have a total count of 18 noble resistance fighters at this point in time.
Crusading populist media are a danger for democracy.
It is quite sad that the world’s most selling English language newspaper and other Murdoch papers are deliberately used to indoctrinate the public.
It is tragic that journalists and others accept lucre to produce such drivel.
It is sad that a large public pays to become misinformed.
The Murdoch press is but one of the reasons why Britain lacks maturity to cooperate constructively in the European Union.
Which other reasons are there?