Saturday, 28 August 2010

From Paint It Black to Moses? UK public opinion on EU

Yesterday’s blog post, UK Eurobarometer score: Euromyths 68 - Trust 20, discussed the media climate and public opinion in the United Kingdom with regard to the European Union. The Eurobarometer findings are in line with what we have reported many times before, for instance the Angus Reid poll published in June 2010.

If we turn from the UK country factsheet of the Spring 2010 Standard Eurobarometer 73, which compares the country only with EU averages, to the full first results, we see the uniqueness of public opinion in Britain.

In May 2010, the general level of trust in the European Union had plummeted from 48 to 42 per cent. Estonia reported the highest trust score, 68 per cent, with 22 per cent tending to be distrustful of the European Union (pages 15 and 16).

Not only did the United Kingdom report almost the reverse numbers – 68 per cent distrusting and 20 per cent trustful – but the second lowest trust score among all 27 member states was the 37 per cent reported from Germany, almost twice the proportion in Britain.

The negativism of the political atmosphere, media climate and public opinion in the United Kingdom are truly exceptional, almost four decades after accession.

The view of European integration and the European Union in the UK is not bleak – it is tainted uniquely black.

Should the UK government (Pharaoh) listen to what the voters (Moses) have to say in “Go Down Moses”?

Namely: Let my people go.

Withdrawal or secession in Eurospeak.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Comments relevant to the topic discussed in each Grahnlaw blog post are most welcome. However, the number of spam comments has skyrocketed. This is the sad reason for comment moderation, so it may take a while before your valued comment appears.

It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

Antonia on the Euonym blog (Talking about the EU) tells us that the European Commission in the UK arranges a Day of Multilingual Blogging on 26 September 2010, and the UK Representation has been joined by the multilingual aggregator and individual Eurobloggers. Join the event page on Facebook, spread the word through social media and personal contacts, begin preparing your blog posts and start learning a new language.