In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, his dystopian view of the future, George Orwell described four Ministries of Government thus: “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation”. Anyone who knows their Orwell will instantly recognise the firm stamp of the Ministry of Truth on today’s Sun front page.
“Remain poll lead collapses … Brexit rocket boost to shares … And nasty Euro moths hit UK … TIME TO MOTHBALL THE EU” rants the headline, giving us a win line of three stonking great lies and a bumper jackpot of bullshit. The Murdoch doggies have abandoned all pretence at producing a newspaper, instead serving up a masterclass in Newspeak, Doublespeak, plus collective punishment, just to be on the safe side.
The immediate problem for Rupe’s downmarket troops is that the ComRes poll they had commissioned for today’s Sun did not give the result they wanted: after a whole group of opinion polls after the weekend showed a majority in favour of leaving the EU, theirs actually showed a small majority in favour of remaining in. What to do? They had to make a comparison with polls from last month to fit the headline.
Then comes the claim of “Euro Moths”. The diamondback moth, it is claimed, “could devastate farmers crops across South East countryside”, which would be difficult as the only sighting the Sun was able to report was near Leominster, which is, er, not in the South East, or even anywhere near it. Also, the diamondback moth has been resistant to insecticide for around 30 years. So nothing new here, then.
But the biggest of the Sun’s whoppers is about shares. The Murdoch mafiosi have clearly figured out that many of their readers will know that there is likely to be a link between share prices and the value of their nest-eggs. So they claim “Brexit rocket boost to shares” when the evidence shows the opposite is not only likely to happen, but is happening right now. Shares have been on the slide for the last few days.
One only has to look at yesterday’s Evening Standard to see some clarity in the headline “Brexit fears wipe £20 billion off FTSE 100 in shares meltdown”. And why would this be? “The FTSE 100 crashed below the 6000 mark for the first time since February and was down nearly 80 points at 5968 shortly before 11am. Markets also fell further in France, Germany and Asia after three new polls put the Leave campaign ahead”.
Oh, and “The Pound also fell sharply”. Such was the desperate flight of capital that German bond yields went negative. Investors were paying the German Government to keep their money for ten years. The total damage to shares has come to £100 billion in the last few days. The Pound was at a two-month low yesterday afternoon.
So how does the Sun reflect the reality of the world just over the river from the Baby Shard bunker? Fingers in ears, la la la, they can’t hear you. Winston Smith, eat your heart out.