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Sunday 17 January 2010

Broadsheet Watch – 11

Another Sunday, another column of weapons grade guff from the Maily Telegraph’s increasingly eccentric Christopher Booker: today, the target is another bête noire of his, the EU. And Booker is complaining that the EU, for so long vilified as being a burgeoning “European Superstate” by folks like him, actually isn’t a superstate or superpower after all.

Booker suggests that the EU should be responding to the Haitian earthquake in the manner of the USA – because he says it’s a superpower. Except it isn’t a superpower, and has never pretended to be one (Booker says it has, but when and where such a proclamation was made, doesn’t say – because he can’t). The EU is an association of nation states, and any comparison with the USA is therefore fatuous. As nation states, EU members make their own decisions on aid – Booker would be the first to complain if such powers were ceded to the European Parliament.

The incoherent and inaccurate rambling extends to a less than perfect recollection of the Boxing Day earthquake and tsunami of 2004: Booker claims a death toll of “almost 300,000”, although the US Geological Survey puts the count at less than 230,000. But this is not the point: the thrust of the article is, yet again, to kick the EU, with a side order of BBC bashing.

Elsewhere, predictably, Booker is rambling about the weather, and laying in to the Met Office, but shoots himself in the foot at the outset by telling – again, and wrongly – that we’re into our third severe winter in a row. At least, when he gets things wrong, he’s consistent.

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