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Friday 1 January 2010

Broadsheet Watch – 3

We know where the Daily Mail stands on the issue of the EU – the latter organisation is held to be A Bad Thing. Just consider all that bureaucracy (unelected, remember), banana straightening, sausage outlawing, directive imposing, tax grabbing, and anything else the hacks can dream up when they’re not otherwise employed. The Telegraph has always been Eurosceptic, but now the Mail influence has brought a triumphant meeting of prejudice with supposed authority.

The new style can be seen at work in this article from last Wednesday. At first this appears to be a serious analysis of the outlook for Eurozone countries, but an early indication of writing to order (or perhaps that should be writing to agenda) appears in the first paragraph, where we are told of the M3 money supply figure. Ring any bells? M3 was the target indicator for money supply in the early years of Margaret Thatcher’s administration, until its inability to read from the right script led to its being dropped.

But the situation in the Eurozone must be bad, as the Telegraph has on record no mere pundit, but a real professor. Tim Congdon is the Prof., and he’s from International Monetary Research, which sounds very grand until you realise it has nothing to do with the similarly titled IMF. But what are its leanings? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the one and only link: the Bruges Group, a supposedly Eurosceptic body, but in reality (check out the front page link on the railways, a fact free tirade which I’ll return to later) directly Europhobic: one of its former leading lights went on to found UKIP.

And the motivation behind the Telegraph article can be found in its last line, quoting Congdon once more: “Fractures in the Euro system are becoming clearer by the day”. So there it is: Europhobic knocking copy masquerading as learned opinion. Thus the meeting of minds between Mail and Telegraph – somewhere off Fantasy Island.

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