Another day, another screamingly anti-EU story in the Daily Express, this time getting both votes for prisoners and Greek bailouts into one piece. As usual, this gem of dubious hackery has the by-line of Macer Hall. It’s down to the usual standard, with only one Tory MP quoted, and not even Philip Davies. And the “onslaught” of questioning for Young Dave amounts to, er, one question.
The “campaign” by the Express to persuade the more gullible part of the electorate that the UK should leave the EU is full-on enough for there to be Euro-bashing copy in every issue – often several pieces of it. So it would be hard for such a campaign to carry on without the blessing, or at least acquiescence, of proprietor Richard Desmond.
Des did say, in court and on oath, that he did not interfere in Express editorial policy, but on that occasion – his libel action against Tom Bower – the jury were not convinced and threw out the case. Desmond has form for anti-European behaviour, most notoriously when he performed a Hitler impression in front of Telegraph executives (German firm Axel Springer was thought to be a potential buyer before the Barclays arrived on the scene).
So it might be thought that Des would not want anything to do with those ghastly folk across the Channel, but that thought would be misplaced: his Sleb mag OK! has launched in several countries including Spain, which is as mainstream EU as you can get. And he has one other interest in that country.
Yes, Richard Desmond has a house in Spain. That’s the kind of asset that became easily and generally available to UK citizens as a result of both countries being members of the EU. Moreover, Des is a fan of budget airline EasyJet, whose success – like that of Ryanair – has followed on from deregulation of internal EU airspace, another benefit of EU membership.So, while he enjoys the benefits of the UK being in the EU, Richard Desmond sits back as his increasingly tawdry titles scream for withdrawal.