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Friday 11 November 2011

Flagging A Dead Horse

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Are you frightened of the EU? If not, you may not be benefiting from the collected wisdom (or, maybe, lack of it) of the obedient hackery toiling in the service of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. This has been demonstrated superbly today by Kirsty Walker, whose name appears on the Euro-FrightenerAfter Fifa poppy fiasco, the latest bright idea from Brussels? EU flag on England shirts”.

Sadly for Ms Walker, not only did viewing this headline set the Zelo Street bullshit detector ringing loudly, but also the thought occurred that we’ve been here before, although that was in July when the Maily Telegraph’s resident contrarian Christopher Booker made similar claims. The idea of athletes being forced to wear the EU flag was drivel then, and is still drivel.

And the Mail piece concedes this, starting “The measures stipulate that the EU’s blue and yellow flag should be worn by all our teams”, but then adding “member states should be allowed to make the final decision on whether the EU flag should be displayed on clothing”. Ms Walker asserts that this was “following an outcry”. Bullshit. There hasn’t been an outcry, and no change has been made.

Also giving off a particularly rank aroma is the attempt to turn FIFA into some kind of EU associate organisation, by including the “poppy row” in the piece. FIFA, as any fule kno, has nothing to do with the EU and is based in Z├╝rich, in Switzerland, which is, er, not in the EU. Most likely it has been included because of the poppy business, and because it’s full of people who talk foreign.

But Ms Walker is in the misinformation groove: next comes “Brussels already has the power to fine organisations in certain circumstances for not flying the EU flag”. No it doesn’t. Next? “Recently it emerged that the University of Northampton was fined more than £56,000 for not displaying the EU logo to acknowledge it had received funding from the European Regional Development Fund”.

It didn’t emerge, Kirsty, because there was no fine. Northampton Uni didn’t acknowledge that they’d been partly paid by an EU fund and so didn’t get the full grant from the UK Government who were administering the funds, and who allocated the money elsewhere. No-one was fined. Nor were Daily Mail readers told about the main thrust of the EU resolution on sport.

Europolitics has a rather different headline: “MEPs recommend measures to ‘clean up’ sport”. That’s because much of the resolution is about combating hooliganism, doping, match-fixing, illegal betting and money laundering, while improving the lot of retired athletes and looking at standards for sports agents.

The Daily Mail and its readers could agree with all of that. But it would not sell papers and demonise the EU.

[UPDATE 1: Mark English, who is Head of Media at the European Commission office in London, has also found adversely on Kirsty Walker's piece, and a further article which recycles Jonathan Isaby's misinformation from the so-called Taxpayers' Alliance, which I considered earlier]

[UPDATE 2: Chris Moncrieff, yet another of the rabble that make up the Dacre hackery, has confirmed that this is a bone which the Dacre attack doggies are not for putting down. He has dishonestly told that "MEPs were voting to urge ... sporting teams ... to have the EU flag emblazoned on their national team shirts", which they were not.

But Moncrieff, like Kirsty Walker, is in the misinformation groove, continuing "this ludicrous, and indeed sinister, proposal ... is, of course, yet another small and stealthy step towards the creation of the Europhiles' dream: a United States of Europe". Facts, eh? Who needs to bother with them when you've got Dacre in your ear and a nice full bottle of Kool-Aid?]


Dandly said...

FIFA is not only not an EU organisation, its is not even a European organisation. It is the world governing body.

acro said...

Dandly- in the Daily Mail's eyes, foreign is foreign, and foreign equals bad. Life is really easy when you forego all shades of grey.

The European Parliament doesn't even have the right of initiative so these own-initiative reports are *never* legally binding. There's nothing in the EU Treaties that would allow for a measure like this to be introduced by Europe so people worried about usurpation of St. George's cross can rest in peace :)