The Super Soaraway Currant Bun is safely hidden away behind its paywall, but this does not prevent someone from snapping the contents and making them available online (see how that works, Rupe?). And one look at today’s editorial – again, on the subject of the EU – shows that the amount of panic in the ranks is leading the hacks and pundits to mine a seriously broad seam of stupidity.
Whoever penned this prime slice of whataboutery is clearly sore at the way in which the right-leaning press’ line on the budget adjustment row – that it was dumped on Young Dave by the dastardly foreigners at very little notice – is unravelling, even on Cameron’s own side of the Commons (pace Ken Clarke yesterday). It had been known about for several months.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) knew what was coming. Senior civil servants knew. Dave’s junior ministers knew. The idea that nobody told Cameron before he arrived in Brussels last week is just not credible. This was understood clearly by Mil The Younger, who arrived for yesterday’s debate armed with the incriminating evidence, and “Auguste” Balls, who joyfully heckled the Government front bench.
All of this riled the Sun newsroom, resulting in “Cam off it, Ed ... who cares if a few officials in Whitehall knew months ago we would be slapped with a £1.7 billion invoice from Brussels?” Er, hello, Murdoch poodles? Anyone who cares about the fitness for purpose of the civil service, or the propensity of some at the top of the Tory Party to tell porkies for political advantage cares – that’s who.
But do go on (as if I need ask): “Seriously, Mr Miliband, who cares who knew what and when? What matters is that the Prime Minister plainly knew nothing until last week, was outraged and is rightly refusing to cough up ... we should not pay a ‘fine’ for our economic success ... [Miliband] is like a guilty child pointing away from a smashed window and shouting ‘look over there’”.
We know who's really saying "look over there" - he is
Yeah, right. Except we don’t know when Dave knew – that’s the whole point. And, as for that Miliband analogy, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, he isn’t the one breaking anything, and two, if anyone’s shouting “look over there”, it’s the meathead who wrote this editorial.
The Sun chooses not to tell its readers that the UK voted for the system of EU budget contributions based on Gross National Income – the same system that is subject to adjustments, which in the past have worked in our favour. At that time, there were no protests about how many doctors and nurses all the countries that had to pay more would be unable to employ as a result.
The Murdoch poodles don’t want their readers to have the full story. And they even want to pretend their hero Dave knew nothing. They’re in cloud cuckoo land.