After a dismal weekend for the Out campaign, with Penny Mordaunt reduced to lying on The Andy Marr Show (tm), and Bozza saying Turkey should never be let in to the EU, only for footage to emerge where he says it should never be kept out, the mood in the Europhobic press is turning desperate, as the realisation hits home that the voters are not inclined to follow the instructions and leap off into the unknown.
Why did Kavanagh cross the road? To secure More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now
So it was no surprise to see the Murdoch mafiosi send for faithful retainer Trevor Kavanagh today. In doing so, they not only get a slice of mainly dishonest knocking copy, and the fulfilment of Don Rupioni’s instructions to the letter, but also an excellent illustration of why any press regulator with Kavanagh sitting on its board - like IPSO - is most unlikely to be fit for purpose.
Kav starts as he means to go on, warning “Three key reasons why we MUST all vote Out on June 23 … We only have four weeks left to avoid making a Titanic mistake for the future of the UK” before frightening readers with “ON June 23, if the polls are right, a jubilant David Cameron will lock Britain permanently aboard a European Titanic just as it steams into the iceberg”. Then he accuses the other lot of, er, frightening the readers.
So what are his three reasons? Let’s take them one at a time. First comes the old chestnut “The EU is unaccountable, unelected and undemocratic. It treats its citizens with contempt”. The final decision on laws, regulations and the rest is taken by the European Parliament. It is accountable, because it’s an elected democracy. As its MEPs are accountable to their electorates, it cannot just treat them with contempt.
Not a good start. What’s second on the Kavanagh menu? “Its dithering leaders are useless at moments of real crisis such as the Balkans conflict and mass immigration”. The EU now has to be a military force and intervene in wars? But the Murdoch press is opposed to anything like that. And what is this “mass immigration”? Does he mean refugees? If he does, why not say refugees? Or is this just dog-whistling (yes it is)?
What, then, is Kav’s third “key reason”? You’ll love this one. “The euro - its single most celebrated creation - is on the brink of catastrophic meltdown”. Hello Trevor! We’re talking about Britain’s membership of the EU, and there you are wibbling about the Euro, when we’re not part of the Eurozone. And no, it isn’t “on the brink of catastrophic meltdown”.
But do go on. “In or Out, these facts will not change”. They aren’t facts. They’re the prejudices of Rupert Murdoch as channelled by someone who has made a career out of lying to order. Or are we expected to have forgotten Kavanagh’s Hillsborough contribution?
Have a last throw of the dice. “As for immigration, we will abandon control of our borders and the right to say who stays”. No we won’t. We have control of our borders, as anyone who has had to cross one recently will know, and can refuse entry to anyone - whether they are an EU national or not. In any case, that’s not the real reason for Kav’s rant.
No, that real reason came from Murdoch himself. When asked once why he was so opposed to the EU, he replied “That’s easy. When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice”. That’s why the Sun wants you to vote to leave - it’s about the selfishness of a foreigner who doesn’t have the vote.