After yesterday’s High Court ruling that Parliament is Sovereign, and therefore must be given a say on the decision to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, there was a miraculous and sudden transformation: all those who have spent the last year and a half telling us that they wanted Parliament to be Sovereign decided that it was not such a good idea for Parliament to be Sovereign after all.
Worse, because the challenge to the idea of using Royal Prerogative to enable Theresa May to trigger Article 50 was led by Gina Miller, who was born outside the UK, the rage of the Europhobic press has spilled over this morning into xenophobia and full-on racist bigotry. Added to this has been the equally miraculous transformation of many papers and their journalists into willing channellers of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
The Marxist-Leninist transformation was most noticeable at the Daily Mail, where the front page lead thundered “Fury over ‘out of touch’ judged who defied 17.4m Brexit voters and could trigger constitutional crisis … ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE”. Direct quote from Lenin right there. Along with reasserting Parliamentary Sovereignty being called a “crisis”.
Over at the Telegraph, the mood is similar, with readers told of “The judges versus the people”. The thought that most of those people would be in favour of the law being properly upheld is not allowed to enter. Instead, we have ocean-going hypocrite Nigel “Thirsty” Farage telling of “incredible arrogance” (he’d know all about that) and blaming a “rich elite”, a phrase that sums him up all too well. Farage wanted Parliament to be Sovereign, until he discovered that might involve things that were inconvenient to him.
Only papers like the Guardian attempt to paint an accurate picture, telling of “Turmoil for May as judges rule that parliament must decide on Brexit”. It’s a problem for the PM, not a constitutional crisis, nothing more, nothing less. This was not allowed to enter at the joke newspaper that is the Express, which simply thundered “Three Judges Yesterday Blocked Brexit. Now Your Country Really Does Need You … WE MUST GET OUT OF THE EU”.
This was followed by “Comment”: in other words, the Express is such a cheapskate operation that it hasn’t got the resources to put news on its front page (plus nobody has “blocked Brexit”). But it was the Murdoch Sun that took the biscuit for its combination of hypocrisy and incitement, with “Judges’ Brexit Blow … WHO DO EU THINK YOU ARE? Loaded foreign elite defy will of Brit voters”. Foreign. Loaded.
Like the loaded foreign elite who own the Sun, perhaps? But no: this was an assault on Gina Miller, who by a surprising coincidence is not white, and has already received death threats, as well as a shed load of racist abuse. That is not allowed to enter; the Murdoch goons have their instructions. And there is another problem with these headlines.
All of them breach IPSO’s editor’s code on Clause 1: Accuracy, which tells “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text … The press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact”
That just went out the window. Want to know why they don’t want properly independent press regulation? Look no further than today’s front pages. I’ll just leave that one there.