Yesterday, after Theresa May flew to Brussels in the middle of the night, so that Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker could provide her with a photo-op before they went off to their real triumph, a trade deal with Japan, I observed her abject capitulation and talked of “our free and fearless press, who have been spared the humiliation and given a whole day to dream up their stories of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat”.
Thank you for stopping by, Theresa, but I have to dash to see Mr Abe now
And anyone who thinks I was joking, or exaggerating, does not know the mindset of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet: today has brought the snatching of victory, and with it the confirmation that many in the Press Establishment live in a world of utter and complete delusion. For ordinary Britons, yesterday was a worse humiliation than Suez. Soon, all we will have left is memories. But this is not allowed to enter.
Pride of place in the pantheon of reality reinvention has to go to the Daily Mail, where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has ordered his obedient hackery to levels of propagandist futility last seen in Japan just before the Yanks dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. “REJOICE! WE’RE ON OUR WAY … Historic handshake that sealed a vital step in our exit from EU” declares the headline. And there was more.
The Express, alongside another effort to frighten its ageing readership with exaggerated weather scares, declares “HUGE BREXIT BOOST AT LAST … May clinches deal … now let’s get on with ditching EU”. I think you’ll find that it’s the EU that’s ditching us, thanks.
And the Murdoch Sun, admittedly with lesser billing than the obligatory scantily-clad young woman and a main headline that is only of interest because of a soap opera on the hated BBC, has continued the delusion with “Brexit Deal … CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST”. There was neither champagne, nor the overall victory that the Murdoch goons have suggested.
It was left to, of all papers, the Telegraph to sound a note of caution, as it told readers of “The price of freedom”, going on to hold its nose while noting “3m EU citizens to be allowed to stay in Britain and bring their families”, and letting slip “UK to remain in Single Market and Customs Union until at least 2021” [my emphases].
The Mirror also veers towards some semblance of reality and honesty, chiding Ms May as “MRS SOFTEE”, reminding readers “Theresa May’s deal with EU will mean soft Brexit … Britain will pay divorce bill of at least £39 billion … PM abandons her ‘red lines’ to break deadlock”. But it was left to The Herald to spell out the humiliation to UK households.
“The Brexit bill for each home in the UK is set to hit £1,400” declares its headline today, following that with the ominous “Brussels threatening to play hard ball over trade talks after ‘breakthrough’”. Saying “this will cost £X per household” is a favourite tactic of papers like the Mail, Express and Sun. Not today. Today is for “looking over there”.
One of the new Guilty Men ((c) Martin Rowson 2016)
There is, whisper it quietly, nothing to rejoice about. Our country has been sold down the river on a pack of lies. We’re still a laughing stock, and not just across Europe. And all the press can do is to stick their collective heads in the nearest sandpit, pretend it’s not happening, and order us all to smile and be happy about being screwed over.
Power without responsibility once again. There go the harlots of Fleet Street.