Listen up! Economist in lecture mode

An example of how NOT to do EU propoganda

Dull, so ineffective! Dull, so ineffective!
The Economist is in lecture mode, as usual. The online article HERE takes a well trodden path. There are, including the Economist, at least four heavyweight political magazines in the UK. The other three? The Spectator,Standpoint and New Statesman. Looking at the group through the eyes of the Economist and in reverse order we could say of the New Statesman, founded in 1913, is now avowedly left of centre; a thing the Economist tries very hard to avoid and not always successfully. It is also perpetually in campaign mode. Standpoint, as seen by the Economist, is the upstart as it did not begin publication until 2008. Being both younger and fresher it can take risks and dart about. It's very good and unpredictable. The Spectator is the grandfather of them all, first printed in 1828. This makes it senior to the Economist of 1843. It is also very funny and informative. Some pompous people think being lighthearted now and then is the same as being lightweight. In constantly striving to be 'serious' the Economist is blissfully unaware of the times when it is daft and worse, when it is dull.

Hence as a regular reader of them all I take issue with the personality, the over-bearing bossiness of the Economist lecturing style, and with the substance of this article. It starts off badly, the survey of ....

"two dozen Berliners who might be described as Germany’s elite".

.... is not only "unscientific" it's defamatory. Germany can boast more than two dozen to form an elite! Typically they would not only speak English well they would understand it and, crucially, know where to go for information. While the Economists ragbag group may think....

"The election of a Conservative government in Britain would be a disaster. Their contempt for the Tories as “myopic, ignorant little Englanders” was matched only by their fear that David Cameron’s party was hellbent on destroying the European Union".

.... the real top end of German society could do better than this. In fact they, like all serious political thinkers, would read around the subject, go beyond the Economist, and could see the statement was false.

The Danes, Irish, French and Dutch, when given the opportunity to vote in referendums, have used them to show their true feelings and voted NO. So why don't we see the Economist describe these nations as 'myopic, ignorant little ********ders'? I think we all know, including the German elite, it would spoil the propaganda; and if the Germans as a whole. not just an elite, were given the opportunity to vote, I'm saying there would be a majority wanting the Deutschmark back!

Also note that when the UK voter questions EU membership, "is it a good thing"? the answer given is, according to the Economist, wrong for a number of reasons, including, "ignorance and prejudice".

It's not to hard to imagine that the Economist thinks these two things only exist in the mind of the typical UK voter. No other European could possibly have such thoughts, only the Brits! John Cleese as Basil Fawlty rushed around his hotel imploring guests to "not mention the war"; oh how we laughed. Now it's the Economists turn to mention the war, the only problem is they don't realise that the joke is on them!

The lecture strides on for several paragraphs, hideously dull, but also inaccurate. So time for another laugh, how about this -

"The average Eurosceptic in Britain has acquired an impression of constant rule changes that always increase the power of EU institutions".

One of the basic tenets of the EU is the 'aquis communautaire', a little further on the Economist mentions 'ever-closer union', but appears not to understand the implication of the latter is the former. So yes, the EU is always increasing its powers. And another gem resting on "profound ignorance"-

"The mistaken belief that the EU is responsible for as much as 80% of all legislation in Europe"

If only, if only the Economist COULD have a chat with a German who had a knowledge of his country's law. For the 80% figure was part of a ruling in a German court!

So why does the Economist do this sort of propaganda job? Well it runs in the family, that's why. The Financial Times has always been seen by phobes and philes alike as Brussels' mouthpiece in the UK. The Economist and FT are both part of the same publishing group.