The rather fabulous Mia at Cosmetic Uprise has just posted this, and therefore beat me to it on a critique of the Telegraph’s latest eurotrash.
So instead of repeating it, I offer you instead the updated version of my 5 point “guide” to the rules of UK EU reporting…
The first rule of UK EU reporting is that the most ridiculous nonsense can be published and called fact because few people know or care enough to correct it.
The third rule is that no matter how stupid the reporting the UK public is so used to reading this sort of thing that even if proved to be false, the response is a “tut! Wouldn’t put it past them” (precisely who “them” is varies). On this basis you can pretty much write anything.
The fourth rule is that if you want to get away with doing it, take something like Treaty minutiae that MIGHT be true (e.g. build on the fact that it wasn’t clear that Barroso being appointed under Nice and the others under Lisbon was possible but that it was highly unlikely that any MS would oppose it and that’s what counts under the rules of realpolitik, or that extending the term of the current Commission in order to allow for a Treaty referendum to take place so that it was clear which set of rules the EU should be operating under is somehow scandalous…) and make it scandal. It adds another layer of patina to the already stained and damaged view of the EU in the UK.
The fifth rule of UK EU reporting is that no matter how bad, ridiculous inaccurate (and against the UK national interest?) this sort of reporting is, it will never be as bad as the comments box contents below it will be… You might need access to the rather excellent glossary from Liberal Conspiracy to understand them all though… (PS image above from the blog http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2006/06/no-more-eutopias.html – disagree with much there, but I think I and most broadly pro-EU bloggers would agree that it’s not a superstate as described that we’d support either. But that’s an old argument we’ll return to ad nauseum)