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- Sep 20, 2018
- SLU Posts
That video is blocked in the UK.
Click here for a long list of Euro-Myths from the British press
If we compare England and the USA to functional western style democracies, there are two factors that are so obviously missing: A free, critical, reliable press and a good educational system. That may explain a lot.
I think the thing to remember is that, for the last 30 years, this sort of nonsense, along with malign falsehoods about immigrants, asylum-seekers and Muslims, has been the staple of tabloid front page headlines in the UK.
This means that people are constantly bombarded with the misleading and sensationalised headlines, designed to catch people's attention so they buy a paper to read more, about these myths -- you simply can't escape them, since every time you pass a news stall, or go into a supermarket or station bookstore, you see and register them, even if you don't read them.
The messages have then been picked up and amplified by Conservative and UKIP politicians, with the result that they provide a constant background of racist, xenophobic and anti-EU messages, and since most people aren't particularly interested in news about the EU, that's pretty much all the news about it that they see, even if they're not really taking conscious note of it.
It's not that we lack a free, critical and independent press -- if you read The Guardian, The Independent, the Financial Times or the mass circulation tabloid Daily Mirror, you do get a different perspective, but the numbers who read those, as a proportion of people who are exposed to masses of anti-EU propaganda every time they walk past the newspaper display at the local supermarket, is quite small.
Nor, of course, has it helped that successive British governments have used the EU as an excuse for all sorts of things -- whenever they introduce a bill to give legal force to an EU directive, both Labour and Conservative governments have taken the opportunity to include related measures that aren't actually required by the EU, and then deflect any criticism by suggesting the EU insist on whatever it is.
Similarly, "We can't do such-and-such because the EU won't let us" is a frequent (and usually false) claim that generally gets the government off the hook when it doesn't want to do something.