THE lies in journalism are usually in what is not said, and what is deliberately ignored, rather than in what is actually reported.
But today the Daily Mail surpasses itself with its dissembling of polling data as part of an unlikely campaign to get the public behind Theresa May’s capitulation to deal with the EU.
Quoting a Survation poll it tells its readers that a majority felt it was the best deal on offer (52 per cent versus 19 per cent) and that more people think MPs should back the deal than do not (41 per cent over 38 per cent).
And yet a quick visit to the Survation website makes it clear the polling shows 49 per cent of those surveyed were totally opposed to the deal, with just 27 per cent in total support.
And only 37 per cent agreed that the current Brexit agreement was the best available option – a figure that would surely have been even lower if it were not for the fact it has been made blatantly clear this is the only option we are going to get from the EU unless we choose a hard Brexit.
The only question left to ask then is, who is being blackmailed or bribed to produce such wretched propaganda?
As for May’s “true grit”, it seems her only success of late has been in finally uniting the nation over Brexit since remainers and leavers alike appear agreed that the deal she has negotiated is awful. That is what happens when you spend the best part of two years telling the public that no deal is better than a bad deal, and then follow up after failing miserably in negotiations with the pitch that a really bad deal is better than no deal at all.
The sad fact is that Brexit has turned into a national disaster, placing the nation in a pitiful lose-lose-lose situation. Either we reverse course and opt to remain in the EU and at the same time embrace the death of democracy. Or we fall out of the EU with no deal and accept the potential for an economically chaotic outcome. Or we sign up to an agreement that offers little of substance beyond a lot of hopes about things that might happen as a result of future negotiations, all the while leaving the EU very much in control at the same time as making us worse off and voiceless.
Back in 2016, when the referendum on our membership of the EU took place, I was a very torn Brexiteer. I like being a European and embrace the European ideal, as well as free movement, but I reluctantly cast my vote to leave primarily in protest at the way the EU had treated its allies and partner nations such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain in order to bail out bankers.
Given that democratically reforming the EU from within seemed highly unlikely to happen, based on past experience, I decided I did not want to be a part of it. And I still do not want to be a part of an organisation that would condone, for example, the government of Spain when it uses the force of the state to crush democratic and peaceful attempts of the Catalans to vote for independence.
It should come as no surprise then that the Brexit deal on offer is so poor. Indeed we were warned immediately after the referendum by Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, exactly what to expect and he explained in detail how we would be given the run-around during negotiations and be offered something punitive in return for rejecting the EU through democratic means.
So the EU is being true to form in contriving a deal as bad as possible for the UK. Offering us the unpalatable options of either state vassalage through a legally binding agreement or economic chaos through hard Brexit is the EU’s way of punishing us for leaving and at the same time encouraging us to consider abandoning democracy in order to stay put.
The EU’s bottom line has been deliberate and calculated, and many remainers choose to overlook this when they use this rotten deal as a means of arguing we should actively want to stay inside an undemocratic trade tariff club run by unelected, neoliberal technocrats that the people cannot get rid of.
However, incredible as it may sound from a leaver perspective, as things stand even remaining in the EU would be a better option than May’s Brexit.
Sadly, if the government will not consider other Brexit options such as “Norway Plus”, the only thing that can save this nation from ridicule now is opting for a hard Brexit. Not only could that turn out to be an act of economic suicide, but our MPs have not got the stomach for it anyway – and it turns out our government is so utterly useless that it has done almost no planning for such an eventuality, while the EU has done plenty.
So the EU has us by the balls.
While it is tempting to be mad at the EU for placing us in this situation, we should be more angry at May and her ministers, whose astounding incompetence in negotiating and planning Brexit has so ably assisted the EU in its sabotage of yet another nation.
If the Conservatives force this through it is hard to imagine how they will ever be forgiven for embracing the worst of all worlds – and paying the EU £39 billion for it to boot.