Murdoch soft peddling on Lisbon…

Over at Comment is Free I argue that the innate (small ‘c’) conservativism* of the Murdoch press seems to have left them curiously ‘unmanned’ in their Euroscepticism this time out with Lisbon… Which suggests his Irish readership is not as passionate about voting no as it was last year…

* A conservatism that does not seem to stretch to the WSJ Europe, for a serious paper that sells poorly in Europe, its Eurosceptic line is not helping win readers.

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  • Dave

    Firstly, Mick, thank you for offering a great series of essays from a diverse range of voices on the Lisbon Treaty debate. That obviously took time, thought, and effort to organise – and it sets a new standard of excellence in the Blogosphere.

    The Pro-Lisbon side considerably outspent the Anti-Lisbon side, so that was always going to have an effect on how the media reported the debate. Not that it would make them anti-Lisbon since all of Ireland’s mainstream media are pro-EU. But, for example, the illegal intervention by the European Commission in its use of several million euro of taxpayers’ money to fund a 16-page supplement in all of last Sunday’s newspapers in Ireland in order to campaign (illegally) for the ratification of the treaty in this state contrary to Irish and European law shows that money talks.

    The main political parties screen all candidates to ensure that only can candidates who are pro-EU are selected to run for public office. That perversion of democratic process ensures that political power in Ireland’s parliament is controlled by puppets of the EU, and that voices which opposes EU rule are excluded from mainstream Irish politics. In addition, the main political parties operate a bi-partisan policy in regard to the EU which serves to censor all debate and criticism about the merits of EU rule. That deliberate disconnect from the people is why 99% of Ireland’s TDs supported the Lisbon Treaty while 54% of Ireland’s electorate rejected it.

    Why does one non-mainstream paper merit attention when the others do not? Because, of course, it does not disseminate pro-EU propaganda like all of the others. Therefore, this dissenting voice should not be tolerated among voices that should be 100% pro-EU.

    I also think your conclusion is askew: if, as you say, this paper takes it editorial stance from popular sentiment, and Ireland’s popular sentiment has changed as a result Ireland’s changed circumstances (basically, its need for ECB support), there is no reason to suppose that British popular sentiment will change based on circumstances that are not applicable to them (unless they happen to find themselves within the eurozone and duly bankrupted by its macroeconomic policies in due course).

    The Irish government spin the opposite line: they say that this paper’s editorial stance has created anti-Lisbon sentiment rather than simply reflected it.

    I’d say that Dr Dennis Cooper (an occasional poster on Slugger during the Lisbon essay series) has the tories properly pegged here.

  • Wilde Rover

    Dave,

    “Firstly, Mick, thank you for offering a great series of essays from a diverse range of voices on the Lisbon Treaty debate. That obviously took time, thought, and effort to organise – and it sets a new standard of excellence in the Blogosphere.”

    I’ll second that.

  • I am very surprised the way Ireland voted, but they are desperate because of the economy.