Today’s front cover of The Independent attempted to knock down ten myths about the EU Treaty. Neil O’Brien of Open Europe has shown that all The Independent did was recycle a press release from David Miliband’s Foreign Office. The text below compares the "myths" identified by The Independent and those first identified by the FCO (the latter in italics):
1. Britain is surrendering vital powers over fundamental issues of sovereignty to Brussels
The UK is surrendering vital powers over fundamental issues of sovereignty to Brussels.
2. Britain will lose or have to vacate its seat on the United Nations Security Council
The UK will lose or have to vacate its seat on the UN Security Council.
3. An "EU foreign minister" will control Britain’s foreign policy
An ‘EU Foreign Minister’ will control Britain’s foreign policy.
4. British embassies will be replaced by an EU "diplomatic service" and EU embassies
British Embassies will be replaced by an EU "diplomatic service" and EU embassies.
5. Britain will lose control of its borders
The UK will lose control of its borders.
6. There will be a new ‘president of Europe’
There will be a new "President of Europe".
7. The treaty will force us to free prisoners from jail.
The Treaty will force us to free prisoners from prison.
8. The treaty will reduce national parliaments to the level of regional assemblies
The Treaty will reduce national parliaments to the level of regional assemblies.
9. The treaty is the same as the Constitutional Treaty rejected in 2005
The Reform Treaty is the same as the Constitutional Treaty.
10. The treaty will lead to British workers becoming second-class citizens
The treaty will lead to UK workers being second class citizens.
The Coffee House has more from Neil and the full text of the FCO press release.
The Independent did not mention that it was reprinting an FCO press release. It presented it as its own journalism.
How many other times has The Indy recycled the propaganda of the government or a self-serving NGO?
Fisking entered the language after an article by The Indy’s Robert Fisk was pulled apart on the internet.
Perhaps we should now talk of Kelnering (after Simon Kelner, Independent Editor) whenever a journalist lazily reprints the work of a spindoctor?