THE INFLUENCE OF THE PRESS

20 May

When it will come to the forthcoming referendum concerning the UK’s remaining or leaving Europe, I wonder how many voters will consider the issues? And by issues I don’t mean the prejudicial and very skewed reporting in the popular press. I mean the real facts.
Everyone knows that Rupert Murdoch would love us to leave the EU even though he is not a Brit, but he does own the most popular newspaper in the country and can ensure that his own opinions get dripped out so that, over time, his more ardent readers believe that they are fact rather than opinion. After all, he has claimed that the influence of his vast media empire is so powerful that it can dictate the outcome of general elections. In fact, he can appoint governments using the grey world of print as a mind of private hustings. His readers are, of course, largely unaware that they are being influenced.
Then there’s Richard Desmond of Daily Express fame. Like Rupert Murdoch, he’s wary of the UK staying in Europe. Being a purveyor of pornography (the real stuff, not merely the lies that ooze out of his newspaper) he probably worries that a moral European burst of legislation might do something to curtail the highly profitable and explicit dissemination of boobs and bodies.
It is, they believe, in the best interests of their empires for the UK to retreat back into itself. Murdoch lends his support to the Conservative party whereas Desmond favours UKIP, and I dared say you’ll find that Sun readers vote for Murdoch’s preferred policies (get personally richer and stay personally rich no matter how poor the rest of us get) and Express readers adore UKIP (let’s go back to the good old shiny sunlit days of yore). Both lots might believe that they read the papers that they agree with, forgetting that it’s those very newspapers that have, over several years, shoe-horned those opinions into their heads.
And it might not be in their own best interests or the best interests of their country to follow them. If it’s all to do with returning to a golden age then I don’t think there’s anything glorious for our nation to return to. At best our forefathers abused the working classes, locking many of them away in workhouses in misery, separated from husbands, wives and children, and at best they tried to bully the rest of the world under the pretence that they were imbued with of some kind of artificial benevolence.
When it comes to the European referendum we’ve all got to think about what’s just got to be best for us as individuals and us as a nation and somehow I can’t see how shrinking into the luminescence of a non-existent bright and shiny past represents anything more than a rather silly pipe dream.

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