I’ve been flicking through old articles for a media law assignment I’m doing, and I found this headline on the Express online (click to read): “HOME SECRETARY TO SEIZE BACK 130 POWERS FROM THE EU“. Firstly, I’d just like to say…
Stop with this ‘back from the EU’ nonsense!
Let me explain. Firstly, I appreciate that I’m only a student journalist, so I don’t know everything there is to know about anything. Secondly, I am only 20 years old, therefore indicating that I have a certain aloofness and arrogance over older people as a result of the idea that I actually do know everything. I directly admit this, so allow me to continue from here. I may be a 20-something jumped-up non-professional journalist pup, but I seem to know more about the EU than the average commenter-of-online-articles does. Take a look at this comment from the Express article:
…ALL POWERS BACK FROM THE UNITED STATE OF EUROPE, WE DO NOT WANT TO BE CONTROLLED FROM BRUSSELLS, WE WANT OUT OF THE EU – Posted by Disgruntled on 15-10-12.
I won’t say anything about the fact it’s all in capital letters. I won’t mention the incorrect spelling of ‘Brussels’. I won’t even say anything about the fact that this person appears to speaking on behalf of the entire UK. I will say this, however:
- The UK will not be taking powers “back from the EU” in any kind of drastic mentalist Euro-sceptic sweep. The Express (who is not solely to blame – hatred of the EU is rife at the moment) make it sound like any of the systems put in place by the European Union have been taken by force. They haven’t; this is not a grand gesture, but simply appears to be a faffing tactic from the Government to make undisciplined persons think that they are doing something about escaping from the EU to win back voters. This brings me on to point 2…
- The reason we’re “controlled by Brussells” is because WE SIGNED A TREATY. In order to be part of the EU, we lent the EU some of our sovereignty (or political power in law-making) in order to be part of the group! If you’re ‘disgruntled’ about the fact Brussels appears to be ruling us, you should tell of Parliament for lending it to them in the first place.
- Remarkably enough, we actually benefit from being in the EU! The media are very good at finding things that irritate their readers, hyping issues up until the public is in a frenzy about tidbits of information they don’t entirely understand. British law is vast and complex, yes, but we have an unwritten constitution whereby any law Parliament decides to make is law for our country. Disregarding international relations and the like, Parliament is quite able to do what it wants – one should then consider why Parliament doesn’t want out of the EU.
It may be pretty difficult to believe, but I’m actually remarkably patriotic for a person of my age. I love my country, and I’ll defend it where it is unjustly challenged. However, in this instance, the coin is equally tails-ended. Yes, the taxpayer has paid a vast sum of money to try to recover some of the damage to debts in Europe. The likelihood of seeing any of that money in return is minimal. Human rights law in particular is a bone of contention for many British people – it seems like the rights of criminals are valued further over those of the ordinary citizen. However, it is thanks to human rights’ enforcement that you can enjoy the privilege of being able to complain about the implementation of state laws and have access to fair human rights if you become a criminal. We also have the benefit of free trade with Europe, and all the yada-yada that comes with it. Britain has always – and likely will be for years to come (we suffer with coloniser-syndrome) – been a proud, aloof and independent nation – to be part of what appears to be becoming a federate state terrifies even the socialist citizens among us.
The EU debate is a minor example of the exploitation of human interest for the sale of papers. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I would like the opportunity to inform everyone who sees the news and immediately assumes a particular stance without knowing all the facts that you are supposed to be informed by journalists of all the facts. It is the failing of the business side of journalism that doesn’t allow reporters to write without giving you access to all information; it is the failing of the journalists for not living up to the (youth-charged and highly idealised) image of objectivity to serve the public; it is the fault of the reader for relying on one biased news resource and forming an uninformed opinion without knowing all the facts.
Politics makes me cross. B. x