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A parallel universe

Posted by Richard Saturday, November 13, 2004

"The Atlantic alliance, the core of the wider community known as the Anglosphere, has never been stronger," opines The Daily Telegraph today in its leader, "America listens to its strongest ally".

The paper is referring to the meeting between the newly re-elected George Bush and Tony Blair, interpreting this as a sign that the UK is now "America's strongest ally." This, it believes, "is to Mr Blair's credit" and the rest of us have cause to be grateful.

However, in Eurofacts, today – albeit a slightly less well-read journal – we read in the front-page story of Blair's "European obsession" that "puts all our lives at risk".

In the article, informed not least by posts in this Blog, that the mechanisms of defence co-operation are being put at risk by our ever-closer integration with the EU defence dimension. "The pattern is clear", Eurofacts claims:

Step-by-step, the tested foundations on which our national defences have been established are being undone and replaced by grandiose, untested and even absurd schemes that answer to political rather than security needs. We will be at greater risk as a consequence.
Readers will know that it is this Blog's thesis that these schemes are so undermining the "special relationship" that the Atlantic alliance cannot survive.

Clearly, with such a wide divergence between this Blog – and Eurofacts for that matter – and the Telegraph, we cannot all be right. We seem to be inhabiting a parallel universe. If we are right, then that begs the question as to how the newspaper leader-writer could have got it so wrong.

My theory is that journalists are now so obsessed with the "soap opera" drama of politics, and are so ignorant of the detail of both EU affairs and defence technology, that they are incapable of understanding the issues. If that is the case, then the Telegraph leader today was not only complacent and ill-informed but dangerous.