Monday, January 03, 2005

Free propaganda

Interviewed by James Naughtie this morning on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana was given over four minutes free propaganda to expound his views on the EU constitution.

Treated with uncritical reverence, Solana was allowed free reign to warn that, although it would not be "the end of the world", "serious questions" would be raised about the UK's relationship with the rest of the EU if it rejected the proposed constitution,

Out trotted the usual propaganda that the constitution would "help an expanded EU operate more efficiently" and while, unfortunately, Solana took the view that a "No" vote would not mean Britain would be excluded from the "European family", he felt that it would be "a very important moment in the history of the EU and in the history of your country."

Tony Blair, he believed, would mount a "solid campaign" for a "Yes" vote. "I am sure he is going to defend the constitution as a good thing for the UK and a good thing for Europe as a whole," Solana said.

But, with the EU only able to offer a "donor’s conference" and a minuscule amount of money as an immediate response to the crisis in South East Asia, Solana was allowed to say that the constitution marked a "fundamental step" in making the EU better able to work internally and fulfil its international obligations.

It would have helped if the fawning Naughtie has asked, for instance, how the EU constitution would have helped the tsunami victims, how much more aid would have been delivered or how many more helicopters would be flying.

Just one tiny example of how the EU will be made more "efficient" would have been welcome. But then, this is the BBC. Never let it be said that it ever misses an opportunity to fail.

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