Saturday, March 12, 2005

We can reliably inform you…

Following his rant about bloggers yesterday, Simon Jenkins might want to eat his words.

Extolling the virtues of the mainstream media (MSM), we have to prove, he said, that such qualities as newsgathering and reliability are worth more than the "scream of opinion".

And so, turning to this fabled reliable newsgathering, we read of the situation in Portugal, where recently elected socialist prime minister Jose Socrates took office today.

From Associated Press, we read that Socrates has indicated that a referendum on the EU constitution might be held at the same time as local elections scheduled for next October.

Then, from Agence France Presse, we find that the government has said that it would go ahead with promised referendums on the new EU constitution and the nation's strict abortion laws only in 2006 because the country is already facing local and presidential elections over the next year.

This agency cites vice-president of the party's parliamentary group, Guilherme d'Oliveira Martins, saying: "It is too soon to set dates, we have a very tight calendar in the first half of the legislature, we will have municipal elections and then presidential elections."

But, from the much-respected Reuters, we find that the "Socialist leader" has said he would seek to hold a referendum on the EU constitution in December this year.

So there we have it, dear reader. From information so expensively gathered by the MSM, we can reliably inform you that the EU referendum in Portugal will be held in October, December and 2006.

Are we permitted a wry smile?

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