Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hold the front page?

Today this Blog can exclusively reveal that it has looked up the internet and found a document published by the EU commission on 27 April 2005, entitled "Compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights in Commission legislative proposals". This eight-page document, code-named COM(2005) 172 final conclusively proves that the EU is sneaking the EU constitution through the back door.

We can also reveal that this document was secretly sent to the House of Commons Committee on European Scrutiny on 1 July 2005, and an analysis was included in its Fourth Report on 20 July 2005 and published on the internet.

Yeah, well – non-story of the week and if we wrote garbage stories like that, I think our readership figures would (deservedly) collapse. Yet, this is precisely the story political editor, Patrick Hennessy, placed on the front page of The Sunday Telegraph today, with a longer story on page 2.

Based on The Sunday Telegraph having "seen" COM(2005) 172 final, he starts off his story, under the headline, "EU sneaks in charter by back door", with the breathless statement that "A controversial European human rights programme is being imposed on Britain by the back door, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal."

To give it the story the appearance of having some substance, Hennessy then gets Liam Fox involved, writing: "So alarmed at this development is Liam Fox, the shadow foreign secretary, that he has written to Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, demanding an urgent explanation for MPs."

He then rings Tory MEP renta-quote, Chris Heaton-Harris, who obligingly offers a self-serving space-filler which Hennessy duly pens. Says Heaton-Harris, "This shows that the commission has no intention of taking any notice of the voters in France and the Netherlands, who decisively rejected their blueprint for a federal super state."

And they call this journalism? Give us a break!

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