Saturday, December 11, 2004

A curious lack of news

One of the chores that we willingly undertake in compiling this Blog is the routine monitoring of newspapers, broadcast media, agencies, specialist journals and websites.

We also subscribe to several (expensive) news databases, which give us access to sources not generally available to the public, and occasionally benefit from "insider" tips from our readers and supporters. From all of this generally, we are able to provide a constant flow of new material for the Blog.

Strangely – or perhaps not, if you think about it – the job is much harder when there is little news around, and it was sometimes a real struggle through the summer finding anything at all worthy of posting.

We had thought that, as the summer and its concomitant "silly season" wore out, and we got into the political season, things would pick up. By and large, they have, but not by any means to the same tempo that we have seen in previous years.

In fact, there seems to be a strange listlessness, a curious lack of political depth and an absence of substance – as if everyone is going through the motions, but is not really engaged.

We have remarked many times on how the media seems to have given up reporting real news and now concentrates on "soap opera" politics, of the Brown, Blair, Boris and Blunkett variety, immersed in its own tiny, self-regarding bubble

Today, I had hoped, perhaps to be reporting on the media response to yesterday’s transport council approval of the Galileo project, but apart from one, thin piece in the Daily Telegraph, I could find no mention of it.

You would have thought that the two great Europhile papers, the Independent and the Guardian, might have been quick to parade this EU "triumph" but not a word about it can you find.

There are some other stories grumbling about, not least the continuing Airbus drama, where Airbus industries are taking on Boeing once more, by producing an equivalent to the long-range, medium load airliner, the 7E7, in addition to producing their alternative to the Jumbo, the A380.

Considering that the Airbus projects are fuelled with generous state loans, most of which are never repaid, this is definitely one we will follow but, at the moment, it remains on our "watching brief" file.

Turkey grumbles on, but that will come to a head on the 17th when the European Council meets, so we will not trouble you with it yet, and there are a few fishing stories going round, but we thought we would spare you from too much on this, until the fisheries council meets on the 21st December.

One further subject we thought of covering was the story by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Telegraph, who has moved away from reporting the EU today, to report on the exodus of the white, middle-class Dutch from their home country – refugees from a failed experiment in multi-culturalism.

We offer it without comment except to remark that, while the EU preens itself on how keen countries outside the Union are to join, the peoples inside the Union are voting with their feet and getting out. This may be too simplistic a view, but you can never accuse us of missing the opportunity of making a cheap jibe at the "project".

We also have to note that "Houdini" Berlusconi has managed to escape criminal conviction in the Italian courts, and express ritual outrage at the "continental crooks", while noting that at least Berlusconi was accused of giving money away (in bribes), rather than stealing from the state, as in the case of l’escroc Chirac.

So, with that, we finish as we start with the observation that there seems to be a curious lack of news, resorting to the final, desperate ploy of a Blogger bereft of something new to write about – that of lifting from someone else's Blog.

Have a look at Fainting in Coyles, where you will see an infuriating story of how the EU parliament spent €50,000 of our money, celebrating its approval of the EU constitution. Nice spot Gawain.

If you have nothing else to do, read the piece in Tech Central Station on Eurobloggers. EU Referendum gets a favourable mention. Preen, preeen! In the meantime, I have the day job to do. Let me know if you find anything worth reporting.

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