Monday, December 12, 2011

Telling porkies

Andrew Grice, for The Independent tells us:
I have been watching British prime ministers at international summits since 1987. I saw Margaret Thatcher wield her handbag, and John Major and Tony Blair veto the appointment of federalists as president of the European Commission. In Brussels last Friday, Mr Cameron went much further. He has broken Thatcher's law: always keep a seat at the table. She knew that was in the national interest.
After all this time, Grice still hasn't learned enough to tell the difference between a "summit" and a European Council. But the substantive point is that Mr Grice is telling porkies. He hasn't actually watched a single prime minister at a "summit". He most certainly did not see Thatcher wield her handbag, of John Major and Tony Blair perform. The press are excluded from plenary sessions.

He has waited for many hours in drafty press centres, sometimes not even in the same building as the talks, bored witless most of the time, to be fed a diet of BS, and self-serving spin during the periodic press conferences.

Why the man feels the need to embellish his experiences is uncertain. However, if the great British public realised how ill-informed the media actually were, and how much of what they told us was invention, then perhaps we might look upon them differently.

But then we know that already. People who allow themselves to be misled by the media do so largely because they want to believe what they are told. The children want to be led to the promised land, and Mr Grice is just the man to do it.