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Sloppy Journalism at the Independent 21 March 2007

Posted by David in Comment, EU, Europe, European Union.

First it was the BBC with “Ten Things The EU Has Done”, now it’s the Independent with “Fifty Things The EU Has Done“. And it’s even more sloppy than the BBC’s pathetic brainwashing efforts.

1 The end of war between European nations
Didn’t NATO play a role, or banishing Hitler?

2 Democracy is now flourishing in 27 countries
Not in the EU itself however, and this is rather insulting to claim the hard work of others

3 Once-poor countries, such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal, are prospering
Free trade, no EU required

4 The creation of the world’s largest internal trading market
Free trade, no EU required.

5 Unparalleled rights for European consumers
Can be done at national level, indeed is, because not everything is European made.

6 Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy
Not very effective is it. Not needed anyway.

7 Co-operation on crime, through Europol
Not effective either. There’s Interpol anyway.

8 Laws that make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe
The EU hasn’t touched property laws, and we can buy anywhere anyway.

9 Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe
No EU required.

10 Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe
No EU required. And what if they don’t want it? Wages are cut to fund it!

11 No death penalty (it is incompatible with EU membership
Abolished before we joined the EU.

12 Competition from privatised companies means cheaper phone calls
Free trade, no EU required.

13 Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC)
You’re forgetting all those employed to implement EU regulation at national, local and private level. Still too many anyway as EU is not needed.

14 Making the French eat British beef again
Is it compulsory?

15 Minority languages, such as Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected
No EU required. How do you protect a language anyway?

16Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2
Not very effective is it? See Blair’s King Canute Climate Change Act.

17 One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not

A very defective currency, which according to a study bySheffield University has the wrong interest rate for all but one member nation.18 Europe-wide travel bans on tyrants such as
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe
No EU required.

19 The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the
United States

No EU required, money comes from the member states anyway.

20 Strict safety standards for cars, buses and aircraft
No EU required.

21 Free medical help for tourists
No EU required.

22 EU peacekeepers operate in trouble spots throughout the world
Where do they come from? Member states. Who pays them? Member states.

23Europe’s single market has brought cheap flights to the masses, and new prosperity for forgotten cities
Free trade, no EU required. Contradicts #16 somewhat.

24 Introduction of pet passports
No EU required.

25 It now takes only 2 hrs 35 mins from London to Paris by Eurostar
Even the Independent admits this is nothing to do with the EU, but still puts it on the list anyway.

26 Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on

Forced? How liberal. And what modernisation?

27Shopping without frontiers gives consumers more power to shape markets
Free trade, no EU required.

28 Cheap travel and study programmes means greater mobility for
Europe’s youth

Free trade, no EU required.

29 Food labelling is much clearer
Not at all, food labelled “EEC” is hardly informative.

30 No tiresome border checks (apart from in the UK)
Handy for criminals, illegal immigrants, people traffickers and such. Again, no EU required, as the Swiss have agreed to end border checks despite not being in the EU.

31 Compensation for passengers suffering air delays
No EU required, and funded by higher air fares.

32Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry
No EU required, and we cannot ban live exports or dog fur due to EU membership.

33 Greater protection for Europe’s wildlife
Not hedgerow residents or sea-life, both ruined by the EU’s Common Agriculture and Fisheries Policies. No EU required.

34 Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of

Money comes from UK anyway, indeed we pay far more than we get back. The regional development funding only goes to areas with average wages a certain amount below the EU average, which due to EU expansion in Eastern Europe is now far lower, meaning EU regional development funding in the UK is being phased out.

35European driving licences recognised across the EU
Like the International Driving Licence? Also, the road skills of some migrants is not terribly brilliant.

36 Britons now feel a lot less insular
Because of the EU? Pull the other one.

37Europe’s bananas remain bent, despite sceptics’ fears
So what?

38 Strong economic growth – greater than the United States last year
One year, thanks to Eastern Europe, out of how many? EU growth lags far behind the

39 Single market has brought the best continental footballers to

Free trade, no EU required. David Beckham has moved to California without the EU.

40 Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual
And created crazy results in cases. The EU is not required for human rights.

41 European Parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws
They’ve obviously never investigated it, even A-level politics emphasises the weakness of the European Parliament, which in most cases only has the right to offer an opinion. There’s no real debating, as MEPs only get 90 seconds each, and translation ruins any argument. Anyway, most MEPs are so loyal they approve anything proposed by the EU.

42 EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states
How do they calculate this?

43 Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and

Pathetic. How will a multi-polar world be safer?

44 European immigration has boosted the British economy
Contradicts #6 a little. Actually, immigration has boosted our GDP but reduced GDP per capita (i.e. more people will create more wealth in total, but are producing less wealth per person – so we’re bigger but poorer).

45 Europeans are increasingly multilingual – except Britons, who are less so
What’s this got to do with the EU?

46 Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service
What’s this got to do with the EU?

47 British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan
What’s this got to do with the EU? Will the EU claim Mexican and Thai restaurants next?

48 Total mobility for career professionals in Europe
Free trade, no EU required.

Europe has revolutionised British attitudes to food and cooking

What’s this got to do with the EU? So has the lean mean grilling machine!

50 Lists like this drive the Eurosceptics mad
No they don’t, they make us laugh.



1. JOHN L - 27 January 2013

The trouble with the eurosceptics is that the vast majority of them draw their education about europe on what they have read in the nationalistic bordering on racists british newspapers, especially but not exclusively, the tabloids.

2. JOHN L - 27 January 2013

And to follow up on that, it means that the british people are not qualified to vote in a referendum. It rather annoys me when I hear the likes of Boris Johnson with his inflated british superiority complex ranting about britain and London being the greatest nation and city on earth – Delusion based propaganda.

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