I was reading the front page of The Times newspaper when I came across a news item about some European leaders response to PM May’s speech at the Conservative Party conference. It seems they weren’t very happy with her, or what she was saying. This is hardly surprising, but is it newsworthy?Here’s the beginning of the story, with my comments in italics:
“Theresa May was criticised across Europe as her uncompromising stance on immigration hardened opposition to British demands over Brexit.
This is hardly newsworthy. The EU’s official position is pro free movement of people. Whereas a post Brexit UK wants to have control of its borders. So we disagree with each other. So what? We’re allowed an opinion and to do what we want when we leave the EU.
Angela Merkel won thunderous applause from hundreds of German business leaders yesterday as she warned that Britain could not retain full access to the EU’s single market unless it allowed free movement of people.
Theresa May has not indicated that she wants to have her cake and eat it. Saying no to free movement of people means we don’t get tariff-free (“full access” as they call it) to the single market, but it is a small price to pay to decouple from the trade bloc. Tariffs of 2% on goods will make little difference to our lives and 10% on cars will hurt German manufacturers more than they will hurt ours. If we know what’s best for us, we should choose not to charge our citizens any trade tariffs. If the Germans want to charge us more for their cars, we’ll just end up buying more Japanese, Korean or American motors, as well as more of our own. As I’ve said before, tariffs are an act of self harming, rather than something done to you by others. The UK is a huge export market of the EU, running a significant trade deficit with the likes of Germany, so these politicians can holler all they like, but imposing tariffs on the UK hurts there rest of the EU more than it hurts us.
The French housing minister, Emmanuelle Cosse, described as a catastrophe the British plan to force companies to publish the number of foreign workers they employ. She added that the policy “raises issues of reciprocity”, suggesting that Britons abroad could face similar rules.
Reciprocity seems perfectly reasonable, although I would question how many UK citizens are working abroad compared to EU citizens working here. Since the euro was introduced, and single currency member state economies have been gradually eroded, the UK has become the EU employer of last resort, hiring all the workers displaced by the EU’s disastrous single currency project. So by all means do a survey about how many UK citizens are working abroad, I’ll be interested to see the figures. Given that London is France’s sixth biggest city, with more French citizens than Bordeaux, I doubt very much that there is a reciprocal city in France which holds as many British, but we’ll see when the figures come out.
It goes on in s similar vein…..
My aim here is not to criticise the writer or the comments he is reporting, but to question the value of stating things as fact which are either obvious, or clearly not in any context i.e. without any kind of back story.
This kind of dumbed down reporting could be described as impartial or objective, but anything written down for others to read has the effect of brainwashing the individuals reading it. This approach is part of the political parlance, the vapid content of “official presentations”, that the public hate so much. Being treated like idiots by the media classes is one of the reasons we voted for Brexit in the first place. We understand what’s going on, so why not say so. At least a biased opinion is explicitly presented as just that. Journalistic articles such as the above are far from objective. Instead they state things apparently dispassionately, but as though fact. This is unacceptable.
Journalists are intelligent people who hold a view. This view should be expressed. Otherwise their “objective presentation” is giving airtime to non-issues or false premises, giving them some creedence when they really don’t deserve any. What’s that, Angela deserves air time? Yes, I suppose she does, if she has something significant to say. But since when was “I disagree with what you have said” anything other than a standard political response?
So back to the title of this article. What role does the majority of reporting play? I can only assume it is stirring the pot, getting the readership fired up, riled by the presentation of the facts without any back story.
For example, this story from property week:
Theresa May: Government will intervene in ‘dysfunctional’ housing market
Property week, 5 October 2016
Prime minister Theresa May has promised to “repair the dysfunctional housing market”, labelling a lack of affordable homes as the root cause of the economy’s problems.
this is an infuriating statement, and completely the opposite to reality. The government has been the root cause of the main dysfunction in the property market. It has piled on subsidy after subsidy after subsidy in an attempt to keep the uk property Ponzi scheme going. First funding for lending, then right to buy, then help to buy, now the government has two new funds: one worth 2bn to buy properties which developers aren’t selling and a further 3bn to investigate house building methods. All subsidy skews the free market, and when a government wades in with billions, any attempts then to intervene only ever make the already bad situation worse.
Speaking at the Conservative party conference, May said the market “continues to fail working people”.
May is right. Yes it does, principally because the government has encouraged the Property Ponzi scheme in the first place, and furthermore keeps propping up the market with more and more ‘helpful’ subsidies, without which it would otherwise fall to affordable levels. The government needs to keep its sticky beak out of matters.
“Ask almost any question about social fairness or problems with our economy, and the answer so often comes back to housing.
“High housing costs – and the growing gap between those on the property ladder and those who are not – lie at the heart of falling social mobility, falling savings and low productivity.”
Not so. Ask me and I’ll tell you the issue. These are nice sounding soundbytes, but what’s really the cause of falling social mobility? It’s the Property Ponzi scheme on which the UK services economy is based. We are all, if we live in a property (so this excludes people who live in tents, caravans and under bridges) paying off the debt which has been loaned into the property Ponzi scheme. If you own a house, you own that debt. If you rent, you don’t own the debt, but you ARE going to pay it just the same. You cannot escape the property Ponzi scheme, It happens to you if you live in a house, which means everyone the last time I checked.*
*Ponzi schemes favour early adopters, in this case those with houses, property asset owners, everyone pays into the Ponzi scheme, but those higher up take more out. That is why homeownership is the problem, and not the solution, Mrs May (or whoever writes your speeches)
May pledged to back modern construction methods and make public sector land more available for development.
about time too far better than building on greenbelt.
“Genuine social reform means helping more people onto the housing ladder,” she said.
This is just another load of waffle designed to justify more subsidies into the Ponzi scheme. “Genuine social reform”, not just borrowing more money, means a wholesale revamp of the banking sector – taking away their power to create unlimited credit which fuels this Ponzi scheme in the first place – and a monetary system which works for the people, rather than for the banks. THAT is what genuine social reform means, but do you know why Theresa May or any other politician will never do that? Because banks OWN politicians and political parties.
“This means using the power of government to step in and repair the dysfunctional housing market.”
leave it alone, you caused the problems in the first place. If you want to do something, reform monetary policy, but stay out of markets and let them function.
Earlier in the conference, the government unveiled plans to boost housebuilding with a £5bn cash injection and a renewed focus on brownfield sites.
this is something good, making use of underused, underdeveloped sites rather than greenfield sites
Now it could be that I’m reading too much into these things, but if I can spot these glaringly obvious elements, why can’t the press? If the press can see what’s happening (and how couldn’t they) then why aren’t they holding the PM and the political parties to rights? Oh, hang on, they all own houses too…….
So what is the moral if the story here? Well, I suppose there are several.
- Don’t waste your time reading the newspapers, they add very little intelligent comment and are more likely to infuriate the informed individual than educate them.
- Spend your time focussing on what you want in life. The media circus – which includes politics – will continue to turn, the best thing for you to do is focus on where you’re going. The fact is that this stuff IS infuriating. These people who should know better don’t, they don’t have a clue, not the first idea, and they have no idea about how to make things better, so they continue to scramble about looking for answers. Leave them to their pain. Find something which feels better to focus upon. Oh look, a puppy!.
- The media are rabble rousers, and their negative bent sells more papers. Is it true? Probably not anywhere close. But the headline “everything will be fine” doesn’t have you rushing for The Times, Guardian or any other rag.
*media stirring sells more newspapers*