It is indeed one when a think tank, one held in high regard and who’s stated aim is to educate the public, publishes an article – and one written by a Senior Fellow at that – which lays itself and the author open to the charge of being disingenuous and of misleading their readers.
I refer to two articles authored by Tim Ambler; here and here; and upon both of which an initial comment has been left on the first link. Ambler repeats the arguments made by Open Europe citing the “Norway” meme and the “renegotiation” meme; both of which were totally “laid to rest” on OE’s blog by four bloggers and others. Yet still Ambler, Cameron and others continue this practice of misinformation, which in turn begs the question whether it is any wonder that the public are so ignorant of ‘matters EU’.
The intention to mislead the public, where the question of this country’s membership of the European Union is concerned, is one that is growing and the latest attempt comes from Janan Ganesh, writing in the Financial Times, who suggests a draft for David Cameron’s much heralded and long awaited “speech” on our future relations with the EU.
When looking at the problem of those within the political bubble being accused of “disingenuousness”, “obfuscation” and “misrepresentation” – what might also be termed “double speak” – it is ironic that an article appears in The Independent by Damian McBride, one entitled: “A Political Life: It’s the shameless doublespeak that makes politicians look like liars” and with the sub-heading: “With the public already disdainful of politicians, how can so many continue with the tactics of public obfuscation and diversion?” One’s initial reaction to the author can best be summed up in two words: “Pot” and “Kettle” – but I digress. Where McBride writes:
“In my experience, even the least moralistic politicians don’t usually tell blatant lies, because any benefit they might gain is outweighed by the danger of getting caught.”
one can only react by immediately pointing out that “moralistic politicians” must surely qualify as an oxymoron – but again I digress.
While the media allow politicians to get away with what are palpably ‘lies’ then their practice of “double speak” can only continue – and that does not bring any benefit, or kudos, to them or the political class; and most definitely is not of any benefit to the public.