British Have Been Fed Misinformation by the Rightwing Press for Years

I don’t think the British people per se are anti-Europe but they have been fed misinformation for years by the puppet masters of the rightwing British press, which has such a huge circulation advantage over the liberal press. To make out that they are doing this for the working class people of Britain is the con of the century.

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This letter was published in the Financial Times on June 22nd 2016, the day before the EU referendum. It was a response to a Martin Wolf article on the previous day, and ran alongside ‘Fleet Street’s European bite remains sharp’ by John Gapper – see below and click to read the full item. 

Sir,

As a German who has lived and worked happily in the UK for more than 40 years, I can only underline Martin Wolf’s arguments for staying in (“Why I believe Britain belongs in Europe”, June 21). Two small additional comments, however.

The Brexit supporters constantly mention that Britain can easily stand alone, being the fifth largest and fastest-growing economy among the Group of Eight countries.

First, as David Smith, the fiercely independent economics editor of The Sunday Times has pointed out, Britain is by purchase power parity (PPP) the 10th largest; and as for gross domestic product growth, the much maligned eurozone grew by 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 against 0.3 per cent in the UK and is forecast to be ahead over the full year. Naturally, David Cameron can’t mention this fact, as he would be accused of talking the country down.

My second point is that I don’t think the British people per se are anti-Europe but they have been fed misinformation for years by the puppet masters of the rightwing British press, which has such a huge circulation advantage over the liberal press. To make out that they are doing this for the working class people of Britain is the con of the century. I only hope that enough people will see through this and that the famous British common sense will prevail.

Bob Bischof
London SW1, UK
Vice-President, German British Chamber of Industry & Commerce; Chairman, German British Forum

Read with:

Fleet Street's European bite remains sharp

Author: Bob Bischof

German Robert (Bob) Bischof has lived and worked in Britain for 40 years. He is convinced that the two countries can gain much by learning from each other. Well-known for his outspoken comments on economic, political and industrial issues concerning Britain and Germany, he is a regular contributor to a range of newspapers and other publications, including the Financial Times and other national papers.

One thought on “British Have Been Fed Misinformation by the Rightwing Press for Years”

  1. Hi Bob!
    Good text!
    It’s a shame, that the UK government allows such exorbitant market-controlling market-shares of certain media, when at the same time in the industrial area monopoly legislation and anti-trust laws are far more stringent.
    I think that “information” is a much more valuable and important factor, than certain products on a market.

    Allow me to make an additional comment:
    The size of an economy very much determines the degree of influence it can excersize on the global markets. (See e.g. Chinese exports of solar-panels or steel to western countries).

    20 years in the future even Germany’s economy would not be strong enough, to put up effective resistance against “arm-twisting” on the part of upcoming large economies of countries such as India, China, Brazil, (later on Russia), etc.

    Unless in future the whole of Europe acts in an integrated – or at least well coordinated – way, the individual relatively small European countries will stand no chance of exercising suffient influence to their own benefit, be it economically, politically, militarily or diplomatically. As a result, over time this is certain to lead to an overall reduced standard of living for us.

    Regards
    Michael Esser

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