Friday, 2 December 2016

It's time to go to war with the legacy media

The single European Act did to small businesses what Mrs Thatcher is said to have done to the mines. About the same time we watched our fishing fleet being dismantled for what we were told was the greater good. For those not already decided, the early nineties is when many made up their minds about the EU. Brexit has been a long time coming.

Since those times the effect of the EU has been far less visible with fledgling industries wiped out at the stroke of a pen by unelected officials. Just small rule changes have ruined businesses from farmers to boat-builders.

For the most part it goes unnoticed because our politicians, Labour especially, aren't all that interested in the EU and neither is the media. The parliamentary European Scrutiny Committee has for many years been a back room hobby horse affair when it should have been central to parliamentary activity.

For a long time now MPs have been interested only in showboating and virtue signalling, following the fads of the day and the media considers the day to day activity of the EU barely newsworthy. Consequently it has been many years since I have considered either the Times or the Telegraph as especially relevant. My daily read for some time now has been Euractiv.

For all of my life, decisions vital to the stability and prosperity of the UK have been made in the background without media or parliamentary attention. It then sticks in the craw to have these "flailing dilettantes" telling us that continued membership of the EU is in our best interests. In fact, I don't think I can name a single MP who brings any EU expertise to the table.

You might expect the man in the street not to know the technical difference between the single market and the customs union, but at this stage of the game, MPs not having their ducks in a row is inexcusable. Worse still, even the state broadcaster cannot even get the basics right despite a wealth of knowledge now available on the internet.

As to the rest of the press, they have a serious nerve. It cannot have escaped your attention that they are shrivelling into irrelevance yet have the audacity to interrupt our reading with pop-up boxes telling us that "good journalism costs money", imploring us to either subscribe or disable our ad blockers. They are right. Good journalism does cost money. So why would I sink any of my own money into vessels who have abandoned the practice entirely?

Both the Guardian and the Telegraph have idly repeated the meme that Norway has no say and adopts all EU laws. Without any attempt to verify or investigate this received wisdom they have tainted the debate and by so doing have toxified one of the only safe avenues out of the EU. The entire debate is marred by sloppy incurious hackery and disingenuous spin.

And this is really what makes Brexit necessary. For years, the real business of government has been out of sight and out of mind, so that our media and politicians are at liberty to shirk their obligations and squander their time. We need politics back where we can see it. It is my hope that once Westminster is once again tasked with adult politics it will demonstrate how manifestly incapable they are and how completely inadequate our parliamentary system is. It is that which will bring about the change we need as voters wake up to how poorly served we are.

In the meantime, we haven't the luxury of depending on our media. All I can do is implore you to help hasten its demise. Make sure you use an ad blocker, block their Twitter feeds, read and share independent blogs and ignore the legacy media. The best thing you can do is get informed and stay informed. From the outset the blogs have made the running in the EU referendum and it has taken the legacy media three years to catch up.

A little over a month ago I stated my intention to draw down this blog and slow the pace a little, but it has become clear the battle for Brexit is not over - and I am not going anywhere until the job is done. Interest in the subject has not dropped off and hits this month have been the highest ever apart from June (for very obvious reasons). With your continued support I still feel there is value in maintaining this level of activity. Brexit will happen but it is up to us to shape it. We cannot entrust that task to the media.

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