Compare and contrast with the UK media

The German newspaper Spiegel’s online arm today runs an English translation of an interview conducted with the German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, following the European ‘summit’ on the financial crisis.

Reading the first question put to Schäuble, below, it is easy to form the opinion that this is going to be one of those fawning ‘volleyball’ interviews where the journalist performs the set for the politician to spike the ball over the net and win a point:

Mr. Schäuble, politicians and economists around the world are hailing the recent European Union summit as a success. Has the euro now been saved?

However after a few questions it becomes clear Schäuble is being challenged on his points and not being able to make airy fairy assertions without being called on them.

The interview is notable for the incredible contrast to the fawning approach we see in the UK media whenever Ministers are questioned about such important matters.  It also stands out for the way in which the interviewers push for an answer to the question asked rather than mindlessly accepting whatever PR generated line the politicians spins out, which is now the norm in this country.

No matter what your political persuasion or viewpoint on the EU and the bail out fund reported last week, the interview is well worth reading.  At the very least is demonstrates how dumbed down and ineffective our media is in comparison.  It is also instructive for those who wish to intelligently challenge politicians at all levels in this country in an effort to hold them to account.

7 Responses to “Compare and contrast with the UK media”


  1. 1 tux1952 31/10/2011 at 5:34 pm

    Schäuble: The heads of state and government of the euro zone, including those from Portugal and Ireland, have unanimously emphasized once again that Greece is a unique, exceptional case that calls for a special solution. (…)

    I think quite a few people will remember he said that…

  2. 2 ChrisW 31/10/2011 at 5:43 pm

    would that be final as well?

  3. 3 mfosdb 31/10/2011 at 10:36 pm

    “SPIEGEL: …Do you seriously believe that Greece can become competitive again with this package?

    Schäuble: Yes, because the new program will also contain comprehensive structural reforms to enhance competitiveness.”
    or
    Schäuble: No, because the Greeks are not Germans.

  4. 4 Andrew Duffin 01/11/2011 at 10:53 am

    Of course our MSM are contemptible and spineless and never hold the pols to account properly.

    But one must also remember that our pols are merely empty puppets with no power, whereas Herr Shauble is actually the man in charge.

    There’s not much point in harassing the monkey when the organ-grinder is actually making all the decisions.

  5. 5 john in cheshire 01/11/2011 at 11:13 am

    I find the interview quite discomfiting. Apart from mentioning the nationality of Barosso and van Rumpuy, only France is mentioned. The implication is that all the other countries,apart from France and Germany, count for very little in the scheme of things.

  6. 6 AJC 01/11/2011 at 2:41 pm

    Indeed the questions are well framed but what a load of EU “b******s” Schäuble used in his replies. The worrying thing is that he probably believes this tosh.

  7. 7 Brian H 02/11/2011 at 7:19 am

    Greece needs to be thoroughly persuaded that it is not “too big to fail.”


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