From the Daily Mail yesterday came this story, one that will undoubtedly have had patriotic Britons opposed to EU membership and governance up in arms.
However, if you’re reading this and thinking, ‘this sounds rather familiar’ don’t worry, you’re not imagining things. It must have been a quiet day on Planet Dacre yesterday, because the Daily Mail ran a version of this ‘story’ back in November last year. It was even written by one of the journalists who produced yesterday’s copy. Here’s the headline from back then…
To find out just how much of a rehash the story is, we ran it through the Churnalism engine. Lo and behold, we discover Friday’s article gets over half its content, lifted word for word, from the story in November. The Churnalism output can be seen below – click to enlarge.
Actually, if you subject yourself to the additional pain of reading the Daily Telegraph, the story will be even less of a surprise to you, given that paper ran its own version of this ‘EU contentious plans’ story back in July last year…
But even then, as now, the story wasn’t news. The origins of these proposals date back to 1984 (how apt) as part of a wider plan to build the public’s sense of European identity that had been developed by a working party led by a former Italian MEP, Pietro Adonnino.
This was explained on the EU Referendum blog by Richard North in July last year in response to the Telegaph’s sudden realisation of something that was set in train a great many years earlier. Of course, North could have shared the details of this plan to use sport to further the European identity earlier… Oh, silly me, he did!
On EU Referendum back in September 2006, he explained in detail how this European plan had already been partly realised by way of golf’s Ryder Cup competition, which had become a Europe v US event, having formerly been a Great Britain v US one. Adonnino, North informed us, had reported back at the Milan Council in 1985, suggesting a Euro lottery, an EU driving license (agreed in 2005 and again covered by North), the adoption of the blue flag with gold stars… and the creation of European sports teams. This is just a step change en route to that destination. It may not happen for decades, but the patient salami slice approach is still in use.
Despite all this information being presented and evidenced for everyone to see and understand, the Daily Mail demonstrates it is still incapable to putting their story into proper context – even when they run it twice in the space of three months. Perhaps they feel that because the information has been presented on a mere blog it does not possess the required prestige for these grand, highly paid cut and paste merchants to learn from it and refer to it.
When it comes to our media, nothing seems to change. It truly was Groundhog Day, in more ways than one.