The battle between the people and insatiable self-proclaimed elites that rages here in the U.S. is, in some respects, uncannily duplicated in Europe. So this righteous rant by Mick Hume at Spiked resonates with American readers. A few newspapers, mostly tabloids like Britain’s Sun, have had the temerity to stand up to the EU’s power grab. Worse, many millions of Europeans agree with them. What is the solution? “Smart regulation.”
The European Commission has come up with a new way to prevent people backing Brexit – not by winning the argument, but by curbing press freedom. They want to stop the British press encouraging ‘hatred’ of EU leaders and judges, and impose a ‘European approach’ of ‘smart regulation’ to control the views expressed by the tabloids and their supposedly non-smart readers.
The European elites are fine with hatred, it just needs to be pointed in the right (i.e., leftist) direction.
European justice commissioner Vera Jourova stuck the stiletto into the Sun and Co in her big speech at something called the Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna, organised by the EC’s Fundamental Rights Agency. One ‘fundamental right’ these Eurocrats despise is the freedom of the press to criticise, insult and ridicule the pompous pro-EU elites. They believe instead in the fundamental right of Europe’s unelected courts and commissions to decide which ‘responsible’ opinions are fit for publication.
Condemning UK tabloids for causing ‘divisions’ over the EU, Jourova singled out two front pages: the Sun’s attack on EU leaders after last week’s Salzburg summit – ‘EU Dirty Rats’ – and the Mail’s earlier attack on the UK’s anti-Brexit judges as ‘Enemies of the People’. She argued, according to the supportive Guardian, that ‘the media’s job in holding the powerful to account should be balanced with a responsibility to avoid encouraging hate’.
We see the same thing here in the U.S., where “hate speech” is a one-way street.
Jourova is making a familiar cheap attempt to link tabloid criticisms of the EU with her claim that ‘hatred is on the rise’ in the UK and Europe. Yet her choice of targets rather gave the game away. The ‘hatred’ the EC is really worried about is not some imaginary pogrom against Europe’s powerless ethnic minorities. It is the rising tide of popular ill-feeling towards a tiny powerful minority of elitist politicians, bureaucrats and judges, as captured well in those tabloid front pages.
They point out that we are incompetent and corrupt, and our ideas are bankrupt? They are hateful! Shut them down!
For some reason the justice commissioner’s attack on media outlets that ‘sow divisions [and] spread disinformation’ did not include the Remainstream media that have spent more than two years branding Leave voters as ignorant racists and spreading hysterical scare stories about Brexit. The scales of EC justice are tipped decidedly one way.
“Hate” can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on which way it is pointed.
The EC’s solution to the publication of front pages it finds offensive? Put the censor’s blue pen through the red tops! Not in the old brutish way with jackboots and bonfires, of course. But by imposing more sophisticated controls through what Jourova calls a ‘European approach to media based on quality and smart regulation, if needed’.
Quality, as Hume says, means left-wing like the BBC. But what does “smart regulation” mean? Evidently, limitations on freedom of speech imposed by leftists. It is comical, by the way, how liberals think they can sell any pernicious idea by calling it “smart.”
There is much more at the link. I don’t know either Hume or Spiked, but this piece is well worth your time. Let’s close with this:
As ever, the underlying target of attacks on the mass media is the masses, who the EU elites believe must be stupid to have been duped into backing Brexit or Europe’s populist parties. Commissioner Jourova claimed that the biggest problem is ‘fear’, spread by the media and demagogues. ‘When we are afraid’, she said, ‘we often switch off rational thinking and escape to our instincts, even the darker ones’.
And as ever, the real fear on display here is the elites’ fear and loathing of the demos – the people.