Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Sunday, August 30, 2015

1975: we were warned

Tony Benn, 27 May 1975

Congratulations and thanks to The Boiling Frog for scanning a 1976 study of the previous year's Common Market referendum. What is clear is that the sovereignty issue was buried in a heap of other, more temporary concerns (including the oil crisis and inflation), and biased and personalized media coverage.

Plus a consciousness among the media bods of the risk of boring the voters, which opens another debate on whether democracy is really able to deal with complex matters.

Back to bias: Peter Hitchens has pointed out the way the Yes and No pamphlets differed in their treatment:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/08/the-1975-common-market-referendum-campaign-documents.html

- but that the truth was there if we cared to look closely:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/08/there-was-no-excuse-for-thinking-the-common-market-was-just-a-free-trade-group-in-1975.html

... which was even less obvious in the 1970 General Election that preceded Heath's move to get us into "Europe":

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/08/what-the-main-party-manifestoes-said-about-europe-in-1970.html

I wonder whether the campaigns and coverage will be any better in the lead-up to the promised 2017 Referendum?


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1 comment:

A K Haart said...

From your second link we have this subheading "Untrue claims about tough, successful negotiations". As we know, a large number of people already expect to see this approach repeated.

Are voters likely to do much background research before voting this time around? Have pigs taken up flying lessons?