Saturday 16 April 2016

Something for the Cornish to mull over

It begins:
Over the last 15 years, Cornwall has received more than £1bn of EU structural investment. Don't worry if that fact has passed you by. Plenty of the people I met in Cornwall appear to be unaware of it too.
She was about to try and change that.

She then rehearsed the reasons, "from the Europhiles' perspective" (as she put it, guardedly), why "Cornwall has lots to thank Europe for" - though in all the figures about £888m from the EU here and £486m there, not once did she mention (either here or on her TV report) that a lot of that money would have been money that we in the UK paid into the EU in the first place! 

"But when it comes to the referendum, it appears hard cash doesn't automatically buy loyalty", she continued.

Then, using a comment from a Penzance resident, she started discussing the "unknowns":
The unknowns of a Brexit (there is no word for that in Cornish) were one explanation given by folk who told me they'll vote to stay in.
Then she started talking about the other side and her language changed: "But I also found plenty threatening to vote to leave." "Threatening?" Why did she use that word there? Why not "intending" or "wanting"?

And as for the keen "outers" who "talk of the good old days", isn't that a rather mocking way of describing their way of thinking, as if they're old fuddy-duddies?

And then Katie went back to her starting point. Part of the reason why the EU's generosity (with our money!) could be that the EU simply isn't good enough at promoting its own generosity!:
A YouGov survey suggested Cornwall is veering Eurosceptic as we head towards 23 June. Part of the issue may be that the EU doesn't obviously appear to trumpet its investment. Unlike in some other parts of Europe, I barely saw that blue EU sign with its familiar yellow stars.
Well, Katie Razzall was more than making up for the EU's 'unwillingness' to blow its own trumpet here (and on Newsnight)! 

Under the next sub-headline, EU 'benefits Cornwall', she trumpets yet more of the EU's generosity on their behalf, this time the 'EU money' that pours into Cornwall's business:
It's a substantial sum and some here are worried that the county - and the nation - could be heading for Brexit without properly considering the consequences.
As well as the (anti-Brexit) businessman who appeared on her Newsnight report (anti-Brexit), whose concerns she quotes again, here she also gives us a second business owner - and she makes this lady her coup de grace:
Susan Stuart spent the best part of two years renovating Penzance's Chapel House, which she's turned into a hotel. She's backing local regeneration plans, which include hopes for new flood defences, cycle paths and a digital hub. 
She told me they couldn't fund this without going to Europe and an out vote means "we wouldn't get the funding". 
Something for the Cornish to mull over as they get closer to referendum day.
This seems to me to be a clear example of a pro-Remain-biased BBC article. Please read it for yourselves though and see if you agree.


  1. No, given we are a net contributor to the EU, ALL the largesse came from our coffers - it was just recycled via Brussels. If we chose, we could give Cornwall MORE if we were independent of the EU. Emphasising EU largesse is a dishonest Remain trope and Razzall shows her true colours by repeating it so often. "Uncertainty" is another Remain theme she uses here, as though there is no uncertainty in remaining in the EU - an entity that has effectively lost control of its borders, which is facing a powerful foe in Russia and whose economy is flat on its back.

    You've really nailed her with that use of the word "threatening".

    Also did you notice that use of "Europe = EU" via the quotation? Personally I think any misuse of EUrope by interviewees in that way should be clarified by objective reporters.

  2. From the Europhiles' perspective, Cornwall has lots to thank Europe for. The Council of Europe gave Cornish protected minority language status back in 2002 and Cornish clotted cream and pasties are among the local delicacies given special EU protection.

    Only a couple of paragraphs in and she is wrong, the Council of Europe isn't part of the EU.

    1. This shows why you shouldn't confuse Europe with the EU. She actually says "to thank Europe for" - which makes it a lot more accurate conceptually since the Council of Europe nations are part of Europe (pretty much - I think Georgia is a member as well).

  3. Just noticed this: "I'm testing out how the EU impacts on people's lives for a Newsnight series" - isn't that yet another example of structural bias? To test how the EU impacts is going to focus on the EU as an investor and so on. But the argument of the Leave campaign is that Brexit will enable us to do much more in this sort of area. Where is the equivalent "I'm touring the country looking at the potential impact of Brexit on people."?


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