08 OCT 2010
Mary Ellen Synon in Brussels | Daily Mail
The European Commission has just flown 15 Irish journalists to Brussels for a two-day ‘information visit’. Or as those of us who know Brussels and talk straight would put it, for a two-day, two-night taxpayer-funded propaganda junket at a four-star hotel.
Ireland and the other eurozone countries might be suffering savage spending cuts, but the EU self-publicity budget thrives: in 2008 the Open Europe think-tank calculated that the EU was spending at least €2.billion a year on ‘information’.
Much of it bent, which is to say, propaganda. The commission actually admits that its information is bent. One of its publications declares: ‘Genuine communication by the European Union cannot be reduced to the mere provision of information.’
The EU propaganda machine pumps money into lobby groups that support ‘ever closer union’. They push propaganda into schools. And almost more than anything else, they target the Press. Journalists are offered ‘free’ trips and training (yes, just like Scientology offers training). The EU gives out cash prizes to on-message journalists.
A parliamentary Press official told me this week that a large number of Irish news organisations are given free flights to Strasbourg to cover the parliament, plus €360 in cash for expenses. (The Irish Daily Mail takes none of these taxpayer-funded handouts.)
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