Friday, November 4, 2016

Roy Greenslade - The contradictory attacks of the Brexit-loving press

Napoleon famously said: “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”
I don’t think he had the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express and the Sun in mind, but three senior British judges may well share Bonaparte’s opinion today.

They were castigated by the Brexit-loving newspaper quartet because of their ruling that parliament should trigger article 50 to start the UK’s resignation from the European Union and not the prime minister, Theresa May, using royal prerogative powers. These judges are “the enemies of the people”, says the Mail. They stand accused of frustrating the will of the people, says the Telegraph. And the Express’s front-page comment indulges in hyperbole to register its disgust:

Today this country faces a crisis as grave as anything since the dark days when Churchill vowed we would fight them on the beaches.

The Sun is more exercised by the “motley handful of EU-based campaigners” who launched the legal action. It is particularly upset about the action being “led by a foreign-born multi-millionaire”. (This is a newspaper, incidentally, published by a foreign-born multi-millionaire.) The Telegraph, owned by multi-millionaires living outside of mainland Britain, sticks to the constitutional drama, arguing that the high court should never have treated it as “a justiciable question”.

It argues that Lord Thomas, the lord chief justice, Sir Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls, and Lord Justice Sales “should have dismissed the case as an abuse of the legal process”. Oddly, the Telegraph then states: “This is a political dispute to be settled in parliament, not by judges.” Sorry? Isn’t that the very point of the ruling?... read more: