The Express and vote-rigging


Why is "rig" in quotes? Well...

Oh look, the front page of the Express has a ludicrous EU scare story! What are the odds?

BRUSSELS will attempt to “rig” any referendum asking the British people if they want to quit the EU, it emerged last night.

It would unleash a multi-million pound pro-Europe propaganda campaign – and get UK taxpayers to pick up the bill.

Except it’s not actually Brussels “rigging” anything, as the article explains later:

Up to now, MEPs have been allowed to use the funds only to campaign in elections for the European Parliament.

But in future they will be able to spend the cash campaigning where a referendum has a “direct link” to an EU issue – such as on UK membership.

So in other words, while pro-EU parties will be allowed to use EU support to campaign on the issue, anti-EU parties – EUDemocrats, for instance, who campaigned in Ireland against the Lisbon Treaty – would likewise be able to use the same funds to campaign as well. It’s not Brussels co-ordinating these campaigns either – it’s a matter for the individual European political parties representatives in each country.

(Edit: Zelo Street points out that this just a proposal taken from a draft report – there have been no changes to party funding, so this story is doubly ludicrous.)

Still, it’s funny that the Express considers running “propaganda” about Europe to be “vote rigging”.

Is this an example of vote rigging, Daily Express?

How about this?

Or this?


Or indeed this?

Is this?

I could go on… so I will.

Is this propaganda “vote rigging”?

Perhaps this is?

Or maybe this?

What about this ludicrous scare story?

Does this count?

Does this?

Surely this must?

And how about this, or this?

Since the Daily Express clearly feels so strongly about any attempt to rig a referendum using biased or blatantly untrue propaganda, I wonder how long it will be before they furiously denounce the articles linked above.

Any second now…

Edit: This post originally claimed that UKIP would be eligible for funding, but although they are members of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, they are not members of a pan-European party at present, which would be required before they could be funded.


  1. #1 by jon on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 11:55 GMT+0100

    Ha! Brilliant. And sad — that the Express can print this sort of thing and know/expect its readers to lap it up.

  2. #2 by Stephen H on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 11:56 GMT+0100

    The day we really do get a referendum on being in Europe will be when hell freezes over.

    And if we do then if we submit the “wrong” answer then they’ll just ask the question again. And again. And etc.

    I suspect the author feels quite safe that a referendum on Europe (or, actually, the EU) will always go his money grabbing accounts fiddling democracy shredding anti-real-europe way!!

  3. #3 by Gillig on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 17:24 GMT+0100

    For UKIP to get this campaign funding from the EU, it would be forced to campaign as a “European Party”, joined with other groups who do not hold the same views as UKIP. If UKIP remains an Independent UK Party, it will be denied this funding.
    Spin that!

    • #4 by atomicspin on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 17:36 GMT+0100

      UKIP is already a member of the European political group “Europe of Freedom and Democracy”, a eurosceptic nationalistic group, but you’re right that that’s not currently a party. I’m fairly sure the eurosceptic EUDemocrats party, which has several British members, could though. I’ll correct the post.

  4. #5 by Gillig on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 18:00 GMT+0100

    UKIP is the only party within the EFD campaigning to leave the EU. They are associated with the EDF to receive funding under EU rules, as a group.

  5. #6 by Stephen H on Monday, 21st March 2011 - 23:06 GMT+0100

    Lets not forget the difference between EU and Europe.

    EU != Europe

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