Thursday, October 28

The British mess

Almost every day I hear a politician repeat that in the EU there are also problems of fuel and food shortages due to the lack of transporters. Sometimes, even the presenter introduces that nuance of “we already know that in Europe too …”. Little by little, at least journalists are beginning to wonder why they don’t see fights at gas stations or empty shelves in other European countries. The BBC presenter even said the other day, thinking almost out loud, that in Poland there was a shortage of drivers but perhaps they did not suffer as much because they could have truckers and transporters from other EU countries with little bureaucracy.

For months, even the media had fallen into the trap of pointing out the pandemic no longer –runaway since the United Kingdom decided to end all restrictions suddenly and prematurely – but the mobile application of contact tracing and possible infections as the cause of all the evils.

Supply problems, such as queues at airports, the drop in international trade and until a Chicago bookstore does not send you a book to Oxford (but to Madrid) due to the complication of procedures have a common cause, Brexit . And as Jonathan Freedland rightly says in this enlightening column, specifically the agreement negotiated by the British Government, which did not want to have a closer and therefore easier commercial relationship with the EU than with other European countries that are not in the Union.

What has happened in the United Kingdom, already before Brexit, is an example of how messages with falsehoods from politicians and damaged information amplified by some media can be so pervasive as to create a parallel reality from which it is difficult to get out, even for the most informed and subtle politicians and journalists. In many ways, the UK case is a warning to navigators of the danger of empty political rhetoric and riddled with shameless lies.

For many politicians it is a matter of convenience: the Conservatives got the country into this mess and do not want to acknowledge their mistake and Labor has a divided electorate and see little revenue in self-flagellating, as little can be done immediately.

Journalists are, as always, the ones who can break that bubble and some are beginning to do so, facing the wrong decisions of a slight majority of their country and the mistakes of their politicians. They are also beginning to write about a more fundamental issue, which has been placed at the center of the debate over the pandemic: the lack of respect and adequate working conditions for essential workers, as this British truck driver recounts in the first person. feel better treated in countries like France.

The British media have a particularly hard job, because a substantial part of the population holds them responsible for the current crisis. 47% blame the media for the fact that gas stations have run out of supply these days, according to a YouGov poll.

Standing in front of the mirror of national shame is never easy, but if this is not the time, then when?



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