Thursday, 28 May 2009

Express snubs truth

The Express story Uproar as PM snubs the heroes of D-Day is one of those articles that claims there is some 'uproar' but fails to provide any evidence that anyone is actually outraged, except for the paper itself.

What is immediately noticeable is that the picture used is of Gordon Brown laughing. Brown has never been the most photogenic of people, but this image has been used for two reasons. One is because it makes him look a bit weird. The other is that it appears that he is laughing. Right in the face of these snubbed D-Day veterans.

But are they snubbed? Here's the story:

Gordon Brown was yesterday accused of snubbing war heroes because there will be no D-Day commemoration at Westminster Abbey next month.

Mr Brown said in March that he hoped there would be a service in London to mark June 6 being 65 years since the Normandy invasion, which claimed the lives of 17,566 British troops.
But it was revealed last night that no such event will be held.

But then it says:

A Westminster Abbey spokeswoman said "there will be no special service”, adding: “We are in discussions about perhaps having something at a later date but nothing is planned for June 6.”

And then:

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We have held discussions with the Normandy Veterans Association about a service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The NVA’s preference is for a service to be held later in the autumn and we are meeting with Westminster Abbey in the coming days to discuss this further."

So according to that, the veteran's themselves did not want a service on that day. They get Vera Lynn to sound a bit upset - probably having told her half the story - but nobody from the NVA is in 'uproar'. Still, the Express, which put aside any pretence of balanced political reporting long ago, decides it's all Brown's fault. He is even blamed in the same story for the fact the French haven't invited the Queen to the Normandy events. Whereas the Mail just blames those cheese eating surrender monkeys across the Channel.

(On political bias, the Express has a story about middle class views on the economy, which is turned into a story about MP's expenses and greed, and is not only illustrated with a picture of a Labour MP, but a Labour MP who is a Muslim.)

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