Monday, 15 February 2010

More front page lies from the Express

On Thursday 11 February, the Express ran the headline: 'Now we have to bail out the euro'.

It could hardly be more unequivocal, or more appealing to an anti-European paper such as the Express.

And here's how the article, by Macer Hall, begins:

British taxpayers could be forced to pay up to £3.5billion a year towards bailing out the crisis-hit Greek economy, it emerged last night.

'Could be'
bailing out Greece? But that makes it sound as if the headline - 'Now we have to bail out the euro' - is misleading. On two counts.

Surely not? Hall goes on:

And it is understood that German President Angela Merkel is to press for all EU states, including Britain, to be ready to provide billions of pounds in emergency debt aid.

Which is strange given that Merkel:

mounted stiff resistance tonight to any swift bailout of Greece.

Moreover, the Guardian reported:

Greece tonight vehemently denied that it had gone to Brussels with begging bowl in hand to resolve its debt crisis, insisting there was no question of a 'bail-out'.

In other words 'we' are not bailing out the 'euro'.

Two days after that, the Express served up Zero bin waste or get fine, with free chocolate and fish and chips.

This one was written by Martyn Brown, who suggested that as Britain has had some snow, there can't possibly be global warming, so you know it's going to have some intellectual rigour behind it.

He writes:

An army of snooping bin police will inspect the rubbish of millions of families under a sinister Government plan to create 'zero waste' in Britain.

Squads of spies will carry out dawn raids to check that householders are not throwing out any rubbish and recycling it all instead.

The cloak-and-dagger crackdown from the so-called 'Talibin' has been launched in six pilot areas, the Daily Express can reveal, and could eventually apply to virtually all UK households.

When Brown says the 'Daily Express can reveal' what he actually means is that this was announced in a Defra press release in October 2009 (although the scheme began back in 2008) Hardly 'cloak-and-dagger'.

You would think he'd be able to get it right after four months. After all, if the Express is going to put a story that old on the front page, you'd think they'd get the facts straight.

They haven't. At all.

The impression Brown gives is that your wheelie bins are going to be inspected in dawn raids by people just like the Taliban. And:

People failing to comply with the strict rules face hefty fines.

Unfortunately for the Express, it falls apart at the end of the article. A Defra spokesman is quoted explaining what's really happening:

'This project does not involve fines for householders who fail to recycle and it does not involve going through individual bins.'

So how did Brown, who is meant to be a journalist, get that quote and think that meant there were going to be people issuing fines after rummaging through your bins?

And how did the Express dream up the front page headline 'Zero bin waste or get fine'?

And why does the PCC let the Express get away with such a blatant lie splashed across its front page?


  1. Just awesome, really to think that ppl continue to buy that paper. Lies/entertainment sells if it garners a reaction, regardless of much truth.

    Still, depending on the PCC is a false hope.

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  3. angla merkel in not the president of germany, she is the chancellor
    the president of germany is horst köhler, germany has a ceremonial precidency

    there are no words to express how dumb was thier mistake

  4. What is it with the white middle class and their bins? While they know that this story is entirely untrue, the Express and indeed the Mail, are well aware that it pushes that all-important outrage button* amongst their readership.

    Stories are regularly published with some variation on the dustmen only coming once a fortnight, having to empty your own bins, if the rubbish is above bin level it won't be emptied/you'll be fined, etc. Is waste management really the bane of their lives?

    *The outrage button is located just above the alternating 'PC gone mad'/'health and safety gone mad' switch.

  5. I always used to watch Fox News and think 'well at least we won't have that kind of ludicrious, biased, uninformed, political campaiging journalism here.'

    How utterly wrong I was, it just takes on a different form.

  6. i have never understood this obsession with bins. they're just bins. why do they make the front page all the time? it is so weird.
    and i live in bristol - one of the most recycling councils in the uk and guess what? it isn't that tricky to separate your rubbish and use the different bins. it's surprisingly simple (although still apparently too tricky for my neighbours to understand - they never separate theit rubbish!)

    there are so many more important issues with local councils and governments than bins!


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