Sunday, 9 August 2009

Europeans Overwhelmingly Oppposed to Turkish EU Membership

The Guardian recently published an article by Tariq Ramadan, arguing in favour of Turkish accession to the EU. There wasn't much substance to it, really: just the usual "you're all racists if you don't agree," economic benefits, bridge to the Middle East, etc.

Much more interesting were the comments that followed the article, and those that followed a response to it in The Telegraph. Commenters were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea, to the point of there being almost no one in favour of it. This is heartening. What's disheartening is that no one in the upper reaches of our governmental structures seems to care what ordinary people think. We need to make them care.

Of course many fine contributions were reaped by the Guardian censors, including those which were simply dispassionate analyses. Some of the comments brought out disturbing details about the background of Tariq Ramadan. I followed these up and collected them in a separate post. All of these posts were deleted by the Guardian censors but I was able to follow the links provided before they were deleted.

The limitations of the Guardian have become painfully apparent to me recently and, in my view, it can no longer be regarded as a platform for the serious exchange of ideas. Perhaps this should have been apparent to me sooner, but it still makes me sad - sad like my dog had just died. Just as it has been a Labour government, not a Conservative one, which has ushered in authoritarianism in Britain, so it is a left-wing paper which practises the most clunkingly rebarbative censorship of any British newspaper site, while dissenting views can be freely expressed on the websites of right-wing papers like The Telegraph.

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