So there was a second General Election in Greece yesterday – so much for all the right-wing guff about “Brussels” trampling over democracy – and a result that appears to give rather more promise that those elected will be able to form a Government. This, though, is not sufficient for much of the Fourth Estate, so an orgy of reinvention and blatant projection has begun.
The reality, moreover, is that this had already started before the polls closed, with wilful misrepresentation of the political landscape in Greece. The left of centre Syriza party was characterised as wanting to take the country out of the Eurozone, which it most certainly was not. But there had to be some way of standing up all those tall tales of “return to the Drachma”.
So the Super Soaraway Currant Bun told its readers “Greece votes to keep Euro” because Syriza (which it misleadingly calls “far-left”) had not managed a plurality in the Election. But for the Express there could be no such certainty or comfort, so there the headline read “Greek Vote Split Chaos Puts Europe On Brink”, and moreover “Europe was staring into the abyss last night”.
It’s a strange world that Dirty Des’ dwindling band of hacks inhabits: most Europeans who were staring at anything last night were watching Portugal beat the Netherlands and thus dump them out of Euro2012. But at least the UK’s most rabidly anti-EU tabloid carried some kind of story: the Mirror site hardly has a trace, another sign of the triumph of sleb tat over substance.
But the Mail makes up for this with an absolute pearler: “The Greek bailout is back on” announced Paul Dacre’s finest toadies, which may momentarily surprise anyone who had thought it was ever off. The bailout is not in question: it is the nature of the terms being imposed that is, and to the Mail’s credit, the easing of those terms by whoever forms the next Government in Athens is at least mentioned.
Still, the pundits have to maintain the EU-knocking theme, so Simon Richards has been sent over the top to suggest that winning the Greek election was just like “Shagger” Major’s victory in 1992 and that the opposition will therefore be vindicated. This is because whoever wins will have to “do the bidding of his EU masters”. So despite the election not being cancelled by “Brussels”, it’s the same thing.
So similar, in fact, that the next Greek Government is already “the EU’s stooges”. But then, anyone who answers “how high?” when the Vagina Monologue commands him to jump knows all about stooges. Fact is, this is just knocking copy, and is devoid of even the most basic knowledge of Greek or European politics. And that’s pretty much the same across the tabloid press.
But they’ve all done as they’re told, and got well paid for it, so that’s all right, then.