BY JAMIE FOSTER
If you didn’t think that Remainists could get any more brittle or inward-looking, hold your nose then take a few moments to look through Alastair Campbell’s newish publication the ‘New European.’ It is a paper with a circulation of about 20,000 a week set up to whine about Brexit. It is replete with attack pieces about Brexiteers by the usual well and unknown suspects. AC Grayling writes alongside Twitter troll Mike Hind. The general tone of the paper is as you would imagine. Middle class snobbery dressed up as high mindedness. There are also very suspect cartoons depicting Remainers physically assaulting Brexiteers if that’s your cup of tea.
It is hard to see the need for such a publication. Twitter already provides a venue for die hard remoaners to wail and gnash their teeth in. The themes are the same – only slightly extended. We haven’t left the EU and may never. Not all of the UK voted so it can’t be said that the UK voice was heard in the referendum. Only the stupid voted to leave. All the usual stuff.
Alastair Campbell’s fingerprints seem all over recent editions. A man forever associated with the Iraq war and the dodgy manner in which Labour spun the reasons for entry. Campbell rather amusingly wrote a book entitled ‘Winners’ despite appearing on the losing side of everything he puts his mind to these days. He and his collaborators use the paper to attack those they despise and bemoan the decision to leave the EU. Towns like Skegness and Sunderland are the subject of demolition articles while praise is lavished on Berlin and Amsterdam. The clear theme is despising of those in left behind towns and cities in our own country while adoration is poured on middle class Europeans.
One wonders who the 20,000 readers are that are attracted to the mixture of nastiness and self-pity that flows from the pages of the New European. Whose lives are so empty they need a paper like this to fill the void? It is hard to imagine that any Brexiteer bothers to read it on purpose, so, unlike Twitter, it is no use for Remainer trolling. Anyone who agrees with the position the paper takes must already be aware of the arguments it makes. It is a self-chosen echo chamber for those who can’t imagine a different world view to the one they support.
It can’t be described as journalism, each of the articles being no more than opinion pieces. No scoops are ever likely to appear in its pages. The heart of the publication is an anger at and an unwillingness to accept that one has been on the losing side of a political question. It is full of bile about the certain economic damage that Brexit will cause and disparaging those who feel we may have a brighter future outside the EU. It is determined to draw its readership into the darkness and despair that it feels is the only honest reaction to leaving the EU.
In the end it is the antithesis of a positive reaction to the current political reality we face. A mixture of burying heads in the sand and railing against an inevitability. Just at the time when we need to get behind our leaders and hope for a successful outcome to the Brexit negotiations the paper is delighted to report that could never be the case. It is a monumental waste of energy on the part of those who write for it and put it together. The journalistic equivalent of wearing a banner declaring that the end is nigh.
Here at Country Squire Magazine we take a more sanguine view of all things Brexit. The country undertook a legitimate democratic process to determine how the country felt about our membership of the EU and the result was decisive. Now is the time to leave with dignity in a manner likely to enhance the interests of both ourselves and our European neighbours. This is not beyond the wit of our political leaders and is something we should encourage them to work towards. We will keep a watchful eye on the approach they take and remain sceptical about their position until we see it as bearing fruit. Nonetheless we do not take the position of the New European that all is doom and gloom. Having drawn your attention to the publication we cannot recommend that you read it more than once, but we hope you continue to find interest within our pages, Dear Readers. Maybe the appropriate reaction to Mr Campbell and his cronies is pity. Reading his paper, it appears to be what they deserve.