Fainting in Coyles An occasional letter from the
Heart of Euroville
Thursday, November 18, 2004
The Propaganda War hots up
According to AFP (Sorry no link) the French Government will spend €62million on its EU Constitution referendum. Given that is over estimate by about €40 million it is believed that the extra will be spent on propaganda. This money is to be used to push a four page leaflet sent to every household, a “user-guide” on the Constitution sent to thousands of opinion formers, a new website with information about the Constitution, and a series of information broadcasts about the Constitution. The campaign will be paid for by tax-payers and the information will be written by Government civil servants.
This differs significantly from the 1992 Maastricht campaign, when the government commissioned people from both sides of the argument to write a 20 page document, double ended, one Yes and one No, which was put through everybody’s letter box. No doubt the Government has decided that that vote was too close for comfort and
Meanwhile, the British Government affirmed a commitment to send a full copy of the Constitution to every household, but has gone quiet on this pledge more recently. However Denis MacShame, the Miniature for Europe also committed the Government to spending “serious money” promoting the EU Constitution (Independent, 31 May 2004 – sub only) and the Foreign Office recently produced 200,000 “information” pamphlets making the case for supporting the Constitution. This week also saw Britain in Europe, which last year received £2m from Government Minister Lord Sainsbury, complain that they were not managing to raise funds in the current climate.
So the question must be asked of poor little BiE – What the hell did they do with the 2 million – spend it on caviar and ivory spoons - fricasseed lotus blossom?
Update, This year they claim only to have received £650,000 – poor mites