Desmond's EU 'crusade' has taken a very ugly turn
The lead story in its Brexit section (a redundant concept in the Express) approvingly carries an attack by the foreign minister of Poland’s far-right Law and Justice Party on former centre-right Polish president Donald Tusk.
Since when does the most xenophobic paper on the newstands care about Polish politics? Ah, but Tusk is also the current president of the European Council. So in it goes.
Then we have stories about supposed BBC bias against Brexit and sneaky EU foreigners giving billions to undeserving African countries, (‘Eurocrats splashed out the jaw-dropping sum of money on programmes including combatting racism against migrants…’ What could be worse?).
Moving on, we find a piece titled:
‘Seven people that could BRING DOWN the EU in 2017’.
Who they? Just a who’s-who of the global (white) far-right, with friendly profiles of Marine Le Pen in France, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Law and Justice former Polish PM Jarosław Kaczyński, Frauke Petry of the far-right Alternative for Germany, Donald Trump, and – of course – Nigel Farage.
(Number seven is Italian demagogue Beppe Grillo, who is very hostile to the EU.) They didn’t include anyone from Golden Dawn, but perhaps that’s a few months away.
This sort of coverage should be borne in mind when spotting the paper’s fantasy splashes about how brilliantly Brexit is going, or with today’s trashing of recently ‘resigned’ Brtish diplomat Sir Ivan Rogers, whom the paper calls an ‘obstacle to securing a swift exit from the EU’.
(Online we have Tory Brexiteer John Redwood MP saying Rogers ‘couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag’.
Why then was he ever in post in the first place, and only removed once he criticised government policy?)
To top this off, we read:
‘End of MERKEL: German leader’s power and influence CRUMBLES as EU leaders opt for PUTIN’
with claims the EU is siding with ‘the Russian strongman’ by watering down sanctions over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and anexation of Crimea.
The Express has form here. In October 2015 the paper hailed Putin’s ‘heroic efforts’ in bombing Syria, recycling a story from Russian propaganda outlets. (The Express Facebook account remarked: ‘Keep it up Vlad.’)
People on the Left have long enjoyed calling the conservative press ‘fascist’.
But the Daily Express under UKIP donor Richard Desmond has moved from being a dodgy right-wing paper to an organ of neo-fasism in Europe.
Who says Brexit is fueling the far-right?
Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.