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Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
The Telegraph has published a ComRes survey, supposedly showing that the Prime Minster has the public’s support to shut down Parliament to push Brexit through. Specifically, it makes the claim that ‘54% of British adults think Parliament should be prorogued to prevent MPs stopping a no-deal Brexit‘.
This poll does not show that "54% of British adults" support prorogation. Utterly dire survey question, utterly dire reporting. pic.twitter.com/ppWBGvUwZp
— Will Jennings (@drjennings) August 12, 2019
However, as the University of Southampton’s very own Dr. Will Jennings points out, this is not what the results actually suggest. In truth, 44% of respondents said that they agreed, while 37% said they disagreed; and 19% said they didn’t know. So, how had the Telegraph reached the figure of 54 %? It had removed those who said ‘don’t know’ from the story.
So, here is evidence of a national newspaper lying to represent an employee’s views as a consensus – or, at least, the mirage of a ‘consensus’. Sounds typical, right? But, for me, what makes this worse is that said employee of the paper in question is the Prime Minister. Has The Telegraph merely become a loudspeaker for Boris Johnson’s government? If so, what precedent does that set for future governments? And, what does that mean for us, now, if such propaganda efforts become the norm?