(c) Sky News
Fake news/ – it is surely all in the framing? From beeb ‘home news’ site this evening comes this headline and tag –
‘Remarkable show of solidarity’
By Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent
The collective expulsions from the US and EU member states is a remarkable show of solidarity with Britain, even more so because it comes at a time when UK-EU relations are strained due to the Brexit negotiations.’
But when one looks at the figures (included within the article – but not discussed) the EU states’ ‘remarkable show of solidarity’ seems not so very much in reality:
‘Who is expelling diplomats?
The UK announced it was expelling 23 Russian diplomats earlier this month.
EU countries: France (4); Germany (4); Poland (4); Czech Republic (3); Lithuania (3); Denmark (2); Netherlands (2); Italy (2); Spain (2); Estonia (1); Croatia (1); Finland (1); Hungary (1); Latvia (1); Romania (1); Sweden (1).
EU countries that have said they have no intention of expelling diplomats include Austria, Greece and Portugal, although all have said they support the UK and condemn the poisoning.’
I seem to recall there are currently 28 EU member states. Including the UK I make it 17 member states announcing diplomatic expulsions. With the beeb identifying by name only 3 states who are choosing not to expel Russian diplomats. Even my awful arithmetic tells me that the beeb seems to have neglected to mention the positions taken by a further 8 member states (including the Republic of Ireland). Now, it may be these further 8 EU member states are currently considering their positions (In which case surely that could have been identified in the article?)
Surely there couldn’t have been any attempt by the beeb correspondent to boost the idea of a ‘..remarkable show of solidarity..’ being shown by deliberately minimising the list of those EU member states who haven’t yet rushed to join in with the diplomatic expulsions when comparing it with the list of those member states which have? The beeb surely couldn’t do such a thing could it? That wouldn’t be cricket – would it?
Notice also that of the 16 EU member states allegedly showing ‘..remarkable show of solidarity..’ with the UK the largest number (7 states) are expelling a SINGLE Russian diplomat each – with a further 4 EU states expelling only 2 Russian diplomats – and no EU state (other than UK) expelling more than 4 Russian diplomats.
I’m no expert in diplomacy/diplomatic history but – it would strike me – that the beeb headline claiming a ‘REMARKABLE show of solidarity’ perhaps needs to be run past the new Fake News editorial suite?