Wednesday, January 18th 2017

Papers Reviewed: The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Times

The Sunsun

Topic of article: Economics, Politics, European Union

Headline: Brexodus

Author(s): Tom Newton Dunn (Political Editor)

Analysis: Report on Theresa May’s recent speech on Britain’s stance in the upcoming Brexit negotiations with the EU. Going with the biblical theme, the Sun calls May’s negotiating objectives the ’12 commandments’, giving them the aura of carved in stone certainties for a future Brexit deal. The paper wants readers to believe that May will achieve all that she has set out to do, and that in some way she does this through the guidance of a higher power, imparting some sort of divine providence to May’s policies. Surely an interesting take on the speech, and one that may play well with their readers, along with a lack of critical analysis of the effects these policies may have. It is interesting to see how the Sun and other so called ‘tabloid’ newspapers use the pronoun ‘us’ or ‘our’ to describe Britain when discussing EU negotiations. This creates a connection between the reader and the policies, making them feel as if they are being spoken about directly. So that when the Sun writes ‘EU leaders trying to punish us’ it becomes suddenly a much more personal affront than if it were merely the EU punishing Britain. The power of emotion is a significant thing to harness.  

The Guardianguardian

Topic of article: Economics, Politics, European Union

Headline: May’s Brexit threat to Europe

Author(s): Anushka Asthana (Joint Political Editor), Heather Stewart (Joint Political Editor), Jessica Elgot (Political Reporter)

Analysis: Summarises the key points and reactions to Theresa May’s recent speech in which she set out the government’s stance on future Brexit negotiations. May’s speech on Tuesday was carefully scripted to tick all the boxes for her underlying support base of Eurosceptic ministers and an anti-EU public. By highlighting her main points in the article the paper allows an easy understanding of May’s message without having to read the speech and is an effective tool in making clear which aspects of the Leave campaign she has absorbed as part of her policies. From this we can tell that she supports a view-point which defines immigrants as ‘part of the problem’, payment to the EU as merely an annoyance, rather than the ability to fund numerous projects, and a continuing belief that Britain is stronger than the combined abilities of 27 other nations. Reactions to the speech are reported from both sides, and this shows the radically different ways May’s comments can be interpreted depending on the observers beliefs. Overall, her speech is praised for making certain plans clearer but regarded with concern as it sets Britain on a potentially damaging course.

The Daily Mailmail

Topic of article: Economics, Politics, European Union

Headline: Steel of the New Iron Lady

Author(s): James Slack (Political Editor)

Analysis: The Mail writes in support of Theresa May’s speech setting out Britain’s negotiating stance with the EU, declaring her the ‘New’ Margaret Thatcher, champion of the working class (ha, not really). Unashamedly biased towards May and Brexit, the Mail publishes a large political cartoon on its front page. Depicting a triumphant May standing on the white cliffs of Dover, the British flag flying over her and the EU flag trampled underfoot, the picture highlights a typical British landmark and evokes the flag to generate patriotism while diminishing the EU to losers, it is an effective representation of new nationalistic tendencies and isolationist policies. The article paints the EU ministers as being ‘stunned’ while listening to the speech, shocked perhaps by the genius of May’s plans which will see a strong and independent Britain dominate the economic power of 27 combined nations. It’s not the belief in Britain as a strong nation capable of gaining benefits from exiting the EU that bothers me, but rather the attitude that they will trample over the EU in the process and prove to be of a superior brand of human and country.

The Timestimes

Topic of article: Economics, Politics, European Union

Headline: May to EU: give us fair deal or you’ll be crushed

Author(s): Francis Elliot (Political Editor), Sam Coates (Deputy Political Editor)

Analysis: The article reports on Theresa May’s public speech setting out Britain’s negotiating objectives and stance in the coming Brexit talks. It also presents some of the responses to the speech from political figures. As opposed to the Guardian’s more interpretive headline regarding May’s ‘threats’, the Times choses to use the more evocative term ‘crush’, perhaps as a way of making May seem more in control and threatening to the EU. The sub-heading itself is interesting, as this mentions one of May’s statements regarding her solution to ‘crush’ the EU; slash taxes so that business are tempted across the channel. Many of the papers mentioned this policy as a positive, neglecting to mention the important role taxes have in monetary circulation within society and that should Britain develop into this ‘low-tax haven’ there are sure to be significant detriments for the average Britain. There is little critical analysis of the effects these policies may have on Britain in the future, nor does a report on how the pound had a slight uptrend in the market signify any real economic benefit, regardless what the Times may think.

Front page images from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs/the_papers

Reviewed by: Sam Hewitt

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