Brexit with ignorance

A public institution to inform and educate ?

Over the past week or so there have been events and talks at the York Festival of Ideas. Two of the speakers presented interesting graphs. László Andor, who was he was Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in the European Commission showed the sources of immigration into the UK. His graph showed that the actual figures on immigration were completely different to what the (cliché alert) “Great British Public” had be led to believe by the mainstream media.

It’s obvious that we, the Great British Public, are ill-informed and ill-educated. This was emphasised further by a second graph presented in a “Chatham House rules” session, in which we are asked not to attribute any views expressed. This fingered the Daily Mail, The Daily Express and the Sun as major sources of mis-information and although they have falling circulation, they set the agendas for the “mainstream media”, with much emphasis on the dangers of refugees.

Then someone, who under the rules cannot be named, came up with an idea I rather like. Why don’t we have a public media institution with the responsibility to inform and educate us so that we can resist this deluge of misinformation. An institution that could check the “facts” and challenge the mis-informers directly with, say, daily news slots like “Daily X has published incorrect facts today. The correct ones are…”

Just think of it: a publicly funded media organisation that we could fund to present the truth with the mission to

1) Inform

2) Educate

3) Anything else?

The legislation should set performance targets. Testing their knowledge of basic information. Ipos Mori might help…

POSTSCRIPT: British Ignorance Measured

Ipsos Mori have surveyed Public misperceptions about the EU

1) EU immigrants: Numbers massively overestimated

2) Proportion of immigrants who were born in another EU country: Underestimated.

3) Barmaid cleavages and other regulations from the EU: Quite good at spotting more ridiculous “Euro-myths”, but still 1 in 7 of us (15%) believe at least one Euro-myth – including bans on barmaids showing too much cleavage and forcibly renaming the snack “Bombay Mix” to “Mumbai Mix” (neither of which are real EU laws3).

Look up Ipsos Mori for more Public misperceptions about the EU.

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