Undue Influence?

| May 30, 2003

In jolly old England, protocol dictates that newspaper proprietors separate their politics from their business operations. Conrad Black, owner of England?s Telegraph newspapers recently broke form by announcing that his publications ?would vigorously campaign for a referendum on the European constitution.? Lord Black?s announcement has ?raised the stakes in the stand-off between the government and the press,? writes Guardian reporter Matt Wells. While other British newspapers, such as the Daily Mail and the Sun have also pressed the government to allow the people to vote on whether or not to join the European Union, the Telegraph is the only publication so brazenly promoting Lord Black?s personal opinion that the EU is ?a ?ramshackle structure of alternative influence? to the United States,? Wells reports. Black asks, ?[Why] is Mr. Blair apparently so keen on an EU constitution in the first place? Indeed, it is only if he makes the wrong decision now that the question of a referendum will arise.?
?Erin Ferdinand

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