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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Who Can Be Trusted?

Fake News and the FIFA 2022 World Cup Media Coverage

Press Release

The Bruges Group launches its ground-breaking report that uses a novel idea to evaluate press standards by looking through the lens of the football world cup and international sporting events and expositions. Sport is the litmus test by which we can assess who in the media we can and cannot trust.

The conclusions are stark. Original research in the report exposes serious discrepancies in press reporting and shows that readers cannot trust The Guardian newspaper. Through analysing coverage of sport tournaments, where facts should trump any political agenda that a newspaper may have, we can discern that some are either honest, or the useful idiots of an insidious agenda, or perhaps even willing actors in a deceitful campaign.

The report, illustrated with detailed analysis is titled Who Can Be Trusted? Fake News and the FIFA 2022 World Cup Media Coverage. It shows that sections of the press may have fallen prey to an insidious campaign that weaponises workers’ rights to undermine the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hypocrisy is also exposed as some turn a relative blind eye to other tournaments in countries with appalling human rights records.

If The Guardian cannot be trusted to fairly report on preparations for a football tournament, and aligns itself with the campaign to undermine the world cup, then the newspapers in the Guardian Media Group cannot be trusted on other topics. Slavery and human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have not received the same level of condemnation from The Guardian that Qatar has received. That is despite them hosting important mega cultural events and international competitions. The Guardian’s apparent obsession with workers’ rights in Qatar is out of proportion to other similar British and international newspapers.

The positive and internationally recognised reforms in Qatar have received little praise, other states receive little criticism. Whereas criticism of Qatar is directly linked to their hosting of the world cup, which itself is part of the strategy used to isolate that country, the same level of vitriol is not used against other sporting events that take place in regimes that are on very different trajectories to Qatar, namely China.

This report recommends that:

  • The status of newspaper of record should be removed from The Guardian.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority should reduce the power or press barons and breakup both the BBC and media groups, first amongst them should be the Guardian Media Group.
  • Foreign funded press campaigns and media advertising originating from overseas interests must cease.
  • Editors and executives with overseas interests that is of interest to readers, should have to declare it in the interests of context and transparency.
  • The Guardian must explain its links to foreign organisations that are seeking to influence its coverage.
  • Football fans should enjoy the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar! 

The Bruges Group says,
“Public relations is the continuation of politics by other means. Newspapers in the Guardian Media Group had articles that waged a disinformation war against Brexit, serving the interests of a powerful few against the interests of the many, and undermining the democratic mandate of the referendum; The Guardian has mounted a campaign against Qatar. That country is one of the few nations in the region that is attempting to reform and indeed sets a positive example to others on how to change and improve the rights of migrant employees.”

The Bruges Group is an independent all-party think tank. Set up in 1989, its founding purpose was to resist the encroachments of the European Union on our democratic self-government. The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and against the emergence of a centralised EU state. With personal freedom at its core, its formation was inspired by the speech of Margaret Thatcher in Bruges in September 1988 where the Prime Minister stated,

“We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the State in Britain only to see them re-imposed at a European level.”

We now face a more insidious and profound challenge to our liberties – the rising tide of intolerance. The Bruges Group challenges false and damaging orthodoxies that suppress debate and incite enmity. It will continue to direct Britain’s role in the world, act as a voice for the Union, and promote our historic liberty, democracy, transparency, and rights. It spearheads the resistance to attacks on free speech and provides a voice for those who value our freedoms and way of life.

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