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If you're really struggling to separate EU fact from fiction...

(37 Posts)
Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 18:57:25

I would recommend the Full Fact website.

Description of Full Fact taken from its website:

"Full Fact is the UK’s independent, non-partisan, factchecking charity. We check claims made by politicians, the media, pressure groups, and other voices in public debate, and push for corrections where necessary. We also work with government departments and academic research institutions to improve the quality and communication of technical information at source, and campaign for greater transparency in the public arena.

"We don’t support any view or political party. Our mission is to improve the quality of public debate, and to equip the public with the best information possible to make up their own minds. We provide links to all our sources so that you don’t have to take our word for anything – you can also check for yourself.

"Our commitment to transparency extends to our funding – find out more here."

Here is a link to the section of the Full Fact website dealing with the EU

parrots Sat 18-Jun-16 19:16:02

FullFact is in fact far from impartial - it was refused charitable status on the basis of its bias

bkgirl Sat 18-Jun-16 19:27:35

Was Full Facts written by Juncker?

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 19:33:46

If Full Facts was refused charitable status, why does it describe itself on its website as "A registered charity (no. 1158683)"? parrots are you accusing Full Facts of lying and simply inventing a fictitious charity number?

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 19:36:07

bkgirl hmm Full Fact doesn't promote a Remain or Leave vote, and has made criticisms of campaign material for both sides. Why are you trying to discredit Full Fact?

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 19:45:20

I have just checked the Charity Commission website which confirms Full Fact is a registered charity! parrots I think you should have taken a leaf out of Full Fact's book and checked your "facts" a bit more carefully before posting grin

lljkk Sat 18-Jun-16 20:28:42

My favourite bit from the site that parrots linked to, is where they endorse the group that calls on the populace to go into full rebellion against the Queen, citing article 61 of the Magna Carta 1215. Free speech indeed!!

shinytorch2 Sat 18-Jun-16 20:36:19

Here's some facts about the problems faced by Greece-

We're told the EU makes us all stronger. But what about Greece?

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 20:42:15

shinytorch, you regard the Daily Mail as a source of unbiased facts about the EU?

JassyRadlett Sat 18-Jun-16 20:43:11

Full Fact has been a registered charity since 2014 after doing quite a significant amount of work to ensure it met all the criteria for an education charity. Details here.

As far as I'm aware its impartiality was never an issue in the decisions on whether to award it charitable status.

I seem to have reached the end of my tolerance for reading lies on the internet. If your argument can't be backed up with the truth, it's worth considering whether it's a terribly good argument.

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 20:52:51

lljkk I agree with you that the "UK Column" is indeed an excellent read, but probably not in the way parrots intended grin I must admit to laughing out loud when I got to 'Roger's "crime" is that he has been refusing to pay his Council tax, because along with other state taxes, a proportion of the tax revenue gathered is being sent to the European Union...' But I agree the section you found is better. I also learned from UK Column that our Queen was elected by the people. Do you think we should ask Full Fact to check this out or do you think we should in future just rely on UK Column to inform our world view?

shinytorch2 Sat 18-Jun-16 20:57:22

Apple - no but there isn't a paywall and to be honest the sh*t Greece is in is very well documented. Bail out number 3 coming in July.

peggyundercrackers Sat 18-Jun-16 21:00:18

Appletreeblossom123 just because something is printed In the DM doesn't make it untrue. Look at what is actually happening in Greece and has happened over the last few years - it's not a secret Germany is crucifying them.

peggyundercrackers Sat 18-Jun-16 21:05:58

This is quite a good article in the bbc

It shows the net contribution for each country within the Eu - more countries take out more than they out in, there is only a minority of countries propping the rest of the Eu up.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 18-Jun-16 21:16:56

I don't think it's facts we're short of. I think it's compelling political arguments. Our mainstream political discourse has become hopelessly debased - it's all been point-scoring, personalities and competing statistics. What we need is arguments from a political principle or consistent stance and that has been thin on the ground, at least from the campaign leaders.

JassyRadlett Sat 18-Jun-16 21:20:09

OTheHuge, I agree there are plenty of facts - but there are also a lot of untruths being peddled, and too few places separating the former from the latter in an unbiased way.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 18-Jun-16 21:23:46

My favourite Brexit argument comes from the left/libertarians at Spiked magazine, who suggest that we should leave because it's a radical opportunity to reshape the entire creaking and oligarchic European political order.

My favourite Remain argument comes from my brother, who believes that it's feasible to shape a single polity from the peoples of Europe, and that this should be attempted as part of meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

My own view is that we should leave, because the best defence of ordinary people against being steamrollered by globalisation is to strengthen, not weaken, the nation state and representative democracy and we cannot do this within an EU whose trend is in the opposite direction.

But these are just illustrative. Others may have different stories. I've been very frustrated by the lack of serious, heavyweight mainstream political voices offering clear and cogent arguments rather than just meme-friendly gobbets that make no sense outside a pre-existing stance. Ultimately statistics, 'facts' and soundbites are pretty meaningless unless you marshal them to support an underlying argument. As long as we aren't agreeing on what the argument is (and I think this is one of the problems with the whole situation) then it's impossible to do anything but fling bits of data at one another, to no effect.

Spinflight Sat 18-Jun-16 21:25:14

Not sure whether they have cleaned up their act..

Certainly used to be seen as a mouthpiece for EU propaganda though.

JassyRadlett Sat 18-Jun-16 21:50:30

Spin, surely you should complain to the CC if you think they're in contravention of their charitable aims.

JassyRadlett Sat 18-Jun-16 21:54:15

That's quite true, OTheHuge, and I've said to you before that I respect your stance and your reasons behind it, even if mine is significantly different.

However while I agree with you on the lack of coherent political argument and thought through the campaign, I've been equally dismayed by the flat out lies.

I think it's all symptomatic of a much wider problem in public and political discourse.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 18-Jun-16 22:04:56

Yup. Far too much bending of the truth on both sides. And ugly dog-whistling, smearing and all the other squalid tools people use to fight dirty when politics is close-run. I've been disgusted by the barely concealed racism from some at the more populist end of the Leave side, and the profoundly cynical and opportunistic politicisation of that poor MP's murder by other voices in the interests of Remain. It's got properly ugly and though I've been very engaged throughout just these last few days I've been feeling like I've just had enough sad

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 23:26:52

* I agree there are plenty of facts - but there are also a lot of untruths being peddled, and too few places separating the former from the latter in an unbiased way.* Yes, that is why I think the Full Fact organisation is so valuable, hence my original post.

Appletreeblossom123 Sat 18-Jun-16 23:31:06

Certainly used to be seen as a mouthpiece for EU propaganda though.

Who saw them as this Spin? Do you mean simply that you thought this? If you are purporting to cite the views of someone else, please say who and cite your source.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Sat 18-Jun-16 23:37:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArgyMargy Sat 18-Jun-16 23:39:44

The problem with this is that most of the rhetoric around the referendum isn't about "facts", it's about assumptions and predictions - I.e. uncheckable.

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