Yesterday, around 3,500 Grassroots Out campaigners ran a countrywide action day to get their message out to the public at hundreds of street stalls in town centres across Britain.
The event in my home town Leeds was well supported by local campaigners from across several political parties as well as non-aligned Brexiteers and got a hugely positive response from shoppers in the town centre.
The Press Association, whose stories are syndicated by many news outlets published a story about the #GOactionDay entitled “Brexit backers report 3,500 campaigning in biggest day of action so far”, which was picked up and republished by many titles, including The Daily Mail amongst many others.
They tweeted the story too:
Hours later, the story was replaced with one about Boris Johnson condemning the suspension of the British Chambers of Commerce chief for expressing the heretical view that Britain would have brighter future outside the EU. This left the papers which had syndicated the story in their online editions with a URL which reflects the grassroots campaign, above the story about Boris’ comments on the BCC chief’s suspension.
The Press Association simply ‘disappeared’ the huge grassroots event and replaced it with a story of a completely different nature.
A couple of online papers, which reset Press Association material were only partly affected by the switch. One of them was the Herald Scotland, which lost the image of Grassroots Out founder Peter Bone MP, but retained the text of the original article.
This raises the question of why the Press Association made this switch, and who is yanking their chain. Could it be that ‘The Establishment’ doesn’t want the British public being made aware that there is a strong grassroots campaign on the ground for Brexit, which is unmatched by any similar public campaign with support for staying in the EU?
Is the press trying to recast the referendum debate as an argument between fractious Tory bigwigs instead of a question about the future of our country to be decided by the people of Britain? Grassroots Out has created a cross party platform and put on well attended events in Manchester, London, Belfast and Kettering. They’ve received hardly a mention by the mainstream media. Does The Press Association really want to be viewed by the public as being as biased and manipulative in its referendum coverage as the BBC?