Clearing up a little post-Brexit myth…

January 5, 2017

by Martin Odoni

Back in the summer, Britain made a decision that I am still terrified it will live to regret, when the notorious Referendum on leaving the European Union came out in favour. In the days after the decision was made, memes presenting this quotation, attributed to Martin Schulz, President of the EU Parliament, started circulating on the Internet among some of the more extreme ‘pro-Brexit’ factions; –

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I have seen that the memes are still circulating six months on, and it is starting to irritate me, for one simple reason, that I am sure most of you can already guess. Yes, you got it, ladies, gents, and others; –

SCHULZ

NEVER

SAID

THIS.

The quotation is taken from a satirical section in a magazine published in Germany, called Contra Magazin. The article it appeared in can be accessed by clicking here.

The section it appeared in in Contra Magazin, called Kurioses & Satire, is roughly the German equivalent of NewsThump. Nothing in that section is meant to be taken seriously, and all quotations in it should be expected to be either made up or deliberately altered for purposes of pure parody. The article was not genuine news, nor even propaganda; it was a joke. Maddeningly, not only is the word ‘Satire’ included in the section-name, but it even says, ‘In Satira‘ below the picture on the original article. And yet somehow, hardly anyone seems to be able to add two-and-two; –

satira

It is a sad lookout for many on the xenophobic Hard-Right in the UK that they apparently need a full translation before they can figure out what the word ‘Satira’ means. It also says something about their fixation on seeing the EU as the modern incarnation of Nazi Germany that they are unable to spot a joke about it, even when it has been clearly labelled as such, or check their sources when they hear a dubious quotation. While I would not be altogether surprised were I to discover that it is descriptive of Schulz’s private attitudes, the fact remains that he never said what is in the quotation at all.

I recommend people stop doing their research at I-Saw-It-In-A-Meme-On-Social-Media-So-It-Must-Be-True University.

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