My former colleagues at the Swedish free market think tank Timbro are causing a minor stir with a new report detailing the massive amounts of wasteful spending from the European Union's propaganda department. UPI provides a brief overview:
The European Union wastes millions of dollars annually on propaganda it calls public service information, a Swedish free-market think-tank said Monday.
"The EU's propaganda apparatus has until now gone uncriticized, despite the fact that it acts in a way that would not be tolerated in any member state," the think-tank Timbro said in a report.
The report praised the EU for wanting to inform the public about its work, but said taxpayer money should not be spent persuading people of the Union's virtues in an intrusive manner, the Swedish news agency TT reported Monday.
An English-language summary of the report can be read here. Of course, that Brussels is pissing away taxpayer money on pro-EU propaganda is hardly surprising. As The Daily Mail's Euroskeptic blogger Mary Ellen Synon points out, it isn't that the rah-rah agitprop oozing out of Brussels is particularly difficult to counter, more that free-spending Eurocrats produce heavy-handed material that would make North Korean television wince. The finest example being the pro-EU comic book Captain Euro:
This fellow on the left [For our purposes, on the upper right] is Captain Euro ('born Adam Andros, the only son of a famous European Ambassador'), meant to be a superhero. He was invented by a firm of 'corporate vision strategists' on the orders of the European Commission. He stars in animated films paid for by taxpayers' money and which are broadcast through the internet and television. The official line is, 'Captain Euro is the symbol of European unity and values.'
The villain opposing him is, naturally, the evil Dr D. Vider—get it, Divider? Dr Vider is described as 'a ruthless speculator' which in Brussels code means anybody who supports the kind of free market economics the British do best and the French hate.
Check out the rest of Captain Euro's exceptionally blond comrades here.