The Popular Press and Ideas of Europe: The Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, and Britain's First Application to Join the EEC, 1961-63
This article shows how the popular press debate over Europe was fundamentally conditioned by the wider political, social, and cultural tensions of early 1960s Britain. By asking how the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror came to represent almost diametrically opposed views on Europe when both reached out to broadly comparable mass readerships, it exposes the many diverse and often contradictory responses that the far-reaching domestic and international transformations of post-war Britain provoked in the public discourse over Europe. Yet, while the Express’s opposition to the British application, based on its conservative and imperialist self-identity, has often been highlighted, the Mirror’s strong support of European integration, as part of its wider agenda for social and cultural change, has been all but ignored. Thus, the article exposes a previously overlooked line of public engagement with Europe at that time: through the eyes of the young, affluent consumer, unmoved by the claims of ‘tradition’.