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By Jason Michael
An innocent woman – an SNP MP – is falsely implicated in an alleged crime by the British state broadcaster. Once all of this had unravelled and its falsehoods run their course the BBC did not even have the good grace to apologise.
“The serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field.” This eerie little line from the Genesis creation myth has percolated in my memory ever since it was first drummed into me as a youngster at Sunday school. Yes, I was one of those kids. It appears in the biblical text, in literature, and in art as a vignette describing how humanity – “in the days of man’s innocency” – was beguiled by the devil. In his craftiness and subtlety the serpent tells no lies. He, who later tradition would call “the father of lies,” has no need of naked mendacities – for he knows how willing people are to be manipulated. Watching the BBC often reminds me of this story.
On Tuesday we watched as Jackie Bird and Nick Eardley discussed how the criminal case invented by the BBC and the British media into former SNP MP Michelle Thomson had been dropped. The Crown Office had found there to be “no credible or reliable evidence against her.” Why would there be? Michelle did nothing wrong. As a property developer she availed of the services of a solicitor. Unbeknownst to Thomson this solicitor, Christopher Hales, would subsequently be investigated by the police in matters pertaining to alleged mortgage fraud. Michelle Thomson had no more to do with this man’s alleged actions than I had to do with my neighbour’s decision to pinch the road cones from the bottom of the street.
At no point was any of this anything to do with Ms Thomson. She was only ever the man’s client. Yet it is evident there has been a conspiracy within and throughout the British media establishment to use her association with someone who may have committed a crime to discredit her. Sadly, in its earliest phases at least, this conspiracy worked. It succeeded in casting such a shadow of guilt over her that she was pressured into leaving the SNP. While she continued until the general election as an independent member of parliament, the slur ultimately cost her the opportunity to run again and the seat she held was lost altogether. All the while she was perfectly innocent.
This is what Jackie and Nick should have spelt out to a Scottish viewing public which deserves the truth. They did not. Knowing the truth as well as anyone else, they continued their deception, insinuating her actual guilt and implying a miscarriage of justice in the bogus decision of the Crown Prosecution Service not to pursue the case. It had never considered it. There was never even a whiff of a case against her.
At this point we arrive at what I thought the most interesting – perhaps the most devious – point in the bulletin, where Eardley says: “Michelle Thomson thinks she’s been completely exonerated.” Indeed, the serpent is more cunning than any beast. The devil is, as always, in the detail. Michelle Thomson has been exonerated… or so she “thinks.” In this one word exists all the cunning and wickedness of the BBC beast. It calls out to the audience the broadcaster’s presumption of guilt, and with a conspiratorial wink utters the unspoken promise that they will get her yet. At the same time it works to persuade the listener that Thomson is aware of her crimes and that by thinking she has gotten away with them she is deceiving herself. They will get her yet.
He never lied. The report itself didn’t lie. But they did. The script they were reading – and this was scripted – is indicative of the game the BBC and the whole British media apparatus have been playing with Scotland. It is nothing new of course. When the jury at the inquest into the deaths of Diana Spencer and Dodi al-Fayed found them to be “unlawful killings;” caused by heretofore missing vehicles, the media shouted “paparazzi!” Clever manipulation is what the BBC does. It controls the narrative. It hides the truth. It leads millions of people – without necessarily lying – to believe things that amount to lies. Britain’s media machine has mastered the art of leading its viewers to the point where they lie to themselves.https://twitter.com/jetpack/status/891425460650778626
None of this stops with Michelle Thomson or indeed with Diana and Dodi. This subtle and crafty – often almost undiscernible – state media confidence trick has been going on for years. More recently here in Scotland, as we push ever closer towards another independence referendum, its application has been intensified. No democracy can function without accurate, reliable information and news, and we are not being given this. What we are being given is at best a sedative. At worst a poison. What the BBC is doing in Scotland is criminal. It is a crime against the body politic of our country and a crime against the profession that we are a nation in a union of equal members.
It is our responsibility as people who love Scotland and want what is best for our country – no matter what that is – to resist this toxic and insidious interference in our national consciousness by what is and has always been essentially a foreign and hostile force. We must make concrete steps to defend ourselves from Britain’s distortive and manipulative media. This we can do by tuning out, by forgetting to pay the licence fee that fuels this monster, by informing ourselves and others by seeking out quality alternatives, and – most ambitiously – by putting some serious work into the creation of an authentic media of our own. Every other nation, many of them far smaller than Scotland, manages this. Why can’t we?
Dear Reader: From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you for reading the Random Public Journal. It is a privilege to write it and to know that so many read what I have to say. Your comments have always been so encouraging, and I appreciate that support. I have a wee ask. Don’t worry, it’s not money. This is my hobby/addiction. What I am asking is that if you have enjoyed this, if you have gotten something from it, or if you think what I have written is important then would you please consider sharing it on social media? I write about what I think is important and by sharing it you can help this blog reach more people. Every share is greatly appreciated. Jason Michael
Jackie Bird and Nick Eardley working some BBC magic on Michelle Thomson
12 thoughts on “‘…Or So She Thinks:’ The Exoneration of Michelle Thomson”
Jackie Bird is a disgusting creature! people keep saying they are only the mouthpiece for the sinister manipulators who never show themselves, but she clearly takes pleasure in SNP bad stories and it couldnt BE more obvious, and the more pleasure she displays the more the insidious attacks will continue, because she and her despicable cohorts are only too well aware of the short future they will have come independence!
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Shared as always.
Please keep them coming. Thank you.
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Honestly, how do these two supposed professionals manage this? I mean, they’re not unintelligent, they’re not uninformed, and yet they sit in a television studio and solemnly and deliberately lie to the whole of the country – and they are lying to the whole of the country. They KNOW this is rotten-to-the-core journalism. I mean, what do they say to one another at the end of a broadcast; “Good work, NIck – I love being paid dirty money for beating-up Scots, don’t you?”..
These two will be out of work, unemployable, in an independent Scotland.
There’ll be no opportunity for 2 x washed-up, former Scotland-bashers. They might find occasional engagements at the wee Orange Order hall, when the dwindling-membership of bigots have an annual dance and need another nobody to come along and reminisce about the old-days, the times when Scotland was being summarily ripped-off and insulted by the crooks in the south. “We did our best to keep Scots down – and we took the union’s money for this service – but in the end, the new media won”.. The bigots will cheer at the memories of ugly self-harm, then proceed to get very drunk
Thanks for your fine work, Jason; the new media is winning.
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The BBC is beyond contempt and should be thrown out of Scotland along with these Propagandists posing as journalist and news presenters. LIES, LIES, AND MORE LIES IS ALL THAT COMES OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS.
WE NEED OUR OWN TV BRODCASTING SERVICE., COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT OF THE WESTMINSTER ESTABLISHMENT.
DIVERT OUR TV LICENCE MONEY TO FUND IT.
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Unless we in Scotland learn how to use psychology the way Westminster and the media do we will never win independence, we need to be more devious and above all we need to have a Scottish tv station run by scots for scots, this is what our Holyrood Government should be doing
With you man
‘with you there man’ that should have read
This is nonsense. You don’t understand the law, exoneration or broadcasting. Think about this: Nicola thinks Michelle is trouble. Nicola is smart enough to know Michelle is toxic. Nicola has no interested in creepy exploitative MPs tainting the SNP and nationalism. That’s her instinct, that’s what the BBC is getting at. Michelle thinks she’s been exonerated but the courts have been very obvious in avoiding saying that. We have to be alive to nuance or the Indy movement will be felled by stupidity.
“Michelle thinks she’s been exonerated but the courts have been very obvious in avoiding saying that.”
When did the matter come to court?
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That BBC Scotland is a shamelessly unprincipled propaganda arm of the British state is something we have come to take for granted. It is right, however futile, that it should be roundly condemned for its treatment of Michelle Thomson.
To whatever extent recriminations against the SNP may be justified, it is likely that they will be counterproductive in terms of the independence project. So some caution is advisable.
It can readily be argued, with the benefit of hindsight, that the party should have been more supportive of Thomson. But surely the same could be said of most of the Yes movement. Given that Thomson was certainly being targeted by the BBC and he rest of the British establishment because of her association with the cause of restoring Scotland’s independence, it was incumbent on all who support that cause to come to her defence.
If there is a lesson here for the SNP, then there is also something for the wider Yes movement to learn. We must be more ready to demonstrate solidarity in the face of attacks such as that on Michelle Thomson.
We must not be intimidated by the power of the British state’s propaganda machine. We must be prepared to take risks in the name of a worthy cause. And we must be prepared to stand by those who challenge established power on our behalf.
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Absolutely, Peter. We are struggling with this idea of solidarity. Perhaps recent events will filter through the movement and some much needed lessons with be learnt. Time will tell.
Spot on, corrupt to the core.