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By Jason Michael

As we are all consumers of the media in Scotland we are all aware of the incessant hostility in the British media to the SNP and the independence movement. What we are perhaps not fully aware of is how this is affecting us subconsciously.

Have you ever wondered why the SNP, Scotland’s party in government, always seems to have such rotten luck? Recently I was out to coffee with a friend, a committed Yesser and onetime contributor to the Butterfly Rebellion. She looks at me and says: “Isn’t it odd the SNP always appears to be having an atrocious run of luck?” Choking on my non-fat Frappuccino with extra whipped cream and chocolate sauce – I jest, it was just a filter brew – as I exploded into a rant. My frustration wasn’t so much that someone had framed it like this, but that my first response was to nod and agree.

Kezia Dugdale has been given the boot by Corbyn because she couldn’t be trusted, a group of – not one or two – Conservative councillors have been readmitted to the ranks of the party by Ruth Davidson after being put out for open racism, and anti-Catholic bigotry, and comedians are on the dole queue all over the continent because our European neighbours are just tuning into Brexit for belly laughs. We are yet to hear the British media describe any of this as a crisis.

It was nothing more than a “shock” when Dugdale handed in her resignation. It wasn’t anything that couldn’t be handled, couldn’t be perfectly stage-managed by the BBC and Labour’s spin-doctors. There was nothing to see here. Everything from anti-Traveller and anti-immigrant racism to vile sectarianism was whitewashed by the Scotsman newspaper. It was reduced to nothing more than a “Twitter row.” Then there’s Brexit. It couldn’t be going better. So long as nothing is said about the capital flight to Europe and the collapse of the pound, everything is ticking along quite nicely.

Not so for the SNP. When the British media turns its attention to the “nationalists,” nothing can appear worse. Everything the Scottish government – “the SNP government” – has done to make rail travel in Scotland the best performing rail network in the United Kingdom, well that’s a “crisis.” There’s an NHS crisis in Scotland too, an oil crisis, and an employment crisis, and any other flavour of crisis you may care to imagine. Scotland, thanks to the SNP, has become one big crisis.

When leaves fall on the tracks, delaying trains; that’s a crisis. When the Scottish government prioritises funds for certain areas; depriving others, so as to mitigate London’s austerity regime, that too is a crisis. If an MP is asked to resign in the face of spurious allegations manufactured by the press – the SNP is again in crisis. It’s enough to convince you the British government and its lapdog press have it in for the Scottish Nation Party… oh, I see.

So when we’re out to coffee talking politics – as we do – we have a default setting on the SNP. The Scottish government is in crisis. It’s always in crisis. Sure, it’s had such a run of bad luck, and to some extent we all subconsciously subscribe to this narrative. Who can blame us? In a Britain where broadcasting has not been devolved to the national parliaments everyone is continually subjected to a constant, low-level drone of pro-London propaganda, and as long as the devolved governments bend the knee to whosoever the Downing St overlord happens to be, everything is dandy.

The problem here is that the SNP hasn’t really been in the business of kowtowing to the demands of London. In fact it has gone that wee bit further by having the audacity – the bared faced cheek – to suggest that Scotland would do better without London. By doing this and continuing this talk of independence the SNP has become a dangerous threat to the security and stability of London’s UK, and in response the political establishment and the unionist media – the only media – has gone down the road of poisoning the waters, infesting everything we consume in the media with a sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious hint of “SNP bad” wormwood.

Thanks to the work of a number of blogs in the independence movement – some infinitely better equipped than I at media analysis – like Wings and IndyRef2, we are beginning to get our heads around the wholesale manipulation of public consent in the UK, but we have a long way to go. It is happening already in some places, but we need more grassroots media awareness fora and workshops. This isn’t the sort of stuff we can leave to chance or to the expertise of a handful of intellectuals. Media – Britain’s media war against the SNP and the independence movement – affects us all, and so it falls to all of us to educate ourselves. We have to be a movement of analysists.

As an afterthought, it strikes me as particularly odd that media awareness or media studies – whatever you call it – isn’t a staple in our schools. The internet and social media, quite apart from the politics of Scotland, has fundamentally altered our perceptions of ourselves, our communities, our “networks,” our country, and indeed the world.

Doing media is what we do. It is inescapable, and yet, unlike what we are taught in school to do with literature and art, we have a surprising blackspot when it comes to thinking through and understanding some of the basics of how media works and influences us. This is something all of us – everyone on the planet – should be thinking about. We have a responsibility to safeguard our democracy, and this we can do by learning how it is being undermined by an increasingly media savvy hidden state apparatus.

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Another SNP Bad discussion on the Politics Show


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25 thoughts on “It Seems the SNP always has the Worst Luck

  1. I find this interesting because this is precisely what is taught in Schools in Germany. “Political Training/awareness”(Politische Bildung) was part of my carpentry training and included the structure of government, why it is structured like this (National Socialism must never be repeated) the Constitution and why it is set up like it is, and news media, bias, sources, why to read different sources, why we should vote (but not how to vote, never how to vote).
    We also covered employment law, rights of individuals to unionise, bargain and strike, why the extreme right isn’t banned even though we wish it was, rights of a citizen and rights of a resident, duties, all the things you need to know in a modern democracy, in other words.
    New citizens have to learn this too, and the citizenship ceremony involves a written and verbal promise to uphold these principles.
    Having been through the process, the UK looks very immature and undemocratic by comparison.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s in the interest of the Establishment to keep us politically unaware, to discourage involvement in politics. We are told that it’s “not polite” to discuss politics or religion. They want to keep us ignorant and feed us on a diet of soaps and (un)reality television. That’s how to keep us plebs in our place. For those of us who see through their cunning plan it’s very frustrating and, I agree, this should be a compulsory subject in school.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Well said.
    Ultimately, I think it must be their undoing. The distortion just get bigger and the double standards more and more obvious. I believe that the lie will be unsustainable with enough people to tip the balance seeing it for what it is.
    That said, I think you are exactly right that we are buying into the narrative. I groan every time you hear a yes organisation/person saying something like the “of course the SNP aren’t perfect and have made mistakes” and then reel off criticisms and this has been happening more and more frequently of late. It is like the we are apologising for Scotland being able to run a pretty successful government in very adverse circumstances (austerity, brexmess). If we want indy sooner rather than later then, a much better line to take would be “Actually, I think it is remarkable that the SG is performing as well as it is, under such difficult circumstances. But with a shrinking budget and brexit they can’t do this forever – that’s why we need indy now”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now THAT IS a CRISIS, but not all Scots are falling for it, nor accepting carte blanc the WM ruled media statements. My reaction each time I hear about a ‘crisis in Scotland’, is to a) seriously doubt it, b) investigate the real facts and level of crisis, c) turn to as many social media sites as I can to put forward a true and unbiased view. Unfortunately there are few truly Scottish media outlets that one can turn to to get a non-partisan English or Unionist view as most are controlled or owned by England!.
    There are, fortunately, a number of pro ‘Scottish Independence’ sites that one can turn to for real information regarding Scotland, but we ALL need to accept a more positive view of Scotland, the SNP and the contributions they have made, not only to the UK, but throughout the world.
    I, for one, will plagiarise the last paragraph above to help counteract the negative view of Scotland and Scots, who are often portrayed as unintelligent, drunken, unemployed unintelligible wastrels.

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  4. We need to be publicly shouting that Westminster is waging a media war against Scotland.

    It’s a cold war, but we know from what we saw in NI that it can get very nasty indeed.

    That’s how I look at it. Westminster is at war with “dissidents” in its Scottish colony

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. We are at war with England, not the people but the Government.

      The English Government just cannot afford to lose Scotland. They would lose their status in the World, which is the most important thing to them. Also our resources are vital to the English economy.

      My mother was English and have many fantastic family in England. They have been told lies about Scotland for hundreds of years and so have we.

      We need to stand up to the bullying state Broadcaster. Cancell your TV license now. Hit them where it hurts!

      Like

  5. I agree wholeheartedly. I am at present putting a group together in Edinburgh with the intention of getting media savvy experts to come out to train us in the black arts of media and media manipulation so that we ratrher than refuting news in an eternal he said she said we can use their own techniques to turn their own news against them. For example. Something is said on the BBC thats patently untrue as it usually is. Instead of postingf on indy sites we get everyone on the sites to send a personal email from individual email accounts to the DG of the BBC , the Production Manager, the programming Director and to anyone who works on the programme detailing our concerns. Also making complaints to them and the ombudsman until their mail accounts are so full of complaints that it gets in the way of them doing their jobs. Also not being angry and shouting abuse but being scientific and detailing the facts and asking for a receipt and response. Thats just one scenario. We will need to leatrn more but I wholeheartedly support your article.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lots of intelligent, pro independence supporters are doing their best to counteract or highlight the bias of the scottish media in general. It must seem like a neverending task. I am not a member of any party but since 2014 I have supported Independence. Newspapers, with the exception of the Sunday Herald/National are relentless in the SNP ‘bad’ news. It must be demoralising for honest journalists and commentators as I’m totally ‘fed up’ with it myself. It is shocking to see such a disrespectful attitude to the scottish government. I do believe we are entitled to criticise politicians when necessary but I am personally demented with the non reporting of any positive news about Nicola and her team. We should be proud of their stance against the major aspects of the Tory austerity programme and their efforts against a hard Brexit. I wish there was more that could be done to highlight the positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I echo Andy’s comments. Until recently I’d been spending 1 week a month in Germany – for 6 years spanning the Scottish & EU referenda. The comparison between the level of education on “civics” in Germany and Scotland is stark. It was the remarkable level of ignorance about these things which allowed the voting public to be hoodwinked into voting “Leave”. Of course it suits London to keep the public ignorant, because then they are more easily manipulated. Scotland can and should take the initiative by improving that part of education in schools, but of course it will be opposed by the (Lab controlled) teaching unions and the media under the banner (ironically) of the SNP cult wanting to brainwash the young.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Never a truer was said, we have to get rid of the BBC propaganda machine, simply because we pay for it, can’t do much about the media as it is owned by capatilist, appart from not buying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. IT is taught in Scotland now, as part of the English curriculum. They are asked to read and comment on articles, and answer questions including, Who is saying this, why are they saying this etc etc. Its the generation in the middle and end with no critical thought and anything for a quiet life that needs to educate themselves. I like to take solace from the fact that 10 years of propaganda and we are still here. We see them.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am on holiday from Australia and I have found that the news being shared on television each day is extremely negative when it comes to Scottish news reporting about Scotland and it’s partially devolved government. I cannot believe how much spin is being put on the negative issues. I visited Wales recently and after listening to the news coming out of there so positive and local that is when it hit me that the news being given in Scotland was absolutely the opposite so negative. As a duel national I return to Scotland regularly for visits and have seen a great improvement in the Scottish welfare and its people since Devolution and see the improvements in housing, roads and health. From where I am standing I believe that Scotland is in a good position and has shown that it is extremely capable of taking care of itself. So all the negativity that is being written and voiced about Scotland by Westminster is absolute nonsense and your comments about Scotts being brain washed is one hundred percent correct. It is very easy for the media to dumb down anyone who is not willing to look beyond what the news is telling you or writing about in the local news papers. It is time as Scots that the majority became aware of how much the country would benefit from being an independent nation and for once stand tall and be proud of who we are and what we can achieve. All the educated leave the country to find a more financially paid position and a place to show their individual skills as they cannot find that here. But if Scotland had its own independence I am sure that those folks would stay and give back what is needed to govern this country therefore enhancing the status of this nation and keeping the wealth here for everyone to benefit from.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent and insightful piece on the UK let’s rubbish Scotland media bandwagon. Makes you wonder why the UK government isis so against Scotland being independent. Oops. Just got it. We’ve got oil. Whisky. Tourism. Which all equates to money for UK coffers.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The other day I met an acquaintance in the pub. He said “Something must be done about the NHS in Scotland”. When I asked, what specifically, he said he didn’t know but a report was coming out tomorrow – This was last week..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I totally agree and if we had to rely on the MSM we would think that Scotland was a complete disaster, thank god for social media especially facebook. The truth is out there but the propoganda machines of the MSM is still working hard against Scotland. Well done the SNP led Government you are doing a great Day Job for Scotland.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re absolutely right. If I want news I go to Wings first, GA Ponsonby and twitter. Euronews, RT, France24, Aljazeera are better than BBC or Sky but are still biased towards England the “Great”

    I don’t know why we just can’t set up a TV/Radio station run by Scots and not from London. Catalonia have a few. We have to start acting like an Independent country and ignoring calls, from London, to stop making lives in Scotland better than rUK.

    Like

  15. Enjoyed your piece, I like the fact that you focus on how the bloke/blokess on the street is responding to the constant bombardment of negativity. I think you’re right that it does effect us all at some level – basically they are doping us with ‘cringe’. I noticed the other night on Rhona’s programme a pundit suggesting that the SNP’s fortunes are sure to slide and when the do, he said, there’ll be no way back. This seems to be the general unionist modus operandi: grind the population into a state of paralysis of uncertainty. Meanwhile the giant clusterfuck that is Brexit sails closer to the edge.

    Like

  16. The worst offender in Scotland is the one that the public pay for and is governed by a charter that explicitly. Says that it must present the news impartially and not take a partisan view, this governing charter has long ago been thrown in the bucket by BBC Scotland and the attacks on corbyn from the London arm of this government propaganda outlet show that it is dismissed outright by the whole of the corruptoration.

    Like

  17. Playing Chess with Westminster

    The biggest issue is that the SNP and all other pro indy groups allow themselves to play chess Westminster style.

    Westminster propaganda machine runs all media that is TV , Radio and Newspapers why do we play their game? Boycott and don’t send representitives fueling their propaganda. It’s a complete waste of effort anyway .

    Nicola Sturgeon appeared on various TV appearances during the GE were she was questioned on devolved matters which clearly had nothing to do with Mrs May’s Brexit election. Why does NS feel it’s necessary to defend devolved matters during a GE ? Her response should have been, sorry but the question has no relevance to the GE. It was plainly obvious the questions from the interviewer and audience were rigged to focus on anything thing that is perceived to be negative by their propaganda.

    This continuous defence of Education, NHS and local authorities matters raises the Propaganda machines profile because it’s NEGATIVITY based which of course is their whole intention. I have just copied this link from this mornings BBC Scotland headline to illustrate the point : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-41134835

    The Scottish independence movements and their poltical parties the SNP, Greens and others need to STOP playing these ego centric unionist propaganda games and focus on the positivity of independence.

    By spinning the positives and questioning Westminster negatives, independence will be won in the hearts and souls of the many . You have to create an environment where you are doing what the uk propaganda machine is doing but spinning independence .

    The independence message needs to bolder, don’t ask DEMAND it and refuse to accept that we are playing chess in a democratic union, WE ARE NOT

    Like

  18. This is a great post. There IS an oil crisis in Scotland though. Many job losses, repossessions, apparently Aberdeen pawn brokers are refusing to accept any more rolexes! There doesn’t however NEED to be an oil crisis in Scotland. There is a massive oil find off the coast of Arbroath and another on the west coast of Scotland a bigger field than the current North Sea sector incidentally. Neither viable to be explored because of Tory Exploration Taxes. This is what is making the oil in Scotland being seen as a dying game for anti independance motives. Yes, the North Sea is a mature market and any further booms are unlikely, but there is massive oil reserves all around Scotland. The biggest we can’t drill because of Faslane. Well with Labour or SNP we will have no need for Faslane. Sorry for long rant, but what I don’t understand is why is NO-ONE talking about this? You clearly have an audience and I hope that you are able to reach a significant volume of people and hopefully research this and spread the word. If not, great post, keep up the good work.

    Like

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