There’s a four day old report on the BBC website that’s refusing to go away. On the 22 February the BBC published a video report covering the cost of recladding a private apartment complex at Glasgow Harbour found to have “similar” cladding to that believed to have accelerated the spread of the fire on Grenfell Tower in June last year. As a result of that tragedy building inspections were carried out on local authority high rises throughout the United Kingdom, finding that of the 173 structures tested in England and Wales 165 were clad with the hazardous material.
After decades of British government instigated sectarian conflict in the north of Ireland, the British media simply cannot plead ignorance on the subject of flags in the contentious politics of the nations of the United Kingdom. In fact it is safe to say the British establishment media knows better than most the power the deployment of a flags dispute has in the disrupting of otherwise civil political conversations.
Having a beard and expensive designer frames is hardly unique to David Torrance. Not even the name “Davey” is reserved in Scotland for the sole use of David Torrance. When I first saw the PPB in question I was tempted to think poor Davey bore a striking resemblance to that thundering numpty James McEnaney. At least McEnaney knows how to tie a tie, and he has been known to scrub up well – at least in the propaganda shots I’ve seen him in. Other than the beard and glasses Torrance bears as much resemblance to Davey as a polar bear does to a penguin.
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.
If we fail to address that printed media imbalance we may well lose out again in the next referendum. The best time to start preparing for this is last year, but seeing as that has come and gone, the next best time is right now. Every day iScot is struggling to stay in business. It needs an awful lot more people to subscribe either online or to its print edition and have it sent to their door. Of course, there’s no point spending money on any old crap. It and whatever else we produce has to be quality.
It is certainly no secret that the BBC is no friend of Scottish democracy. During the 2014 independence referendum campaign the behaviour of the state broadcaster in its negatively biased coverage of Yes Scotland became so transparently toxic a mass public movement sprang up in response.
“Cybernats,” a term deliberately coined and deployed to carry all the connotations of Nazism and vermin, behind their often anonymous profiles, are Scottish voters and members of the public. Collectively they embody the real grassroots of Scottish society, and thus give the lie to unionists’ claim to represent the opinion of real Scots. Unionism does not like cybernats.
The Conservative Party does not have “a racism problem.” The Conservative Party is a racist party. Racism is so much more than the spoken or written word; racism is a whole set of attitudes and assumptions about one’s own superiority and the superiority of one’s own group over and above an inferior and dangerous racialised other.