Monday, 4 January 2016

2016, the Scottish Government and the Media.

By Panda Paws

We live in turbulent times and it’s difficult to make accurate predictions about the future but I feel safe in saying that in 2016 the SNP will be bad. Peak badness should arrive at end of April/beginning of May to be followed after the Scottish General Election by a period of “one party stateness”. 

The mocking meme of “Snpbad” was denigrated by no less a genius than Magnus Gardham (well Leaksy thinks he’s a genius though he neglected to say at what since it patently isn’t journalism). Apparently we are wrong to criticise journalists’ partiality and to wonder if holding the government to account should consist of more than regurgitating opposition press releases and acting as the media wing of SLAB. As Bertolt Brecht once put it perhaps we should dissolve the people and elect a new one given our lack of appreciation for MSM.

No-one and no party is infallible but MSM’s constant nit-picking and misleading spin on the activities of the Scottish government means that roughly half the population wouldn't believe them if they told us Christmas day was 25 December so often has the SNP been accused, warned and criticised. If I were President of the World, once I’d sorted out inequality and war, I’d have mandatory training for all journalists reporting on Scotland where the first, and quite possibly only needed session, would be on the boy that cried wolf.

They accuse independence supporters of confirmation bias, seeing only what we want and expect to see, but they themselves have a big plank in their eye that leaves the motes in ours even more minuscule. In Saturday’s Herald we have former Labour MP John Robertson’s interesting (aka contradictory) comments that he is not a Unionist but he believes in the Union. His comments about SNP people are particularly noteworthy.
In case you'd never heard of him, this is John Robertson, the guy who didn't know whether or not he voted for war in Iraq and who doesn't like SNP voters.
Not a single one of them. He used to be an MP.
"They are not nice people, the SNP, all of them. I can't say anything nice about them because they certainly did not say anything nice about me. “
Luckily Mr Robertson is an easy-going chap.
"I am not bitter. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. I don't hold any animosity towards anybody or any side”
It’s an interesting kind of non-animosity that thinks ALL of your opponents are not nice people so I guess we are lucky that he’s not bitter!

Like most independence supporter I want a MSM that holds all parties to account without fear or favour where journalists analyse the news and inform us. Unfortunately “I want” isn’t “I get”. We have a situation where the SNP is damned if they do and damned if they don’t. 

The Queensferry bridge was “Salmond’s vanity project” and opposed by all other parties, including the Greens, despite it being known since the time of  John Major’s government that the old Forth Road Bridge would not be able to cope with increasing traffic by 2015 at the latest. But when the bridge needed to be closed, was the SNP congratulated for its foresight in commissioning a new one? Well I don’t need to answer that do I.

The SNP are a competent government and whilst I don’t agree with all of its policies, they are miles ahead of the opposition. As much as I rate Patrick Harvie as a politician (though he was wrong on the new bridge!), the Greens have a way to go before than can be an official opposition. However it insults those who have lived under totalitarian regimes to describe Scotland as a one party state.

A one party state is one where the opposition is suppressed, not one where they are so incompetent that few in their right mind would want to vote for them. The Unionist parties really need to get their act together and come up with intelligent, cohesive policies that are based on something more sensible than the opposite of what the SNP says. As it is we are stuck with an immature democracy with a biased, establishment media that fail in one of their primary roles of holding the government to account.

Until then it’s “SNPbad”.


  1. Now there's a curiously porcine face. Has he perhaps attended Eton in the company of Mr Cameron I wonder to myself.

    1. I don't think comments about people's looks are very helpful, anon. It just gives him a chance to play martyr.

    2. Aye, you're probably right. The pictures on this site are absolutely the best thing - except many of the ones wae humans in them.

  2. I think he is suffering from that well known disease, lostmyseatandamabadloseritus.

    The media does go too far at times, but not always. The problem is that there are real issues where the Scottish Government do need to be held to account, but tend to get lost in the mire.

    I keep harping on about this, but we desperately need an effective opposition. But that isn't likely to happen soon, and the real danger is if the SNP decimate their opponents this May. I have no idea of the mathematics, but what if all but say 10 seats fall to the SNP? Given the results last year, nothing would surprise me. The media will have a field day. I get a feeling that the media are itching for such success, and even more for Sturgeon to declare UDI. The media don't give a shit about anyone except themselves.


    1. Please educate your self as to the actual meaning of 'decimate'

    2. Indeed Zog, happy for the SNP to be held to account as they are not perfect. However they should be held to the same standards as other parties, not higher standards. And all parties should be subject to the same scrutiny. The fact they are not is why SNPBad has become a meme.

    3. Anon: Historically decimate meant "to reduce by a tenth".

      It has more recently been accepted to mean "to remove a large proportion"

    4. And since we don't know that the SNP won't end up 'decimating' the other parties standing, the older more literal meaning may come true anyway.

      Unless there is a way to educate ourselves on how to tell the future...


  3. Whats left of readers of the old media might take it seriously if it spent as much time on the fertile ground of scrutinising the uselessness of the Westminster parties at Holyrood instead of spending all its time on "SNPBad "witch hunts against the democratically elected Scots Government.

    The best thing that could happen in May would be the absolute rout of the Westminster Parties at Holyrood to make way for a new and truly independent of Westminster party political system in Scotland.

    1. I think the problem with a Unionist rout in May it that MSM would become even more SNPbad than before because there genuinely wouldn't be an opposition. Whilst I'm hoping for a pro-independence majority, that is a separate issue from the bias in the media.

  4. Can I say that the SNP are not perfect, they have to my knowledge never said they were. What we have are the Establishment ganging up on what they see as a very dangerous situation, one which they cannot control and therefore they have only one option and if you look on Wings you will see what they are about. We have two SNP MP's in the limelight, Lisa Cameron who had the good sense to use money in buying up houses from people who were in trouble with their mortgages and Phil Boswell who is allegedly not have declared a directorship, which if you check the first comment he did not need to have as he earned nothing from it. It would appear that the SNP MP's have to be so squeaky clean that the brightness of their smile with blind you but being human they make mistakes. Our so called press, are not ours they do not work for us, they work for them, them being the Queen, the house of lardies, the folk like Cameron and Osborne who in turn work for rich business men and foreign governments and not forgetting the Bilderberg Group who really run the world.

    1. Couldn't agree more Helena. The MSM has obviously gone digging looking for "dirt" on the new batch of SNP MPs - which they have a perfect right to do. However, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the same level of scrutiny of MPs of the other parties within Westminster.

    2. Well said Helana.

  5. Wings has posted some absolute horrors today.

    The trouble is that the the press has become a comedy, or really a farce.

    They print front page stories about people hinting at stuff that they later, in 10th paragraph admit is supposition or in fact downright lies.

    Of course when it comes to Wings, Stuart is prepared to take them to court. More people should, I think.

    In the meantime Kezia has written a piece absolutely full of errors, assumptions and dubious (to put it mildly) economics, and so far I'm not seeing anyone pulling it to pieces.

    There must be fewer and fewer people now taking the press with any kind of seriousness.

    1. The problem is that many people only see or read the headlines and even if they read further on as you say the scene has already been set by the preceding 20 paragraphs.

      Stuart Campbell will take them to court if necessary because his journalist training means he knows when they have crossed the line between implication and accusation and into illegality. The Daily Mail are past masters at just staying on the right side of the defamation laws.

      TBH we should have been critically assessing the press long before now so I suppose it's a good thing it's so overt that more folks' eyes have been opened.