Tuesday 7 October 2014


If you have around 25-30 minutes and you haven't already seen this, I can recommend it. 

The video explores the research of Dr David Patrick into press bias during the independence campaign. 

Carried out over Scotland's most politically important year in centuries, the study's findings are a shocking indictment of the role of the UK press in the independence debate. 

We all know newspapers take political positions but, uniquely for a western democracy, the entire press industry united against independence in an intense systematic propaganda campaign to save the union. 

In the film, Dr Patrick discusses the framing of the referendum and how front pages, editorial and commentary are used to get key messages across, the lack of media coverage for the research, strange BBC experience and how the Independence debate has damaged public trust in our press.

Munguin's thanks, once again, to Cynical Highlander for bringing it to our attention.


  1. Replies
    1. In that case great thanks to Pictish Beastie... It's a first class piece of work...

    2. I saw this yesterday and posted it on Wings today for wider exposure.

    3. The more people who see it the better Marcia

  2. Just excellent.

    We need to take this and Dr Roberston's findings the ECHR before the Tories remove us from that.

    1. I'm guessing that no one can do much about this. Newspapers are privately owned. They are entitled to print their opinions, or news as they see it. The judge of their function as NEWSpapers seems to be down to the public who either buy them, or don't.

      The BBC and the broadcasters who receive money from licence fees to support a news service are perhaps guilty of misconduct, but as far as I can see a newspaper can print its opinion with impunity, unless it slanders someone. A bit like a blog really.

      It looks very much like the Tories may not be able to do take Scotland or Northern Ireland out of the ECHR, anyway Panda.

      They seem to be able to take England and Wales out of it as they control English law. But unless they override the Scottish government which refuses to take it that step, and I think we could agree that that would be a disastrous thing to do at this point, they can't change Scots law. I think Irish law is different too, with aspects of it being related to laws which cover the whole island.

      Again it seems that the terminally thick Grayling man hasn't thought it through.

  3. Who can argue with this, as far as I am concerned unless we can overcome this we will never be Independent. We were cheated, and big time, but not by just the manipulation of Postal Votes, and I do believe there were things done which should have been better controlled. How can we do this, we have an Electoral Commission stuffed with Labour. We have a controlling government in Westminster who used their influence to manipulate other Governments in the World. I tend to feel as Bugger says this whole thing should be taken to the ECHR, but must I say I have no faith in anyone. Europe could have stepped in, they remained mostly silent. Certainly there was no encouragement from them.

    1. I swaid at the beginning that as the UK government, which has overall control of elections and referenda, had such a strong opinion on one side of this referendum that there should have been outside observers to ensure that the vote was above suspicion. The EU, the Commonwealth and the UN could have provided them. I see no reason to suppose that the UK government is to be trusted any more than the Ugandan or Zimbabwean governments. They have observers, why not the UK?

      However, we were assured that this was not necessary, by people including those on the YES side. Frankly, although I have no doubt that there was malpractice, I cannot for a second believe that they would be bright enough to manage to fiddle the number of votes that would have been required to produce this result. They just aren't clever enough, or competent enough, even with the aid of the BBC and the press.

      To fiddle a by election is relatively easy and we know that they have fiddled postal votes in elections all over the UK. But on a countrywide referendum where the votes would have to have been fiddled from Stornoway to Kelso, I just don't think so.

      As I said above, I can't see that it's illegal for a newspaper to be biased. If it were papers like the Telegraph, Mail Sun and the Express would have gone out of business years ago.

      That is not to undermine the work that went into this. It is important to know that we were up against these forces and that we managed to get where we got (ie to a situation where until the "vow" we were actually ahead) is a miracle.

      The master stroke was not, as I suspected it would be, a terrorist attack on Holyrood, or Balmoral, the imminent death of the Duke of Edinburgh, or Ebola virus in the centre of Edinburgh. It was quite simply, a promise of federality, made by one ex-prime minister with the backing of the current prime minister, and signed up to by the leader of the opposition.

      A bit like the Alex Douglas Home moment.

      It worked. We were duped. Why? I don;t know. Cameron or Miliband are hardly men you would trust, and Gordon Brown has a record of incompetence as long as the A9!

  4. Dr Patrick, I am amazed how any intelligent person can be conned, if people like me cannot be. I read everything with a pinch of salt, and have done so since I was a pre teen. Why are people unable to do so? I must be more Cynical than the Highlander.

    1. If you want to believe; if you are scared, I suppose it is easy.

      They went for the vulnerable. The old with their pensions; the Eastern Europeans with deportation, the English with hate; catholics with hate; the sick with blood transfusions and child care 9like we don't have brilliant doctors in Scotland), border guards, terrorism, no army, no pound...

      Every single thing they said was a lie, but if you weren't reading the internet, you didn't know that.

    2. Tris and Bugger Le Panda, please check out the article by Jonathan Mitchell in Scotland for Yes, it would appear there is no way we can go the ECHR or anywhere for that matter.

    3. Tris on the matter of the vulnerable, yes I agree, what I am saying is that Dr Patrick is different,. I will accept his background probably was more accepting of Unionism than mine, but on discussing the bias of the newspapers with the people we met on Holiday, he said that he saw no bias. Well none so blind as those who choose not to see and he was an ex accountant.

    4. The bias was obvious to me, and the facts researched by Dr Patrick show that to be the fact.

      But I suppose that if you are a britnat through and through, you wouldn't see it, unless you went out of your way to look, and were bright enough to see what was there rather than what you wanted to see.

      What is interesting is that only the Sunday Herald represented the Yes side, and to be fair the Sun was neutral (I accept that Dr Patrick's study was monday to Friday papers).

      With 45% voting Yes, and that having apparently been altered, quite substantially, by the vow, where, as Dr Patrick asks, does this leave the mainstream papers now.

      It will be interesting to see what happens to the sales figures of the Record, Mail and Express in particular... although clearly the latter two papers are more like elderly people's comics adn may retain their readership in old folks homes.

      The Record is going to be interesting though.

    5. Excellent piece there Helena.


  5. Tris

    Anyone with half a brain, other than McTeirnan, know that there was a mass campaign by the media against a YES vote. Either individual editors, who are part of the establishment, often going to uni and being friends with those in power or from the owners of the papers , we know that traditional media fought a war of half truths and mis information against the YES side. In fact when you reflect on the campaign of negativity it is astonishing that YES managed to get 45% at all.

    It makes you sick, not just here but all over the world, the power and greed that politicians and corporations have is truly frightening. We are all guilty of falling for the lies and all have a role to play in trying to see through it. be it from the Government and media etc. in this country or the corporate stuff we are fed by the Apples etc. of the world. They frame the headlines, as the video shows, or they use advertisements and even subtle messaging to convince you that you need the new IPhone.

    I think in many ways, and I am as guilty as any, we have to re-learn to make do. Do we really need the new IPhone, do we really need the morning paper or to watch the latest drama that they tell you is hot shit so you can watch their adds because that is what they really want anyway. We don't and we have to understand that if we can start to resist, such as little things like not shopping at ASDA or buying papers, then they will take notice if enough of us do it. That doesn't mean we go back to them if they can convince us they have changed, we don't, we rely on each other as best we can, we talk to each other, we share information and our own story which is also information.

    We need to do things differently.


    1. It is, you're right, actually big business that owns us. The politicians are the servant of big business...

      Banks lost billions, governments reimbursed them, and it wasn't their money anyway, so their folly (it probably wasn't folly in any case) profited them. The money never existed.

      Companies get away with non payment of taxes; the people who own them get all the breaks while the people right at the bottom are deprived of a pound or two a week, because we have to pay down the deficit.... not that we ever do.

      We go to war presumably because there is a lot of money to be made in war.

      It doesn't have to be like this. Although no where is anything like perfect (as if we knew what perfect was) Britain is pretty much the worst of the western countries.

  6. I read Excellent article yesterday and as all we yessirs this is truthful. I'm not sure how many folks were truly conned or just used this as an excuse. Most folks with, at least some common sense knows how dishonest the media can be. I'm sure everyone has realized at some point how much drivel they can spout. But what explains folks who said they didn't have enough info? Was it just laziness or cognac dissonance or what?

    1. I think that as Dr Patrick said, it's the fact that it's what you see as you walk past a newsstand ... you don't necessarily buy anything... but you see over and over again the negative message and without really thinking about it and some people are taken in by it by the constant negativity.

      The demonisation by the press of Salmond was incredible.

      They latched on to the fact that he was a hate figure for a lot of people (just like Cameron, Miliband and Clegg are) and they made it a campaign of Salmond. Politicians did it too. Alex Salmond's plan for independence, as if none of the rest of them, including his deadly enemies, were involved... Pat Harvey, Jim Sillars, Tommy Sheridan, Allan Grogan, etc etc etc... didn't count.

      I actually know someone who said to me that they wouldn't vote no because there was "something about that Alex Salmond" that they didn't like.

      There's something about foodbanks I don't like. There's something about the lowest pension in the Western world I don't like, there's something about going to war in the Middle East ever couple of years I don't like. There's something about austerity for the poor and tax breaks for the rich I don't like. There's something about nuclear weapons so close you could almost touch them I don't like.

      Alex Salmond will be gone shortly.

      The rest will stay with us.

      And for all they hate him, if he had stayed it seems likely that they wouldn't have voted for Johann Lamont to be their next first minister..

    2. Err ! or perhaps we thought Alex was peddling a big croc of shite..
      yeah that'll be it

    3. Well, maybe they did... bit it seems that it was Gordon who was doing that!

  7. Yep its all true i admit all well mostly all the NO voters were hypnotised and drugged
    to vote NO .some actually thought thyt were voting YES but under the malign influence
    of a drug fueled hypnotic state they put a cross in the NO spot.
    In fact I helped inject some of the more difficult ones meself ....tris was a right hand full
    but in the end we used a umbrella with the drug in its tip got him in his leg on the way to vote

    Funny thing is till this day he thinks he voted YES..ya gotta laff !

    1. An Niko ... that's what you were doing following me. There was me thinking that you'd come to protect me from all those Butchers Apron wearing BNP supporters that were hanging around Dundee.