Scottish independence, power and propaganda | Daily News Online

September 16, 2014 1:52 PM

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Established power hates uncertainty, especially any threat to its grip on the political, economic and financial levers that control society. And so it is with elite fears that the United Kingdom, formed by the1707 Acts of Union, could be on the verge of unravelling.

No informed commentator doubts that elite interests will do all they can to maintain hegemony in an independent Scotland, should that historic shift occur following the referendum of September 18. But if it does happen, there will likely be significant consequences for the Trident nuclear missile system, the future of the NHS and the welfare state, education, climate policy, energy generation and other industry sectors, the media and many additional issues; not just in Scotland, but beyond, including Nato and the European Union. There is clearly a lot at stake and established power is concerned.

Just over a week ago, to the consternation of Westminster elites and their cheerleaders in media circles, a YouGov opinion poll showed that the ‘Yes’ vote (51 per cent) had edged ahead of ‘No’ (49 per cent) for the first time in the campaign, having at one point trailed by 22 per cent. The Observer noted ‘signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks’, adding that ‘the no campaign is desperately searching for ways to seize back the initiative’.

Voters, then, were supposed to swallow the fiction that the announcement came, not from the UK government represented by Chancellor George Osborne, but from the pro-Union parties represented by senior Tory minister George Osborne!

However, Alastair Darling, leader of the pro-Union ‘Better Together’ campaign, told Sky News that all new powers for Scotland had already been placed on the table before the purdah period. What had been announced was ‘merely… a timetable for when the Scottish Parliament could expect to be given the limited powers already forthcoming.’ Thus, an announcement setting out a timetable for enhanced powers was completely above board and not at all designed to influence the very close vote on independence.

‘Honestly, this is just ONE example of pathetic bias which more and more Scots are seeing through. I’ve long been a follower of your site, and I make a point of reading each and every alert. This is the first time I’ve taken to contacting you, and as I said, I imagine lots of others will be doing just that on the same subject.

It is not only the bias in BBC News reporting that has alienated so many people, but the way the public broadcaster fails to adequately address public complaints – on any number of issues.

‘Scotland heads for the exit’ (i, a tabloid version of the Independent)

‘The British political class is in a fight for which it seemed unprepared. It needs to find its voice’. (‘Signifying Much’, September 8, 2014; access by paid subscription only)

This is the classic liberal-left fairytale that things would be different if only Labour were in power: a delusion that all too many voters in Scotland, as elsewhere, have seen through ever since it was obvious that Blairism was a continuation of Thatcherism.

‘When I contemplate the prospect of waking up on September 19 to discover the union has been defeated, I can’t help but feel a deep sadness.’ Given Freedland’s role as a Guardian mover and shaker, with a big input to its editorial stance, it was no surprise when a Guardian leader followed soon after, firmly positioning the flagship of liberal journalism in the ‘No’ camp. The paper pleaded: ‘Britain deserves another chance’. But the pathetic appeal for the Union was propped up by a sly conflation of independence with ‘ugly nationalism’, notwithstanding a token airy nod towards ‘socialists, greens and other groups’.

‘Unfortunately he has misunderstood the basic tenor of the British State, that is to cling to power, to centralise it, and to shroud it in obscurity.’ Small added that Hutton’s caricature of the ‘Yes’ camp as ‘the atavistic forces of nationalism and ethnicity’ is ‘such an absurd metropolitan misreading of what’s going on as to be laughable.’ Small’s crucial point is one we should remember when listening to senior politicians; that their first priority is always to cling to power.

‘Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. Just typing the names is depressing. As part of their long matured and carefully prepared campaign plan (founded September 9, 2014) they are coming together to Scotland tomorrow to campaign.

‘If Scotland becomes independent, it will be despite the efforts of almost the entire UK establishment. It will be because social media has defeated the corporate media.

It will be a victory for citizens over the Westminster machine, for shoes over helicopters.

It will show that a sufficiently inspiring idea can cut through bribes and blackmail, through threats and fear-mongering.

That hope, marginalised at first, can spread across a nation, defying all attempts to suppress it.’ Whatever happens on Thursday, skewed media performance on Scottish independence – in particular, from the BBC – has helped huge numbers of people see ever more clearly the deep bias in corporate news media.


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