So the campaign to discredit the Labour for Independence movement gathers pace with another 'revelation' in a Sunday newspaper adding to photographs and statements from the Labour party and Better Together.
The referendum debate sits in a corner shaking its head as Scotland's media does what it does best, riding to the aid of the Labour party in Scotland, chucking mud at anything that gets in its way.
The smear story is the 'Weapon of Mass Distraction' that is launched at those times of Labour distress. Not so much a deterrent as a means of obliterating the threat and ending meaningful debate.
The media in Scotland, controlled from outwith, will continue to behave in a manner that gains the approval of its non-Scottish pro-Union masters. At its head is the now widely discredited BBC Scotland - the broadcaster is institutionally warped and is probably guilty of breaching the human rights of its licence payers in Scotland by forcing them to pay for its political output.
Yes supporters know what they are up against and will adapt accordingly. The BBC in Scotland has no idea the backlash that awaits it in the months to come. It is Scotland's Berlin Wall. If it doesn't sort itself out, then I suspect ordinary Scots will tire of it and force their own change.
Newsnet Scotland has pleasure in presenting the first in a series of animations that will take an off beat look at some of the key issues surrounding the independence debate.
Duggy Dug is our animated cartoon character who will raise a smile and a chuckle whilst providing his own inimitable commentary.
Our Scottish terrier has been months in the making and today we finally release our first animation.
'Scotland's Oil' is Duggy's take on one of the most enduring issues in the debate over Scotland's future. How much is left, who controls it and what has happened to the cash generated since it was first discovered.
The crowdfunded opinion poll this site commissioned from Panelbase last week was a wide-ranging one which covered numerous aspects of the independence debate in some depth. We had to break up our reporting into several pieces to keep it a manageable read. Here, however, is a quick summary of the top ten major findings.
36% of Scots are currently planning to vote No in the referendum, with 34% planning to vote Yes and 30% undecided.
(14% plan to rebel against the position of the party they support.)
67% of Scots do NOT believe the Scottish Parliament will be granted any additional new powers if there is a No vote in the referendum.
(And over a quarter of those people believe Holyrood’s powers will be REDUCED.)
If Scotland was currently an independent country, only 18% of Scots would vote to join the Union.
(With 55% against and 28% undecided.)
Not one of the prominent members of the Yes or No campaigns is believed by a majority of Scots to be “always or mostly telling the truth” about independence.
(But the No camp’s leaders are three times as distrusted as the Yes side’s.)
Over 80% of Scots who have heard “Better Together” campaign director Blair McDougall speak think he’s always or mostly lying.
(The most trusted figures are Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.)
Only 6% of Scots think the Scottish media is doing an adequate job of giving them the facts about independence.
(Almost six times as many think the media just prints what it’s told.)
Only 13% of Scots think the Scottish media is unbiased.
(Over three times as many think it’s biased AGAINST independence as FOR it.)
20% of Scots might switch parties after a Yes vote. Only 5% might switch after a No vote.
(22% are unsure, leaving only 53% definitely committed to their current party.)
Scots think it’s more likely that Scotland will be attacked by space monsters than by Russia or China.
(But their biggest fear, by an enormous margin, is of having more Conservative governments imposed on Scotland by English voters.)
Only 18% of Scots believe nuclear weapons protect Scotland from attack.
(Specifically from North Korea. If the threat is China, the number who believe nuclear weapons are a viable defence/deterrent falls to 12%.)
In a weekend devoid of news, save for the tribulations at Ibrox and calls for Charles Green to go, a poll appeared that offered up all sorts of juicy titbits for a media looking for a story.
The poll was carried out by a reputable organisation - Panelbase - and details were published by the company on Friday.
However the survey might as well not have taken place, if the reaction from the media in Scotland is anything to go by. The so-called Scottish newspapers and their broadcast equivalents ignored the story.
Now there's nothing wrong with pursuing an editorial line when you are a private company as the newspapers are. But that said, some of these newspapers are supposed to be respected journals – in order to keep up the charade then surely a cursory nod to this poll would have been sensible
And a crackin' wee tune - just to finish, from the end of that film.
"I was listening to the news the other day
I heard a fat politician who had the nerve to say
He was proud to be Scottish, by the way
With the glories of our past to remember
"Here's tae us, wha's like us", listen to the cry
No surrender to the truth and here's the reason why
The power and the glory's just another bloody lie
They use to keep us all in line
For there's no gods and there's precious few heroes
But there's plenty on the dole in the land o the leal
And it's time now to sweep the future clear
Of the lies of a past that we know was never real"
Looks like the "NO" side are getting desperate with this latest Hacking Scandal - although you hear very little in the "news" about this crime, but plenty about legitimate acts that are apparrently "Shocking"!
It began with an offer by Yes Scotland to the Herald newspaper of an article by a respected academic and ended with the entire online operation at Yes Scotland being closed down.
The controversy over a small fee paid to Dr Elliott Bulmer for an article published in the Herald has dominated the headlines since late Wednesday.
The topsy-turvy world that is the media in Scotland has witnessed a bizarre obsession with a routine party political smear whilst the far bigger story - illegal hacking - has been marginalised. The media in Scotland have appeared unable, or more likely unwilling, to distinguish real news from a politically motivated attack.
However the more one examines the facts of this story the more one wonders if there is something more sinister at work.
We had an interesting discussion on Twitter this afternoon with the Guardian’s Severin Carrell. As a result, we decided to check something out that we hadn’t seen anyone be clear about, and the upshot is that we can now confirm, from what we’ll call “an extremely well-placed source”, that the Herald was fully aware, every step of the way, that Elliot Bulmer’s piece had been commissioned by Yes Scotland, and that it was submitted to the Herald through Yes Scotland.
It was, therefore, solely and exclusively the Herald’s responsibility to disclose, or not disclose, anything and everything to do with the article’s provenance that it considered pertinent. The Herald chose to publish the piece (having no obligation to do so). The Herald knew precisely where it came from and by what route. The Herald chose not to mention the Yes Scotland connection (which it was also under no obligation to do). Yes Scotland, and Elliot Bulmer, hid nothing from anyone.
Them’s the facts. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying. That is all.
It took a while but the No campaign has finally revealed the positive case for remaining in the Union – war.
Yesterday David Cameron and his loyal sidekick William Hague were like excited puppy dogs as they looked forward to launching cruise missiles at some Johnny Foreigner types. Syria is the latest Middle East crisis needing some Western cleansing and the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems are readying themselves.
Listening to the radio yesterday I was struck by the number of crisp public school accents telling us just how important it was that we intervene. One so called 'military expert', on hearing concerns about the indiscriminate nature of cruise missiles, sought to reassure listeners by telling them that we could hit a target to within one metre – of course, he added, anyone in the vicinity would be killed.
So that’s alright then.
Westminster politicians crave the days of empire when they had real military influence, and any opportunity to relive the glorious days of the past are seized on. Only the other week Spain was apparently being threatened and a destroyer was sent to Gibraltar.
Conflict is in the blood of the Unionist as the rhetoric demonstrates with repeated references to 'punching above our weight'. Look at the arguments currently being put forward against independence and war runs through them like a cancer.
Warships will no longer be built on the Clyde, thousands of jobs rely on Trident and NATO will expel an independent Scotland.
Meanwhile, UK Armed Forces Day is to be held in Stirling next year at the same time as commemorations are being held as part of the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn event. Jets will scream overhead and troops will march through the city as fundamental Unionism bares its teeth.
Amid a spectacle of fun and themed medieval battles, staged to entertain Scots and tourists alike, will be a demonstration of 'Union Power' as UK Defence Minister Philip Hammond called it. It's a symbolic invasion.
Added to the jingoistic nonsense is the sickening 'Olympic Style' cultural celebrations planned by London to coincide with the anniversary of the start of World War One. The ultimate irony is that it was this war that witnessed the development of chemical weapons and the industrialised slaughter of the working classes, far too many of them Scots.
Who knows, perhaps if they hurry then we can commemorate the first anniversary of the flattening of Syria at the same time … just before the independence referendum.
How many Syrians are about to die? How many Iraqis died when they were ‘saved’? Who cares, just so long as the glorious Union continues to ‘punch above its weight’.
We’ve recently been documenting the No campaign’s increasingly-panicked attempts to avoid, or entirely shut down, the Scottish independence debate by various means.
But it’s not just us the anti-independence camp is trying to muzzle.
The data represented in the graphs on this page was compiled thanks to painstaking work by the staff of the “Silenced By Better Together” Facebook page. Set up a few weeks ago to chronicle in measurable terms the enormous amount of censorship that takes place on the official No site, it has since recorded literally thousands of instances of “Better Together” deleting and banning comments from users seeking to conduct entirely civil and factual debate.
the better together facebook page is a deeply unpleasant place. dissent is not tolerated, ...
... and the regulars are an interesting bunch. i’m in the distasteful habit (it’s like reading the daily mail – vile but compelling) of checking out their ‘likes’, and almost all of them have at least one, sometimes all, of the following types of pages -
rangers (the majority!)
armed forces (serving and worshipping)
english/scottish defence league
large dog breeds
And finally a little satire -
(FYI - the caricature is of Blair McDougall, Better Together's Campaign Director)
The level of support for independence has been thrown into confusion with the emergence of a poll which puts the Yes campaign marginally ahead.
A new survey carried out by Panelbase puts support for Yes on 44 per cent with support for No one point behind at 43 per cent, with 13 per cent yet to decide. However the poll is at odds with a YouGov poll released this weekend which claimed support for a No vote was over twice that of Yes.
The YouGov survey, carried out on behalf of the so called DevoPlus campaign group, put support for those opposed to independence at 59 per cent against 29 per cent for Yes.
That apparent lead for the No campaign was seized on by pro-Union commentators who claimed it showed the Yes campaign struggling. However today’s new survey has witnessed counter claims from those in favour of independence who are insisting that momentum is very much with the Yes campaign.
Latest poll puts ‘#Yes’ in the lead
A poll released today by Panelbase places the campaign for an independent Scotland ahead.
44% of Scots said they would vote ‘Yes’ compared to 43 % who said they would vote ‘No’. This is a 7% increase in support for independence compared to the last Panelbase poll in July.
While polling results fluctuate, this is further evidence that the referendum result remains open. A number of previous polls demonstrate that a large number of Scots are openminded on independence and are willing to move towards voting ‘Yes’.
A recent poll within Scotland’s business community found a 52% majority for independence. This is consistent with Business for Scotland’s internal polling.
Why are more and more people turning to Independence?
In times of economic hardship history has continually shown us that people become discontent and angry, first they look to blame politicians and then the politicians look for minority groups to blame to be the media scapegoat.
At the moment one of the key groups being targeted by the Westminster Government are the poor and people who rely on the state. As a result, instead of having the means to understand and react to the fundamental cause of the problem of poverty, we instead have a culture of directing media hatred towards the poor and disadvantaged. What questions does this raise for Scotland’s business community and those who desire a prosperous, independent Scotland?
Firstly, what should be causing alarm is the disproportionality of Westminster’s austerity measures. Scotland’s disabled population in particular sees itself as bearing the brunt of a bedroom tax that is driven by rising property prices and private rents in London and the South East. Scotland’s housing market and stock is different with much lower social rents; yet a singular policy has been imposed across the UK.
Meanwhile some 40% of those living in poverty in Scotland are in work – a figure that has risen substantially in recent years in comparison to the rest of the UK. (Oxfam ‘Our Economy’ Report) This flies in the face of the media coined ‘shirkers’ and ‘skivers’. The Institute of Fiscal Studies states that overall pay cuts have been unprecedented under a Westminster government, amounting to a total pay cut for Scotland of 9.7%.
The best way to grow your economy is to make sure that a higher percentage of people are economically active. Social problems and social costs, ill health and diminishing skills are all linked to poverty and poverty in an established economy is driven by unfair distribution of wealth.
For the last 30 years, Scotland has generated more tax revenues per head for the UK treasury than the rest of the UK. Figures taken from the Government Expenditure and Revenue report Scotland (GERS) 2011-12 states that despite Scotland generating 9.9% of the UK’s tax revenue it received only 9.3% of spending. The difference is sucked into Westminster, last year amounting to £4.4bn.
We hope that the Scottish business community can build the foundations of a new economic model for Scotland. As Nobel Economist Professor Joseph Stiglitz has argued;
“A concentration of income and a weak social system restricts the potential of people to contribute productively to the economy. If Scotland is to unleash its economic potential then it must take control of taxation and spending powers. That opportunity rests on September 18th 2014″.
Alternatively, there is a bleak future for Scotland a country that has consistently generated more revenue and created less debt than its UK neighbours. A country that continues to be ruled by a government it did not vote for, and a country that continues to suffer economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally from a lack of localised decision making.
One thing I know for sure though is that I like many in Scotland will not be hoodwinked into not knowing who to blame, and that blame falls at Westminster’s detached economic indifference to Scotland.
Coverage of the independence debate has so far thrived on fear and smear – but is the truth more inspiring? JUSTIN KENRICK believes an independent Scotland could bring hope in a global, interconnected world.
When there is such a need to challenge the way financial interests are wrecking the global environment and pushing austerity on the poor (while taking our wealth into their tax heavens), surely Scottish independence should be the last thing on our minds? But the question is: How do we take control of those financial interests?
Not by voting for the three main UK parties who all embrace rather than challenge the financiers. And not by voting for the Scottish National Party.
However, a vote for Scottish independence is not a vote for the SNP. In fact, their main reason for existence would vanish on the day Scotland cut its ties with Westminster; and Labour in Scotland is likely to be the main beneficiary of independence, just as the SNP has been the main beneficiary of devolution.
Instead, this referendum is about whether people in Scotland think the current political system has served them well, and whether they think they can do better. It is about whether it is right to bring power back closer to the people. This is why we are witnessing – in Scotland at least – an unrelenting media campaign by corporate power to portray independence as a process of abandonment and insecurity.
I hope that you're all now up to date on "The Scottish Process" - I like keeping you informed - it's my small contribution.
Why do I do it? Why do I want Scotland to be an independent nation? -
Because I want to go home!
See you all at the Rally for Independence, Edinburgh, Scotland, 21st September 2013
UK Prime Minister David Cameron "chickened-out" of a live debate with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond today, because there is NO positive case for the Union and of course "Big Eck" would wipe the floor with him.
A YES vote looks more and more likely with every passing day.
With so much bullshit in the media the truth is beginning to float to the surface of its own accord.
We learned two things today. One, that David Cameron is a coward. Two, that the No campaign isn’t nearly as sure of itself as it likes to pretend.
The latter is the more significant because it could have a lasting impact as Scots realise -all Scots- that the Unionist champion hasn’t the stomach for the fight. He says he has of course, but here in turning down a televised debate, is proof positive that Cameron’s clever words cannot be trusted and when presented with a challenge, he will blink and back down.
This, remember, was the man who used an appalling personal tragedy to pledge a commitment to the health service, a pledge he has systematically broken.
This should put air in the independence movement and bring home the truth – that for all the patronising, dismissive comments and promises to fight to the bitter end, they haven’t the will. If their leader folds as easily as this, their case is a house of cards.
Lastly, as a journalist, let me make a plea to all those engaged in my trade. Any attempt by editors or commentators to pretend that Cameron’s actions today were not an abrogation of responsibility will shame the independence of their paper. I accept that an editorial line is taken by editors for one side or another, but if anyone commenting contrives an excuse about it not being the PM’s job to lead the movement to save the union, he or she is doing a disservice to the media and to the Scots.
There can be no excuse for Cameron on this issue and attempts to defend him will underline – if it is needed – that both journalist and newspaper are biased beyond redemption and should never be trusted again.
Meantime independistas have been handed a new poster slogan: Cameron is a Coward.
Either way it will be pretty much business as usual for the Global City State of London - England will be fucked though!
Independence for Scotland would help England by ending the bogus concept of a new Britishness, writes George Kerevan
Nations disappear almost as frequently as they are born, especially in Europe. Where is mighty Prussia now, for instance? Should we vote No in next year’s independence referendum it will mean the eclipse of another, once-proud European nation. I don’t mean Scotland – I mean England.
England – the proud, libertarian, plebeian England of common sense and common law – is dying. Down south, Englishness is being replaced with a new-fangled national identity called British. Not the old Britishness either (annoyingly), which we used as a synonym for Englishness, nor as a simple statement of common citizenship in the UK, which it means for most Scots. But rather Britishness as a bland, adman’s construct used to provide a veneer of national identity to camouflage London’s emergence as a global city state that dominates the rest of Britain.
In fact, the London metropolitan elite – City bankers, international oligarchs, media darlings, and Westminster politicians – has come to despise expressions of traditional Englishness. These they view as parochial, racist and isolationist – hardly the values you need to be a city-state that seeks to dominate the global economy. Plus the very English notion of fairness precludes obscene City bonuses and MP’s perks.
The elastic nature of the New Britishness allows a space for the truculent Celtic fringes – useful as a skilled labour pool. The London elite is not intrinsically hostile to Scottish independence, though keeping Scotland in the UK helps justify the seat at the top table of the UN and EU. But it has no room for expressions of traditional uppity Englishness. Especially as the white English working-class is anti-Europe, which conflicts with London’s globalist agenda.
The metropolitan establishment is overwhelmingly hostile to Englishness, which remains a plebeian and populist threat to its economic plans in Europe. Don’t be fooled by David Cameron’s (modest) tack to the Right and offer of a binding “in-out” referendum on EU membership. That is designed to head off the rise of Ukip, the political expression of Middle England’s hatred of the metropolitan elite. Once Ukip is defenestrated, it will be business as usual.
Of course, a No vote will not extinguish Scottish national identity, which is based on unique institutions, a separate culture, and different community values from the rest of the UK. Nor will a No vote halt the inevitable break-up of a British state no longer fit for purpose – as proved by every poll expressing voter-alienation from Westminster’s political class. Even if we say Nae this time, Holyrood still gets control of income tax after 2016 – which must presage eventual control over welfare spending and our economy.
Paradoxically, the sad thing about a No vote next year is that it will marginalise England more than Scotland, as it will make the London elite and its servile media even more arrogant. First result: expect zillions to be spent on London’s new airport and on the new High Speed Rail link to make Birmingham into a London suburb. Second result: a political backlash in the North and in the Midlands.
I have a tremendous affection for the English. They were the first to reject slavery as an institution. It will be a tragedy if England turns bellicose and xenophobic because it is denied a voice by the London elite.
Here’s a thought: an independent Scotland would be good for England. It would kill the bogus concept of a New Britishness stone dead. Instead, England would have to come to terms with itself, embracing the good and excoriating the bad.
Sorry to come back so quickly, but things are moving fast!
Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, has just sent a stinging letter of reply to David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, on his refusal to debate live on tv.
Here it is reproduced in full -
I write in response to your letter of 26 September in which you say that you are unwilling to debate the future of Scotland with me.
With respect, your arguments for not debating Scotland’s future are undermined by the highly political nature of your letter. You are attempting to place yourself in the position of trying to dictate the terms of the debate on Scotland’s future without being willing to publicly defend your arguments in debate. You seek power without responsibility and that is unacceptable.
In addition to that clear democratic point, there are five other reasons you should reconsider and overcome your reluctance to debate Scotland’s future:
Firstly, you quite rightly acknowledge the significance of the PSA’s Democratic Innovation Award for the joint work of our two administrations in holding the Scottish independence referendum under the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement. As the principal signatories of the Edinburgh Agreement, the natural progression in these circumstances is a televised, head-to-head debate.
Secondly the Government which you lead is central to the entire referendum debate from the perspective of the No campaign. The reality is your Government continues to make decisions affecting Scotland, such as the implementation of the Bedroom Tax and the deeply unpopular privatisation of the Royal Mail, despite the fact an overwhelming majority of people in Scotland didn’t vote for the Conservative Party. The fundamental argument at the heart of the case for independence is that decisions affecting Scotland should be taken by those who choose to work and live here. Your argument is that many should be taken at Westminster.
Thirdly, there is worrying evidence that under the current constitutional arrangements your Government intends to cut spending in Scotland. Senior Tory figures, including Scottish Tory Leader, Ruth Davidson, have called for the current Barnett Formula to be abolished. Many Tory MPs wish Scotland’s funding to be slashed above and beyond the huge austerity squeeze already taking place. This is deeply concerning and I believe that a debate on such a crucial issue should take place so you can spell out your Government’s plans to cut public spending in Scotland in the event there is a No vote.
Fourthly you suggested in Scotland last year that you had an alternative constitutional position to independence. People have the right to know what it is – if indeed it is anything at all – BEFORE the referendum takes place.
Finally, you suggest I should debate with the Chairman of the No Campaign Alistair Darling. I’m sure that other debates will take place in due course but for the reasons I have made clear the key debate has to be between the head of the Scottish Government – the First Minister of Scotland – and the head of the Westminster Government – the Prime Minister.
There’s a whole range of things that Alistair Darling couldn’t answer. For example, the people of Scotland will want to know why your Government won’t sit down and negotiate with the Scottish Government over issues such as sterling or defence arrangements, even when Westminster parliamentary committees have called for such discussions.
In any case Mr Darling’s direct opposite number in the Yes Campaign is Chairman, Dennis Canavan, the former Labour MP who has become increasingly dismayed at an out of touch Westminster system.
Following the SNP’s majority victory in the last Scottish Parliament election, you made the following comment: “I will campaign to keep our United Kingdom together with every single fibre that I have.” (Daily Telegraph May 7, 2011) You continue to direct your Government, and its taxpayer-funded resources, to make the case against an independent Scotland.
That is entirely consistent with your stated intention in the quote above. However your attempt to duck a television debate on the subject is not. Either you stand up and debate or butt out of the debate for good.
The case for a head-to-head debate between us is unanswerable. You should reconsider.
Yours for Scotland
Wham, bam - take that right on the chin! He's fucked if he does and he's fucked if he doesn't!
If you want to know why he is so scared of debating him, check out this House of Lords extract -
Lord Cormack: Yes, indeed ...
We underestimate his political skill, dexterity and ability at our peril. We must take him very seriously, and we cannot assume that the referendum will go the way that most of us in this Chamber would like it to go.
With the lack of any attempt at real debate on the part of the MSM there's plenty of good satire about.
Allow me to introduce you to Scotland's version of the Onion -
"Scared at the prospect of running your own country? Terrified about what the future holds? Haunted by nightmarish visions of deep uncertainty? The Fear Factor is a series of short films looking at why Scottish people are afraid, very afraid, about what's in store for their poor wee country."
Excellent! Cutting and funny. You might not recognise some of the characters, but you'll get the idea.
In an effect to dissuade Scots from getting into bed with the nasty nats, Koalamichael’s tactic will be to turn the indy debate into a urinary tract infection. So no great change there then. Rank discharges issuing from bellends is pretty much all we’ve seen from Westminster so far.
The truth is that the No campaign’s options are limited. In the absence of a positive case for the Union, a clear statement on what “extra powers” Holyrood will be offered after a No vote, or any willingness from David Cameron to debate the issue, turning the campaign into a stream of rancid urine is the only tactic they have left.
This is because the No campaign is desperate to avoid engaging the public. They didn’t want this debate in the first place, and they certainly don’t want the Scottish public to think it through for themselves. The paucity of the anti-independence argument cannot withstand even casual scrutiny. When the greatest intellectual defence the Union can muster is articulated by Magrit Curran – a woman who is to incisive thought as a game of Operation with a dead battery is to neurosurgery – you know they’re in trouble.
A series of recent debates have shown that once voters engage with the issues around independence, people previously considering a No vote switch to Yes, often without bothering to pass through Don’t Know on the way. This occurs even when the debate is framed negatively, much to the surprise of Kirsty Wark and the production team of BBC2′s Newsnight last month.
Yes winning 63% to 33% after three post debate polls http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/yes-winning-63-to-33-after-three-post-debate-polls/
Prior to engaging in debate the people of Scotland naturally gravitate towards the status quo but become quickly detached from the No proposition (is there one?) as soon as they put their brain in gear and listen to the arguments. There is simply no positive case for the Union, and step by step, conversation by conversation, room by room the Yes campaign and Business for Scotland is winning the debate.
The partisan media is holding back the flood of indirect Yes conversions with the electorate but the media supported wall of unsubstantiated scare-stories and negativity is looking less like an impregnable dam and more like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke.
As the debate gathers pace and more people move beyond the insulting negativity of the No campaign expect the polls to move, perhaps slowly but steadily at first but accelerating rapidly towards victory for Yes in the last few months and weeks of the campaign.
Yes is winning the argument and Scotland should prepare for promotion to the ranks of forward looking successful independent nation states.
It's not surprising that the media vacuum is being filled.
Scotland is bristling with a will to experiment. It’s shrugging off an older, staler incarnation of itself and tentatively seeking out new possibilities. This process began long before next year’s referendum and will continue regardless of its result.
The looming vote does provide a focus for those in the business of seeking alternatives. Perhaps the clearest demonstration of the opportunity we have been afforded is that; of all the potential outcomes of this phase in our history; the prospect of Scotland nestling back into obscurity as North Britain is the most ludicrous by far.
The state of broadcasting in Scotland provides one of the best illustrations of the need for independence. If we want a better media: something that I think we’re well placed to achieve as an English speaking country in the digital age, we need to vote Yes. Since 2007 the task of making Scotland – its creativity, its public life, and its people – engaging to audiences is far too politicised. Last week I found myself talking to staff from Denmark’s famed state broadcaster DR, a country with almost exactly the same population as Scotland making some of the best television in the world. The hardest thing to explain to them was the true bareness of Scotland’s media desert and why such a state of affairs should have come about.
With very limited amounts of airtime and a printed press in crisis there has been an inevitable flowering of new media, which has come to play an increasingly important role in the debate. Though hardly a substitute for public service broadcasting, it is largely there that the interesting conversations about Scotland take place. Despite lots of Labour spin this network of homegrown voices cannot be silenced or marginalised simply by deploying the word “nat”.
Then again, we could just shuffle away and "Vote Britain"
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