And to start a thread dedicated to this very interesting topic.
One thing to understand from the out set is that this really IS a propaganda war and the main culprit is BBC Scotland whose dis-information, mis-information and the outright lies they tell are quite something to behold.
Thankfully there is a shining beacon of light in the darkness -
Yes - they are pro-Independence, but they'll also give you a straight opinion on any "bad" news, however there isn't actually much of that for an Independent Scotland, although you'd never know that listening to the MSN!
It’s hardly a surprise to find that the British Broadcasting machine’s Scottish outpost has kicked into full war mode when the future of the United Kingdom is under threat, this after all is what state broadcasters do.
The first ‘law’ of broadcasting during any war is to provide as much ‘news’ as possible to ensure the man (or woman) in the street keeps faith with your side.
Downplay your opponents gains and exaggerate your own is the rule.
The publication of the report that details Scotland’s fiscal health has confirmed that Scotland is subsidising the UK. There’s really no other way to portray the figures contained in GERS.
Well, not unless you are BBC Scotland who yesterday provided yet more evidence to the growing list of incriminatory episodes that are fast leading to the conclusion that there is a corrupt element at Pacific Quay.
In the introduction to last night’s News at Ten, Jackie Bird trailed the Scottish slot with the following statement: “The official figures that show how much Scotland relies on oil money to pay the bills if it became an independent country”
Scotland apparently produces nothing at all – save for some oil and gas near our shores that is volatile and running out, it’ll be gone the day after we vote for independence.
The late night introduction ended a particularly bruising and brutal day for those of us who longed for the days of honest journalism. It began with a carefully contrived ‘leak’ of a document that set the tone for how BBC Scotland would approach the release of official figures that demonstrated the relative wealth of those Scots who pay their wages.
The leaked document was timed to deflect attention from the GERS report, as was the ‘downgrading’ of the Scottish economy by the Fraser of Allander Institute, the Mystic Meg of economic forecasters.
The days careful reporting of the GERS report by BBC Scotland was shocking, even by Pacific Quay’s standards and is a signal of intent from the station.
It followed news that yet another Foreign Minister had claimed comments made by his office relating to Scottish independence had been misrepresented by the broacaster.
BBC Scotland refused to change when Scotland embraced devolution, they are even further behind as the nation moves forward again and gears up for the 2014 referendum.
What we are witnessing now is a self-policing broadcasting machine that has morphed into a colonial broadcaster unable to check itself. Unionism is eating away at its soul and a lack of accountability is allowing a minority to indulge their prejudices.
The independence referendum is too important an issue for the good and honest to remain silent, they really must speak out.
We think the Scotsman may finally have jumped the shark this morning. A piece by Scott Macnab on the No campaign’s year-old “decoy dossier” from yesterday is so extraordinarily, laughably biased and transparently dishonest that it couldn’t see even the most distant edges of decent, honourable journalism with the Hubble Space Telescope.
It is, however, just the most nakedly partisan of a series of Scottish newspaper headlines and lead stories this morning that once and for all give the lie to the notion that the country is served by anything remotely resembling a fair and balanced media.
We’ve spoken a few times of the “swarm of wasps” approach to large-scale lying that’s frequently deployed by the anti-independence movement. But this week’s desperate, co-ordinated, all-fronts onslaught on truth is more akin to a sudden mass infestation of hundreds of nasty, disease-ridden little bugs, trying to be too many to stamp on.
To exterminate them, we’re unfortunately going to have to make some notional attempt at taking seriously the ludicrous tissue of drivel issued by “Better Together” yesterday as their supposed doomsday weapon, whose only real purpose was to distract attention from the extremely healthy GERS figures – an aim which was enthusiastically embraced and facilitated by the Scottish press.
That the document is a badly-photocopied, embarrassingly-spelled, and innumerate concoction of misrepresentations, false extrapolations and flat-out lies probably, by this stage, goes without saying. But for the purposes of illustration we’re going to take you through it piece-by-piece anyway.
Those 21 words in the “Better Together” document, impressively, contain no fewer than three separate lies, at least two of which directly contradict each other.
And that’s the end. As we’ve seen, the “dossier” is a wafer-thin collection of nonsense based on a year-old paper already overtaken by events. It reveals absolutely nothing the SNP has been keeping secret – everything that isn’t a completely made-up assertion is open public knowledge, much of it (like the SNP’s proposed defence budget) in fact broadcast on national television and discussed endlessly in the media for months on end.
But such a mere trifle as the document being a load of half-baked floor-sweepings is no discouragement to the feverish Scottish media, itself already plumbing new depths in its attempts to smear the Yes movement’s main participant. Faced with an overwhelmingly positive story – and one with the merit of being empirically, measurably true – Scotland’s press has instead, like a plague of cockroaches, embarked on a feeding frenzy on a giant pile of camel-droppings.
If you do want to know more about the finances of an independent Scotland, the only conclusion it’s rationally possible to reach from the evidence is that you probably shouldn’t rely on the Scottish media to enlighten you.
With such appallingly bias National media the internet is the only way to get any balance or to even hear an alternative side.
It's not surprising that in Italy Beppe Grillo refused to speak to the MSM and his triumph there is encouraging.
The SNP and the Yes campaign should take a leaf out of his book - if they haven't already done so!
the reason why this bias is so easy to pass off is the extreme apathy of the scottish working classes towards politics, traditionally there was a savvy political comprehension within scotland, but this has been gradually eroded along with the unions and industry, which thatcher engineered so adeptly, and to add insult to injury,she used scottish oil revenues to pay the unemployment queques, then after the tories came blair another tory, and as everyone knows the scots abhor tories, as one S.N.P. wag said "there are more giant pandas in scotland than tory mp's", hopefully the scots will get it together and get a party they at least voted for,saor alba.
And it's amazing how the insiprational example
of Scottish self-determination can have unexpected
influence in the most unexpected of places:
Compare Scotland to Somaliland!
Saturday, 09 March 2013 15:40 - Prof Abdisalam Yassin Mohamed
In a recent article written in Somali, Mr. Saeed Mohamed Gees, a highly
respectable Somaliland politician and scholar, compared the case of
Scotland to decide its independence from the United Kingdom in a
referendum that will be held in 2014 to that of Somaliland from Somalia.
Mr. Gees has informed us, "It is noteworthy to mention that the rules
governing the referendum will be formulated by the Scottish Parliament.
And this is one of the points in the agreement reached by the government
of Scotland and the UK government to conduct this referendum."
This is a glaring example of old unions in the process of separating, which
is happening right in the heart of UK where our President and his Ministers
regularly pay official and unofficial visits.
Although the present leaders of Somaliland appear to be totally unaware
of it, the comparison of Scotland to Somaliland is relevant in many ways
as Mr. Gees has clearly stated in his article.
First of all, Scotland, like Somaliland, was once an independent kingdom
separate from that of England and Wales. It united with England and Wales
300 years ago. This was a controversial union that was not approved of by
many Scottish people.
As a result of the widespread disapproval, Scottish nationalism and the
hope to regain Scotland's independence and sovereignty has been kept
alive by the Scottish nationalists who, embodied by the present Scottish
Nationalist Party (SNP), have eventually gained the majority in the Scottish
Parliament. After forming the government of Scotland, the SNP has begun
to carry out its major electoral promise, which is to seek total independence
from the UK. They have earnestly started the process until London and
Edinburgh have agreed to hold a referendum for the independence of
Scotland in 2014.
If the majority of the Scottish people vote "Yes" in the referendum,
Scotland will be an independent and sovereign state – that is after being
united with England and Wales for 300 years. Compare that to the short-
lived union between Somaliland and Somalia, which lasted only 30 years.
The amazing thing is, as Mr. Gees mentions in his article, while this is
happening in the UK, which wants to broker a deal to reconstruct the failed
union of Somalia, our present leaders, who have chosen the policy to open
talks with Somalia, seem to be unaware of this similar political interaction
that is happening right in front them.
And if they argue they are aware of it, their stance becomes worse
because it has not been recorded up to now, officially or unofficially, that
they have made any attempt to contact the Scottish government in order
to compare notes and exchange ideas. This is regrettably a loss of
Mr. Gees is stunned by the political and diplomatic ineptitude of our current
leaders and he reproaches them for that by sadly mentioning what they do
when they come to London for talks, which is to 'waste precious time by
having idle chats with members of the Somaliland immigrant community
in the UK'. Alas! Compare Scotland to Somaliland!
Showing another contrast, do we have a leader to compare to Mr. Alex
Salmond, the current Scottish leader, who is fiercely pushing for the
Independence of Scotland? It pains me to ponder the answer.
Catalans are debating deliberately holding
their referendum on Catalonia's national day,
ONE WEEK before Scotland's is due:
Catalonia may hold its indy referendum before Scotland
According to the accord between Catalonia's pro-independence parties,
the ballot must be held before the end of 2014. If the Catalans hold their
referendum on September 11 2014, which many observers believe is the
date preferred by Mr Mas, a successful outcome for the Catalan
independence campaign may have an effect on the Scottish referendum
one week later.
These "Catalans" are at it! (or at least some of them - Not to be trusted!)
The "political " aspirations for independence by certain political parties are in general just a decoy to distract from disasterous budget deficits and huge corruptions issues, although a large number of Catalan people genuinely DO want independence - it's just that their political leaders have NO intention of EVER delivering it!
Anyway, spotted Fintan's recent tweet on the latest scare regarding currency, so just for a little perspective sanity -
Scotland cannot be prevented from using the pound and nobody can prevent Scottish banknotes from remaining in an independent Scotland.
Scotland cannot be forced to adopt the Euro as evidence clearly shows. Yes, there may be a technical requirement for some new EU members to say they will join at some point in the future, but the sun will extinguish at some point in the future so such a promise is meaningless.
Perhaps the funniest moment of yesterday’s latest meander through the Unionist scary minefield was that bastion of balance and political heavyweight, Kaye Adams who almost choked when she was informed that the Isle of Man – not part of the UK – was using the pound.
We own an equal share of all UK assets, and that includes the Bank of England. The pound is as much Scotland’s as it is the rest of the UK’s.
If we get no assets then we take no debts. That will be a sobering thought for any Westminster delegation entering negotiations with a Scottish delegation the day after a ‘Yes’ vote.
It would appear that we’ve reached the point where the anti-independence campaign has officially run out of arguments, and is being forced to reissue its Greatest Hits.
It hardly seems worth even addressing the issue, because the prospect of the Bank of England banning an independent Scotland’s banks from issuing notes is as empty a threat in 2013 as it was 15 months ago.
The entire argument, in fact, is fabricated fearmongering from top to bottom, as the briefest scrutiny will reveal. So let’s scrutinise it as briefly as possible.
1. Scotland CAN continue to use Sterling, no matter what.
2. Scotland has no influence at the Bank of England to lose.
3. If a currency union were to be agreed, an independent Scotland would be expected to take steps to manage its economy sensibly.
4. The rUK has nothing to gain from self-harm.
5. There is NO chance of Scottish banknotes actually being banned.
6. Banknotes don’t matter anyway.
Today’s paper from the Treasury is a dish of last year’s reheated leftovers that nobody wanted the first time around. And while the increasingly-panicked Unionist camp will attempt to make a meal of them, as far as the independence debate is concerned they’re empty calories. The rUK could, theoretically, demand the abolition of Scottish banknotes (as it could do now), but it won’t. You can quote us on that.
A newly independent Scotland could start afresh without the burden of having to pay off some of the UK’s massive debt mountain, according to a leading academic.
"If Alex Salmond doesn’t want to share the debt and is happy to reapply to Europe, the default position in international law is that Scotland would not have to pick up the debt.
"That has to be known to the people before the vote next year so that David Cameron will know we are starting negotiations from the position that UK (remainder of UK) is the successor state. That has consequences. The one that pays the debt is the successor state.
"If you want to be the EU successor state and be in the UN Security Council, you can. You take all the spoils - but you also take the baggage."
It's no wonder that Better Together now isn't quite so "together" as Labour launch their own ... something or other?!!
“Organisers of the ‘United With Labour’ campaign say they’re arguing for a fairer, better Scotland that stands strong within the United Kingdom. They’ll work with the ‘Better Together’ campaign run by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.”
Under pressure from those who feel soiled by sharing a platform with the Tories (though oddly feel no problem in them running our country with no mandate) Labour today launch their very own No campaign: ‘Better Together (Apart) United’.This will take some herculean spin by Labour, the Conservatives and the Better Together campaign to present a united front amidst the tangled and bizarre set of contradictions it represents.
You don’t want to share a platform with the Conservatives because what they represent is so alien to Scottish political culture? You feel the need to have your own say, articulate your own political vision? Sounds good, but as a mantra for Better Together it’s ridiculous. This is the politics of escher.
There's a long way to go until September 18th 2014, but it just seems to be getting worse and worse for the NO campaign.
The YES vote is a no brainer, but will they have the brains to do so?
I certainly hope so!
The Reverend asks obvious questions about the new "United with Labour" platform that MSN as usual fails to - God bless him!
Every newspaper and online news site covered the launch in some depth. Scotland Tonight devoted most of last night’s edition to the event, including an interview with UWL’s (apparent) figurehead Gordon Brown by an unusually toothless Bernard Ponsonby. But none of them asked a single one of the questions that would have been scrawled right at the top of any modestly capable 20-year-old media-studies graduate’s clipboard. Staggeringly obvious questions like these:
1. Is Labour still part of the “Better Together” campaign?
2. If so, which personnel are attached to which campaign? Which one is Johann Lamont, say, in? Why wasn’t Alistair Darling, high-profile chairman of the No camp, present yesterday when every other senior Scottish Labour figure was?
(If everyone in Labour is working with both campaigns, what purpose does “United With Labour” serve? How can it disassociate the party from its “Better Together” allies if everyone in UWL is also working for BT?)
3. Is “United With Labour” a separate political body registered with the Electoral Commission? If so, who are its officers, and why doesn’t it have a web page, Facebook page or Twitter account? How can it be contacted?
(Readers can fill in their own “cost of a stamp”/”dialling code” joke here.)
4. Assuming the answer to (3) is “yes”, what is UWL’s legal status with regard to campaign expenditure? Will it be subject to the £834,000 limit for Labour, or the £150,000 limit for “other registered campaigners”?
5. How is any such expenditure by UWL to be funded? Will it receive money from “Better Together”, or are its costs being borne solely by the Labour Party? Is it accepting contributions from the public, and if so what address should they be sent to? Will any such donations be publicly declared?
We’ll spare you the other 495 questions. You get the idea. But every professional news journalist in Scotland should be hanging their head in shame this morning.
The failure to treat the Yes and No sides with any sort of equality or balance is one we’re used to by now. But the absence of even a token pretence of proper scrutiny is an embarrassment not just to the journalism trade, but to Scotland as a country. If this is the best the nation’s proud fourth estate can offer, they should follow the apparent example of the “Better Together” chairman and step aside.
The laughable aspect is that all mainstream
parties are in the anti-independence cartel
That helps voters figure out that there is
no difference between them all after all!
But for Lamestream Media it doesn't get any worse than this drivel
from Tom Whitehead, Security Editor at the London Telegraph.
The message: "Scottish Independence Only Helps Al-Qaida"
Independent Scotland could be defence risk
for whole of UK, senior MPs warn
An independent Scotland could be a “gateway for attacks” on the UK
and an increased terrorism risk because of weakened defences and
intelligence sharing, two former defence secretaries have warned....
Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, said taking
Scotland out of current defence arrangements would “would severely
damage the overall defence effort of the UK”.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a former Conservative defence secretary, warned
Scotland would no longer have automatic protection from the intelligence
agencies and the US would not share information in the way it does to the
“Is a future Scotland going to be dependent simply on the hope that MI6,
MI5 and GCHQ would share intelligence with them?"......
So in the week that the “Better Together” campaign celebrated its first birthday, and we learned that it refers to itself internally as “Project Fear”, we thought we’d collect a few of our favourite impressions of it from its own supporters (and the odd neutral) in one place where they might be easier to find.
“Constantly lining up people to denigrate Scotland’s options and capabilities could easily backfire and there are already signs of this.” (Pro-Union businessman Robert Durward, the Sunday Times, December 2012)
“The real failure of the “no” campaign, thus far, is in terms of tone. This, as will be clearly to anyone keeping half an eye on the debate, is largely negative… Behaving as if the SNP and support for independence is some sort of historical aberration, as certain Labour politicians have done since 2007, not only shows contempt for democracy but also debases Scottish politics.” (David Torrance, ThinkScotland, January 2013)
“The truth is that the tone of the No camp’s response to the independence debate has – in too many cases – been so reactionary, so negative, and so fundamentally disrespectful of the Scottish Parliament as an institution, that I now find it hard to think of voting with them, no matter what my views on the constitution.
And this, for me, is a new experience in politics – to enter a debate with a strongish view on one side of the argument, and to find myself so repelled by the tone and attitudes of those who should be my allies that I am gradually forced into the other camp.” (Joyce McMillan, the Scotsman, January 2013)
“The No campaign needs to start explaining why the Union can make Scotland better not why independence will be a terrible thing as Scots, mired in a swamp of endless negotiations, wander between our mud huts borrowing cups of woad. If, as their campaign claims, we will be better together, they need to start telling us why.” (Editorial, Sunday Mail, February 2013)
“In one respect, 18 months is a very long time for a political campaign. For surely there is a limit on how long otherwise proud Scots, night after night, can stomach [Better Together's] own narrative: that Scotland is too wee to go it alone; that we can’t make our economy work; that we must have a babysitter sometimes; that at other times we must be back before midnight.
Months of telling people that, unlike Ireland, Denmark and Luxembourg, Scotland is simply not strong enough may exact a toll on Better Together volunteers well before it takes a toll on the voters.” (Kevin McKenna, the Observer, March 2013)
“Here’s a radical idea for the Better Together campaign. Just once, just for a change, let’s hear something positive about why Scotland would be better staying part of the United Kingdom. Because frankly, the scare stories are wearing a bit thin.” (Editorial, The Scottish Sun, March 2013)
“The long campaign to 2014 is negative, acrimonious, partisan and uninspiring. Fear is being used to such an extent that it insults our intelligence. The gun-to-the-head politics is clumsy and potentially counter-productive… The Better Together campaign hasn’t worked out a future for Scotland within the UK. Being so relentlessly negative is not a strategy.” (Henry McLeish, former Labour First Minister, April 2013)
“The Better Together campaign has many faults. It is tedious, piecemeal, relentlessly negative, and a factory for an endless supply of scare stores.” (Sunday Herald, April 2013)
“I think Alex Salmond is offering something in terms of independence, whether you like it or not. The Unionists are not offering, in my view, anything. And you can’t go into an independence poll in 2014 saying, you know, ‘We’ve been together since 1707, let’s be together for the next 300 years’. For a lot of young Scots in particular, that’s not an attractive proposition.” (Henry McLeish, former Labour First Minister, June 2013)
I'll be going to that March and Rally on September 21st, 2013 (if anyone wants to meet up ).
Hopefully there will be some interesting developments to report on too!
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