For anyone who holds any political views even remotely left of centre, supports Scottish Independence or thinks that UKIP are, indeed, a waste of space and air, it’s quite apparent that the mainstream media is quite useless. The idea that the main broadcasters should be impartial seems almost far fetched and the idea that there should be any kind of political balance is nought but a fantasy.
It sounds awful, but it’s sadly true. Let’s look at the past few weeks and this will be quite apparent. In the run up to the European elections in May we didn’t stop hearing about Nigel Farage and UKIP. They were plastered all over the BBC; the SNP, the governing party in Scotland, didn’t get anywhere near the coverage that UKIP got on the BBC. We were told that UKIP was the next big thing, that they had the radical new ideas and that they were destined to gain seats at the next elections (purely because you were told that they would).
Similarly small third parties, with sane views, like the Green Party were sidelined on the BBC’s coverage and, as a result, were unheard of by most people come polling day. UKIP, bolstered by the BBC and their new cheerleader, Nick Robinson, swanned into victory across much of the UK, gaining their first ever elected position in Scotland. It should be noted that none of UKIP’s policies around scrapping paid maternity leave, carrying on NHS privatisation, etc, was discussed.
Now, I’m sure that there’s something that the Greens and SNP have in common… Oh yes, they both endorse Scottish Independence. Let’s see, Labour and the Tories with their standard mass coverage don’t support independence, and UKIP, with their utterly disproportionate coverage, they don’t either. But maybe I’m just seeing patterns where there aren’t any.
Let’s now look to fairly recently. In the past couple of weeks, a protest was held outside the BBC’s Scottish HQ in Springfield Quay, Glasgow. Supporters of independence stood outside the building in large numbers, waving flags, banners and chanting slogans. What were they protesting? The BBC’s utterly one-sided take on the independence debate. Because it’s not just the European elections that bugs people, although that did admittedly finally tip things over the edge, but it’s a whole host of things that have been building up over the past weeks, months and years.
There is never anything positive to be said for independence. Anyone who comes onto a show in favour of it is systematically attacked, thrown trick questions and bullied into a corner. And those brave souls who come on to stand up for Britain are given the easiest interviews one could dream of.
But to go back to the protest. If any of you heard about it at all, I could almost place money on it not being on the BBC. Not a peep came from any of the Beeb’s shows that day regarding the protest. Just another bunch of daft nats waving their flags and shouting their insignificant opinions.
And it’s not just the BBC, many of our other broadcasting companies and newspapers will either shout down the nats or keep their mouths obediently shut. It speaks volumes that people were so taken aback when the Sunday Herald came out in favour of independence, the idea that an established broadsheet newspaper should support the cause of a country actually getting to govern itself was something that many of us were unprepared for.
The fact is that the media is not unbiased, it is not impartial and it is completely unbalanced. And the mainstream media has the greatest power over people, greater than that of any other politician. It can tell people what to think, what to say, what to do, and, most crucially, how to vote. Think about it, if UKIP had received the same level of media attention and support that any other party its size generally received, can you honestly say they would have done as well as they did at the Euros? If the Greens, say, had received that kind of attention, we may have been looking at twenty odd Green MEPs and only one or two UKIP fellows.
So why does the media use this kind of power to influence the people in the ways it wants, in our case towards a no vote? The answer is very simple; it’s in the best interests of the chaps at the top. If Scotland declares independence, that’s 10% of the population no longer paying TV licence fees, that’s a bit of a drop in pocket money for the BBC. If Scotland becomes independent, the paper companies (a.k.a. Rupert Murdoch) will have to work with a new government and work with new politics, maybe even print another paper instead. There may even be some shadier dealings going on, but I’ll not wade into that shit-pool, I’ll leave it to the politicians who know what they’re doing there.
But here we have it, the public opinion is being swayed wildly because those at the top of the media corporations have decided that it suits them better. I hate to sound like one of those conspiracy theorist nutters, and I won’t bring the Illuminati into this just yet, but it’s true. And it’s a sad day when we can no longer rely on the mainstream media to bring us the facts. Why do you think so much of the Yes campaigns support lies on small, independent blogs like “Wings Over Scotland” or “Bella Caledonia” and there exists very little such material on the No side? It’s because the No side already have the BBC and the rest of the big media on their side.
Please do give the chaps at Bella Caledonia and Wings Over Scotland a visit and a read. They both carry links to other sites and organisations in support of independence as well as a tonne of great content of their own.
The great joke with the BBC was always that they’d have two opposing views, no matter how ridiculous, “the sake of balance”. Rather unfortunately, they need you to go and do the balance bit for yourself.
Anyway, rant over for today. Have a grand weekend, folks!