Yes, ladies and gents, if there is one thing to be learnt from the most recent council elections it’s that you shouldn’t trust the BBC with arithmetic. In the follow up from the election the BBC and the other mainstream media outlets took it upon themselves to announce that the Conservatives had scored a stunning victory in Scotland and beat the SNP into submission by coming in a blistering second place… behind the SNP. Good heavens.
On their website, the BBC put the SNP at -7 seats, on the news it was first -14 which was, itself, an advance on “a handful” of seats lost. The Guardian managed to confuse things further by stating in their graphic that the SNP were up 31 seats, but later on in the article said that they were actually down 31 seats. In fact, at the last council election, the SNP took 425 seats; in this election they took 431. That is an increase of six, please do check for yourselves on your pocket calculators.
The SNP had just over 56% more seats than their Conservatives, who came in second by 155 seats. The SNP increased their share of the vote on the last election, became the largest party in 19 councils (up by 10 on last time) and ousted Labour in Glasgow for the first time in about 40 years.
The Tories, meanwhile, came in second place – and a weaker second place than Labour who were runners up last time. Did Ruth Davidson concede defeat then? Of course not. She proclaimed her party the victors, the true winners of the election and the champions of Scotland. No, my dear Ruth, you came in second. In order to win, you must come in first, that’s how it generally works. That is, unless this is one of those school sports days, in which case, we’re all winners.
David Mundell even tweeted “@ScotTories have second most Councillors in Scotland. There is only one winner today.” Yep, Dave, it was the SNP. They came in first.
But, naturally, the mainstream media jumped on this too to portray the Tories as the sole victors in the local elections, the SNP have been trounced! Everywhere you looked it was the same, Tories triumph, SNP on the decline.
I hate to use terms like “mainstream media” sometimes as I feel it makes me sound like one of those conspiracy theorists with a wardrobe of tinfoil headgear and matching suits. But this result acts as further proof that our country’s media are showing blatant political bias. The newspapers, they can post what they like, that’s fine, but television and radio broadcasters have a legal obligation to remain politically neutral and impartial in the UK. By using their broadcasting power to favour one political party over another, they are not only abusing their power, but they are breaking the law, plain and simple.
Over and over again, the SNP and the wider pro-Independence movement, have been demonised by the British media outlets. If you wonder why the Tories are doing so well, it’s because the BBC is telling us that they are; they tell us Labour are inept and the SNP are vile separatists and only ‘Theresa May’s Party’ can put an end to their foolish game-playing.
Don’t get me wrong, the BBC are the only one’s at it; ITV, Channel Four are all at it too, but the Beeb, by virtue of being the largest broadcaster is also the largest culprit. Hence, they get the majority of my spite here.
I feel bad here because the BBC is a great service and does so much right, the likes of Just a Minute and Test Match Special… basically all of Radio Four… but this kind of nonsense if quite unacceptable. With so large a viewer and listener base, taking sides is a colossal abuse of power. Notably, when it comes to the entangling of national and local affairs.
At this point, I will turn my fire away from the BBC and back to the Tories and much of the printed media (though the odd bit of this will be quite relevant for our friends in Television Centre or wherever they currently reside). They painted this election out to be a battle between independence and the union…
They are fucking council elections you thick bastards!
This was not a question of independence, it was a question of who do you want to organise bins and fix the roads. Christ, it’s not like Motherwell is going to declare independence any time soon (though it may considerably increase the UK average life expectancy). The election was for local matters, to choose the folks we wanted to keep our towns and cities running at the most basic level for the next five years.
We keep hearing that the SNP are obsessed with independence. In my humble view there is only really one party with such an obsession at the moment and it’s Ruth Davidson’s Tories. While the SNP’s candidates in Glasgow spoke about the state of education, social care and the roads all we heard from the Tories was “save the union”.
The Tories have made this whole episode about Independence while the SNP have been getting on with the day job; yet as far as the media are concerned, the SNP are obsessing over IndyRef2 while the Tories tackle the real issues. Try to understand why I am so enraged when I read the “news”.
However, the Conservatives have obsessed over independence and come in second… strange how things work out, eh? I suppose you won’t mind then, Ruth, if we tell you to get over it and respect the result for what it is? And perhaps you should eat your cereal too, while you’re at it.