In this article the levels to which the mainstream media obfuscated the truth to suit its pro-union agenda will be highlighted. The Westminster government used every tool at its disposal to put people off voting Yes and one of the spearheads of this attack was the mainstream media. If we look at the demographic of those who voted No, it was predominantly over 55s, making up a large chunk of the vote. This age group has the least amount of access to the internet and as a result would not be privy to as much information from the other side of the argument as those a bit younger had. Ergo, the mainstream media, including the BBC and national newspapers, would have been many of the over 55s only source of information. It could also be said that a large portion of these people may have prospered under Thatcher and would not have seen the country as broken.
One of the first things that rankled pro-independence supporters was the portrayal of Alex Salmond in print. One favourite of the tory press was an image, showing the First Minister’s playful character, holding two Aye cupcakes to his face as eyes. This picture was used to paint a visceral image of Salmond as a bit erratic, a wee bit eccentric and someone that tom-fools when there are serious things to be talked about. Someone not paying close critical attention will absorb it with all its negative connotations.
There are so many examples of pro-union bias and Westminster pulling on the strings of its puppets to get the desired result. One example that irked many was Sir Ian Woods input into the No campaign. His standing in the oil industry should have elevated him above the referendum divide, and as late as February had claimed not to want to sway anyone either way. He subsequently waded in saying that Salmond had overestimated Scotland’s reserves by 60%. We knew this was untrue as the Clair Oilfield, off the coast of Sheltland, had been tested and it was one of the largest off-shore resources in the world. He employed a phraseology that paralleled that of the No campaign such as “better together” and “best of both worlds.” This was disgusting. He was putting his own agenda before the needs of the nation. Another reason for his intervention might be seen in the fact that he owns a fracking company. This all smacks of the lords and lairds of Scotland being given more lands if they were to align themselves with the English monarch of the time. Nobody can stop it. The government have fast tracked a bill that will ensure that no home owner can object. The licence will be coming up in Scotland soon and Sir Ian Wood will certainly have something to do with the contracts. He has already called for there to be a “regulator” in his report commissioned by the government.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said there was only ten billion barrels of oil left in Scotland and this was seen as a massive “blow” to the Yes campaign. This conclusion was splashed all over the national press to destabilise the Yes campaign, as oil was a cornerstone of its case for independence. The SNP knew all about Clair and its potential wealth, is simply didn’t get the information out. Sir Ian said there was sixteen billion barrels left, and was this reported as a positive? No, and bearing in mind this is six billion barrels more the OBR had reported. Of course it wasn’t reported as a positive. It was still painted as doom and gloom for the Yes campaign as Sir Ian Wood, as a figure at the forefront of his field, was calling it all bleak. You could not make this web of deceit up. Wood will be the judge, jury and executioner in all matters relating to Scotland’s natural resources.
The Daily Record, with a daily distribution of 210,000, gave Scotland ‘the vow.’ This vow was fantastic. It covered the NHS, the continuation of the Barnett Formula and mentions “prosperity;” a powerful and emotive statement. It looked like a godsend to those who set their eyes upon it. Unfortunately, this was all brokered by Gordon Brown who, as a backbencher for the opposition at Westminster, has no role in front-line politics. Not only that, but Labour who sold its soul to keep us in this ridiculous union has recently came out saying,
The Tories are wasting the NHS’s money through privatisation and competition. We’ll save the NHS.
– Scottish Labour on Twitter (@scottishlabour), 2:44 pm – 22 September 2014
In the media, pre-referendum, we needed to vote No to save the NHS, and now that the majority have voted No, the NHS needs saving. Notice that this has only been shared on social media. Those who rely on the newspapers as their primary source of information will remain oblivious to their deceit. Unbelievable! As has been said there are many examples of media bias. It is impossible to know quite what to document.
In summary, social media and those who have access to it have a better idea of what is going on. The Government is under the microscope and we can only hope that, with enough scrutiny, the cracks begin to widen. Our suggestion is that everyone continue a boycott of the national newspapers who have cost us so much. They do not deserve to survive.
– David Thomson