We’re on a cruise liner, and it’s on fire and holed below the waterline. The ship is on an erratic and unplanned course which is taking it ever closer to some dangerous rocks, meanwhile the senior crew members spend all their time and energy plotting against the captain. Mind you, none of them actually want the captain’s job right now, because they want the robotic, short-sighted, and authoritarian captain to take the blame when disaster finally strikes. The captain herself is mostly preoccupied with trying to buy off the muniteers amongst her senior crew, which is most of them. They’re all worried that there’s a chance that the ship might be taken over by the lower ranks who’re being organised by a disgruntled stoker in the bowels of the ship who they suspect of being dangerously communist. One of the chief officers spends most of his time insulting the authorities of all the nearby ports, telling untruths about a passenger who was recently arrested on trumped up charges which means she’s facing a doubling of her sentence. Another has decided to embark upon plotting a course entirely on her own and without informing anyone else in the crew. The man responsible for ensuring that the ship docks safely at the end of its journey apparently lacks the most basic understanding of how docking procedures actually work and he’s hell bent on taking the ship to a destination which only exists in his own imagination. One senior officer has been suspended for alleged inappropriate behaviour with passengers, and another is accused of using the ship’s computers for viewing pornography. The ship’s catering facilities and health facilities are in crisis, and passengers in steerage are dying or being forced to take what shelter they can find on an open deck because they have to wait six weeks before getting any dinner or the rent paid on their cabin. And all this multiclustered idiocy and cruelty is merely scratching the surface of all that is wrong with the ship. Welcome to HMS Britannia.
What’s the main subject of concern in the ship’s newsletter? There is certainly plenty to be going on with. Oh right. A guy who used to be responsible for one of the decks but who isn’t any more is putting on a chat show which is being sponsored by a Russian in a room which most people don’t care to visit.
You know, maybe, just maybe, if we had a media which focussed on proper serious issues instead of pursuing their petty vendettas then perhaps we wouldn’t all be in this mess. Just a wee suggestion there.
I’m not a big fan of Russia Today, as anyone who read my previous post on this topic will appreciate. So I’m not going to be swayed by people commenting here to assure me that it’s really a source of totally unbiased news. It’s not. You can bet that RT is going to be every bit as biased in its coverage of independence movements amongst some of the 140 or so non-Russian nationalities who inhabit Russia as the BBC is about Scotland.
That doesn’t mean that every single item broadcast on the channel is bias or propaganda. Of course it isn’t. That’s not how it works. Not everything broadcast on the BBC is propaganda either. Propaganda and bias work by providing viewers or readers with a considerable amount of objective truth and factual reality. That is the only way that trust and credibility can be built up in the viewers. And then viewers can be swayed in other subtle ways, by omitting certain information or by focussing on an aspect of a story which portrays an opponent in an unfavourable light. Russia Today does that, and so does the BBC.
And before any apologists for the BBC kick off, it’s not a conspiracy either. Bias usually happens because of a world-view, because of knowing what will please your bosses, not because of a conspiracy. The BBC’s problem however is that trust amongst Scottish viewers has pretty much collapsed, whereas there are still apparently some people who are willing to give Russia Today the benefit of the doubt.
I was initially opposed to Alex Salmond’s decision to allow his new show to be broadcast by RT, precisely because I expected a firestorm of outrage from the usual suspects in the Unionist media. However that firestorm has been so over the top, so ridiculous, and so disproportionate considering that the actual programme went out of its way to criticise Russia, that I’m coming to the conclusion that His Eckness’s decision to appear on RT was really a very clever method of undermining any residual faith that people in Scotland might have in the Unionist media.
Apologists for the Unionist media on social media claim that it presents real news, and complain that their “real news” upsets people so it must be doing its job. That’s bollocks. Real news is hard-nosed investigative stuff. What Unionist outlets in Scotland churn out is hysterical nonsense about ex-politicians who are presenting chat-shows, interminable and lazy guff about how fabby Ruth Davidson is and giving her awards for services to making sectarian bigots councillors in order to troll independence supporters, and finding a million and one ways to distract us from the very real and serious issues facing Scotland as a result of the dysfunction of the British state. Woodward and Bernstein it ain’t. The closest that the Scottish Unionist media ever gets to Deep Throat is some snide wee article complaining about Alex Salmond scoffing down a free dinner.
I can exclusively reveal that when Alex Salmond met the dug backstage at the Usher Hall during the SIC’s Build Conference, he commanded Ginger to sit, and the dug immediately sat down obediently and proferred a paw. Alex made a comment that this showed leadership. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was really because the dug had been getting treats all afternoon, and he thought Alex had some chicken kebab for him. Now there will be a headline in the Mail about independence supporting dugs getting free chicken kebabs and vegetable samosas. The very horror.
The reality is that everyone in Scotland has already formed an opinion about Alex Salmond, a man who, let us not forget, no longer holds any public office. He is the marmite of Scottish politics, people already either love him or loathe him. With opinions about Alex Salmond there’s very little in the way of middle ground. Absolutely no one is going to change their mind about Alex Salmond because the media in Scotland is embarking upon yet another round of its all too frequent personal attacks on him. All that’s going to happen is that people who already loathe him will have their prejudices confirmed, while those who do like him will have their prejudices about the Scottish Unionist media confirmed.
The uncomfortable truth for the Scottish Unionist media is that most people don’t care about a TV chat show that they’re not going to watch on a channel that they rarely if ever tune into. The Scottish Unionist media obsession with Aлeкcaммин Tелевидение tells us a lot more about them than it tells us about Alex Salmond. Independence supporters are just about half the population, and if the Unionist media wants to ensure the future of the Union it’s going to have to persuade some of us to its cause. It’s not going to do that with its personal obsessions about an ex-politician which would count as stalking in any other sphere of life. Faith in Scotland’s Unionist media was already at a pretty low ebb, and it’s just ebbed even lower as a result of this frankly pathetic and over the top episode. The only thing that has been proven here is that Scotland’s overwhelmingly Unionist media is not fit for purpose. This ship is sinking. Thank the gods we have a lifeboat.
The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.
Wee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements
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