Monday, 13 December 2010

The Scottish Stalemate- Part 1

This is a guest post by Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosphers.

The Scottish Stalemate - Part 1

Identifying the adversary.

In this blog I am going to nail my colours to a mast. It is not a major mast in the ship of national affairs nor is it on a significant ship in the fleet of world affairs but it is the mast that I believe can carry the sail to harness the wind that will lead a small suppressed nation to freedom.

Because it has to be my colours that are nailed I have to ease out from under the use of the pseudonym; my name is John Souter - that will nothing to the vast majority but, hopefully, a little to the few – and the cause I support, is the independence of Scotland and its people.

It is not my intention in this article to plead the case for independence or try to garner converts, or sympathisers, to the cause – hopefully I’ll be preaching to the converted and adding my tuppence to the problems the cause has to face, rationally evaluate and the strategies and tactics it has in its armoury to achieve the objective.

The major fact to acknowledge is, we are up against a formidable foe. There is no equality of arms unless you regard sling-shots equal to Tridents. They have had 300 years to define, refine and re-define their strategies in order to create a belief of dependency while nurturing their self serving notion of supremacy and practicing their version of democracy; a version which relies heavily on the distortions of statistics. 

Who can argue with the arithmetic; the population of Scotland is around 8.6% of England’s - we’re already a minority; in poll speak we would be classed as “Others.” Whittle it down to the 35% of Scots who, it’s claimed, support independence and minority becomes fringe. A fringe of ignorable quantity, scornful quality and laughable abilities. Summation: no threat. Action: appear to ignore while administering subtle sanctions and disciplines.

But the hypocrisy of the “theys” is, they are the lesser fringe in numbers, even if you include the mercenaries they employ in the media to manufacture their propaganda and the institutions they have created to administrate their policies. Problem is, while they’re less in number, they’re greater in influence.

Perhaps I should define who these “theys” are. They are the Establishment; the power behind the edifices of government, that can skew the democratic process into meaningless rhetoric to camouflage their tyranny. Xenophobia has no place in this argument, though it’s used as a tool (especially power xenophobia) by those who actually practice it while claiming despair at those who truly find it abhorrent. This is not about Scots V English; the people of England are as badly served as the Scots, the Welsh and Northern Irish. Is it possible that this is at the root of their opposition; the fear of an independent and aspirational Scotland leading to a redefining of democracy in England? Is this not the big one; the sceptred’ plot, the gilded gauges of Londonland, their hallowed halls of financial shamanism could be lost, and their modern equivalent of primogeniture shattered?

These are high stakes. Stakes that demand a massive investment of time and resources to cover and, while we should be watchful of the strategies employed to protect them, they are ultimately irrelevant to the goal we’re aiming for. 20th century history presents us with this conclusion, the independence of Ireland, India and a third of the African Continent, amongst others has proved they’ve never won a war on the democratic front.

Time moves on bringing changes and new conditions and threats with it, but in the main these are peripheral to the tenet of democracy; so our efforts must be aimed at creating the strategies that, while they frustrate our adversary, convince and motivate our population.

‘Marvellous,’ you exclaim, ‘Now, why don’t you tell us something we don’t know?’

A fair enough criticism, but if you glance through the blogs you get masses of; it isn’t fair, the English Broadcasting Corp, the Media bias, the Weegie labour clones, the Westmidden cabal, which goes on and on until it morphs into the, “What can we do – What can we do!- wail of despair. 

Well I reckon there’s plenty we can do and the first thing we need to do is define and analyse the problems we have to overcome, then identify and adopt the strategies and tactics that will maximise the arms we have in our limited armoury and the effective use of them.

OK, so now we have the outline of an analysis based on one mans opinion. Now we have to identify and weigh up our strengths and weaknesses and discover the arsenal we have at our disposal.

We’ll call it: The Plan, and cover it in part 2 which will be published tomorrow morning with part 3 on Wednesday morning.


JRB said...

Compliments - on the balanced and reasoned tone of your piece.

Looking forward to reading the development of your ‘Plan’.


Anonymous said...

"the English Broadcasting Corp,"..

Did you mean the BBC?

You having a laugh?

I'm English,white, male, straight, and a house owning non-commie, they hate my guts!

William said...

Rightwinggit, I think the OP is trying to argue that by funding River City, Jackie Bird, Elaine C Smith, Chick Young, BBC Alba, Only An Excuse, Rab C Nesbitt, Stuart Cosgrove, Kaye Adams, the English Broadcasting Corporation is quite deliberately, and quite specifically, trying to demoralise the Scottish people into thinking we're hopeless and can't do anything right.

This is my understanding of it.

Clarinda said...

A tricky balance when a justified minority - within the UK total - must work very hard not to be seen as or accused of being 'deviant' which is the ultimate diversion to discredit a threat. Difficult to sustain dignity and momentum when the attack dogs are at your throat. You are spot on to expose the complexity of sustaining intelligent reasoned argument as a force for change in the face of ingrained voter reflex and the antics of a cornered unionist beast. "Freedom" while still attached to EU apron-strings may be out of the frying pan into the fire - not so independent then perhaps?

Looking forward to tomorrow's 'recipe and method' in Part 2 and browsing the blogs as there does seem to be an increasing ground-swell in favour of Independence - but the May election is near and the dirty-tricks mob are/will be in hot slavering pursuit.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The Scottish Stalemate
John Souter

First let me acknowledge my appreciation to Sub Rosa for exposing the reputation of her blog to this three part article.

Your comments are appreciated; in fact encouraged, but my concern is by answering some now I'd be post scripting parts 2 & 3.

That said Rightwinggit - I have said "the people of England are as badly served by this mode of governance.

William - no argument with your comment. But the point I was making is we know this imbalance exists and is endemic in the MSM. Crying foul has no effect when it falls on selectively deaf ears.

The way has to be found and utilised to correct this defect.

carrew said...

This is a good post. I wonder though if John Souter is also looking to use it as a "call to arms" to mobilise the willing people who read many of the blogs.

It seems likely that communications, communications, communications will matter most. While the "establishment" has control of the traditional media, they can't control the blogosphere in the same way. A challenge for us indeed. How can we most effectively use the technology? although I'm not a supporter of the T Party in the USA, they seem to have managed to mobilise their troops pretty well.

How about daily webinars with the SNP leadership. Every night at 21:00 for example? Your chance to talk directly to the leaders who can then comment on that days news. The webinars could then be put on YouTube for later viewing. It's a form of broadcast technology which gets round traditional meedia.

Just my 2p worth.

Anonymous said...

William, thanks for the reply.

The only name I recognised out of that lot was Rab C (who I never have watched), and the only Chick I know is Murray.
I am also confused.
Why would a lefty organisation take the wossname out of a nation where labours support is strongest?

Look at the unfair handling of any politician who ain't red by the interviewers, especially the Scottish ones, (apart from Andre Neill)?

Jo G said...

The biggest problem we have in Scotland is with our media and the complete hostility shown by many towards the SNP as a Party. It means we get not so much "news" as contaminated news. That BBC Scotland itself is one of, if not the worst offender, is quite disgraceful. BBC Scotland is publicly funded and there is enough evidence available, in the form of footage, to prove that in Scotland at least the BBC completely ignores its duty to cover impartially all political matters.

I really would welcome a team from, say, Channel 4 doing some sort of investigative documentary about the Scottish media's political bias because it really is something that should be confronted. It could even be called corruption. Incidents involving Purcell, the former leader of Glasgow City Council were buried when the media in Scotland closed ranks to protect him and the Labour Party. That is a fact.

We had the hounding of Stewart Stevenson out of a job last week when many of us, I am one, witnessed for ourselves BBC weather broadcasts NOT predicting anything like the falls of snow we had here in Lanarkshire. While I was seeing upwards of 15 cm of snow here both BBC Scotland and STV were telling me to expect "a couple of centimetres".

It was also the case that warnings were eventually issued by Police telling people NOT to travel and yet despite these many still headed for motorways long after they were at a standstill. Local Councils were left out of the equation last week by the media and absolved: only Stewart Stevenson was in the frame yet who is it who monitors our motorway network? In the central belt its the Councils through whose areas the motorways run. Step forward Edinburgh, Glasgow, the two Lanarkshires, the Renfrewshires and Ayrshire. Why were these Councils not held to account also? The answer is that the media decided to target only one person and that was an SNP Minister.

I am not saying these Councils did nothing incidentally. For the other omission by the media was the plight of primary routes requiring treatment as well as motorways. Their needs were urgent too. But the fact is Councils should have closed motorways as early as possible and not permitted any more traffic to arrive and make the problem ten times worse. Ordinary people who indeed ignored warnings should take their share of the blame too.

Here's another thing: South Lanarkshire Council's local newspaper, the Advertiser, covered a scare-mongering article two weeks ago claiming that grit supplies were low. On reading the article the reader was to discover that actually they had used a third of their supplies. Where's the problem there if there are two thirds left? And we had already been told the SG had purchased in supplies to last TWO months yet here were the usual suspects, Labour Councils, seeking to spread alarm and panic by suggesting a shortage of grit.

Scotland's media is seriously unwell. In the run up to the election in May we will see SNP policies scrutinised but we will be lucky to see any Labour spokesperson actually asked to produce a policy on anything. Such a situation would not be tolerated anywhere but Scotland.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

carrew - constructive comment.

But why limit the webiners to the SNP?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo G I wouldn't say the media is our biggest problem, but the points you raise are indicative and pertinent to; just when does bias tip over into propaganda?

Jo G said...

In Scotland political bias and propaganda are the same thing. The media is in control here when it comes to reporting political news which means we are at the mercy of propaganda 24/7 here in Scotland. It is what the masses see and sadly many are readers of the Daily Record although let's not just single them out when the bias is across the whole media, even the qualities.

If people get contaminated news how can they be informed? If Labour aren't challenged on policy how can their silence on such things be exposed? Gray is for abolishing the Council Tax Freeze, he is on record that he will restore the Garl project (err using what for money?), he's bragging that Labour will pay a "living wage" and its rumoured they want anything but free prescriptions. Where are his figures? Who is challenging Labour re precise policies on these things? Answer? No one. That is a huge problem for the SNP and I remain convinced it is the biggest one.

There is something else too: I remember when we had the vote about whether we wanted a Scottish Parliament and should it have tax raising powers. Others will too. When I went to the local school to vote a lady approached me with her ballot paper and said, "Hen, whit wan's the Labour man?" As you know the questions on the ballot paper that day required yes or no answers. That's the mentality we're dealing with here in many places. So there's the other problem, the ingrained "I must vote Labour" group.

William said...

Rightwinggit, my tongue was in cheek with the post.

I don't think BBC is 'hostile' to Scottish independence. Every group seems to complain that the BBC has it in for them which is probably a sign it's doing something right. BBC Scotland's problem is one of incompetence rising to the top rather than specific bias.

The Purcell story is an example. It wasn't covered by anyone in any great detail. But that's the Scottish media in general. A culture of mediocrity and anyone with any talent heads to London as soon as they can.

Jo G said...

William, I have to disagree on the Purcell issue. Had he been with any other Party he would have been hung out to dry.

The Purcell story was huge yet they buried it: not just BBC Scotland but our newspapers here. This man was tipped to be the future Labour leader at Holyrood and his fall from grace was responded to with silence? This man headed the biggest Council in Scotland receiving the largest amound of public funding. There were all sorts of allegations concerning where that funding was going. Glasgow City Council for years has been a Labour sewer. How was that permitted do you think? Its because a Labour friendly media in Scotland turn a blind eye to Labour's serious flaws.

There is a serious problem at BBC Scotland and that is clear every time one views programmes like Newsnight Scotland. The contempt of presenters towards SNP politicians is not remotely disguised. It is bad enough that papers can be so prejudiced but BBC Scotland is in a different category from them altogether: it is funded with taxpayers' money and such behaviour should have been nipped in the bud a long time back. That it continues and in fact worsens is absolutely scandalous.

William said...

Jo, I agree the Purcell story was buried. I'm just not convinced about the reasons. Even the SNP didn't make much political capital out of it - or at least not as much as they could have done.

I just think the Scottish Establishment is very small and everyone seems to know one another. I think there's a culture of mediocrity, as I say, and talented people tend to find Scottish society too claustrophobic. What we're left with is the ones who never leave.

Key bored warrior. said...

On Thursday 3 May 2007, Scotland changed forever. Alex Salmond was right then and he is right now. There is no going back, the genie is out of the lamp.
Slowly gradually Scotland is recognising that as an independent country we can and will make a difference to our own mess, it will be our mess and not Londons. We are no better or worse than any other small independent nation who happily get on with getting on, the evidence is there for us to see.
The financial crisis and the gloating and sneering of the unionist cabal who should ahve known better has just confirmed what we can all see.
We now need the power to steer our own way, and not to be patronised any more and told we cannot, we can and we will. Labour and the rest of that unionist Holyrood cabal just go on digging and digging and blundering around making it worse for them selves.
Instead of working for Scotland they are working to save their own faces and their tired discredited dogma. It really is time.

Key bored warrior. said...

William. What is the point of chasing Purcell? We just get bogged down in Labours stupid games, spluttering with indignation in their swamp. If the UMSM and the boys in Blue are not chasing him what is the point? There is much much more to do of much more importance than a fat wee Gleesga ned snorting kak up his hooter. Labour are looking increasingly isolated and bitter, and the figures show that Labour councils are the intransigent feet dragging truculent children of Scotland, who sulk and screech and kick like bairns at the checkout. People are slowly but surely seeing that and the SNP are slowly but surely exposing them and humiliating them increasingly. Just listen to the incoherent spluttering of the likes of Andy Kerr now when he is in front of the cameras, they just look like thick tongued oiks. And in genral they are. Talent less witless over promoted, and bankrupt of any ideas.

William said...

KBW, as Jo says, Purcell was up to his neck in it. The laws of libel prevent me from going any further. However, apart from a small SNP group who called for an inquiry, I don't remember Salmond or any of the senior SNP administration having anything to say on the matter. Which I found strange.

"Alex Salmond was right then and he is right now. There is no going back, the genie is out of the lamp."

I'll actually be very surprised if Alex Salmond is still First Minister this time next year.

cynicalHighlander said...

William I think you will find that Alex Salmond had to be careful as not to be labeled as a 'winger' everything that was wrong was because....

Media Bias

The more the merrier.

subrosa said...

First RA, it's a real pleasure for me to host your articles. I know you're having trouble with technical issues on your own blog.

Lots of very interesting points raised. I like the one about a video-cast or whatever its called and agree it shouldn't be SNP specific. All opinions matter.

carrew said...

When I suggested the webinar as a way for the SNP to get around restrictions on broasdcasting, or perceived inequalities in the airtime given, the suggestion is of course open for any party or group to use. I expect the larger parties will get enough quality airtime to mean they don't need to find ways round the MSM. I can see that this idea may also work well for the Green Party or any other who wishes to communicate to as large an audience as possible with as little "management" of the broadcast.

Another suggestion might be to run these events during a time when public libraries are open - recognising that not everyone has access to a broadband connected PC at home.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

carrew - keep the ideas coming.

They're all grist to the productive mill.

subrosa said...

I think they're a great idea carrew. Not too sure about the library though but I'm only thinking about my local library.

Don't you think most folk have online access these days even if on a mobile?

I'm so untechnical but I'm sure those who understand these things could work something out.

The more I think of it, the more I like it. And it would be a first for a political party to have a weekly Q & A.

Jo G said...

I think we over-estimate the numbers who have home access to the internet.

I still believe the masses out there get their news from newspapers and from TV news programmes. That's the big problem.

subrosa said...

That's an interesting point Jo. TV of course would be wonderful. Is there no way an apolitical broadcast could be done?

Apogee said...

Hi SR, some very good comments provoked by a very interesting article, will await the next two parts with interest.
BBC news coverage is dire,but Sky is not much better.Many things happen in this country and you will only see the reports on Al Jaseera and Russia today. Like it or not the news in Britain is edited to a purpose and for a reason.
And Scotland going for independence in Europe? Yer havin a larf! Most people in Britain want well out and away from the EU, and that seems to be the opinion in Scotland as well.We would be much better in the EFTA.
If we want control of our own destiny, the only answer is out of the EU.
I like the idea of a weekly Q and A session on the net, something has to be done to remove the dead hand of the BBC and MSM.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Apogee, thanks for the comment.

Like you I question the validity of the EU on both democratic grounds and as a true benefit to an independent Scotland.

I also regard Sky as part of the Murdochracy Empire with suspicion. He is recorded as saying there are nine major news corporations in the world and their should only be three and he intends to be one of the three.

Not a comforting thought.

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