Who to believe? Usually the answer is the voice that fits your own case. We’re all human. So I expect the Herald to stay loyal to the Union and I expect its political editor to let his copy drift in that direction – after opening up enough perspective to give respect to the other side.
Today’s woeful Believe Better Together rant by Magnus Gardham is so absurdly one-eyed you wonder if he he’s just arrived in Scotland and missed the opening 39 months of campaign. http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/listen-to-those-who-speak-out-reluctantly.25102541
Because two – according to Magnus, impartial voices – have been raised this week, it proves that Yes, in responding to them is deliberately misleading the public. Read that again. Yes is misleading the public.
Thinking back over all you’ve heard from the No campaign from ‘Scotland does not exist’, ‘Scotland will not be able to defend itself’, ‘ Scottish independence will please the forces of darkness’, ‘Scotland will be invaded by jihadists’, ‘Scotland can’t look after the oil’, to ‘Scotland is subsidised by England money’, did the message from the Unionist campaign strike you as credible or has it been hysterical, alarmist, surreal, juvenile, insulting and even counter effective?
Whatever your doubts about Alex Salmond’s legal advice on Europe, do you still think Scotland won’t get in? Voice after voice now acknowledges what I and other were saying three years ago – that our membership will continue. The timing and conditions are open to negotiation. (Even Labour’s David Martin now says this).
When the facts are laid out, is it just bluster to say the UK will seek currency union? Many serious voices say that is so including a Cabinet minister known to the Guardian.
Will Scotland really be richer (Choose your amount) or will we each be up to £3000 a year poorer as Alistair Carmichael claims? Call it a score draw if you like.
Is it remotely accurate to write that only one side is misleading and that is Yes? Even by the standards of propaganda, I find that unbelievable. A journalist is paid to find the words to make a case which doesn’t leave him looking stupid or embarrass his paper. He fails that test today.
Ian Wood is not berated for contradicting his own government-sponsored report but treated as an impartial voice when he was actually coming out for NO. You’d have to be a naive rookie or a BT stooge swallowing a briefing not to see that. Magnus missed it.
Then the health professional Anna Gregor berated colleagues who worried about Scotland’s NHS being adversely affect or even privatised by changes in England. To Magnus she too is a highly respected figure. But not Phillipa Whitford? He suggests Gregor was forced reluctantly – like highly respected Sir Ian – to come forward to tell the truth amid the lies. Isn’t that exactly what Whitford did – came forward to speak out because she believes there IS a threat? Not according to one-eyed Magnus. He’s clear – only one side tells the truth and it ain’t Yes. It’s categoric. Magnus writes like a man squarely in the pocket of one side who doesn’t have the professional capacity to be nuanced about it. Bought. Lock. Stock. and Barrel.
There is a withering trope in Yes circles about Magnus, something about an English regional reporter over-promoted and out of his depth in a world not run by Labour any more. The counter objective in that scenario is to prove the doubters wrong and to be seen trying to do so. For me this partisan pile of piffle proves the doubters right. I would have more respect if the Herald told him to write from the heart and admit his – and the paper’s – preference. I suppose intellectual honesty and professional probity are too much to expect from today’s Herald.by