A Bridge Too Far

We really are small minded and parochial, aren’t we? You’d certainly think so from reading the daily papers. The sense of dismay expressed in the Scotsman splash story (Hauliers Face Disaster As Bridge Re-opens to Cars) on the early reopening of the Forth Road Bridge failed to capture the relief and delight at the great work done by the bridge maintenance teams. The concerns of the hauliers are entirely relevant but to allow a lobby organisation spokesman to dictate a paper’s line on an important national story was a failure of judgement.

Contrast the grudging line of the Scotsman with the balanced approach of those most directly affected – the Fifers. Here’s the Dunfermline Press – Fife Council Welcomes Re-opening of Forth Bridge But Ban on HGVs ‘Frustrating’. http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/14161865.Bridge_re_opening_is__great_Christmas_present_/

That’s surely more accurate and reflects the public attitude. The council leader is measured and sensible, congratulating all concerned but worried too on behalf of businesses.

It’s almost as if the Scotsman was following an agenda which it was determined to hold onto no matter what happened so that even the good news of an early, if partial, re-opening had to be presented in a negative light.

So it was with the Herald which ran a line ridiculing Alex Salmond apparently for daring to enter the world of international affairs. Salmond Accused of Grandstanding…http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14162324.Salmond_accused_of_grandstanding_following_his_trip_to_Tehran/

It was one of those Who Does He Think He Is articles that tells you more about the organisation that prints it than the man it’s written about. It tells you the Herald has no respect for it’s most successful politician of the modern age, gives little credence to either of the parliaments he sits in and implicitly mocks our own country as a backwater undeserving of respect. What kind of self-loathing leads a journalist to headline an article on international diplomacy with cheap opposition jibes about self-aggrandisement? A strap line contrasting with the real headline would work just as well. But to make the sneer the main point of the story is entirely inappropriate. Salmond was representing Scotland and our national interest in a mission with delicate overtones because of the recent re-emergence of Iran as a cooperative player in the international debate. (I doubt it could have occurred without Foreign Office approval with Washington copied in) Indeed it makes you wonder if it was purely a bilateral partnership initiative at all. To see it purely in the context of the Holyrood village demeans not Salmond but the Herald. It looks parochial, perhaps fitting for a paper that no longer describes itself as a national for circulation purposes.

The BBC seems afflicted by the same disease of imagining that an event has no news value unless it is first contradicted by an opponent which in turns forms the basis of the coverage. Little wonder Jackie Baillie is an ever-present in the news. It is always informative to know what opponents think – in this case that they are small-minded with no real argument – but just because a spokesman makes an objection it doesn’t constitute the main point of a news story. The feeling is that the journalists are caught in the tramlines of a fixed view – get story, get contrasting spin and headline it.

It’s the same mindset that led to headlines this week on the TNS opinion poll findings showing the SNP up again – ‘despite the troubles over the bridge.’ They suggested there was no dispute that the SNP was in trouble over the closure whereas in fact there is no evidence that the wider population remotely blamed the government. That was the opposition and the media’s own instinctive response but one I doubt was shared across the country. Again, it’s myopic and mean and fails to reflect truly the view of Scots. Another way of writing the story was to say: SNP support up despite anti-nationalist campaign by the media. Do either the opposition or the media ever ask themselves if this relentless one-sided pandering to knee-jerk criticism does them any good? Their sole conclusion appears to be that the country is hypnotised into dumb obedience. That’ll explain it then.

I complain because I’d like to see a well-resourced and effective media, but to be honest, I believe the shallow and negative reporting works in favour of the nationalist cause. Therefore my dismay is countered by the optimism of knowing that the ultimate objective of independence is best served by keeping the media and the dim opposition exactly as they are – unnecessarily insular and too often petty.

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76 thoughts on “A Bridge Too Far

  1. Unionists screaming about the additional expense being incurred by firms operating HGV vehicles and also claiming that if tolls had been left in place,the problem wouldn’t have happened (a theoretical additional amount of revenue being available for maintenance….maybe).
    If the tolls had not been eradicated,how much would it have burdened haulage firms over the years with delays and additional costs?
    Anyone would think there is an election in the offing given the hysterical rhetoric from HM press.

  2. Well put Derek. I don’t feel brainwashed although I did eventually, in April this year, join the SNP. What I look for and seldom see in the unionist politics and media is any hint of a positive vision for the future of the union. In the referendum campaign and beyond it is all about how badly we would do it all ourselves if we had the chance. The bridge , Salmond’s visit to Tehran, the Holyrood budget etc, all pathetically and desperately framed as SNP incompetence delivered by inadequate SNP people. The recurring question that they generate through this behaviour is – would Con/Dem/Slab really have made a better job of any of this? The answer is generally and usually one big NO.

  3. What’s the betting the Branch Office Chief Porky Teller, Jackie Baillie, will be feeling miffed as she must be hovering around the banned weight restriction of 7.5 tons for crossing the bridge?

    • Right on the money here. The opposition are utterly bereft of any ideas, so they simply fall back on negativity. If any other party is going to make headway then they have to start by offering a realistic and viable alternative vision for Scotland. But part of their problem, especially Slab, is that most of their politicians come across as pretty nasty pieces of work, much like the journalists who slavishly lap up their offensive bile.

      There will always be a core Tory vote – the people who put selfishness and self-interest before social fairness and believe the pernicious Tory message – while Slab voters seem to be turning to the SNP. That’s not to say that the SNP don’t need to become more radical and socialist – they do, but that’s for later after independence.

      • Perhaps the Green party, if they make the predicted inroads at the next election, may come to form the opposition at Holyrood – they simply need that initial break-through.

        As a party who would keep the SNP honest yet offer ideas and more positive messages about Scotland than SLAB or the wretched tories, they may help push the SNP towards more radical, socially just policies through a mixture of cajoling and co-operation.

        A good thing for Scotland if that happens I reckon.

        • Jim Sillars said not all the Greens are Socialist. Her could have added that not all the Greens are for Independence, such as Robin Harper who supported the Bitters. As for Rise being handed the second vote. I left the SSP because of their hostility to Independence and anything Scottish. They are not just opposing the SNP but the same old same old. I will give my first and second vote to the SNP, Despite their faults, Independence is their priority and that is good enough for me.

          Seeing that it is the season for goodwill, as well as bombing, I have just been informed by that ‘Come all ye faithful’ is a Jacobite carol, written by a Jacobite who was at Louvain ,circa 1715 & 1745 Rebellions. A Jacobite code is in the carol. Perhaps more knowledgeable readers can fill the gaps.

          • then one show did a bit all about this probably still available on the iplayer. In summary the faithful at the time was a surreptitious way of identify yourself as a catholic.
            As in saying you were one of the faithful, holding to the truth faith as they described it at the time.

          • Sorry Dave, I don’t understand this. I happen to be an atheist and anti Old Firm. If I were a fitba fan it would be Partick Thistle: a bam free zone.

          • Sorry Dave. Apologies. Your post stood alone, till I looked it up to see it was a reference to the Jacobite coded hymn, Come All Ye faithful. It was not just Catholics that supported the Jacobite cause. It was also anti Union. King Seamus, who landed at Peterheid after the ’15 was effectively over, declared against the Parliamentary, but not the Regal, Union. Cherlie did the same when he landed at Glenfinnan. Cherlie was born in 1720. Several claims have made as to the authorship of his hymn, but this looks the most authentic by an English (Catholic) Jacobite in exile. These two Stuarts promised religious tolerance and the Divine Right of Kings. Their support was pretty mixed and Charlie later converted to Protestantism, too late. German Geordie, I think, was actually 52nd in line and the nearest Protestant

            Kelvingrove Museum used to have, in the forecourt, a collection of Jacobite swords from Culloden, engraved, “Prosperity to Scotland and No Union”. The Frist thing Lord McConnell’s wife did on being handed the lucrative post of Parks and Recreation was to remove them. She also, incidentally, showcased a portion on sectarianism, which neither explained or condemned it. Labour as I am sure all here knows, play both ends to the middle in that game. I’ll explain that if you like.

        • I fear that a vote for the Greens would simply be dismissed as an expression of interest in the environment, not as a prime mover for constitutional change.

          Let’s face it: all the parties, even the Conservatives, have policies on the environment but who would ever claim that a Tory vote is actually an environmental vote?

          In May, make it SNP / SNP. The job is not yet done.

          • Agreed. Independence is not a priority for many RISE members. Many of us left the SSP because of that and the sheer anti Scottish self loathing and self hatred. The time for opposition and different is after Independence is well secured from saboteurs and fifth columnists. Scotland will need a period of reconstruction. Who else will care about that than the SNP in whatever form it takes

            Donald Anderson, Kelvindale, Glasgow.

            I don’t have pseudonym, nor am I half hearted about Independence.

    • Och, come on! I’m as much against most of what JB says as you are, but stick to what she says and don’t resort to personal insults which detract from the political argument.

    • How dare you Proudscot…I’m not a gram over 7 tonnes!

  4. Bugger (the Panda)

    I call this attitude the Midden.

    How dare you suggest that we (meaning I) can get up out oor ain wee midden and do better. We are happy in here wae the pigs and muck.

  5. Steve Asaneilean

    It’s funny isn’t it?

    First of all 45% of us were brainwashed by the SNP into voting Yes in September 2014 – at least that’s how the current MSM narrative goes.

    They have been peddling the notion since and yet all it did was get 50% of us voting for the SNP in May.

    And yet they continue with the jibes – “brainwashed”, “cult”, “one party state”, “SNP Bad”.

    And what does that achieve? The brainwashed masses increasing and almost 60% of them currently intending to vote for the SNP next May.

    So keep it going MSM guys and gals – clearly you’re far better recruiters than anything the SNP could hope to muster.

    I really don’t want MSM to change their ways now. I take no notice of them any more and those that do are an ever diminishing minority I suspect.

    All they are doing is driving people in the opposite direction from the position they hope to cement and sending them into the arms of those of us who think Scotland deserves (and will flourish) with something different.

    Have a good Christmas Derek.

  6. After the next election Jackie Baillie will be as useful to the Imperialist s the Jim Murphy. Who he?

  7. Its only a few years since Scots were the biggest per capita consumers of newsprint anywhere in the world. Now we don’t have a newspaper worthy of the name, and what we do have slip deeper into “Neues Deuschland” territory, week by week.

    David Torn’erse wishes us to believe the press is fairminded, unbiased and above board, but any fool can see that is the opposite of the truth—just as much of the reportage is.

  8. The media are telling us what they think is news , not reporting actual news. Their agenda is the news. To be honest there is no Scottish media. 90% owned by foreigners and wealthy Londoners. Not sure they are of any more relevence than CNN or The Sydney Herald in Scotland.

  9. Let’s face it the media treat us with contempt because they can no one who is in a position to challenge them has ever done so and do not look like doing so ., and untill someone does,challenge them they just keep on doing it ,. It would only take one person to sue them for their lies and they would soon think twice about what they print .,I live in hope?

  10. They’re not the media anymore Derek, they’re the official opposition and we’d better not forget it. In the absence of effective political opposition the media have taken it upon themselves not to hold to account, not to report, but to oppose in the name of.

    They’ve long since given up the pretence of objectivity and the polarized propaganda machine is out there for all to see. They’re fighting for their existence, not yet realising that in their actions to date they’ve sealed their own fate in the eyes of the wider public. The more they act as the mouthpiece of their party and parliament of choice the more obvious it becomes that the welfare of their readerships and the wider public are NOT their chief concern.

    The ONLY thing that matters to the UK media is the welfare of the UK media and the institutions to which they are joined at the hip.

    Democracy, public engagement, independent thought and freedom of choice is like quicksand for the current UK media. The more they thrash and fight against the public, the faster they will sink.

    • Not one of the tame Scots on English chat shows has the bottle to demand to read a Scots paper, even to point out how self racist they are They are quite content to read out trivia and jingoism.

      Are there any “Team GB” Scots athletes with the guts of the two black US athletes who gave the Black Power salute from the podium, knowing the consequences they would suffer? Instead they shamelessly stand for an anti Scots anthem whilst the officials rush to throw a butcher’s Apron over their shoulders. No wonder the establishment thinks they can continue to treat us with contempt.

      • That is unfair to Andy Murray at least.

        • So when did Andy stand up against British Nationalism and Jingoism? He could be bigger than that.

          • Well, he said of independence “Let’s do this”, in public for all to hear.

          • Quinie frae Angus

            Let’s give Andy a break. Have you seen the utter racist and nasty stuff he gets from southern neighbours on Twitter and Daily Mail threads? It’s disgusting. Must be bad enough to have to live with that without us asking him to “stand up against British nationalism and jingoism”. That’s not his job. That’s our job – to let him know how much we condemn it and support him..

            He’s doing unbelievably well maintaining his brilliant tennis in spite of the hatred and bile spewing forth from newspapers and Twitter. The last thing he needs is Scots also getting on his case. And if he did “stand up against” can you imagine how much bigger a torrent of fuckwittery he would unleash?

            I understand your frustration Donald, believe me. But it’s not up to our sportsmen to fight the British Establishment, or ignorant morons. They are already putting themselves in the firing line just by being bloody great at what they do.

  11. And these were the people you blogged about last week that the FM feted at Bute House?

  12. Donald – You have to include Andy Murray in there. He is openly pro-independence but shys away from making a point when forced to swear allegience to that Fleg! Why hasn’t he campaigned for a Scottish Tennis representation rather than team GB. We won the Davis cup 3/1 Scots?

    Our nation is full of faint hearts!

    • Totally agree. No respect for a sniveller, no matter how good a career he has. They all grovel for titles baubles.

    • If anything is small minded and parochial it’s that comment. Infantile gestures would be just what everyone needs. Might as well ask you why you have not chained yourself to the railings at Westminster. Do you really resent a successful Scot that much ?

      • He’s either a Scot or a Brit. He can fly to the moon in a Team GB top and stay there if that is his career choice.

        • Murray’s public position was earned by him alone. It is his property. Why do you think you can demand that he uses it to make himself a martyr to independence when you can enjoy anonymity – even on this site ? Murray did what might be expected of any private individual and declared his position,a risky enough move in itself, considering the way he has been monstered in the past for his nationality. That’s good enough for me, particularly from an individual who conducts himself with a good deal more class than some.
          So when can we expect to see you in a gesture, chained to the railings at Westminster ?

          • If I thought chaining myself to that sewerworks would advance Independence in anyway I would. If I were a tennis player I would not bat for the other side.

            I do not use pseudonyms and have spent my adult life being attacked in one form or another by the British State.

  13. Don’t think knocking Andy Murray is the way to go,

    • Or Sir Chris Hoy selling out for a bike shed in Manchester?

      Andy was once castigated for wearing a Saltire wristband and kept quiet when the media monstered Alex Salmond for sporting a Saltire. He is now big enough to stand up for himself and his own country. If he accepts a Royal bauble now he will only belittle himself in the eyes of the world.

  14. Noone is having a go at Andy Murray. He is a good tennis player, but that’s all he is. We are asking why no sportsman in Scottish history has ever been brave enough not to tow the line.

    It appears that they get swallowed up by the GB machine. Murray was a radical when he was in his teens. A bit of a rebel. He might despise having to waive the Union flag for all I know. But he waives without comment or defiance.

    I was never good enough to do what he does. But put me in that position and I would waive a Saltire and to hell with what they think. I am alone in my team at work as an independence supporter. I stand out and put up with constant comments. I don’t seek popularity so don’t tow the line. Sometimes you must be true to yourself in life and that takes bravery. Towing the line or appearing to makes the establishment think you are one of them.

    Now why has no Scot refused to sing GSTQ at the Olympics?

    • I remember a female swimmer being castigated on Radio Scotlandshire for not singing the Jelly Bean song. I don’t think I have heard of her since. Andy is successful enough now to speak his mind, if he has one. Or, is he just another sporting Jock. He is being used just as much as an Empire biscuit teacake in the Great British Bake off.

  15. Another way of writing the story was to say: SNP support up despite anti-nationalist campaign by the media. Do either the opposition or the media ever ask themselves if this relentless one-sided pandering to knee-jerk criticism does them any good?

    Derek, the MSM and unionist politicians are one trick ponies, and they simply do not know what else to do. SNP Bad is all they know and they have shown that in abundance since 2007. They have nothing positive to say about Scotland, and they will continue to run down our nation’s potential and promise.

    As for people having a go at Andy Murray, wisen up FFS. The guy is a world class tennis player and athlete. He has done tremendously well, conducts himself very well, and is a credit to Scotland. I cannot believe people are having a go at him on this thread. Murray has taken some vile abuse from sections of the public and press in the UK. He is a true professional and he deserves support. Andy Murray’s achievements are outstanding.

    • Quinie frae Angus

      Absolutely agree with everything you say, Muttley. Totally support Andy.

      Anyway – it’s incredible this thread became so diverted when the subject was about the CorpMedia’s disgraceful reportage of the FRB story – and every other blinkin’ story.

      Have to wonder about the subtle – and not-so-subtle – motives of some posters these days. Independence supporters are being attacked from all sides and in all sorts of ways.

      Keep strong, vigilant…and together. We ARE getting there.

  16. They expected to feed off this one for a couple of months at least. They have to get some nourishment from it somehow. Winter is going to be long, dark and cold for the UK media in Scotland. But it’s a thin broth – as thin as a homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to death…to paraphrase Mr Lincoln.

    This is what they’ve been reduced to. Scottish labour has been struck dumb and dumber in these past few weeks. The Tories are working tirelessly to ensure that they don’t lose as bad as Labour will. The lib dems will be desperately trying to avoid attention and hope folk forget they exist.

    Why, one would almost think they had lost the indyref.

  17. While it’s not ideal for hauliers, surely having the bridge open early for 90% of traffic is a good thing, particularly if it makes the Kincardine route quieter for hauliers. Safety is paramount.

    Also, what the unionist press should understand is, with the SNP at an incredible 60% (or so) in the polls, that every time they slag off the SNP, they are effectively slagging off 60% of the electorate. That’s not going to make people return to Labour (or LibDems – ha!) in droves.

    Quite the opposite.

  18. Spot on Derek. They should really refer to these pronouncements as “Sneerlines” not Headlines.

    I get depressed reading comments above – we really need to stop sticking it to decent fellas like Murray – it just belittles us.

  19. We should be allowed to disagree without saying someone’s opinion is wrong. I happen to think Murray is a good guy swallowed up by the British establishment. That’s my opinion. I don’t think there is no merit in that thought.

    He believes in independence and team GB exists as an accident of history. We compete at squash and badminton as Scotland. Scotland could apply for independent status as a tennis nation. Why don’t we?

  20. A perfect synopsis of the intended impact versus actual outcome from our media’s political timewarp tabloidism. It is ground we’ve all been over before, however, I think a great many of us are feeling more frustrated yet more comforted than at any time in past few years with the rank stupidity of their SNPBad campaign. From The Times and its attempts to slime new MPs, to the Record spouting counter-intuitive nonsense on public services; the bottom line is these outlets and TV counterparts simply no longer reflect broad Scottish opinion, values, ambition, or day-to-day lived experience.

    The three examples you quote, Derek, are a perfect illustration of their (feeble) ideologically motivated rut. Their key mistake is continuing to perceive themselves as sole purveyors of truth and wisdom. Our savvy electorate, however, is now casting a wide info net online and discussing and sharing views offline; pub, office, family. Like you say – we want them to find some balance but the reality is we like them better as pantomime villains (oh yes we do!) so poor at SNPBadness makng them easy to box off and parody.

  21. Just because you are brilliant at tennis does not mean you should be castigated for not doing enough for the independence cause. I think we know where he stands and he is not a politician so he should be allowed to handle these issues in his own way.

  22. David forget independence for the moment. I am talking about Scotland registering as an independent tennis nation. If not the Murrays who else would be able to make that happen?

  23. Well said Derek. Another great post that highlights the paradox that sees an SNP government flourishing in a hugely toxic environment.

    I have every confidence in the present Scottish government. If they should mess up, I will decide, based on facts, not the British establishment’s propaganda wing’s output.

    It struck me a while ago, that as hugely capable as the SNP team is, the media’s daily search for anything to beat them with must reinforce a culture of doing absolutely everything right, or as near as dammit, wherever or whenever possible.

    The state media may in fact be driving the best government I’ve ever experienced to be even better.

    A perverse consequence if even slightly true. Such government competency results in desperation levels rising amongst their opponents, epitomised by a decline in dancing since 2007 being used by Jackson Carlaw as an instrument with which to criticise the S.G. Armando Iannucci may as well retire. Who can compete with that?

    However, our resistance to these silly attacks is fortified by sites such as this.

    As someone who has advocated Scottish independence my whole adult life (probably earlier too, given the reprimand I received while in the A.T.C., for refusing to stand at the national anthem after a cinema viewing of ‘The Battle of Britain’) I would have loved to have had these at my disposal then.

    I believe we are in large part, where we are, because of the wider range of information available to us.

    More power to you, Derek.

  24. @Big Jock

    We should be allowed to disagree without saying someone’s opinion is wrong. I happen to think Murray is a good guy swallowed up by the British establishment.

    How on earth has Andy Murray be swallowed up by the British establishment when he supported a Yes vote last year? That makes no sense whatsoever. What exactly do you want the guy to do, rip up a union flag on centre court at Wimbledon, boo God Save the Queen?

    There is a very good chance that, like a lot of families in Scotland or from Scotland, there were and are people in his family who feel British and support the union. That was the case in my family, and I think it applies to a lot of people in Scotland. I have no idea why some posters on this thread have even brought up Andy Murray because Derek’s article never even mentioned him.

    Demanding people like Andy Murray act in the (political or any other) way you and others want is pointless and futile. Why should he act like we want him to? He is his own person, and has done outstandingly well in his profession.

    • Would the Chinese play ping pong for the Japanese Empire? Would the French play croquette for the Third Reich? Would the Canadians play la Crosse for the Yankees? Would the Irish play Hurley for the English Cricket league?

      I would not play tiddly winks for Team GB.

      • You’d have to demonstrate a greater level of Tiddlywinks competence for a place. Ditto trolling.

        • I don’t play tiddlywinks. I am just a nobody. Certainly not a troll.

          Andy Murray has the ear of the world media, far beyond that of the jingoistic, chauvinistic and Imperialistic media of “Great” Britain. If he flet the same way about Scotland’s cause and its ordinary people, as did Mohammed Ali and the poor black peoples of America and elsewhere he would go down in history beyond the sports pages, celebrity airheads and the Jingo bells of the British media pack.

          I don’t hear the Brit media reminding us of the three unwise Brit Tory Parties support for Bridge Tolls in Scotland, or the many past faults in the Erskine Bridge, whilst they send Christian greetings in the shape of bombs to continue their Holy War against anyone not handing over their oil wells.

          Seasons girnings to all and a Nuclear Brit free anti poverty New Year.

          • His job is to play tennis. Our job is to persuade the disbelievers. Knocking Murray is kinda counterproductive.

            He was very brave by saying what he did.

  25. Mutley Murray came up in the comments. However as we are talking. No I don’t expect him to stand up and boo The English anthem. I am asking a high profile indi supporter to do something in his field. In other words suggest an independent Scottish tennis association. It’s not that controversial. Even ultra unionists golfers compete as Scotland.

    Of course it’s up to Murray what he does. But that does not preclude debate or suggestions to further Scotland’s identity in thecworld of sport.

    Seems to me that it’s perfectly acceptable to suggest such a thing.

    • It is not up to Andy Murray do that. Golf, football and rugby are different to tennis, swimming, cycling etc. The No vote means that is the way it is going to stay for the foreseeable future.

    • Stirling Council ( they of the “Armed Forces Day” in Stirling on the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn) turned down the Murrays’ application for planning permission to build a tennis training centre near Stirling/Bridge of Allan. Perhaps if the Unionists in charge of Local Authorities were less partisan the Murrays would be free to promote Scotland as a tennis nation.

      • Sense at last!! Many thanks, Capella.

        • Every year the Lab-Cob coalition to their best to prevent or place obstacles against the annual Bannockburn rally. Hopefully the Labour MSP will lose his seat. and the rest during the Municipal Elections. Gordon Broon invented Armed Forces Day to try and thwart the Bannockburn Rally.

    • Even the cowardly Footballing authorities, who allowed vile divisive sectarianism to flourish by sucking up to the Old Firm drew the line at a Team GB and the eclipse of a Scottish team.

  26. Get that Mutley. However several non independent countries compete in the Olympics. There is no bar on us entering as independents. It’s historical rather than necessary.

    it’s just when these sports were set up the administration was British. Rugby and football set themselves up from Scotland.

  27. Nail on head Derek, again.
    Catching the STV news tonight, your point about spokesman v opposing view was made perfectly.
    First up Derek Mackay then an interview with a haulier. A haulier stating ‘ he felt betrayed’ by the bridge not being opened to HGVs at the start of January ( bad SNP Govt) and obviously looking for compensation.

    Then there was a long debate about how petrol/diesel is now 99p compared to £1.38 a few months ago not working in the hauliers interest, then how the money trees would be picking up the bill for repairs rather than the tax payer , how the bridge is never closed to high sided vehicles, why transporting goods by train would never work and then finally why the smallest narrowest streets were ideal for huge lorries bringing our asparagus 500 miles.
    Sorry got distracted there.
    In Scotland’s media your either for it or against it , a yes or a no . There’s no time for detail. Everything that happens in Scotland in a day can be fitted into a 30 minute slot. The public , small minded , parochial ? Irrelevant more like .

  28. Thanks, Derek – good article and makes me realise that they, the petty parochial unionist media, are simply not in a position to change tack. This negative SNP=bad stuff is all they and the unionist parties, especially Labour, have got.

    I also realise that in a way none of it matters – the only way to change things is a majority of people voting SNP (and of course that’s not enough but right now it’s the most vital thing to achieve.

    So comment is good but they won’t/can’t change. Campaigning/canvassing is better.

    By the way it’s its not it’s in:

    “It tells you the Herald has no respect for it’s most successful politician of the modern age…”

  29. and I missed off a bracket, sorry:

    I also realise that in a way none of it matters – the only way to change things is a majority of people voting SNP (and of course that’s not enough but right now it’s the most vital thing to achieve).

    • Re comments on Andy Murray. Seems entirely typical of us Scots, we get diverted from the main issue – the abysmal media – onto something that’s neither here nor there. Exactly how we’ll lose next time.

  30. What the?

    This thread is about the media right?

  31. The UK/London media are the only real opposition to Scottish independence. The unionist parties in Scotland are all dead in the water. All the establishment can do is keep hammering away at the SNP government to try and undermine the trust and respect many voters have shown them by giving them their votes. It’ll only get worse on the run up to the May election. The british establishment is in dire straits and they know it. Keep on keeping on folks. It’s comin’ yet for a’ that.

    Happy holidays and a peaceful New Year to you all.

  32. Alasdair Macdonald

    The ‘non-pseudonymous’ Donald6 (sic) and Big Jock seem to be either a couple of unionist trolls or misguided authoritarians. No nuances to their argument : if you do not agree with us in every detail, then you are agin us.
    The point of the article is not just the bias of the mainstream media, but the fact that the journalists do not seem able to conceive of any, even mildly reasonable alternative – a bit like Donald6 and Big Jock, in fact. But to extend the principle of charity to those two, they have not told lies in this thread, unlike the default position of many of the MSM journalists. Mr Bateman is making the point that their inability to conceive of a reasonable alternative and to lie uninhibitedly in support of their status is eroding their case. They will either drift into irrelevance shouting into the void, or will seek to release the baleful and brute forces of reaction, which we saw in George Square the day after the referendum.

  33. …and I remember, Derek, you rejecting the idea of organised, deliberate anti-indy BBC when you first left the organisation. I guess you are seeing it from our ‘outsider’ perspective now. The sooner BBC Scotland is utterly destroyed and dismantled the better. We need an all new unbiased media built after indy.

  34. I’ve long since done without MSM so cannot comment but enjoyed your article for all that, Derek.

  35. British media ownership -more concentrated than ever!

    A handful of giant British corporations own most of the TV and news outlets in Britain.

    Just three companies account for 71% of the national newspaper market. When online readers are included just five companies garner 80% of the market share. And in local news,four massive conglomerates control 80% of titles!

    In TV, SKY -effectively run at the behest of Murdoch’s 21st century Fox empire- is by far the UK’s biggest broadcaster. Channel 5 is already owned by US giant Liberty Media and Channel 4 looks set to be sold off to the biggest bidder.

    Granted the BBC staggers on. But its’ budget has been savagely cut courtesy of the last two licence fee deals and its’ political independence -however limited previously- has been further undermined by the London Government.

  36. Not being au fait with the broadcast media regulatory codes of conduct and all criteria relating thereto… can anyone inform me as to how one (or a body/corp) would approach the formation of a new media channel?

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