Merry Christmas readers, except if you’re Scottish, an immigrant, a refugee, a Muslim, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, a pacifist, a republican, disabled, unemployed, on a zero hours contract, European, or a council tenant, in which case you’re a dangerous threat to decent society and the Daily Mail will shortly be coming to Rothesay to expose you. The Mail’s most recent foray into hyperbolic racist shit-stirring is only the most egregious example of press trolling this past week, but it’s by no means the only one and by no means will it be the last.
An article ‘exposing’ the fact that the Syrian refugees settled in Bute are being treated kindly and humanely was filed by someone who writes for the Mail, someone who’s a disgrace to journalism. Let’s be honest here, it’s pretty hard to disgrace a profession which human organ traffickers are able to look down on with a sense of superiority, but the Mail managed it. Organ traffickers may steal your kidney, but at least they don’t hypocritically pretend they’re doing it for the benefit of society, and they don’t occupy the moral high ground by shoving off the people who really deserve to be there. The British press does that. Organ traffickers are scum and they know they’re scum. Daily Mail journalists are scum who sell themselves as the cream on your full fat milk of human kindness.
In the Daily Mail, and in the British press as a whole, we’re supposed to be outraged that people who’ve fled death and destruction – death and destruction to which Britain is now contributing – should be living normal lives like normal people. We’re supposed to be angered that they’ve got normal things like mobile phones, and washing machines, and kids’ bicycles. We’re supposed to see kids playing innocently as an Islamofascist threat to social order. We’re supposed to be suspicious, jealous, and resentful of anyone who isn’t white, well-off, heterosexual, Conservative and a flag waving British patriot. We’re told to hate anyone who isn’t like a Daily Mail journalist. But it’s the Daily Mail journalists who are the loathesome ones.
According to a recent survey, the British press is the least trusted and the least liked of any media in any developed nation. The survey didn’t ask about the media in Scotland, but I’d put money on it being even less trusted and even more disliked than its English counterpart. Oh no, I said English. I must be a racist. That’s the level the Unionist Scottish media operate on in the strangest one party state in the world.
In Scotland, the claim that we’re a one party state is given serious airtime by a media which loses another bit of its rapidly diminishing credibility every time the claim is published. Scotland is the strangest one party state in the world. It’s the only one party state where the media is almost entirely opposed to the one party. It’s the only one party state where the opposition is never scrutinised or held to account. It’s the only one party state which is a one party state because the opposition is useless, not because they’re oppressed. In the real world you don’t get to claim victimhood because you’re a hopelessly incompetent mendacious clown, but you do if you’re a Unionist in Scotland. And their trolling bleats of complaint are presented in all seriousness by a media which lost the plot years ago. It’s the fault of the SNP that Labour in Scotland are clueless balloons.
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen the Scottish media going into a full scale assault on the Scottish government. Again. It’s all so boringly SNPBad predictable. The Forth Road Bridge closure was all the fault of the SNP. If you believed what you read in the papers, then Nicola Sturgeon had personally created a crack in the bridge structure by wantonly marching into Fife in a pair of tartan high heels and there was no money to repair because the entire Scottish budget was being spent on a giant chocolate sculpture of Alex Salmond.
This came shortly after sustained attacks on the party of Scottish government for the alleged misdemeanours of a couple of its MPs. MPs who were convicted, sentenced and hung out to dry by a media long before any investigation into what they may or may not have done was completed, or indeed even begun. Investigations which, it needs to be pointed out, do not include allegations of criminal behaviour. Yet at the same time the actual criminal charges being faced by a Labour MP concerning an alleged assault at a Glasgow polling station during the independence referendum went unremarked.
The Scottish media thinks that ordinary punters don’t notice that they’re doing this, that we don’t see the double standards. You see, it’s not that we think that the SNP can do no wrong. It’s not that we think that the Scottish Government is beyond criticism. It’s just that we’re not going to listen to the criticisms and cavils of a discredited media which thinks that portraying the SNP as just as bad as Labour is going to persuade us to start voting Labour again. You don’t make people start liking someone they believe is a bastard by claiming that someone else is a bastard too, and certainly not when the claims are being made by the first bastards’ pals. But that’s what the Scottish media are reduced to.
It’s comically pathetic if nothing else. It’s almost as comically pathetic as the fond delusion amongst the Unionist media that they’re neutral and unbiased. I don’t actually mind bias. I’m biased. Severely biased. But I wear my bias on my sleeve. I don’t pretend to be neutral when I’m not. The Unionist media pretends to be the sensible and dispassionate voice of a disinterested observer, when in fact they’re the self-selecting spokespersons for corporatism and the British establishment. An ocean of lies is invisible to the fish who swim in it, but clearly visible to everyone else.
And the comically pathetic self delusion of the Scottish Unionist media is comically ineffective. This week a new opinion poll showed that the SNP now enjoy an increased lead of 34% over Labour in the constituency vote for Holyrood. The media will howl, they’ll constantly predict that this time, this time, the fightback has begun and the dead horses of Labour and the Tories are responding to the whippings. But nothing will change and they’ll keep on shouting in the dark. Every season is the season to be trolling in the British media – and no one is listening any more.
BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993
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