This weekend Nick Robinson, who receives a very large salary from BBC licence fee payers for his supposed political expertise, asked John Swinney of the Scottish government if Scotland is about to become a one party state. Nick disingenously defended himself from the predictable criticism by claiming that he was posing a legitimate question, and how could asking questions be insulting to anyone. Although he made this defence on Twitter, and finished it with the parenthesis of portentious doom … What he said was “Questions don’t insult anyone except … ” The clear implication here being that you could only be offended if you were in fact a minion of a one party state and were just about to haul a BBC politics editor off to a reeducation camp in Carnoustie – and not even let him anywhere near the golf course bar.
It is an interesting line of defence to claim that it’s illegitimate to be offended by a question. Presumably then if we pose the question, “Is Nick Robinson a snide wee chancer who uses a well paid and influential position that we pay for in order to troll us?” then the BBC’s doyen of politics couldn’t possibly have any reason to feel offended. Neither could he be offended if we were to ask “Does Nick’s behaviour not suggest that he’s still smarting like a petulant teenager after getting his arse handed to him on a plate by Alicsammin at a press conference during the independence referendum campaign?”
These are perfectly legitimate questions, and indeed they are questions which are considerably better founded in the evidence than Nick’s question about a one party state. Of course a question can be insulting. A question is insulting when it’s obvious trolling nonsense posed by a person who should not only know better, but who does know better, and who is only posing the question in order to provoke a reaction which he can then use to claim victimhood status. Poor wee Nick, getting abused by those awful cybernats, just for doing his job too. But that’s only true if Nick’s job description says that his job is being a troll. Mind you, this is the BBC we’re talking about here, so that may very well by the case.
This is the UK remember, and in the UK the ones who are abused and bullied are not the powerless, are not the poor, are not the marginalised. The real victims are the influential and the well connected. Just like the real victim of the Iraq War was Tony Blair, who has suffered terribly at the hands of people saying he’s a war criminal. Poor Tony, he has to charter private jets now you know, because he can’t mix with the common people any more. The real victims of the Labour party’s internecine warfare weren’t the ordinary party members who’d seen their party taken over by a bunch of careerists who have turned the party into an apologist for the worst excesses of capitalism and who threaten undemocratic coups if they don’t get their own way, the real victims are the managerial careerists whose career trajectories have gone the same way as a UKIP party Scottish political broadcast. And the real victim of the British media’s war on truth and its complicity with the British state and establishment during the Scottish independence referendum campaign was of course Nick Robinson.
Can we not lay this nonsense to rest for good? It’s tiresome, tedious and deeply deeply dumb. It’s the constant repetition of this kind of crap that has destroyed the credibility of the mainstream media. But the likes of Nick just can’t help themselves as they bounce off one another in their metromediacommentariat bubble accusing everyone outside their feedback loop of being parochial and inward looking. I know Scotland isn’t a one party state. You know Scotland isn’t a one party state. The dugs in the street know that Scotland isn’t a one party state. Kezia bloody Dugdale knows that Scotland isn’t a one party state, because Kezia may not be the sharpest knife in the political toolbox but she does know the difference between a statement of fact and a ludicrous political slur that only gains traction because the mainstream Unionist media is venal and desperate.
Even Nick knows that Scotland is not a one party state. He knows this because he’s the BBC’s politics editor and if Scotland was indeed a one party state then Nick wouldn’t have a job without being a fully paid up member of a party which undemocratically hoards power and refuses to share it. And that party would be the Tories.
Strange then that we’ve never heard Nick ask Davie Cameron or George Osborne if the Tories are creating a one party state. It’s the Tories who are making non-English MPs second class, who plan to redraw constituency boundaries to increase their majority, who have decided to reduce the funding paid to opposition parties, and have stuffed the Lords with Tory donors. Despite the fact that the Scottish Government has but a tiny fraction of the real power exercised by the UK Government, despite the fact that Scotland has a system of proportional representation, far more acres of press cover are devoted to accusing the Scottish Government of undemocratic behaviour than a UK Government which received the backing of just 14.5% of Scotland’s voters.
Increasingly we live in a country where the mainstream media does not exist to challenge the establishment and to hold it to account. The job of the mainstream media in the UK is to defend the establishment, to propagate that establishment’s point of view, and to demonise and silence criticism. Scotland’s government and ruling party is opposed to that establishment, and seeks independence for Scotland. That creates an existential threat for the British establishment, and its media arm reacts by projecting its own shortcomings onto the Scottish Government. The mainstream media in Scotland acts the way it does because it fears that in an independent Scotland someone else will do to them what they have been doing to the Scottish people for decades.
This week we also witnessed a twitter spat in which members of the Unionist establishment claimed that the real artistic creatives in Scotland, the real independent minds, were those who kept quiet during the independence referendum and who didn’t challenge the status quo. Scotland has crossed through the mirror into a Unionist wonderland, where the powerful are the abused and the powerless the abusers, where the victimisers are the martyrs and the victims are the monsters.
The only cure for this madness is to make Scotland a normal country in charge of its own destiny. As 2016 begins, we’re already travelling down that road, and the shrieks of the insane Union ring ever louder and crazier.
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