Bubble bubble spoil and troublemakers

There are few creatures more confused and bewildered nowadays than your average Unionist commentator. Scotland voted No, right? Yet here we are, almost 18 months later, and the Union is as shaky and insecure as ever. It wasn’t supposed to be like this back in those heady pre-referendum days when the metrocommentariat was confidently predicting a massive No victory that would consign the Nessie of separatism its watery grave, where it would rest with other the mythical beasties that needn’t trouble the grown ups. Beasties like social democracy, democratic accountability, and social justice.

But Nessie is alive and well and challenging stereotypes, objecting vociferously when supposedly adult current affairs programmes on the BBC report on Scottish politics with backdrops of bagpipes and loch monsters. And she’s been joined by her socialist sisters bellowing and threatening. The establishment must man the barricades to prevent them breaking into the mainstream. But it’s too late, and the Westminions are reduced to poking fun at the marginal elements in a hopeless attempt to infect the movements that are about to overwhelm them.

Never mind that the Union is disappearing quicker than candy floss in a pond. Never mind that the mainstream media has lost credibility more completely than a Tory MP in a compassion contest. Look over there! There’s those three guys in the Scottish Resistance picketing the Tunnock’s factory. Those independence supporters, what are they like eh? Eh? Eh? No really, they’re the crazy out of touch ones, not us. Oh no not us. Not us with our invites onto BBC current affairs programmes and our editorials about how Jeremy Corbyn’s taste in socks means he’ll never be Prime Minister.

The ones with most to gain from bigging up the fringe factions of the Scottish independence movement are the bubble dwellers of the Unionist commentariat. That’s how far they’ve got to look before they can find people who are more out of touch than they are. So naturally a tiny fringe group which is in no way reflective of the mainstream of a mass movement supported by half of Scotland gets more publicity than the mainstream movement. It suits the Unionist parties that way. There are in fact more photos of Unionist journalists ironically wearing Scottish Resistance t-shirts than there are members of the Scottish Resistance.

All movements have fringes, but the more extreme fringes of the Scottish independence movement attract considerable attention from the mainstream media, attention that the self same media doesn’t give to the fringes of the Unionism. This is the case even though the lunatic fringe of Unionism, the crazy dangerous anti-democratic frayed edges of a former colonialist state, are far larger and far more influential than anything that Scottish independence has to offer. The mainstream media in this country works very hard to present the image of psychotic separatists, while turning an indulgently blind eye to the excesses of the swivel eyed yoons.

There are many swivel eyed extremists of yoonery. There are the balloons who inflate their egos on Twitter. There are the marchers in sashes and crimpolene uniforms. There are the fascists who hate and spread poison. They all get a free pass from the press that searches out cybernats. But those aren’t the ones who should worry us most. The ones that we should worry about are the ones who sit in Westminster. The ones whose idea of a good day’s work is to make sure that their fellow citizens live in houses that aren’t fit for human habitation. The ones who demonise doctors. They’re the ones who think that the poor need to be punished in order to make them productive but the rich must always be rewarded and placated. But they’re the ones that our press calls the moderates.

The extremists are the ones who have not lost sight of humanity, who know that you can’t be properly human if you’re not humane. If that’s the case, then I’m proud to be an extremist, because if a neo-liberal Labour MP or a benefits slashing banker’s bonus backing Tory is a centrist then this state has lost all sense of balance and proportion. The role of the media should be to point out the madness, to highlight the insanity, to take a stand for those who are punished by the powerful. Instead it acts as a cheerleader for an establishment that it has become a part of.

This was very clear from Thursday’s edition of Question Time, a programme which has long since descended into a parody of establishment values. There was a right wing politician, a righter wing politician, two right wing journalists, and a token lefty to provide the obligatory BBC definition of balance. One of the right wing journos, the posh one claimed to be speaking for the ordinary person, for the man in the street. And doubtless she was, if you define ordinary as well heeled, well connected, a fully paid up member of the British establishment and the street you have in mind is Whitehall.

The reason that the media spend so much time attacking the interest that ordinary people, that’s real ordinary people not the kind of ordinary people who Times journalists claim to represent, is because the metrocommentariat bubble has long since floated away into the ether. It’s currently levitating in the vacuum, in orbit around Uranus. It’s a symptom of press ownership in this country. A handful of oligarchs control the bulk of the press, and naturally the press reflects the concerns of its owners and those promoted within it are those who articulate the thoughts of the wealthy. In the UK the mainstream media has ceased to act as a bulwark of democracy, it’s one of the threats against it.

We can look forward to a lot more press coverage of the unrepresentative fringes of our movement, especially as the election campaign gets going. The bubble wants us to to believe that an extreme fringe is as representative of the independence movement because the bubble is itself only representative of an extreme fringe. It hasn’t worked in the past and it’s not going to work now. Our media is going to continue to be bewildered and confused, lost in their bubble floating away in the empty sky as the currents of life move on without them. One day, one day soon, the bubble will burst and no one will care. We’ll have moved on with a media we’re creating for ourselves from the ground up.

The real troublemakers are the ones who will spoil the media bubble.

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35 comments on “Bubble bubble spoil and troublemakers

  1. […] Bubble bubble spoil and troublemakers […]

  2. James Barr Gardner says:

    Just watched David Dumbleby on Question Time and he used the phrase “that’s the way we do it”!

    Aye David, your’re right, your programme is a “Punch And Judy Show”!

    However, We wingers already know that!

    Vote SNP X 2 in May, let’s sort it, go Scotland!

  3. macart763 says:

    Well said Paul.

    Our central government and our media.

    When you wilfully betray the trust of your electorate and with callous calculation, visit harm on those in your charge, then you are no longer fit to serve. When your self appointed guardians, the media, participate in inflicting this harm on their own readerships/viewers, then they are no longer your media, but a propaganda arm of the state they are meant to monitor and question.

    Why do they do these things?

    Self interest, simple as that.

    Toddy and paracetamol beckon (sniff).

  4. Dorothy Devine says:

    Glad you are keeping an eye on QT . I gave up watching a couple of years ago , just couldn’t stand their mince any longer , but one should ay ken fit the ither side is up tae!

    See that damned cold? it’s a recidivist.

  5. gavin says:

    I haven’t watched QT for years, and given the bias the BBC shows in England now, as well as Scotland, I wont ever again.

    As for the colonial commentariat—when we are told with a straight face that Mundellino has Respect* from ALL in Scotland, then break out the shortbread, swally a snort, and have a wee jig round the living room—-cause its life, folks, just not as we know it!

    • Macart says:

      Same here Gavin.

      QT is the broadcast equivalent of trolling and click baiting. If they ever invite anyone onto that panel worthy of any respect its basically because they are going to be made a target of. The panel is loaded, the host primed and you can bet yer last Rollo, the audience selection process does the poor soul no favours either.

      They eat that shit up in blue rinse county, but happily you find a more discerning and intelligent viewer outside their bubble. We either avoid the beeb, denying them viewer figures, or we don’t bother with telly altogether and deny them funding.

      They’re not worth the high blood pressure and they certainly are not worthy of any respect.

      • Naw, I try to avoid all of the M.S.M if at all possible, mac. And the only matter I disagree with Paul is that the present media are going to disappear anytime soon. They have very deep pockets. Sorry to hear about your cold, and unfortunately my gout has returned, severely restricting my canvassing. Ah well, less brandy and port I suppose.

        • Macart says:

          Its definitely the port.🙂

        • Muscleguy says:

          I have beaten the gout, the answer is citrate, it dissolves uric acid crystals. Found a wee line on the internet that the Mayo Clinic in the US treats it’s uric acid kidney stone patients with 150ml of lemon juice a day. As an inveterate reader of product labels I have a more palatable and practical alternative. Get yourself a couple of bottles of double concentrate Robinson’s no added sugar lemon cordial and another couple of bottles of supermarket own brand diet lemonade, the sort with no lemon juice in it, just sodium citrate and citric acid.

          In a 300ml glass pour a couple of fingers of cordial, like it was normal strength. Top up with cold lemonade and drink. Twice a day. Open throat and no tasting is best, it’s strong.

          I had both big toes invested, smaller ones going, a tophi on my chest and was passing kidney stones every 3 months on average. Now my left big toe, the original one no longer hurts often enough to remind me to take my ‘medicine’, all other toes fine, tophi hard to find. NO kidney stones since I started over two years ago and no episodes of lethargy either (I’m a runner, I notice).

          You may have this advice free. You will NEVER be given a prescription for it. You might find a different form that suits you better, read the labels and remember they are listed in descending order of amount. Both citrate and citric acid are active, same thing in terms of dissolving uric acid.

      • Saor Alba says:

        I don’t bother with telly altogether and thus deny them funding. Licence gone – life much better!
        I have much better things to do, rather than listening to the propaganda and spread of deliberate Carmichaels from this perversion of a media outlet.

  6. Anna says:

    The cancellation of my TV license has had a very good impact on my health without QT making my blood pressure sky rocket.

    Regarding the Housing Bill vote this week; it was my understanding that it was the first time EVEL was to be implemented and that the Scottish MP’s would have to sit it out. So how is it that Scottish Tory David Mundell and Scottish Labour’s Ian Murray voted against and for the bill respectively?

    Apologies if this is a daft question – there’s maybe a simple explanation but I’m just not seeing it!

    Hope you’re on the mend after your cold. There’s been a truly nasty one doing the rounds.

  7. Plus ca change as far as the BBC is concerned. But it’s always been like that – Anglo-centric and, within that, Londo-centric.

    It always been full of tokenism towards the other nations of these islands as well as the regions of England.

    Even as a young boy I remember being p’d off by the BBC because they only started the school holidays programmes when the English schools went on holiday, about 2 or 3 weeks after Scottish schools, then carried them on until the end of the English holidays, about 2 or 3 weeks after we had all returned to school.

    So it’s institutional bias has been there from the start.

    But it reflects the wider issue of London. It has a population not much smaller than Scotland and the people that live there, by and large, care not one jot about what happens outside the M25. The BBC is simply reflecting this cultural milieu.

  8. Bloomin’ predictive text – “its” not “it’s”!!

  9. Luigi says:

    The British empire may have disappeared more than 70 years ago, but the corporate unionist press and the old boy BBC is still struggling to come to terms with it. They still cannot fully accept the end of empire, let alone the disintegration of the union, which is now in entering the final phase. It just ain’t fair, chaps. Life in a bubble.🙂

  10. Dan Huil says:

    Don’t pay the licence tax.

  11. David Agnew says:

    I have long held the opinion that the NO camp clearly expected to win 80/20 or 75/25. It was based in part on the simpleton logic of labour that everyone who voted Labour, lib dem and conservative in 2010 was by default a no voter.

    It was pretty obvious early on that this would not be the case. But the piled on regardless with a case based on dependency and subsidy. Britain was a giro cheque and Scotland was the scrounger. and they were losing! and would have lost if not for browns vow. But they didn’t get the win they needed. They were faced with an almost 50/50 split. After everything they said and did, that was the best they could get. Even with almost total control of the media. They have had to endure that the fact that they can’t move forward and put it behind them. They can’t move forward as one Scotland, when almost half won’t go with them. They can’t celebrate victory when almost half won’t turn up for the party. They only belatedly realised that their campaign had ensured that almost half of the electorate would never feel comfortable voting for them ever again. The price was to deliver on a vow made by yesterdays man and of course the relevance of British parties in Scotland. That’s what they can’t comprehend. That it could cost them so much to gain such a narrow win, where the union is now hanging on by its finger nails.

    All movements have their “loony” fringe. The yes movement is no different. But it is not defined by this element. Never has been. But the poor old unionists…unable to grasp the significance of their sense of defeat in 2014 and their comprehensive defeat in 2015, have through the distorting lens of a biased media, found themselves to become defined by their own loony fringe.

    In the blind hatred of the SNP, they have allowed the extreme views of their “YOONS” to become mainstream. Most sensible folk will simply recoil from this. Most SNP voters will simply feel vindicated in the decision to switch their vote in the first place. The commentariat will howl and carp. The yahoo fringe will simply amplify it and make their precious union more toxic.

    It becomes clear then that they never planned for a need to reconcile both camps. They didn’t plan because they thought they wouldn’t need to. They thought that support for the union was the default view and encompassed around 80% of the electorate.

    They cannot reconcile those who voted yes with those who voted no…why?…because Project Fear “was” their plan of reconciliation.

    • Sandy says:

      That’s an excellent summary, David. They will never, and can never, understand just how much they have alienated independence supporters and how small their chances are of winning back support.

    • northbritain says:

      Excellent post. And of course the fact that the realisation that they can’t get add up their Unionist votes for Labour, Lib Democrat and Conservative to get to their mythical 80% any more, is really hurting Westminster.

      They are now struggling to get 45% combined.

      The Tories may be used to polling around 20% in Scotland, as they have done that since Thatcher – but for the Labour Party to poll as badly, and the Liberal Democrats to effectively be a minor party… that’s a tough pill to swallow for a Yoon.

      All the Unionist parties are in disarray. They have no coherent policies and voters are realising their – and their Yoon journalists – cries of SNPBad! at every turn don’t mask this.

      If it wasn’t for the Unionist media basically running their North Korea-esque Yoon propaganda I can only imagine things would be a lot worse. For all those people without the internet and reliant on the BBC and their daily newspaper for information I can imagine voting No would have been the logical choice; after swallowing all that one-sided propaganda.

      The Unionist press is slowly dying, the BBC is the one last bastion of propaganda; the ‘Comical Ali’ of Westminster.

      The SNP delivering 56 out of 59 MPs to Westminster last year was a wake-up call to Yoons. They are now trying to run a ‘Project Fear 2’ to prevent a SNP majority in Holyrood; remember that’s a situation that the Unionist voting structure implemented was designed to prevent – that’s how bad things have got for them!

      If it works, they’ll see it as a foothold in Scotland and try to rebuild a Unionist majority. If it doesn’t… they have no real alternative – Westminster won’t want to lose the Cash Cow that Scotland is to them – but they might start to dress things up in tartan more. Expect a more subtle Unionist approach, a clanky White Heather Club politics but with even more SNPBad! thrown in for good measure!

  12. FergusMac says:

    I think the quote for what the unionists are suffering from is actually “Bubble, bubble, toilet trouble”.

  13. I gave up the BBC pre indyref but thanks for reinforcing the reasons why.

  14. Phil McCavity says:

    Welcome to balance, BBC-style.
    In the left hand corner:
    Cat Smith – Labour MP

    In the right corner:
    Nick Boles – Conservative MP
    Patrick O’Flynn – UKIP MEP
    Camilla Long – Times (Murdoch owned) columnist and Katie Hopkins wannabe
    Kelvin Mackenzie – Sun (Murdoch owned) columnist and Piers Morgan wannabe

    And to think that some left wing extremists think that the BBC (Broadcasts By Conservatives) is biased.
    No idea why they had Cat Smith on – was Jeremy Clarkson too busy?

    • Helena says:

      It’s also Graun readers and 38 degrees lot who are told, and who tell people that the bbc is at risk from camoron, so we should all protect it. My no pretendy lefty, no voting friends, think this. They did say though, they have mostly stopped watching the bbc, hmmm maybe they should analyse why a bit more.

      • Saor Alba says:

        The BBC may be at risk, but I do NOT GIVE A DAMN about them. Let them fade away, just like the media rags that more and more of us are ignoring and not subscribing to. No signing any on-line petitions on the BBC’s behalf by me. They could have helped us – just by being balanced and fair, but they didn’t. So Hell mend them.

        The BBC is totally fraudulent and not fit for purpose, just like Wastemonster.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Phil – you’re not a dentist, are you?

  15. Dave Hansell says:

    In terms of democracy what was once the fourth estate long ago turned into nothing more than a fifth column rabid and snarling in its defence and promotion of neo feudalism.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Hear, hear. Well said, Dave. I’m clapping too.
      Something apparently that certain members are not allowed to do in the House of Commons.
      Others seem to be able to do what they like.

  16. Jan Cowan says:

    Some time ago I was appalled when DD of QT treated Nicola abominably. That’s the last time I watched the programme. Now, of course, I don’t watch any TV……and living very well without it.

  17. benmadigan says:

    good article paul.
    With regards to “the lunatic fringe of Unionism, the crazy dangerous anti-democratic frayed edges of a former colonialist state, are far larger and far more influential than anything that Scottish independence has to offer”.
    I’ll take your word for that in Scotland and raise you to the nth power in Northern Ireland


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