We live in a topsy turvy universe, or at least the Caledonian parts of it. Legal mind altering substances have now been banned, but here in Scotland political reality is warped on a daily basis without any pharmacological assistance. If you want to warp your brain and corrode your synapses with altered states of irreality all you need to do is read the Scottish Unionist media, which is pretty much most of it.
Unlike the banned kind of mind alteration, the Unionist variety comes with the recommendation of the state and the establishment. In fact it’s compulsory to pay for the drug of BBC Great Britishism if you want a TV, or soon perhaps if you just want a computer or a smart phone. With the drug of Union Scotland will tune in turn on and drop off the edge of the planet. It’s not a high, it’s the world’s most effective downer.
This is a country where the party that came a very distant second in an election campaign is hailed by an increasingly desperate press as the victors, where the leader of an irrelevant grupuscule which came fifth in the same election and who only got his seat due to the benefit of Unionist tactical votes remains a figure of national importance even though he’s not even the most famous person on his own bus route, and where the fact that an SNP MP isn’t being investigated by the polis is headline news.
It’s now eight months since Michelle Thompson MP withdrew from the SNP following an onslaught in the Scottish media over her business affairs. Yet all these months later and despite the press holding its collective nose like it was dealing with the stench of corruption we now discover that the MP has never been approached by the police. It was the manufactured outrage from the Scottish press that allowed a Lib Dem to win the same constituency at the recent Holyrood election. Every little helps eh?
It was also manufactured press outrage over the online activities of the SNP candidate that helped Labour’s Ian Murray become the MP for Red Morningside in last year’s Westminster election. Some comments from the SNP candidate were twisted and distorted in the press in a concerted campaign of character assassination and we had Ian’s surprise victory as a result. You don’t need any more evidence that our distorted media landscape distorts our democracy. They warp, they misrepresent, they distort and they malign, and when they do shameful things they insist that they’re only doing their duty. Duty to whom? It’s not their duty to you or me. But then the Unionist media, like any inveterate hypocrite, generally has two reasons for doing something, one that sounds good, and the real one.
The condemnation from the press is inversely proportional to the seriousness of the political crime. Tony Blair took the country into an illegal war yet he’s still walking free and earning large amounts of money by whoring himself to Central Asian dictators. The war in Iraq was the greatest British political crime of this century, but Tony preserves his privileges and his wealth and his influence intact. This weekend we’re told that the great liar is warning that a Corbyn government would be a recipe for war, but there was no greater recipe for war than Tony’s ego and his desire to out-Thatcher Thatcher.
We never hear the end of the condemnation of the independence referendum for its supposed divisiveness, yet it was a campaign marked by mass activity that politicised and engaged hundreds of thousands who had previously been alienated. Now we’ve got another referendum, one characterised by negativity, fear, hyperbolic scare stories which risks the future of Britain in Europe, and all so that the UK decides which one of two over-privileged over-entitled public schoolboys gets to be next Tory leader and the next Prime Minister. The very same people who decry the divisiveness of the Scottish campaign are strangely silent as they rip seven shades of shite out of one another in a political campaign which has alienation as its goal.
Stewart Hosie stole some kisses from a woman who wasn’t his wife and his career was strangled by the media moral outrage. The Conservative party stole an election with illegal expenses and the media moral outrage is strangled. It’s potentially the most serious breach of election law in British history since Universal Suffrage was introduced, but you’ll search the media in vain for a detailed account. They’re far too busy tutting about the amorous activities of an SNP MP. Democracy is drowned in a puritan puddle while the establishment ocean of sleaze overwhelms us.
There’s little mention in the papers of the Channel 4 investigation into Conservative election expenses, even though the police are involved, even though if the allegations are true then this UK government would have won its majority only by breaking electoral law and so is illegitimate, making it quite literally a bastard Tory government. But the media doesn’t care because it’s controlled by bastard Tories too. Wrongs aren’t wrong when they’re committed by those the papers look up to.
This is the inside outside upside down universe of the British state, where wrong is right if carried out by the right people and right is wrong if carried out by the wrong people. You and me, we’re the wrong people. Little people, they’re the wrong people, the poor, the marginalised, the sidelined and the disabled, they’re the wrong people just by virtue of their existence. The right people write the headlines and make the news, the right people tell us what’s right, and what’s right is what benefits the right people.
And yet despite the onslaughts on our senses, the constant deception and the diet of lies, there are hundreds of thousands of us who look in the hall of mirrors of the British state and its media and refuse to recognise what it tells us is reality. We’ll make up our own minds, and our minds are made up that this is no state to be in. The drugs of Britishness don’t work any more.
This post was edited because I’d mistakenly said it was Ruth Davidson who won in Edinburgh West, in fact she won in Edinburgh Central.
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