This is a story about the telly, the tabloids and what’s still referred to, semi-seriously as ‘the Scottish broadsheets’. It may seem repetitive but the affect of the process is a re-writing of history as it happens.
Joe Middleton over at Political News from Scotland reflects on an evening with Michael Portillo which was discussing Scots independence, and the reactions of the English guests … “Rod Liddle initially tried to doubt the existence of Scotland at all…an Oxford academic worried about how England might change without the influence of Scotland and Wales and might become a less tolerant country as a result…whilst on the ‘other side’ Hardeep Singh Kohli, who appears to have wangled a berth for himself as a TV expert on Scotland, proved his own ignorance by declaring that a separate military presence for Scotland was impossible and also bizarrely claimed that he didn’t even know the SNP’s policy on nuclear weapons…while historian Michael Fry’s political analysis seemed to be that we would be so skint with independence that we would have to slash public spending (as a Tory he liked the sound of that).”
The anglicisation of supposedly pan-UK media that we are obliged to pay for through the TV licence is hardly news. The same is true of our cultural institutions as Paul Scott writes in the Scotsman today. Commenting on the appointment of Andrew Dixon to head Creative Scotland (sic) he writes:
“(Ewan Brown) seems to imply that he thinks Scotland is so backward and devoid of talent that it was essential to find someone from outside. Unfortunately such an inferiority complex about Scotland is not unusual.”
Across at the Daily Retard / Rebel / Ranger (delete as required) a rare sighting for George Galloway – a token leftist to prop up the myth that the Record is anything but a right-wing red-top. The No Longer Gorgeous One will be considered a safer pair of hands than Elaine C Smith, by Record bosses. Remember George may be ‘a good socialist’ but more importantly to the Record he’s ‘a good unionist.’
Gorgeous George bemoans the fact that Andrew Marr and the BBC are re-writing history with some propaganda on the Making Of Modern Britain on BBC2.
Who’d have thunk it George? Galloway, still reeling from the idea of a Scot being subsumed into the Anglosphere of BBC Media should have read Duncan MacMillan on the ‘The Seven Ages of Britain’: “How, for instance, can he feel moved to reflect on the impact of the Norman Conquest on Anglo-Saxon culture when he is standing in front of a great Celtic cross on Iona? The solecism alerts us to the inevitable fact that this is not the Seven Ages of Britain at all. It is the Seven Ages of England. Dimbleby only mentions Scotland in his preface to quote Dr Johnston on oats as suitable food for horses and Scots, to refer to what he patronsingly calls the “so-called Enlightenment” (even that is not attributed to Scotland), and to mention one of the Enlightenment’s scions, the great anatomist William Hunter.” Read in full here.
Middleton concludes: “The unionists can delay that vote but ultimately they cannot deny it. If the SNP needs to spend more time talking to the public and dealing with actual political issues then I’m sure they are happy to do this. If they have to fend off ill aimed allegations without much actual weight then they seem entirely capable of that as well. According to opinion polls many people in Scotland remain unconvinced by independence, probably because the actual issues are rarely properly addressed through the British media.”
It’s not all bad. For nationalists wanting to boycott the Herald, take a chill-pill, as the saying goes. Newspapers are not monolithic beasts. You can’t read Ian Bell’s consumate demolition of Murphy’s Law at the Sunday Herald Time to Snitch on the Real Cheats and say that’s a paper not worth buying, or at least reading.