2007 - 2020

Fear Factor 3

Scared at the prospect of running your own country? Terrified about what the future holds? Haunted by nightmarish visions of deep uncertainty? The Fear Factor is a series of short films looking at why Scottish people are afraid, very afraid, about what’s in store for their poor wee country…

3/ The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth: If only we could have an honest debate! In this film we look at why this simply isn’t going to happen. For starters an honest, rational conversation would make it impossible for fear, negativity and smears to remain the only subjects that get coverage (even when they didn’t exist in the first place)

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  1. Andrew Morton says:

    Watching this video, the bit about unanswered questions struck a chord in my memory. I rummaged about in my Yes Minister collection and came up with these gems. Just check them off against Better Together’s tactics.

    “How to discredit an unwelcome report:

    Stage One: Refuse to publish in the public interest saying
    1. There are security considerations.
    2. The findings could be misinterpreted.
    3. You are waiting for the results of a wider and more detailed report which is still in preparation. (If there isn’t one, commission it; this gives you even more time).

    Stage Two: Discredit the evidence you are not publishing, saying
    1. It leaves important questions unanswered.
    2. Much of the evidence is inconclusive.
    3. The figures are open to other interpretations.
    4. Certain findings are contradictory.
    5. Some of the main conclusions have been questioned. (If they haven’t, question them yourself; then they have).

    Stage Three: Undermine the recommendations. Suggested phrases:
    1. ‘Not really a basis for long term decisions’.
    2. ‘Not sufficient information on which to base a valid assessment’.
    3. ‘No reason for any fundamental rethink of existing policy’.
    4. ‘Broadly speaking, it endorses current practice’.

    Stage Four: Discredit the person who produced the report. Explain (off the record) that
    1. He is harbouring a grudge against the Department.
    2. He is a publicity seeker.
    3. He is trying to get a Knighthood/Chair/Vice Chancellorship.
    4. He used to be a consultant to a multinational.
    5. He wants to be a consultant to a multinational.”

    “To suppress an internal government report, rewrite it as official advice to the Minister. Then it is against the rules to publish it, so you can leak the bits you want to friendly journalists.”

    The unanswered questions gambit is Stage Two part 1.

  2. Charles Patrick O'Brien says:

    Aye well we knew they would start like this but I bet their finish will be the finish of us and Scotland as a country,and I still think it is all about jealousy of the Oxbridge historians.

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