If ever there was a clear example of how the news and current affairs media, as it applies in Scotland, sieves all of its political news items through a finely strained red, white and blue colander it was the reporting of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in Edinburgh the other day on Brexit and the future options for Scotland’s ongoing relationship with Europe.
I watched this speech, in fact I watched it twice, and having seen the headlines associated with it since I can only conclude that I must have blacked out (twice) and missed the crucial bit where she donned a red See-You-Jimmy wig, a tartan bunnet, some tight tartan leggings, draped a St Andrews Cross over her shooders and strutted about the stage like Mick Jagger, shouting at the top of her voice “Easy Easy, it’s on triumphantly tae Indy we go, the Union is fecked by the way, Easy Easy!” Yup I definitely missed that.
According to the usual suspects, the state broadcaster et al, the speech from the capital was all about those pesky separatists making sinister threats to go all yon blue painted faced independent way again. Just about every single article I’ve come across on it has focused totally on the last few paragraphs of quite a comprehensive speech, ignoring just about all of the content other than a perceived ultimatum from the Scottish Government threatening the future of the glorious Union.
Na, it’s not important to report that the First Minister highlighted her worries for the whole of the UK, as well as Scotland, of the impact of Brexit in terms of employment, living standards, the economy, social justice and the severe potential consequences for citizens of other EU member states currently living in the UK. It really wasn’t worth mentioning she considers that David Cameron must have had play-dough between his lugs to think it was a good idea to have a referendum on leaving a market for British goods of 500 million potential customers, or that the chaps in the big shoes with the lighting up noses and squirty flowers in their lapels involved in engineering the Leave vote victory had absolutely no clue or plan of what to do should they actually succeed, before they all ran away to join monasteries or become Foreign Secretaries. Not even was it greatly worth registering the First Minister’s expressed opinions on the devastating impact that the austerity policies of the UK Government had on the extreme degree of the decision.
Notably too the reporting of the speech showed a clear lack of commentary on the worrying rise of far right influences and xenophobia, which had some impact on the result, or the very good point that was made by her that in no way could the majority of the citizens of the UK be described as being racist therefore other factors must be involved (leading on to her point about austerity and government policy). Nope, none of that is worth making much of at all. These points are not worth covering because to do so would make her look like the reasonable, caring human being that she actually is, and we can’t have that.
She must be sick to the back teeth of continually saying to audiences, and journalists, that she is exploring all possible avenues to protect Scotland’s interests, that independence is not a starting point in this process, but is an option if it works out to be the best choice to secure Scotland’s future. As expected the British nationalist media simply don’t hear this, it does not compute, and respond in their usual Union at all costs manner. Oh, and what about the guard dogs and border controls? What will be the currency, the Bawbee? Guffaw! Yawn.
However, at the moment much time is being bided, and the shoe is most definitely now on the other foot in the era of Better Together (in the EU). Such well worn Darlingesque and Smurphy phrases like “strength and security”can become our key campaign phrases this time, and as time moves on, and the impact of the disastrous Brexit decision starts to sink in, the tartan stiletto heel will begin to weigh just that bit heavier on the throat of the crumbling Union.
And when it does we will be ready.