Saturday, 20 September 2014

.... but Scotland votes NO

I'm pissed off about the result of the Scottish referendum. A glorious opportunity to truly change the rotten political system in the UK and it has been spurned. The clones in Westminster are well pleased, and the rest of us are stuck on the same old treadmill.

I mentioned in the last post that I think the press coverage has been poor. On an issue as open as this one it is ludicrous that all but one paper (the Sunday Express I think) has supported the NO campaign. Here's a bit of journalism that particularly pissed me off...

Over the course of the campaign a slew of articles outlined which celebrities were backing the NO campaign - David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Richard Branson (there was a video interview with the last on the front page of the BBC explaining why NO would be a catastrophe). My immediate reaction to hearing super-rich celebrities telling me what to think about politics is What the fuck would you know? As if Mick Jagger has the first notion of what life is like for an ordinary Scottish person.

This response didn't appear in the press of course. Just the usual fawning to these legends of music and business and God knows what else. In contrast, Andy Murry came out in favour of YES right at the end of the campaign  - apparently too late for it to be covered by the press which means I saw a total of ZERO celebrity endorsements for the YES campaign covered in the press.

And now, in the aftermath of the vote, this ridiculous article by Russel Fuller appears in the press explaining why Murray's support for a YES was a mistake and is going to make his life more difficult. The justification for this position seems a little confused but it seems that the big worry might be that middle England might not be as keen on him at Wimbledon. Which - obviously - should cause any man to eschew any political priniciples he might have and sell his soul to ensure the nodding approval of the strawberries-and-cream set.

What irks me is that there is absolutely no equivalent on the other side. Nobody has written any articles suggesting that Richard Branson should shut the fuck up with his moaning and just stick to being super rich without lecturing the rest of us how to live our lives. No, apparently, Richard's insights into the life of the ordinary Briton are always worth a listen... But woe betide the poor bastard who points in the opposite direction.

To compound the issue, Murray is having to cope with a storm of disgusting abuse from Scottish loyalists because of his comments. I have heard of no equivalent on the other side for this either (edit: actually, turns out there has been abuse from both sides)... In light of this, one wonders why a tennis journalist feels the need to stick the knife in too - I guess to make damn sure Murray does what the establishment wants him to do next time.

If I was Murray I'd stick to the saltire from here on and make damn sure there are no more pictures of me wrapped in the Union Jack.

Which last point, leads me to an addendum: the pictures of NO campaign revellers wrapped in the Union Jack truly sickens me. That symbol of imperialism and empire could never be acceptable, and I wonder at people who (apparently) are so dead to history that they can align themselves with it. It's a sorry day for Britain.

Postscript: 4 days after the Scottish referendum, the BBC reported again on Andy Murray supporting independence. Their article is entitled Murray regrets vote tweet fallout. The Guardian reported on the same issue with an article entitled Murray: no regrets over 'yes' support. An amusing divergence of headlines! My reading would be that the BBC are just desperate for Murray to regret something, anything... and they've lead accordingly. Talk about the news being moulded to suit an agenda...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Scotland should vote YES

I've been rather bemused by the lead-up to the Scottish referendum. Until yesterday, every single comment piece I'd read had urged Scotland to vote NO. Plus there's been a bunch of stories about celebrities making the same pleas - Mick Jagger springs to mind.

The thing is, my instinct says that Scotland should vote YES! Why would anyone stay saddled with the fuckers in Westminster any longer than they absolutely had to? I know there are a load of warnings about dire economic consequences - but this sort of nonsense is tripped out whenever the establishment wants to make vague, unquantifiable threats in order to do something it wants to do (cf. Gordon Brown bailing out the banks). I'm pretty sure that 90% of the people making these threats know less about economics than I do - and that's not much.

So, then, yesterday happened and I read this. George Monbiot, you little ripper. Someone, finally, saying exactly what I was thinking. And, to back it up, Billy Bragg - legend - with one of the shortest and most recommended comments I've seen to a Guardian article: "Amen".

So, in summary, George Monbiot and Billy Bragg think Scotland should vote YES. A lot of Westminster public schoolboys think they should vote NO. Pretty straightforward decision then...

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Two postscripts: (1) Of course the bemusement I mention at the start is simply a function of me forgetting that the media in the UK are by-and-large, an establishment machine. Which make me all the sadder for The Guardian. A fine paper in many ways but whenever it comes to the crunch they show their true incurably conservative colours. Their worst misdemeanour was backing the war in Iraq when Tony Blair started tubthumping -- for that they will never be forgiven. Again, here, when it comes to making a decision their editorial line is in meek submission to the nation's political masters - vote No Scotland! Truly pathetic.

(2) Charlie Brooker. I have read one other good article on the Scotland issue. It was good because it made me laugh. Unfortunately it also ended up suggesting Scotland should vote NO -- like all the rest of 'em...