Saturday, 23 June 2012

Seeing through the British Unionist propaganda

Representatives of British Unionist political parties could hardly contain themselves last week when an opinion poll indicated support for Scottish independence had slipped by 4 per cent. According to the Unionists, this finding showed the people of Scotland were turning away from taking control of their own country.

Now, there are a number of qualifications that go with every poll – the numbers taking part, the demographics of the polled group, the question asked, who is paying for the poll and so on. On this occasion the poll was for two News International newspapers (the Times and Sun) and the question asked was the one favoured by the SNP for the 2014 referendum – ‘Do you agree Scotland should become an independent country?’ So, did the Unionists have a point?

Well, yes and no. Yes, they were factually accurate in highlighting that the poll showed a drop of 4 per cent in support for independence since the same group were asked their opinion in January, but the latest survey came slap-bang in the middle of the biggest and longest example of pro-British Union propaganda we have experienced in 25 years. It has been impossible to escape British Union flags in newspapers and on television, while gushing stories about how we all love the British monarch and good old Britannia have been pumped into our homes (and brains) for weeks on end. Given the British Union indoctrination taking place while this latest poll was being carried out, the most remarkable feature of the recorded fall in support for Scottish independence is that it was not much bigger.

Many professional pollsters consider a difference of 4 per cent as being statistically insignificant - some put the figure at 3 per cent and others use 5 per cent. Whatever level is accepted, a fall of 4 per cent in the Times/Sun poll, against a backdrop of wall-to-wall British Unionist propaganda, tends to suggest a very strong core level of support for independence. Despite the best efforts of the British establishment and the very loyal British (mainly English) media, very few people polled were swayed away from supporting Scottish independence.

Of course, it was because of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, with all of its Union Jack waving and promotion of that illusory concept of Britishness – not to mention the impending London Olympics, where it will happen all over again – that the British Unionist political parties wanted the independence referendum held this year. It is also the case that one of the reasons the SNP favour autumn 2014 for the referendum is because we will be competing as Scotland in that summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A good result for Scottish athletes, not to mention a few Saltires being hoisted aloft as Flower of Scotland rings out to welcome Scottish success, might just add a few more votes to the pro-independence campaign, so the argument goes.

However, as the recent Times/Sun poll suggests, the number of people likely to vote on the future of their nation based on what flags they see being waved on their television screens, will be very small. Thankfully, most people will consider our constitutional future in much greater detail.

Over the next two years the Yes Scotland campaign will set out the benefits of Scotland re-taking its political independence. Meanwhile, the anti-independence campaign, to be launched in the next couple of weeks, appears to have progressed little beyond the traditional Unionist mantra of Scots being ‘too wee, too poor and too stupid’ to govern themselves. Uniquely amongst all the peoples of the world, we will be told only the Scots are incapable of running their own country. Not for us the normality of independence.

According to the British Unionist political parties, Scotland would be an economic basket case without the support of England: Labour will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories and Liberal Democrats in attempting to prevent Scots from being able to govern ourselves at home and represent ourselves on the world stage.

The Independence Referendum campaign will completely expose the Labour Party in Scotland. We know the Tories are anti-Scottish, we can see all around us the evidence of how damaging to Scotland are the policies of the Tory-Lib Dem UK Government, but the reality of Labour’s position in the ‘No to Independence’ campaign is that they would rather see the Tories continue to govern Scotland from London than an independent Scottish Government elected by the people of Scotland.

The Labour Party in Scotland can no longer even claim to be putting first the interests of Scots when they are prepared to side with the Tories to deny us the powers we need to transform our country, powers that only come with independence.

The Independence Referendum will be the first time Scots have ever had the opportunity to voice our opinion on whether or not we should remain within the British Union or restore to our country the political powers stripped from us with the union of the parliaments of Scotland and England in 1707. No ordinary Scots had a say in that union: we were sold into control from London by the so-called Scots nobility, the group poignantly described by Robert Burns as “such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation”.

At the launch of the ‘No to Independence’ campaign, and over the next two years, the modern-day equivalent of those “parcel o’ rogues” will unite to argue Scots should not be allowed to govern their own country. This time, however, we will have our say. This time, ordinary Scots will decide our country’s future. All the state-sponsored, British Unionist propaganda can’t mask the reality that Scots are more than capable of running our own affairs and of governing ourselves in a normal, independent country.


  1. Almost what I would say myself.I would only ask how to tell the people of the country that polls are made to suit the party buying the poll.
    I would like to see all the truths being put out for us all to read.I don't care what anybody says as I want to be able to say I come from a country that runs its own affairs,not one subjugated,by its neighbour.Although I think the reason the Labour are afraid of independence is that some of their dirty deeds will come to light,like about 15 years ago just before T.Sheridan got thrown out of the Labour party there were rumours of a dossier about certain high ranking members of the Glasgow Labour party,and also of the main lot in London,the dirty deeds were all down on paper,that is why the Labour party will sacrifice Scotland for the sake of their own skins and the Party,same as 1707,sacrifice a country so that a few "people" keep being rich and in power.Just my view.