“Power is tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing”
George Orwell – ‘1984’.
Those of us who support an independent Scotland are well aware of the levels to which UK-based broadcasters and newspapers are prepared to stoop in perpetuating propaganda issued by the British State.
The anti-independence campaign was well-served during last year’s referendum, particularly, but far from exclusively, by the BBC.
The dissemination of state propaganda has reached such a degree that mainstream news-broadcasts really should begin with the presenter saying, “It’s six-o’clock, and here is what the government wants you to think…”
The latest example, in the past week, saw UK news channels and newspapers report how Turkey defended its national interests when a Russian military jet entered Turkish airspace. In ‘defending its people’, Turkey shot-down the Russian jet.
One of the Russian pilots was killed as he parachuted from his stricken aircraft. He was machine-gunned from the ground by “Syrian rebels”.
This is the story we have been told by UK media, but the facts do not chime with the propaganda, which is skewed to always portray Russia as the bad-guys.
The Russian aircraft did not enter Turkish airspace. It was shot-down while over Syria, and was returning from an attack against the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organisation.
Even if we were to accept the Turkish version, their claim is that the Russian jet entered Turkish airspace for around one-minute.
The “Syrian rebels” who shot and killed a Russian pilot as he drifted to the ground were actually Turkish nationalist-extremists, in Syria fighting government forces, not Da’esh.
In UK mainstream media reports, no mention was made of Turkey’s hypocrisy in shooting-down an aircraft for allegedly entering its airspace. In the past two-years, Turkish military jets have entered the airspace of Greece on more than 2,000 occasions. Most of these incursions have been within the 10-nautical-mile limit Greece applies to airspace around Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
Turkey disputes the 10-mile limit, arguing it should only be 3-miles. So it would seem that the vast majority of the Turkish incursions have been deliberate attempts to challenge the Greek limits and to provoke the government in Athens.
The Greek military records 40 incursions by Turkish military aircraft over Greek territory where there is no dispute in terms of the legitimacy of Greek airspace.
UK media also regularly runs stories about Russian military jets entering UK airspace and having to be chased-away by the RAF. These stories have led to British politicians and the media portraying Russia as an aggressor, apparently constantly challenging the UK’s sovereignty by attempting to invade our airspace.
This year, after yet another story claiming Russian jets had entered UK airspace, a web-based news site – not a mainstream newspaper or broadcaster – actually asked the UK Ministry of Defence for clarification of what, exactly, had happened. This is the statement received in response from a MoD spokesperson:
“The Russian military aircraft remained in international airspace at all times and they are perfectly entitled to do so. Russian military flights have never entered UK sovereign airspace without authorisation.”
Don’t expect to see this quote in newspapers or hear it on the BBC, Sky News or ITV. It’s not what the UK government wants you to know.