[An interesting article by G A Ponsonby on the mainstream Scottish press's synthetic outrage at the First Minister's insistence that last week's riots were not a UK but an English phenomenon has just been published on the Newsnet Scotland website. The author coins the expression "junionalism" for journalism in which every story is slanted in a way that always seeks to uphold the Union and to disparage the independence movement. The following are excerpts:]
[The media's] frustration exploded in anger when Alex Salmond pointed out that Scotland had remained calm as England’s civil strife exploded. Salmond called for an end to the ‘UK’ description of the riots and asked for accuracy in reporting. A kind of media riot ensued where Salmond’s words were hacked, twisted then burnt on a fire of fundamental Unionism. (...)
This mindset is unable to see the damage that is being wrought on Scotland and therefore cannot begin to understand the need for change that is now gaining widespread support in Scotland. That Scottish tourism jobs could be lost as a result of media misinformation was mere collateral damage, a sacrifice on the altar at the worship of Unionism.
This thinking has rendered Labour, the Lib Dems and Tories unable to appreciate just how out of touch they were last week when ordinary Scots were angered by the media’s insistence that these were UK riots.
The hypocrisy of the Unionists over the whole ‘UK riot’ media misreporting can be demonstrated with ease. One need only mention the banking bailout where HBOS and the Royal Bank were, and still are, described as “Scottish Banks”. That these institutions carried out 90% of their business in England and were regulated by an English based body is ignored.
We can throw in sectarianism, described by Labour as “Scotland’s shame”, and of course the spiritual home of sectarianism, Northern Ireland, never sees its own street rioting described as anything other than “Northern Irish”.
The hypocrisy will be further exposed this coming week when Scotland’s ‘junionalists’ reheat and sink their teeth into the Megrahi story once again. The compassionate release will be described as Scotland’s problem and Scottish health workers and professionals will have their reputations traduced as the medical evidence is criticised by the ignorant.
The same people who lied and misrepresented from the beginning will do so again and the same attacks on Scotland’s reputation will be wheeled out. Labour politicians, whose UK leaders were negotiating secret desert deals with Gadaffi will again condemn Kenny MacAskill.