Headlining a myth entirely of their own creation is classic media construction of reality. Media Studies students as young as 16 have pounced on this for their latest projects because it’s an easy one. They can run a wee focus group with their pals and see how many believe the story is true. They can probably get their granny to say it must be true because it’s on the BBC.
Of course it’s not true. The whole idea comes from Nick Eardley’s essay two days ago, which I failed with an E grade. Here’s my deconstruction [meeja word] of his guff:
Nick has a lot to say but little evidence for it. Even a First-Year journalism student knows you need some real evidence to make any case. You know, attributable sources, reliable sources, maybe even some numbers?
Here’s what Nick has:
- [T]here are factions in the party
- There are even conversations
- Some critics say
- Some senior figures in the party, such as MP Joanna Cherry
- Others – such as veteran MP Pete Wishart
- Others still want
- The MP Angus MacNeil is one of those who think
- He added:
- Mr MacNeil is not the only one
- Privately, others also say
- One parliamentarian said
- [T]here are also those
- Some have told me
- [S]ome in the SNP are
- [T]here are those in the SNP considering the possibility of life after Ms Sturgeon – and even some who think she might not be around for much longer.
- Figures in the party have told me
- A few have used the exact same phrase
- I put that point to a couple of SNP politicians who agreed to interviews. First, Mr MacNeil, who said: “I suppose that’s maybe a matter for events and Nicola Sturgeon – who knows? What I’m concentrating on is not so much the personalities involved but it’s the issue of independence.” Hardly a full-throated endorsement. I also asked Kenny MacAskill, who was Justice Secretary in Scotland under Mr Salmond and is now an MP. He praised Ms Sturgeon but also used a phrase that always raises eyebrows in politics: “There is no vacancy.”
- Many of Ms Sturgeon’s supporters are
- One, when asked
- [S]ome are urging the leadership to think about a contingency plan to replace Ms Sturgeon with a like-minded figure if she has to quit.
- One told me:
22 claims, only 6 attributed and to only 4 people within a party of 48 MPs, 63 MSPs hundreds of councillors and thousands of members. Frankly, all Nick has found is polite debate within a healthy democratic party, no factions visible at all, one (MacNeil) tweeting regularly his impatience to get on with Indyref2, one other proposing testing the legal situation, another doesn’t want to do that and one old warrior has nothing to say.
Nick then predicts: ‘The SNP is facing an extremely challenging few weeks.’
Why don’t we check out the polls? If there is any evidence in more than one poll, of a notable fall in support, maybe I’ll worry.