The Men without Qualities and the Media without Effect

I should be able to relax but I still get mad when the men above, and others, lie about the performance of the Scottish Government. My anger derives from a fear that some listeners or readers might believe them and be put off support for independence.

I should know better. For years, I taught undergraduates about media effects. There are virtually none. Politicians, parent groups, teachers and social workers, the police and lawyers have, throughout history, campaigned against the supposedly corrupting effects, on especially our children, of comics, heavy metal music, video nasties, punk music, TV wrestling and computer games. There is no evidence that any of these have caused even minor changes in behaviour. They were all what some call moral panics.

There are perhaps only two major observable media effects. Ironically, the increased, 24-hour, consumption of news reporting seems to have increased reporting of depression/anxiety. Fuelling that increase in anxiety levels has been an increase in the reporting and dramatising of extreme violence even though actual crimes of violence have been falling for more than a decade.

So, does the constant anti-Independence, anti-SNP and anti-Nicoal Sturgeon reporting have any effect. It seems not.

Evidence from What Scotland Thinks, compiling the results of multiple surveys, reveals little sign of fluctuation triggered by, for example ‘SNP civil wars.

Here are some extracts in graph form:

So, despite the headlines, trust in the FM has actually gone up a bit.

So, despite BBC Scotland tales of ‘slow starts’ and being ‘behind the curve’ on vaccinations, support for independence fluctuates as is normal with a sample of only c 1 000, but the trend is stable.

There are many more. If you can show any media effect, you get a 5 year free premium subscription to Talking-up Scotland.


33 thoughts on “The Men without Qualities and the Media without Effect

  1. Well they do say that to continue with actions
    That have no effects upon which you endeavour to achieve.
    Is indeed a sign of MNadnes
    But in the case of the MSM please add Badness
    And Bad Madmen require muzzling

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At the age of 63 and so incensed at media distortion and lies for the first time in my life I joined thousands across Scotland in 2014 to campaign on door steps. I’m sure I speak for those and many more that when the time comes around again we will be out in force to dispel the garbage that eminates from these people.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This time round, they won’t have 41 Slab MPs and 37 MSPs to throw at the news and public. The argument will be Tory austerity for at least another generation (but not in the SE of England), or a chance to mitigate much of that, and choose our own direction.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m not contradicting the Prof., but here’s how I was trained to assess the media, by employing a “multiperspectivist approach addressing issues of gender, race, class and power to explore the interconnections of media literacy, cultural studies and critical pedagogy.”

    Critical media education, radical democracy, and the reconstruction of education

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People’s perception are governed by their experience. The lives they experience are what creates their perception. The affect of the governance on their lives and experience. To which they give the most support. The SNP Gov excellent policies, caring and positive actions are what creates the better lives for people. People They certainly do not what to lose it. They will do everything to defend it. The lives people lead constitutes their experience.

    Nicola Sturgeon is a brilliant leader never puts a foot wrong. Along with her colleagues and associates creates excellent governance making people’s live better. They could not do a better job, They listen to people’s needs. Put up a manifesto and follow it through in every way they can to the letter, That is why they have so much support. People trust them because they deliver. Any opposition are just 3rd raters. Trying to cause distraction and destruction. People are aware of that and the situation.

    Everything else is just white noise in the background. Just a distraction, liars always get found out. People know the MSM is just an untruthful distraction, The ‘stories’ bear no reflection on their lives and experiences. Which they know are very different.

    MSM is just annoying making people angry, at best, or just ignored. People get and share their information on the internet. Often calling out the lies of the MSM. There are some prima donnas feeding the media. They are just relatively ignored. White noise. Best ignoring and not getting annoyed. Don’t watch it,

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The corporate media would not be doing their job properly if no one at all was fooled/influenced/conned ny them. Not everyone is on the internet, and many can’t be bothered to look for factual news or sites which challenge their long held beliefs in what their masters in the media tell them. The BBC for example was always touted as the bastion of honest, intelligent, programming and news. Local, national and international,
    ‘this is the BBC’, oh aye the voices of truth and reason, not to be knocked or analysed, all a con of course.

    It’s not so easy for them now due to the internet, how many people I have heard slag off Twitter of other forms of communication via the internet but who believe what their masters of corporate media tells, them like zombies. They tamper with social media and blogs as well, so it’s an uphill battle. It’s what rattles them, it’s why the devolution project made sure to keep hold of broadcasting powers, which can only ever be put overturned with independence for Scotland. That’s why the EngGov are pulling out all the stops to unseat the FM and the SNP. They will go further than their media lies, if necessary, Scotland is in great peril, but we all know that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re seeing anything but the early stages of what will once again be a highly choreographed propaganda campaign spearheaded by the State Propaganda Unit, which has had a century to hone its craft. Borifice may be a clown, but the full apparatus of the British State will be on the case. We only have to reflect on the scandal of the so called ‘spy cops’ infiltrating all sorts of groups to realise the lengths they will go to (and probably already have), and it seems likely we only know some of that story. On a more positive note, some at least of those who voted No in 2014 have come to see that it’s the only way to secure the kind of future the majority want to achieve. The bulk of the Project Fear Playbook will no longer work. Another positive is that with the UK now a third state (not to mention third rate) there’s no reason for the EU or EFTA to be constrained in how they engage with indyref2. How rewarding would it be for the EU to see the Greater England Project substantially weakened?


  7. Interesting to see on CH4 News tonight Professor David Salisbury drawing attention to the use of ‘offered’ when it comes to counting vaccination numbers. He said it is needles in arms that count not offers.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Get real. Product placement works.
    Hourly, daily, weekly anti SNP/independence slanted comment is promulgated, in the press, the TV, and radio.
    There are reports of complaints Sturgeon gets a “propaganda” slot: this while Boris is in the news, on the news hourly–for what? Nothing.
    With Tories running the BEEB this us a non-brainer.
    The YES movement (in the absence of the SNP) have to start countering this.
    We won’t change the nature of the coverage by committed British nationalists (as pictured), but we have to make our discontent with the ” narrative” known.
    Write to—yer local paper
    Yer main newspaper,
    The BEEB.
    Yer MP–complain to whoever “represents” you.
    Get your complaint in first.
    Get off yer fat butt and DO something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry–this is a wine rant by a VERY disappointed Scotland supporter.
      Of course, you must be very middle-classed, pathetic and circumscribed ——but for once, get off your feckin’ butts and DO SOMETHING.

      Well done Wales.


      1. @ Rugby supporter.

        Wales is a good team. Just won by one last minute point. Give them a break.

        Ireland versus France next.

        Australian Open 🎾 Tennis.

        Melbourne in Lockdown Atsina. Murray was supposed to be playing.


      1. I appreciate the BBC platforms the SNP in Scotland, but Scottish votes don’t count in UK politics (see Brexit). Scottish politics is framed through British nationalism, and is basically a pantomime.

        Click to access uk-media-coverage-of-the-2016-eu-referendum-campaign.pdf

        “Sovereignty, while covered often, was not a primary issue in referendum campaign coverage but a secondary one. In other words, it was referred to frequently, but almost always in the context of other issues – most notably the economy or immigration – rather than being an issue on its own.

        Rarely was sovereignty, for example – or the terms related to sovereignty – referenced in a headline. Over the course of the campaign sovereignty became increasingly linked to immigration, and when it was referred to, it was regularly associated with the Leave campaign’s framing of sovereignty as ‘taking back control’.”


  9. People are curious – they seek knowledge… such as this single sentence..

    “Dido Harding told the Commons Science and Technology Committee this week that 2500 consultants were working on her ineffective Test and Trace programme (not linked to local public health or GPs), earning an average of £1100 a day each, while the NHS is now historically underfunded with an underlying deficit of around £3 billion.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nicola get the sympathy vote when folk pick on her while doing a good job. It increases support.

    It perceives of bullying. People do not like it. She is doing her best. Better than anyone one else but being constantly criticised. White noise.

    Unheard of support at the polls. Unprecedented support in numbers. Marvellous,

    Especially compared to the opposition,

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Sorry, I missed the question. Genderwoowoo is the slang for believing that biological sex is socially constructed, and that trans-women are actually women. Which requires the denial of medical science and bioethics. It is this nonsense that is driving women away from the SNP.

    Gender Identity Development: A Biopsychosocial Perspective


  12. The NHS needs £10Billion+ . The Tories have offered £4Billion. After previous cuts. The knowledgeable NHS leader, in the south, is being sidestepped. Hancock is taking over by Act of Parliament of special powers. Illegal? abuse of power. Another Tory muck up. Leading to disaster. Some people never learn. Time and time again.

    Depriving the NHS of essential funding. Increasing funding in the military. Already over funded. HS2, Hinkley. point. Trident overfunding disaster. Disastrous decisions.

    The Tories will be voted out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Tories will not be ‘voted out’ and they were not voted in in Scotland in the first place, that’s the problem. The UK is not fit for purpose it’s wholly undemocratic. The people of England can choose to vote out the Tories, the people of Scotland cannot, they get what England votes for.
      That’s why Scotland needs independence as has been said by so many for so damn long, what the hell is wrong with your own country choosing your own government with all of the leverage in decision making that is normal across the globe, other than countries that are occupied territories.
      People need reminding of what was promised before Indy ref 1, and what was said the day after the vote.
      Back of the bus or in the driving seat, which is it to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. The Tories are not voted for in Scotland by the majority. They will be voted out in the rest of the UK as a majority when their disastrous
    (Brexit) policies unfold and they get found out. Their support was already falling in the polls. They were/are on equal terms with Labour in the rest of the UK.

    The DUP are not happy because of what is happening in Ireland. They rely on DUP support in Westminster. Overall support is wavering and falling. In the recent polls they do not have the commanding lead that they had in the rest of the the last GE election. Just over a year ago. They are on the slide quite quickly.

    The continuing disaster of their policies will mean that the likelihood will be of them being voted out. They will have only two+ years to change the drift. Too little time. Especially with their disastrous ill thought out policies, Governance on the run. They do not listen to anyone for good advice and carry on regardless.

    They are not voted for in Scotland and are not popular. Their popularity in waning in the rest of the UK. They will be voted out and lose power. Quite relatively soon? Council election in the rest of the UK in May. Might be an indication. Brexit vote was achieved by a small majority. The majority are unhappy with the outcome. It is affecting so many people negatively. More bad than good. More bad news frequently. They cannot hide even if they try, with UK propaganda.


  14. My then teenage sons got a lesson on media spin in July 1999 – on the day the Scottish Parliament reconvened. We were part of the crowds lining Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to watch the processions. There was barely a cheer as the royal carriage passed carrying the queen, Philip and Charlie. Following the carriage, which was surrounded by soldiers on horseback, came a wee refuse truck with workers clearing up the horse sh*t. Folk started cheering them and they waved their shovels, making the crowd yell louder. On TV that night, the cheers were matched with the footage of the royal carriage.


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