Rail Unions: From ‘most hated’ to useful against the SNP

Only 10 years ago, the RMT leader in the Express and the Daily Mail. His death at only 52 was put down, by some, as partly due to endless media hostility and intrusion.

Who is the ASLEF leader in the current dispute with Scotrail? It’s Kevin Lindsay.

That’s him. See him much in media coverage? You’re more likely to see the First Minister:

The saturation daily coverage of the pay dispute which is not even a strike yet with images of SNP politicians rather than ASLEF or even Scotrail reps, is classic media war by proxy.

Glasgow University research in the 1990s revealed a very different approach to media activity prior to the growth of the Scottish Independence movement:

From the Glasgow Media Group Reader Vol.2: Industry, Economy, War and Politics (GUMG ed. Greg Philo, Routledge, 1995)

‘And Now They’re Out Again’: Industrial News (Greg Philo, John Hewitt and Peter Beharrell)

‘Reasonable Men and Responsible Citizens’: Economic News (Greg Philo, Peter Beharrell and John Hewitt)

Originally published in Really Bad News in 1982, these two chapters look at industrial and economic news coverage in the 1970s. They summarize the case studies produced by the Media Group in this period, notably on the coverage of strikes in the British car industry, the decline of the economy and how problems such as inflation were alleged to relate to trade union activity.


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