‘Our voice is not spoken, and it is not heard’

Andrew Milligan / PA Wire

Posted today on:

and worthy of a bigger audience, by:


For me, the key is to look deeper at the source of the news being published and the intention/overall goals of the author, specific source (newspaper, TV channel), the media group and owners.

I think there’s a perception that news is news, and that there’s a lot of faith in how news is presented. But, looking critically, everything is editorialised.

The choice of what to report, what to focus on specifically, who to ask for opinions, how they ask for opinions, the language they use.

A great example of this is reporting around GRR. The media frequently focused negatively on the act, focused on the most controversial parts, then asked a middle aged, middle class woman with trans-exclusionary views and a professional title to come and talk about harms of the new bill, frequently uncritically, frequently inaccurately. They would then have a transperson rebut those claims, and use the prior guests claims to refute them.

The same for reporting about Isla Bryson. The policies and procedures that were followed exposed no one to risk of harm. They were moved to a woman’s prison and held separately until a comprehensive risk assessment was undertaken, at which point they were deemed a risk and moved to an alternative prison. But the media reporting was extreme.

In the end, most of the media in Britain has a unionist bias. The authors, entities and owners, in the main, would lose out in some way by the separation of Scotland and the rest of the UK. I do not have faith in reporting around issues of Scottish independence, Scottish policy, or Scottish politics.

Look at the NHS. The reporting is that the Scottish NHS is in crisis. But what does that mean? There are unprecedented challenges to the structure of any national health system. Aging population, substantial increase in treatments available, higher expectations of care. No one in the UK has been able to keep up with the need. But the recent audit Scotland report has been widely used to pan Yousaf and Scotland. How does this compare to the rest of the UK? Where the same nursing recruitment targets are missed by huge margins, and doctor recruitment and retention is at least as poor. Yet government ministers are given freebie questions to spout nonsense about ‘more money than ever going to the nhs’ (true but meaningless with 11% inflation), and to say that we can’t afford to pay nurses better, even though the mean private pay has increased by 7% (and more for professionals where there’s competition in the market for employers).

In the end, there’s an overwhelming media preference for the union, which constantly pushes the narrative away from Scotland being able to exist as an independent country with competent politicians, sufficient infrastructure or resources. There’s an overwhelming media preference for capitalist and conservative values both socially and economically which is not representative of the views of Scotland. Our voice is not spoken, and it is not heard.

and in response to criticism, this:

When we have unionist parties who are subordinate to their national party, we must assume that they will not significantly deviate from their lead.

And yes. One metric of healthcare systems is relative performance to similar systems. There is no better comparison than Scotland Vs rest of UK.

Further, it is disingenuous to say health is ‘fully devolved’ without recognising that the ability to fund health is not. The reality is that healthcare is getting more expensive: there are more treatments, there are higher expectations. Unless there’s a commensurate increase in funding, it is unreasonable to think the service will improve without disproportionate increases in funding, rather than the effective cuts we’ve seen.

Excellent. Share and share.


15 thoughts on “‘Our voice is not spoken, and it is not heard’

  1. The media, of course allow comparisons between Scotland and England, but only if they purport to show that Scotland is worse.

    If they have to acknowledge a comparison where Scotland is superior to England, it is usually accompanied by a comparison with some other country whose performance is markedly better than both. Then we have the damning: “being better than England is hardly something to brag about”.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I really hope the 3 FM candidates come to the debates prepared to challenge these assumptions/insinuations particularly on health and education. The unionist/ Westminster message is consistently to imply Scotland is failing in these areas without any UK wide comparisons or context and this has then come to be accepted as true and widely accepted in the mainstream media. Just look at how the recent NHS audits were reported, or how Chris Whitty’s positive comments on Scotland’s health initiatives failed to make the news,

    I think labour in particular are pushing the argument that the SNP is not a competent government because they can’t really criticise their policies which are often more progressive than Labour can hope to pursue in the UK. I want to hear much stronger rebuttals from any future leader, backed up with evidence and repeated on every possible occasion, particularly in places where they can’t be hidden, ignored or edited by union supporters

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments above but if we are being totally honest are TUS and other pro Indy websites equally not guilty of editing out comments that are not agreeable in the same way the BBC and MSM do? Like many here I blog frequently on pro Union websites and my comments are nearly always deleted or relegated. As such just like the pro Unionist MSM Social media which I hoped would bring a fresh perspective and the preferred medium for open debate is now in itself becoming very selective and more polarised. I no longer subscribe to Twitter etc as this was becoming too toxic and degenerated into an abusive slanging match so the choices to get our message across are becoming more restrictive and IMHO intentionally so..

    Keith Brown at the last SNP Conference suggested the SNP were to launch its own media channel but have heard nothing since.. Anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I wasn’t aware he’d been elected. Which Constituency? 3 years ago he was appointed head of communications for the SNP. How effective has the SNP been at communicating its message during that time?


    1. ‘Are TUS and other pro Indy websites equally not guilty of editing out comments that are not agreeable in the same way the BBC and MSM do?’

      No, never have unless they are personally abusive or use language that might cause WordPress to cancel me.

      I even allowed this below after she correctly pointed out a mistake in my comments about her and asked for a platform for her Unionist views:

      Sincere apology to Jane Lax of Craigellachie

      Has Covid-19 ended the SNP dream of independence?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Maybe we all rely too much on platforms to set out our views and opinions, and direct human to human contact would be more effective? I don’t know if John deletes posts he disagrees with but I have heard that it happens on both sides of the indy debate. However I do feel that indy supporters are pretty vocal and are likely to debate the issues socially, I know I do whenever I can and indy rallies and discussion forums seem to be pretty well attended. I haven’t abandoned twitter yet but rarely get involved in discussions there. I agree it is pretty toxic at times but it is still one of the main ways to put forward views and maybe even to be exposed to other viewpoints?


    3. So the entire foundation of your “..are TUS and other pro Indy websites equally not guilty of editing out comments that are not agreeable…” are your own experiences on “pro Union websites” ?
      Seriously ?


  4. The support for Independence is still rising. If more Independence supporters go out and vote every election. The majority are not listening to the MSM bias. They are going on the internet to exchange views and information.

    The BBC is Tory controlled but the Tory support is at rock bottom. Another GE is coming. With every month that passes they are losing support. Especially in Scotland. If Independence supported go out and vote every election. A highe4 turnout. Use it. Or lose it,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are preaching to the converted here Gordon in that most of us here are committed to independence and will of course vote in any future elections. I also think that while you share often useful ideas and info you are very definite in your opinions and not inclined to answer or follow up other opinions. We have a great platform here to enable discussion, different viewpoints and information – use it or lose it! Perhaps we could all do some debating practice here to develop the confidence and skills needed in debate elsewhere?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The nurses and NHS workers are getting pay increases.. The Tories are backing off.. The workers will win. The ConDems cut NHS funding from 2015 to 2020. Instead of increasing it. Mismanaged pandemic. Brexit is losing £Billions. The Tories spent £270Biloion over two years funding Covid. £370Billion over a lifetime.

    £13Billion a year for ten years decommissioning nuclear.
    £250Billion on pensions/benefit. £240Billionon administration?

    The Tories spent £918Billion. Took in £819Billion in taxes/revenues. (Incl Covid funds? Borrowed?). UK Gov Accounts 2019/20. Published June 2022.

    The Tories claim there is no monies to pay essential workers. They spent £Billions on HS2, Hinkley Point etc. With no business case. A waste of time and monies. Always subsidised. Brexit contribution. £4Billion. The nearest, biggest market. CAP payments to keep prices down. Shared Defence costs. Brexit is losing £thousands and essential workers,

    Scotland would be far better off Independent. Not paying for Westminster waste and mismanagement.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A London journalist (Scottish parents), whose name I forget came to Scotland in the 70’s (as a BEEB propaganda stunt), to proclaim that Scottish independence could never be achieved because “opinion formers” in the media were totally against.
    These opinion formers are now replaced by a new generation but are still 100% Brit Nat in their opinions, and the news is now even more “managed” than it has ever been.

    Yet independence is just there, right there, in front of us!


  7. And the “opinion formers” have succeeded in making most people in the UK think they live in a democracy. Some democracy, when in 1963 two people, the outgoing Prime Minister Macmillan and the Queen, put in Lord Home as Prime Minister. He renounced his peerage and became Sir Alec Douglas-Home. But he wasn’t a member of the Lords or the Commons for nearly 3 weeks, until he won a by-election.


  8. The Tory PM was appointed by Tory members not elected. The last four few had to stand down. The Tories are at their lowest ebb. Losing it.
    The unionists at Westminster do not have a clue. Scotland is being governed better than it ever has been. The support for the Scottish Gov is unrivalled. Elected time and time again. People support another Indy Ref.

    People who support Independence need to go out and vote to support it every election. 50+ support Independence?

    Turnout local/council elections. 40%. Holyrood Elections 50%. GE 60% on average. Referendum 85%. The opposition would be voted out if people who support Independence voted. A higher turnout.


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