Why the Left Needs a good Independent Media

Scotland has been let down for far too long when it comes to an independent non bias news media. We have all been far too complacent and lazy for years now. From the contractors on the building sites, the plumbers and the sparks reading the tired old tabloids like the affectionally named ‘Daily Rectum’ (Daily Record) The Currant Bun (The Sun) and not forgetting the occasional titillation of The Daily Sport (out of boredom). All rely on their newsfeed and approval from that once last bastion of salvation which was Fleet St EC4Y. Back in the 70s/80s people in Scotland bought a variety of newspapers for their updates on football, And the cursory glance at the political headlines about Thatcher and Cuts, Cuts, Cuts; Then onto Blair’s vision for New Labour, which was consumed by his participation in Iraq and people were not interested.

Recently we have seen the inception first hand by Theresa May’s government which left some newspapers scrambling to uncover truth from lies – and lies from being truth. More recently we have witnessed how easily the BBC has been manipulated by Boris Johnson right w16ing cabal ably backed up by his accomplice Dominic Cummings in drip feeding what content should be covered and by who (usually Laura Kuenssberg) in order that she gets not only the government scoop, but she gets to present it on the BBC and report whatever slant she is instructed to portray it in. This is then rehashed and sent to Scotland under instruction that it will be reported in a fashion which ‘bigs-up’ the union (usually by Sarah Smith) to show that that ‘levelling up agenda’ is working. This all takes place at 6pm (STV) and 6.30pm (BBC).

Well now we have our own media in Broadcasting Scotland which has been covering the Indy movement since 2013-14 onwards, but not just naval gazing upon Indy, they actually cover international news as well. They have a variety of guests MP/MSP’s, activists (like me) as well as academics & public health advisors like Linda Bauld to comment on the political events of the day. The very idea which is really unique that an activist such as myself can be paired up with an MP or someone of that ilk and be able to offer their perspective from a grassroots point of view is, I think rather innovate. We don’t speak with a plum in the mouth we are not coached, nor do we rehearse. We simply comment on the political events of the day often on matters which affect our own communities or individual interests (such as mine which are trade union issues, socialist interests and humanitarian issues) as well as Palestine and other contentious atrocities that western media turns a blind eye to.

So my point in this rant is to advocate the thought of my comrade George Kerevan on his recent offering to The National where he makes the case to abandon the reliance of the mainstream media which is pumped into our homes & we are forced to pay an extortion fee for the privilege. If you don’t watch, you shouldn’t pay – that seems simple enough doesn’t it? Not so The British government can 7 will allow the BBC to chase you for that extortion fee, you can by law apply to declare that you no longer watch tv. It’s a long, laborious exercise, but offers no real assurance that you won’t get a chap on the door at some point in time to which they say it’s a £1,000 fine if you are watching, to which I normally reply with, well it’ll cost you an entrance fee of a £1,000 for you to confirm if I do, That gets them on the backfoot!

But back to my point, and it is this: ”How many times have you come across a fellow activist saying that he is fed up of the BBC & STV news reporting?” This rips my knitting as I usually reply with ”Why watch it then? Why don’t you watch Broadcasting Scotland instead?”. For all the activists in Scotland who could support them (£5 a month is all they ask) they could with say 10,000 direct debits invest in people and create real jobs, real jobs that will pay the real living wage and amass the untapped talent out there to build a new media platform one which is befitting of an independent republic of Scotland participating on the international stage in partnership with the European union, not a despotic, controlling one which manipulates the media for their own gains.

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