How propaganda works

22 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

Over the weekend, as much of Scotland was covered in ice and snow, those of us who are dog owners still had to struggle out and slide about on the ice-rink that pavements and side-streets had been turned into. Not that I’m really complaining, the Spanish born dug loves snow. It seems to hold all sorts of interesting smells for him. It takes about twice as long to do the usual walk as it normally does, and not because you have to carefully and slowly pick your way across the icescape. It’s because the dug is insistent that every patch of suspiciously coloured snow, and a lot of patches that aren’t, has to be sniffed, licked, and pushed about with his muzzle. It must be a dug thing.

The other day, the walk that was taking longer than usual took even longer than usual because I got waylaid by a…

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Anatomy of the British Nationalist Troll

22 Jan

Random Public Journal

015
By Jason Michael

British nationalist online trolls have become a ubiquitous feature of the Scottish political cyber landscape. They receive no coverage by a British media hell-bent on portraying the independence movement as the work of Russia.

2017 was marked by a concerted effort across the western mainstream media to convince the general public of nefarious Russian state involvement in a number of elections, including the United Kingdom’s European Union referendum, and the French and United States’ presidential elections. It is alleged by a number of governments and government agencies that, as part of a so-called cyber war against these governments, Russia unleashed a swarm of fake social media accounts designed to look and act like concerned citizens of these democracies in order to subvert the political campaigns and nudge public opinion.

There certainly is enough evidence to suggest Putin’s Russia has been playing such an underhand game, and…

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A dark web

21 Jan

Scotto Voce

It’s delightful that, even when dealing with an obviously very serious matter, The Sunday Herald can find space for a little bit of humour. That line about how “the Scotland Office is meant to act as the country’s voice in Whitehall” is a belter. Not quite a coffee squirting out the nose moment. But a nice bit of satire.

Joking aside, the revelation that Keith Cochrane has been given a significant role in the Scotland Office is disturbing for a number of reasons. It’s not just the fact that Cochrane is closely associated with the evident incompetence – and possibly worse – that led to the collapse of Carillion. (One could be forgiven for thinking that the Tory regime which the Scotland Office serves was already well enough endowed with ineptitude and corruption without having to call on assistance from the private sector.)

Nor is it the lack…

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Being deafened by the “silenced”

21 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

The job of most media commentators in Scotland is to criticise the SNP.  To do so they use a Scottish media which overwhelmingly takes as its starting point that British nationalism is the norm and is a norm which is not nationalist at all. The job of the media in Scotland is to judge Scotland by the standards of Britain. Their job is to shoehorn criticism of the SNP and Scottish independence into any topic you care to think of. Their job is to undermine Scottish self-confidence and instill in us the fear that we couldn’t cope as a normal nation. But don’t you dare criticise them back, and for the sake of all the gods don’t dream of mocking them. That means you’re a tyrant who is silencing them.

The state capitol building in Hartford Connecticut has a domed roof covered with golf leaf. It’s a big building, it’s…

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What has David Torrance ever done for us?

20 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

Usually Party Political Broadcasts are pretty boring affairs. The latest SNP party political broadcast has managed to generate considerable entertainment for independence supporters, at least those of us who follow politics enough to get the joke. The broadcast was based on the famous Monty Python sketch from the Life of Brian, “What have the Romans ever done for us?”, and featured an annoying guy with a beard, coiffed hair, and hipster glasses who constantly banged on about the SNP, and how rubbish they are. Cue outrage from the usual British nationalist suspects, who immediately claimed that the advert was an attack on David Torrance, who writes a weekly SNPbad column for the Herald, and who has a beard, immaculately coiffed hair, and wears hipster glasses. Cos obviously, every guy in Scotland with a beard and hipster glasses is David Torrance.

You can go to bars up the West End of…

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Is 38 Degrees now part of the Unionist propaganda machine?

20 Jan

Talking-up Scotland

38degrees-orange

Is 38 Degrees now part of the Unionist propaganda machine?

I’ve signed many of the petitions raised by 38 Degrees. I had thought them a highly praiseworthy and trustworthy organisation, until now. However, their latest ‘Scotland’s NHS needs our help’ campaign has a bad smell about it. That smell comes clearly from the nature of the sources they use but, given their choice of sources, I’ beginning to wonder if something is rotten deeper in the organisation. Here’s the email they are circulating. I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it below but before I do, let me say these:

‘There is no crisis in NHS Scotland.’

‘There is a crisis in NHS England.’

‘There was a temporary problem in (only) Scotland’s A&E departments caused by a massive increase in cases of flu.’

________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear John,

Scotland’s NHS needs our help. New figures show that in one week this year almost…

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When you rewrite the past, you’re scared of the future

12 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m devastated, devastated I tell you, that Donald Trump isn’t coming to the UK to open the new American embassy after all. He’s cancelled his trip to London because the authorities can’t guarantee that he won’t be met with hostile demonstrations. Though the word “hostile” is probably superfluous there. If Trump won’t visit any country unless the authorities can guarantee he won’t be confronted with hostile demonstrations, that pretty much just leaves Russia.

The cancelled visit is a separate visit from the state visit with the royal coaches and the flummery that Theresa May had offered him during her hand-holding session. There’s no date set for the supposed state visit, because the Speaker of the House of Commons has made it clear that there’s as much chance of him welcoming Trump to the British Parliament as there is of the Turkish Prime Minister…

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A question of trust

10 Jan

Wee Ginger Dug

The hapless contingent of Scottish Tory MPs aren’t happy. Partly they’re not happy because by definition being a Tory in Scotland means that you’re a miserable bastert who thinks that everything in Scotland is a bit crappy, but mainly they’re not happy because of all the delays to changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill. Amendments to clause 11 of the bill are necessary because, essentially, the Tory government is saying that Holyrood needs to trust it to deliver all the extra powers that will flow from Brexit, but Holyrood trusts the Westminster Tories like you can trust a naked man who offers you a shirt. It’s not like Scotland has trust issues with the Conservatives, it’s just that we know better.

Now the deadline has passed without any of the issues which prevent the Scottish and Welsh parliaments from giving their approval to the EU exit being addressed, and none…

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Britain’s Smoke and Mirrors Media

10 Jan

More MSM Propaganda

Random Public Journal

015
By Jason Michael

Be it dummy experts or planted opinions, the unionist media in Scotland is skewing the information being presented to the Scottish people as “news.” We have to keep calling this out and showing them to be liars.

Last week, on January 3, STV News treated Scotland to yet another “expert opinion” painting a grim picture of the Scottish NHS. Professor Hugh Pennington was brought on to the evening bulletin in the aftermath of headlines in the English media about a so-called “NHS meltdown” in England to effectively convince viewers in Scotland that the same dismal reality applied to Scotland. The impression that he gave was that the NHS in Scotland was in chaos, and that this was of course the fault of the Scottish government.

STV News can claim to be balanced and fair because it afforded the Scottish government a right of reply, but we…

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New Year and a New Venture: Addressing the BBC

8 Jan

Action against the BBC!

Random Public Journal

015
By Jason Michael

Holding the BBC in Scotland to account is an essential component in the success of the Scottish independence movement. The more people we can wake up to the tricks of the unionist media the more Yes votes we will have at ScotRef.

The Christmas and New Year break was most welcome this year. Daily blogging, while not quite the same as working with a spade for a living, takes its toll, and I was delighted to be able to leave off the writing to cook a turkey or two, bake shortbread, and brew some ginger wine. Seeing as my notifications weren’t exactly brimming with complaints of my absence, I’m going to assume folk didn’t miss me too much – which is a good thing.

But here we are, it’s already eight days into 2018 and already the awareness of how important the coming twelve months…

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