Let’s be frank about how much damage BBC Scotland is inflicting on the people of Scotland, threatening to rip apart our social fabric. Their intervention in our referendum is catastrophic. It will never ever be forgiven. They must know that. Andrew Neil once asked who independence supporters will blame if we lose the referendum. The mass media was one option on Andrew’s menu. And, yes. That’s right. Britain’s broadcast networks in general, and the BBC in particular, will get the blame. And what does Andrew Neil expect us to do about it? Nothing? Dream on.
Democracy means more than casting a vote. It requires informed debate, a level playing field with all sides given access to the broadcast media, and that simply does not exist in Britain today. Not for everyone.
The YES Campaign activists are happy with how the campaign is going on the streets, in the mass meetings. By all accounts, these are going well. But the broadcast media stinks. Most voters, alas, do not attend public meetings. They get most of their information from the broadcasters. And this is a very big problem. The BBC is the worst culprit, on both sides of the border.
Sarah Smith complains that Scottish viewers complain about her. She denounces all her critics as ‘cybernats’. She doesn’t tell us how she categorizes supporters of the NO Campaign who complain about her. My guess is there is a reason for that: they are pleased as Punch with her outrageous Better Together drivel. Who could blame them?
If there was a fair referendum, and Scots rejected my favored option – independence – I’d concede defeat. But this is a rigged referendum. And I will not concede defeat in such circumstances. Scotland’s independence movement would just be forced to change strategy if a constitutional emancipation is removed from the national agenda by the British state, and their megaphones at the BBC. Mass civil disobedience would be the order of the day. That is not a threat, but a promise. It is a prediction. It is a prediction based on knowledge of how people respond to having been cheated out of a democratic vote.
The BBC works for the other side. They refused to resign from the CBI when it was revealed that the license fee payers were having our public funds diverted into an organization that wanted to register as part o the NO Campaign, whose alleged neutrality today is a simple consequence of John Cridland’s CBI being unable to organize a piss-up in a brewery.
The response of the BBC bosses to being caught with their hands in the cookie jar was to punish their own whistle-blowers. Their response was to promote hand-picked right-wing goons who cross picket lines, and those who helped the Royal Bank of Scotland bring the global economy to its knees, the corrupt ponzi scheme specialists who are doing the same thing all over again, preparing everyone for an even bigger mess than 2008.
Far from apologizing for burying the truth about their having a conflict of interest when it comes to Scotland’s referendum, when it comes to all industrial action, to the economy, and the party most associated with the CBI – David Cameron’s Conservative Party -, BBC bosses refused to concede anything. Things just keep going from bad to worse.
In a rigged referendum, the result doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the process of going through the motions, holding out the prospect of freedom based on a democratic vote, then having those who rigged the referendum laughing in the face of the people…. The BBC bosses must know they are breeding resentment that is going to explode. BBC bosses are pumping up the levels of alienation to intolerable levels, and something’s gotta give. This is not going to be healthy for anyone. I don’t want the excesses that will inevitably follow from what the BBC bosses are doing, the kind of excesses that followed on from Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland. No one wants that. So, how can we avoid it?
Being civil with those who are stealing your democracy, robbing you blind, is a waste of time. It is worse than that. Britain’s pressure cooker society won’t be defused by mere diplomatic gestures. We need to make sure that the voters see exactly what is happening in our name. Expecting BBC Scotland bosses to play a positive role in that process at this stage is naive beyond words. Heads must roll at the BBC.
Demonstrations outside BBC offices, slow hand-clapping during debates when the chair exposes himself as a tool of the NO Campaign, petitions, occupations, complaints through the official channels, dragging the sorry asses of BBC Scotland editors and the worst offending broadcasters to Holyrood Select Committees of MSP would help. NUJ members, and other organized labour victims of the Confederation of British Industry could pull the plug on this Tory propaganda. Demonstrations in support of whistle-blowers would help. Solidarity on NUJ pickets lines. Scots would be doing this to protect our democracy. This is nothing to be ashamed of. We are fighting for freedom.