‘Why anti-BBC billboards are a terrible idea before indyref 2’
I’m not going to read this piece on Common Space. I haven’t got the time to waste on infighting within the pro-independence movement. I’m not going to respond to any criticism for the same reason. Call me arrogant. I don’t care. I’m not saying for one minute that anyone should be denied freedom to say what they want but this is no time for ego-flattering and posturing on the fringes of a propaganda war that requires discipline and concentration if we are to succeed.
I spend all my time attacking the misrepresentation of Scottish politics by the 90% pro-Union corporate and state media, constructing or exaggerating failures and ignoring successes that might give the Scottish electorate the confidence to vote for independence.
If others within the pro-independence movement think my strategy and the strategy of Inform Scotland to expose the BBC is wrong then they are entitled to hold that opinion. They must remember, however, that in political campaigning there are only opinions. I and others might disagree with the strategies of groups like the Greens, Common Space, RISE or even the current SNP leadership. You could observe that the tiny growth in support for independence since 2014, despite awesome levels incompetence and contempt for Scotland from the current Tory government, might suggest they’ve got it a wee bit wrong. However, we have the sense not to waste time or energy attacking our own side because we have more important tasks in pursuit of our real enemies: the institutions, the politicians, the corporate leaders, the cultural icons and so on who massively dominate the media discourse upon which the electorate must base its notions of reality.
There’s a real danger, as the campaign lengthens and the years pass, that some ‘campaigners’ will find themselves too comfortable within it and lose the drive to end it in victory. This happened notably last century in the Labour Party as careerists lacking discipline and focus on the enemy, casually prolonged the war for equality and lived comfortably in its failure without end. Many became personally wealthy. Some even became members of the House of Lords! Already, there are politicians, salaried activists and journalists for whom independence would really be a bit inconvenient not to mention challenging. They need a bit of stability if they are to pay long-term mortgages, to pay school fees and to afford extended holidays in France.
According to a piece (fair) in the Herald tonight, ‘the SNP distanced itself from the poster campaign, saying it had nothing to do with it and did not support it.’ I’m an SNP member but I don’t agree with aspects of the post-Salmond strategy which has only pushed support for independence up by a disappointing one or two percentage points since 2014, despite Brexit and austerity. This comes after the dramatic increase from around 20% to 45%, in more difficult times, under Salmond’s more visceral leadership. Alex Salmond is on record as being much more directly critical of BBC Scotland. It’s little wonder after their appalling personal demonisation of him in the run-up to the Referendum.
Despite this, I remain loyal and will not be drawn into infighting. I trudged the streets of Ayr, for Nicola, only to see the new strategy fail to unseat our local Tory. I could easily spend time analysing that defeat and finding fault but I’m far too busy fighting the good fight.