Here’s what Kirsty Blackman, SNP deputy leader actually said:
‘I don’t think most folk in their daily lives give two hoots about whether Scotland is a member of the union.’
Here’s the Herald headline today:
‘Voters don’t give “two hoots” about independence, says SNP Westminster deputy Kirsty Blackman’
See what they did there? The headline and the actual statement mean two quite different things. I’m sure she’s correct that most people are not talking about independence everyday as they go about dealing with the many and increasing other concerns we all have under this awful Westminster government. Regardless of that, even I spend lots of time on other matters and don’t debate independence every hour of every day. I’m not sure the choice of ‘two hoots’ was a good one but no doubt it was said quickly in the flow of an interview.
Going back to the Herald headline it implies that all voters don’t give two hoots at all times, about independence, and that’s clearly not true. When actually asked about it, a very large number of Scots do seem to give more than two hoots about the issue. You only have to look at the recent polls. Back in mid-September 2017, Panelbase had support at 43% and Survation had it at 46%. An earlier Panelbase poll had it at only 40% but a new Panelbase poll for Wings over Scotland puts support at 49% for an independent Scotland in the EU.
Now, sometimes, journalists claim lack of responsibility for headlines, but I doubt if Tom Gordon doesn’t get the chance to approve his headline.
Propagandists always have excuses designed to suggest critics are paranoid and don’t understand journalism as if the latter is complex code that ordinary folk wouldn’t get:
‘It would have been too long for a headline with that phrase in.’
‘It was done very quickly at midnight.’
‘It was done by a junior sub-editor.’
‘If you read the whole article, it explains.’
All of the above is, of course, excrement of the male bovine. Many readers only scan headlines. Headlines overpower any subsequent reading. The Herald has an anti-independence agenda and it shows if you look for it.