Herald gives wee lesson in anti-independence propaganda

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(c) heraldscotland.com

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.

So close, even before campaigning begins, as new poll puts support for independence at 49%


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.


21 thoughts on “Herald gives wee lesson in anti-independence propaganda

  1. Clydebuilt January 3, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    Producing propaganda intended to keep your fellow man under the Jack boot of Westminster Tory Rule obviously isn’t good for the soul. . . . . Just look at Tom Gordon. . . . . . A poor soul . . . Writ Large

    Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt January 3, 2018 / 4:03 pm

        Brilliant . . . . To be honest I’ve seen him looking worse . . . Looks much worse in real life . . .

        Liked by 1 person

    • Clydebuilt January 3, 2018 / 4:05 pm

      The only thing that McChatterer is better at is fooling readers into thinking his journalism is balanced.


  2. Alasdair Macdonald January 3, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    “The Herald has an anti-independence agenda and it shows if you look for it.” Mr Robertson, I think this comment falls into the ‘Pope is a Catholic’ and ‘Ursines defecate in arboreal locations’ category!

    In the lead up to the 2014 referendum, the Herald was actually pretty balanced in its coverage of the debate, even though in the end it declared its ‘reluctant’ opposition to independence and on the day following the result indicated that it was scrutinise rigorously government actions to ensure the “Vow” was fulfilled. However, shortly afterwards, it swung sharply to the right and became pretty fervently right-wing, with the sad loss of Ian Bell and departure of some good journalists to be replaced by such as the risible Jenny Hjul and John McLellan (?). I suspect that partly this was a marketing decision since the Sunday Herald had come out for independence and the National was due to be launched. However, I suspect it also reflected a change in management personnel. It was about this time, too, that Graeme Speirs had his contract terminated for daring to criticise the Queen’s Eleven, The Sons of William, The Teddy Berrs and Angela Haggerty was dismissed from another title (The Sunday Herald) for tweeting support, as an NUJ member, for Mr Speirs. She was, after a week or so, reinstated, but given that Ms Haggerty has always been frank about her footballing preferences and expressed pride in her Irish ancestry, I suspect that the indefensible decision to dismiss her was substantially motivated by visceral hatred of her.

    The fact that Mr Gordon used to be a principal writer for the Sunday Herald before taking over the post vacated by Magnus Gardham, suggests that the political stances taken by some journalists is purely a marketing strategy, rather than any sincere political principle.

    Back in the days of The Glasgow Herald, when it was an upfront Tory supporting newspaper, it observed journalistic standards of accuracy, but the headline you have quoted indicates how far journalistic standards have fallen and that many have simply become mendacious propaganda vehicles.

    You have referenced another article by Mr Iain McWhirter in which he criticises social media and blogs, such as yours (not mentioned by name) for inaccuracy and implies that the mainstream media have more rigorous standards. I think Mr Gordon’s headline is a riposte to Mr McWhirter’s unjustified (and, to be fair, uncharacteristic) self-righteousness.


    • Clydebuilt January 3, 2018 / 6:12 pm

      McChatterer happens to be falling into line with the establishment line they are desperate to pedal . . . Don’t believe social media don’t go there for your news, . . . Yeah come on back to your local State Broadcaster. . . . . . For me he’s part of the establishment, this is just another example.

      Ursine defacating in arboreal location . . . . . Nice one! Alasdair . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 January 3, 2018 / 10:26 pm

        He sometimes says things I like then next day he’s on the other side altogether. is he for independence or just for appearing subtle and clever?


      • Clydebuilt January 4, 2018 / 9:49 am

        This morning our current state broadcaster (CSB) is following McChatterrer’s lead and rubbishing (yet again) social media. The Establishment are desperate to stop folk using the only alternative news source. On this issue MacChatterrer’s On the same side as our CSB.


  3. johnrobertson834 January 3, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Ursines defecate in arboreal locations – I like it. I suppose the self-righteousness is born out of fear.


  4. John January 4, 2018 / 7:37 am

    Yes , I have noticed Tom Gordon ‘s vitriolic hate of the SNP makes him twist all SNP stories to their detriment .Never mind the truth or fairness , this man’s journalistic skills are zero .Have re-blogged to Nicola Sturgeon Appreciation Society .


  5. Tommy Barlow, Vermont. January 4, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    WRITING OFF SCOTLAND – Press Bias in the Independence Referendum


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