(c) Open Democracy
From the Guardian late on the 16th, picked up by Wings at 4am the next morning, then covered by the National today, there is an astonishing revelation of a calculated betrayal of Scotland. See, in particular, the last line, in the Guardian piece:
‘But according to what is described as a diplomatic note seen by the Times, the EU is struggling to convince the UK that it is significant that checks at a border could be avoided entirely for many companies through trusted trade schemes…The note says: “The biggest unsolved problem is Northern Ireland. There is a political mobilisation in the UK in this regard. Therefore, we are trying to clarify the EU position. The controls or checks only have to be organised in a way that would not endanger the EU single market. For the main part, these controls would not have to happen at a border. It is to be expected that the reach of the backstop would decrease anyway in case of an agreement about the future relationship … The solution is specifically phrased for Northern Ireland so that it is not applicable for Scotland, a UK concern.’
For Wings, it was both astonishing and deeply offensive:
‘The part of the UK which delivered the most resounding vote in the referendum would be the only one that DIDN’T get what it voted for.’
For the National, it was an:
‘Appalling’ secret Tory plot to shut out Scotland in Brexit deal exposed by leak.’ The EU could be ‘secretly preparing’ a special deal for a frictionless Irish border. The Tories are plotting to undermine Scotland’s interests during negotiations with the EU, in what Brexit secretary Michael Russell described last night as a “massive insult”. ‘
I can’t think of a more dramatic Brexit-related piece of news for the people of Scotland to consider, yet it has been almost invisible across our mainstream media. In their three-hour show this morning, Good Morning Scotland didn’t find space to report on it. They had plenty of time for extended reports on the lack of preparation for Brexit by health boards and on the concern about staffing shortages deriving from it. The was no sign in the Scotsman or Herald with both focusing on the forecast, from pro-Union’s Scottish Business UK, a non-existent body, of independence being ‘eight times as costly as Brexit.’
This is an unmatched example of bias by omission which may leave a major part of the Scots electorate ignorant of a key, defining development, on the path to Brexit. As Wings points out, this is an attempt to deny that part of the UK which most strongly voted to stay in the EU, a special deal which they are nevertheless prepared to offer to a part which only narrowly voted to remain because that part, Northern Ireland, is on the same island as an EU member, Ireland, which has the power to veto the deal otherwise.
Though I argue that much day-to-day media bias results from unconscious loyalty to British institutions, this, in the public domain across social media and unavoidably known to the editors and writers at the BBC, STV, Scotsman and Herald, is being neglected deliberately either out of fear or because of conscious ideological alignment with the Unionist cause.