In a 1400-word piece on ‘Who would win if a general election were held now?’ by Sir John Courtier, Professor of Politics at Strathclyde University, we only read of the SNP twice, well down the page, is this revealing choice of word:
That means that not only are there as many as four parties recording substantial levels of support across Britain as a whole, but also a fifth which has a stranglehold on Westminster voting intentions in Scotland.
The SNP does not feature in either of the two graphics nor in any of the three photographs, but it is the choice of the word ‘stranglehold’ which catches the eye because it reminds us that the Prof Sir is by no means an impartial observer here.
Ironically, the Prof Sir is the BBC’s go-to-guy on elections and polls. I have never seen any other psephologist (poll-reader) perform for them. Is he the only one in the UK? I doubt it but he seems to have a stranglehold on the slot. Like some other stranglers in history, his grip has earned him a knighthood.
It’s at least as ironic and a bit laughable too, to see the SNP’s popularity described as a ‘stranglehold’ by the BBC. The SNP is popular as no other government has been. Twelve years in, they consistently poll around 40-45% and look like wiping the mat with their feckless and morally bankrupt opponents. In June 2018, the ONS reported that 61% trusted the Scottish Government to work in Scotland’s best interests compared to 20% for the UK Government. This popularity, unlike that gifted to populists such as Farage, with numerous unwarranted media invitations, was earned in the face of BBC propaganda including the well-attested demonization of Alex Salmond. To represent this hard-won popularity as a stranglehold requires a mindset already predisposed to attack the SNP at any opportunity.
When we think back to the BBC and its attempt to deny political bloggers, such as Wings, access to news reports excerpts because they might be used to evidence their bias, we see a veritable chokehold. In 2014, Good Morning Scotland removed episodes more quickly in an attempt to prevent those such as me digging into their dirty past.
When you consider the BBC’s attempts to jail licence fee avoiders who have chosen to make a principled stand against their propaganda, you see that they know all about strangleholds.
The term has previous as a Tory trope:
A strong Scottish Conservative opposition can break the “Labour-SNP stranglehold”
Miss Davidson will argue this Left-wing “stranglehold” suits Labour and the SNP but has made it difficult for the Tories as so many voters are reliant on the public sector for their household income.
To join Labour in a bid to break the SNP’s “stranglehold” north of the border.
Ruth Davidson vows to break ‘Labour-SNP stranglehold’
And the appeal is obvious to political parties seeking to dent the SNP’s stranglehold on the majority of Scottish constituencies.
Proving that the Nat stranglehold on Labour’s territory was not quite as secure as it had seemed
How dare they vote SNP. Why don’t they like us…WAAAH!!!