Category Archives: media

The Day After

Catalunya triomfant (18/22)
Catalunya triomfant (18/22), a photo by . SantiMB . on Flickr.
As part of the Catalan independence campaign, a group of people have been raising money to allow Isona Passola to make a film about the consequences of independence, called L’Endemà “The Day After”.

So far they’ve managed to raise €348,830 (£294,431).

I saw this mentioned in the Danish newspaper Politiken, but I haven’t yet read anything about it in English-speaking media.

Here’s what the website says about the film:

L’ENDEMÀ donarà arguments clars, sòlids, fiables i contrastats, amb dades objectivables, per boca de les figures nacionals i internacionals més tècniques i més ben informades, a través del mitjà més prestigiós dels mitjans de comunicació, el cinema. També s’editarà la web-sèrie Les píndoles contra la por amb respostes a les grans preguntes que resolen els grans temes de país, les respostes que necessitem per a decidir sense por i tranquil·lament.

My Catalan is a wee bit rusty, but I think it means something like this:

THE DAY AFTER will provide clear, solid, reliable and contrasting arguments with objective data, recounted by the most knowledgeable and best-informed national international figures, through film, the most prestigious form of communication. We will also release a web site, The Pills against Fear, with answers to the major questions to solve the great national issues, the answers that we need to decide calmly and without fear.

Overlooking the obvious

Viking by airship
Viking, a photo by airship on Flickr.

The Economist this week has a special report about the Nordic Countries.

I would have considered it natural to mention in that context how Scotland is currently extremely focused on Scandinavian solutions (have a look at Nordic Horizons, for instance), and how this is inspiring the pro-independence movement.

Alas, The Economist doesn’t seem to have mentioned Scotland at all in their special report. For all practical purposes, they’ve already forgotten there will be a referendum in 2014, and therefore in their book the only question worth asking is what the UK can learn from Scandinavia, not whether their special report will inspire even more Scots to vote Yes to become an independent, Nordic-inspired country.

BBC’s bias

Originally uploaded by baaker2009

The SNP did really well in Thursday’s local elections, gaining 61 extra councillors (compared to 46 extra for Labour), with these gains mainly coming from the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

East Renfrewshire is actually quite typical in this regard: Labour 8 (+1), SNP 4 (+1), Tories 6 (-1), LibDems 0 (-1), Independents 2 (n/c).

However, if you’ve been watching the BBC, you’d think the SNP actually had a bad election. To achieve this negative image, they’ve had to doctor the figures, so instead of comparing the number of seats with the last election — as is the norm for reporting elections — they’ve decided to to compare the number of seats with the status quo ante bellum, which helps Labour immensely because they were hit by numerous defections of councillors to the SNP over the past few years.

According to the BBC, Labour therefore gained 58 seats compared to 57 seats to the SNP, and they then turn this into a story about Labour doing significantly better than the SNP. Of course they also conveniently focus more on these figures than on the absolute numbers, which are 424 SNP councillors compared to 394 Labour ones.

To reinforce their version of events, the BBC have been focusing strongly on Glasgow (where the SNP admittedly were too ambitious and thus didn’t gain quite as many seats as hoped, increasing their number of councillors “only” from 22 to 27), and been ignoring the parts of the country where the SNP had an excellent election, such as Dundee, which now has an absolute SNP majority.

The BBC’s biased reporting is not just affecting the SNP, but also the other pro-independence party, the Scottish Greens. They increased their number of councillors from 8 to 14, but this has been more or less ignored by the BBC.

This anti-independence bias has to stop now! The BBC are supposed to be impartial, and surely that should apply in Scotland as well as in England.

Scottish independence as seen from London

Kilt man
Originally uploaded by thecnote

As far as I can gather, we are currently seeing a divide opening between London-based media (the big newspapers and many of the BBC’s flagship programmes, such as the Andrew Marr Show) and Scottish-based media (including Scottish blogs).

The London-based media are acting as if the independence referendum has already been won by the No side, and they’re almost blanking out the SNP. For instance, Andrew Marr seems to have completely ignored Scotland for the past few Sundays, and Fraser Nelson reported that the Unionists won easily at a debate in London.

In the Scottish-based media, on the other hand, there’s definitely no feeling that the independence referendum has been decided yet, and I think it’s fair to say that the Yes side are doing better than their opponents at the moment.

If this divide continues, the next two years are going to be very bizarre, with media in based in London and Scotland appearing to be based on different planets.

I wonder whether the divide will remain intact for the duration of the referendum campaign. If so, I think the London-based media are going to be very interesting to watch in the autumn of 2014, when they suddenly have to face up to the fact that the referendum electorate are all living in Scotland!

L’Écosse: Nul points?

Originally uploaded by drgillybean

Just finished watching the Eurovision Song Contest (“Europæisk Melodi-Grand Prix” in Danish) with Phyllis and the kids.

The UK did badly, as usual.

According to this article, there should be nothing preventing Scotland from participating separately from the UK: “There’s nothing to stop Scotland submitting its own Eurovision entry . . . as the European Broadcasting Union has confirmed. The BBC, ITV, STV and Border Television could submit an entry.”

Surely Scotland could do better outwith the UK?

Scottish Six

BBC Scotland
Originally uploaded by Stephen Strowes

Iain Macwhirter has a really interesting article in the Sunday Herald about how the BBC made a Scottish news bulletin pilot three years ago (but kept it quiet because it was too good), and why a Scottish news programme is needed.

As he writes, “[…] MSPs and ministers were finding their constituents complaining about the state of their local hospitals’ finances even though they were doing fine. This was because they were watching the stories about bankrupt English health trusts on the Six O’Clock news.”

The same newspaper also has a good article about how Alex Salmond will open up the independence conversation to include other options for more powers for Scotland in order to get support from other parties. He’s really showing himself to be a very clever politician, furthering his cause by changing his immediate objectives in such a way that his opponents can’t afford to disagree. He’s achieved so much in just a few months – I’m deeply impressed.