Slippery Salmond and his media mates.

30 04 2012

Let me start by reiterating that ALL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE CORRUPT to some degree, and within them politicians are self-serving, egotistical and unscrupulous . We’re surely not daft enough to still believe they work in our best interests and do so in an entirely altruistic manner. So when the media decides to attack Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond for doing what essentially every politician does, forgive us if most of us aren’t reeling in shock and horror about it.

Unionist parties and journalists seem to think they have the winning lottery ticket with their ‘independence politician talks to media mogul about controversial company takeover’ stories. They are conveniently ignoring the wider issues surrounding conflict of interest and corruption among UK politicians, who in this instance were hugely influential in the potential BSkyB take over process and it’s (then) ultimate success or failure. And the implications of the issues surrounding the UK government and the BSkyB bid are massive, humongous even!

Then there’s the apparent revelation that Salmond privately assured Donald Trump over dinner there would be no wind farms within sight of his golf course. Who actually knows if he did or didn’t. It seems odd that he would make such a promise when renewable energy is likely to pull in considerably more investment and jobs for Scotland than a golf club, coupled with his seeming commitment to renewable energy as a major income source for Scotland. On the face of it, such a pledge would seem unlikely! However, it’s not inconceivable he’ll say what is necessary to get what he wants. He is a politician after all and a pledge is as good as lie in the political world, just ask Nick Clegg.

So who’s the bigger fool? The american businessman who took a politician at his word, or the media for the resulting faux outrage?

On the scale of things, Salmond, (a man I’m not particularly keen on, head of a party I’m not particularly keen on), and his media defined Lapdog behaviour is minuscule. Any remotely intelligent person will see this for themselves. He was just doing what those of his ilk all do, schmoozing with the media and lobbying on issues that could benefit his party or people or country, and yes probably also his ego. Why single him out for special media attention when this issue highlights a far more dangerous and destructive sleaze practice in the UK government? It seems that while people talk of Hunt needing to go, just like Fox before him, we do nothing to ensure it happens and the media look the other way.

The multiple improprieties of those in government over the past two years should have the entire country up in arms, in the same way the media appear to be over Salmond and Murdoch up a tree k.i.s.s.i.n.g. It was pointed out on twitter that The Guardian had posted five… Yes FIVE stories in 24 hours on the Salmond and Murdoch issue, each one a rehash of the others, paraphrased here:

“Politician trying to destroy our great England, does what all politicians do, but we don’t like his so here’s why he smells and you shouldn’t play with him anymore”

It’s getting a bit old reading story after story trying to discredit one man who on the face of it appears to be doing a reasonable job for Scotland in current circumstances, with behaviour no worse than that of his Westminster counterparts.

Now this may sound like I’m waving the golden flag and I don’t deny I may do so in the future as red no longer suits me, but there are no comparable politicians in Scotland at the moment. Three clone-like bores and a single green MSP suggests our choice is limited, indeed it appears there is no choice. The UK and unionist media are well aware of this and take every opportunity to discredit Salmond and his party. As someone totally disillusioned with Labour and never willing to vote for the Conservatives and latterly Liberal Democrats for showing their true colours, I’m finding the SNP policies more attractive but not yet to the point I’d become a card-carrying member. However, when the media concentrate solely on one party and focus in on one man, it gets me wondering what they’re so scared of.

Its true the other parties don’t have headline-worthy leaders, and they’re not exactly creating waves in Scottish politics at the moment. If they’re not having dinners with media moguls it’s because they’re dull as dishwater and any journalist worth their wage will realise there is no story there. Hell, the other main parties in Scotland barely have a decent policy between them to talk of, they’re  not exactly newsworthy. Their approach to politics, much like the medias approach to reporting it, is to negatively discuss Salmond and the SNP without offering so much as a constructive criticism.

I keep abreast of all Scottish parties social media output and while they all have moments of cringe worthy unprofessionalism, I don’t see the same negative talk from the SNP publicity team that I do from the other 3 parties. Labour are the absolute worst for spending useful canvassing time putting down SNP candidates and their policies, instead of promoting their own policies. At times it’s like a playground bitching session where they gather their peers around and try to convince them the new(er) pupil is nasty and horrible and everyone should stay away. Much like the national media in any instance of Salmond not being Mr Perfect, Scottish Labour pounce on it with more passion that a belieber with loose knicker elastic and this REALLY put me off them. The positivity of the main SNP publicity accounts online is somewhat refreshing. There are always individual SNP candidates/members who feel they need to spend their time bitching and backstabbing the opposition, but on the whole it’s left to labour et al to make a tit of themselves. It’s odd how the national media or indeed regional media rarely picks up on this competitive negativity, yet you’d think the other parties would notice when they’re essentially ignored in the media.

This again takes me back to my point about dinner with the media moguls. It may be, I honestly have no idea, that the other party leaders in Scotland will meet with News International (etc) staff to promote their cause, but that the media, like the rest of us have difficulty in establishing exactly what it is the parties campaign for. There is a lot to criticise SNP for, but their ability to manipulate the media and create a story, is not one of the reasons.

With the above in mind, and knowing the average users inability to read words, I feel it’s important to highlight that I disagree completely with the levels of power the likes of News International hold over parliament and politicians, as well it would seem as certain sections of society who consume the NI brands like they’re chocolate. Parliament and politicians are there to represent us and work for us and we need to reiterate this at every level. Just because all politicians behave in a similar manner courting the press and lobbying for companies that may benefit them or their families, doesn’t make the behaviour right or any more acceptable. Singling out one politician to mask the behaviours of more corrupt members of the uk parliament or indeed the entire sleazy coalition government, treats media consumers like fools. I don’t think I’m especially intelligent and if I can work out the rouse, I’m sure millions of others will too.

Id like to think that the media could and would adapt to suit a more alert readership, a readership who are more likely to be able to read between the lines. And for those who do not want to or cannot do so for themselves, I’d like a balanced, unbiased media who used their literary skills to present information in such a way that their readers could make their own minds up based on the facts presented, not to spoon feed them the party line of whomever is in favour that week.

It’s probably too much to ask.

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