Boycott The Daily Record! Everyone now working for the realisation of Scotland’s destiny and peoplehood must watch the mainstream media very carefully. It is not enough that we make efforts to starve the revenue streams of these agents of duplicitous manipulation, we must also keep them constantly under watch, alert and ever ready to analyse and expose the cynical motivations of a Westminster led press corps. Many of us, myself included, have found the entire experience of the Independence Referendum campaign a rude awakening to the key role the press, both television and print journalism, played in the duping of Scotland. If you were elderly, ill or in any way vulnerable then a full frontal assault of fear was relentlessly launched against you. If you were too young, too robust or too well informed to be susceptible to fear they offered you their spoof version of “common sense.” Why take the risk? Look what you are being offered: stability, power and prosperity. It is a testament to the unholy arrogance of these media outlets that in the barely six days since the referendum has taken place they have made little or no efforts to hide the fact that they were simply lying.
A particular breed of our people’s wrath must be reserved for The Daily Record. The “Vow” the Record’s editor, Murray Foote, acquiesced to David Cameron and the No campaign in publishing, has soured quicker than the free milk offered to readers on the same front page. The sovereign people of Scotland can no longer implicitly endorse such a blatantly biased agenda from a newspaper that, without a trace of irony continues to proclaim itself “Scotland’s Champion” on its masthead.
While I myself was surprised (and consequently ashamed of my naivety) to learn that the BBC’s political correspondent Nick Robinson is a former chairperson of the National Young Conservatives, there has never been any secret that The Daily Record is Labour’s paper in Scotland. The party and the paper have openly exchanged staff for decades now. Helen Liddell went from being General Secretary of Scottish Labour to head of Corporate affairs at The Record. Tom Brown, high profile columnist and Political Editor at The Record became a key advisor to his close friend First Minister Henry Macleish. More recently Paul Sinclair has gone from Political Editor straight to a top advisor at Scottish Labour, acting for Douglas Alexander and then Gordon Brown. He is recognisable to us all now as Special Advisor to Johann Lamont and has acted as her official spokesperson for the last three years.
So we must ask the question: as we engage in a boycott of The Daily Record, seriously depleting its circulation and causing massive damage to the paper’s advertising revenue, what will Scottish Labour do? We can be assured they will not let the biggest weapon they have in the mind-control of an increasingly restless Scottish working class voter base quietly die. Expect Scottish Labour to throw everything they have at keeping their biggest press mouthpiece in Scotland alive. The good news is that we are by this stage very well used to having the full arsenal of a Westminster élite arrayed against us, there will be no flinching.
Already a two pronged attack has been launched, on the one side a sensationalist style distraction technique, on the other the classic “appeal to hearts and minds” nonsense. Yesterday’s edition is a prime example. With a faux representation of a “Scotland Reunited” the paper devoted the greatest proportion of the surface area of the news section (barely 14 pages in a 64 page document) to the Labour Party national conference and former First Minister McLeish’s take on a “Scottish Labour in Crisis”. This contrived narrative of unity, and McLeish’s calls for the party to “get our values in order” all rings horribly hollow. This silly mirage, that the Labour Party in Scotland can somehow rejuvenate itself after a disastrous referendum campaign, which saw them high-fiving their Tory puppet masters, is quite sad really. But there can be no space for pity, we cannot forgive Scottish Labour and we cannot forgive the newspaper they used to fool our friends and neighbours into mistakenly denouncing Scotland’s autonomy.
Meanwhile the distraction technique is insidious. The Westminster parliament has now been recalled in order to fulfil what I can only imagine is David Cameron’s aspiration to have a Nobel Peace Prize, just like Barack Obama. And so yesterday The Daily Record, no doubt fully aware that Ed Miliband was about to give his unconditional support for RAF airstrikes in Syria drew their readers a handy map (The Daily Record, 24th September 2014, p. 4). The map of course is of no use, but then that is not its purpose. It is a crudely constructed travesty of geography with representations of fighter-jets, tanks etc superimposed on it. Like some bizarre comic book deployment instructions aimed at a readership they must reckon flicks through the SAS Survival Handbook before attempting to light his sister-in-law’s barbecue. While the footage of compounds framed by crosshairs, blast sights and the ubiquitous image of “scary bearded man” is an attempt to take us away from the reality of life on our doorstep, drawing us into this fantasy of British military righteousness, it fails. All this paper has managed to do is demonstrate that both The Daily Record and Scottish Labour have never been more out of touch – it is time for them both to leave Scotland for good.